Resistance to the Anomalous
Ghostbusting from the couch

Any system must be able to protect its turf.  Anomalies are an encroachment on its vital order.  But anomalies also represent the diversity that any system must incorporate if it is not to collapse under its own redundancy.  Anomalies are the connections to a larger reality.  The anomaly economy is an important part of any system’s attempt at self-regulation.  Human history is no exception.

The containment of anomalies is a significant factor in the work of compartmentalization.  It would appear that this was a major function of organized religion early on.  Their success in this regard meant that they were working themselves out of a job.  Organized science followed on as a clean-up operation.  Much of the work is unwitting, of course.  It occurs mainly on the psychological level.  Even organizations like CSICOP do very little in the way of actual ghostbusting.

The ecosystem and the technostructure both provide robust constraints on the anomalous.  Glitches in either system are efficiently dealt with.  The ecosystem contains the anomalous within the dreamscape, while the technostructure deploys its entertainment arm to similar effect.  These two vehicles tend to support each other.  The eschaton might be seen as a final excursion of these vehicles beyond their normal boundaries, propelling us into the unknown.

Maintaining ecological and technological continuity under eschatological circumstances will be a worthy challenge.  Both systems will undergo transformation.  The ecosystem will be incorporated into the technostructure in a high-tech Noah’s ark.  Similarly cyberspace will be incorporated into the dreamscape.  These will be the transitional forms, at least.  This situation is mildly reminiscent of the high v low-tech separation that was touched upon many pages ago, but now it has more of a multidimensional feel, which is fine.


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rev. 2/2/99