Machines as Spaceships
We are explorers now. In search of the next greatest piece of entertainment - the freshest joke, which is usually a combination of former objects or ideas, torn up and remixed, or recycled (Rick Astley).
Exploring space as a pilot has already occurred. Our spaceship is the computer, the expanding boundaries of time and space that the information space of the Internet is our Universe.
We cannot explore this space without our robots; our search engines drive our spaceship to new places. We are seeking out new life, new civilizations -- where those civilizations are data sets, value chains, new content, new ideas.
And our spaceships get dented easily in space -- they are susceptible to viruses as easily as space vessels are susceptible to pock marks by dust and grit. Our dust and grit is spam and other garbage. Our space is full of empty space and spam. It is a Darwinian space, where value is created and destroyed in a frictionless environment.