In a very near future there will be an invisible web linking together human beings, physical objects and their virtual representations in an information network. The size of the Internet of Things will be enormous: Ericsson predicts 50 billion devices connected to the Internet in 2020. But we have already passed the threshold in which there are more devices connected to the Internet than there are humans. As a matter of fact, one Internet message in 20 is sent from machine to machine (rather than by human to human), and with the latest version of the Internet—IPv6—we will have Internet addresses for every atom on the face of the earth.
But long before the Internet of Things became a geek meme, Eastern philosophers also had a vision of an “invisible web” connecting all things. As Buddhist Geeks founder Vincent Horn says, “The universe is the original Internet of Things.”
For Horn, the interesting question about our networked future is whether the Internet of Things allows us to “hack the universe” by designing technologies that enable us to feel true spiritual interconnectivity. According to Buddhist theory, you become free only once your actions are harmonized with how things already work. And you become aware of how things are connected only once you understand their interdependence.
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