I then fancied going forward in time to see where some of today's youth subcultures emerged from and then couldn't resist trying to map it out. I tried to use the Wikipedians catalogue and their views on who influenced whom but inevitably some of my own biases will have crept in.
It's also very Anglo-American but then it is based on analysing cross links in the English Language version of Wikipedia.
One of the favourite scary themes of 70's and 80's sci fi books/films was the idea that at some point computers would take over the world and either kill all humans or enslave us. This either occurred when we "switched on" a particularly clever computer or a number of computers joined up to create one big one.
Either way, the problem occurs when the machine becomes conscious of itself and indeed us. After a while it figures out that we are either a threat, superfluous to its needs or need strict policing (for our own good). So the humans lose control over their invention. Then the world. (And then John Connor leads a fight back against the Terminator machines in one of the more recent versions of the plot)
It has occurred to me that what we might term the "Terminator Event" has just happened with our global economy.
At some point in the recent past the computers (machines) were joined up by their human inventors to create a literally global information, trade and financial entity that can be seen as literally one machine.
This single entity is so big and complex that no human brain or even team of human brains can understand it, its motivation or anticipate its possible actions. And yet we can't switch it off or disassemble it as we are so dependent on it.
Some of the more honest politicians are now saying that we can't predict what is going to happen next with our global economic machine.
So its achieved independence. Its alive. And its taken over.
Now some may dispute that an entity that has not achieved consciousness can't actually be alive. But this is based on a 70's/80's notion of how minds work (or watching too many bad sci-fi films, which may be the same thing, of course). More modern psychologists have argued that our sense of being "conscious" is just a trick of our minds - having a sense of self is evolutionarily useful but it is not a special type of mental ability anymore than feeling fear is. See here for a longer take on that box of frogs.
So we all are now enslaved to the Global Economic Machine whether it is conscious of its own existence or not. And this may not be a metaphor but an actual description of the reality of power structures between various complex electromagnetic entities on this planet.
(If you want to add a bit of extra paranoia then note how as the machine grows it makes the world hotter which leads to the slow but inexorable death and destruction of its human inventors).
In any case, what should any budding John Connors do about this?
In trying to alert the world to this danger there is the obvious risk that the machine will suddenly lash out at me with a powerful elec