I was DISTINCTLY TOLD, in the 1990s, that if we put computers into all the things it would make us all super-smart and super-sexy and super-kind and we would all live in houses made of translucent plastic and acid dance and rainforests and we would specifically NOT become a society of giant raging dumbass jerks selling fake nutritional supplements to Nazis.
There were RECEIPTS. Money changed HANDS.
I wish to complain to the MANAGEMENT.
@natecull Yeah, and I was real mad about there being no such thing as the Easter Bunny.
Grow up, Nate.
fascism Show more
@natecull I think smartphones broke the dam not computers. Reminds me of an article I read about how fascism was spread in part because the concept of radio--having a source of nonstop curated information available in your house at all times--was hard for people to wrap their heads around and made it easier to overwhelm them with propoganda. I could see an analogue to how smartphones make it so it's not just curated information being thrown at people in one place but everywhere they went.
@rushkeating @natecull I think every new media brought to light a new vulnerability of humanity – a new gullibility, a lack of media competence, if you will – the printing press leads to the 30 years war, radio to WW1, TV to WW2, the web to WW3 (!?) but I’m getting ahead of myself… Sadly, it doesn’t match up perfectly because “The first radio news program was broadcast August 31, 1920” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_radio It’s close, though. 😀
Communications and media are the control and feedback components of the social and societal system. OF COURSE they impact outcomes and overthrow balances.
That was Norbert Wiener's whole trip. His book was "Cybernetics: Or control and communications in the animal and the machine"
I just wrote a bit of my current synthesis of this at HN:
was my generation's great mistake that we put too much acid in the acid house
or NOT ENOUGH?
@natecull My mentor in graduate school once wrote a book that expounded the former.
He now writes books mostly about how money and technology have formed an unholy marriage that is ruining the whole world. He's the most gentle and kind and wonderful human, and the most heartbroken person I know, because not only did he believe, he was one of the *prophets*.
...which is why I am now an anarcho-communist, because the thing he had me study was the history of money, LOL.
Also, the physical representation of the girl (whose name I can't remember right now) in Adolescent Demo Division is based on me!
@dredmorbius @TheGibson @natecull Well, it ended up in the book Life, Inc., though I think it’s threaded throughout a lot of his work that came after. For me, it became the basis for a hugely radical shift in my perception of politics— money is like god to us, and when the curtain is stripped away and you realize there’s no there there, it kind of blows your mind that you and everyone else is in pursuit of something that’s a fantasy.
@dredmorbius @TheGibson @natecull As for Rushkoff turning on tech, he never did and never has. He turned on the tech *industry*, or rather, I would say, became aware that the tech industry had colonized Cyberia in the way all colonizers do— exploited its natives and resources for personal gain without thought to how that would destroy the very things they were exploiting.
@dredmorbius @TheGibson @natecull Oh, but as for when that happened... 2005 is when we started working together on Life, Inc., but I think it started before that. Maybe 2003ish? He was teaching at ITP and had watched it go from a school that promoted weird stuff made with tech to a school looking for their next alumnus to sell their thesis project to Google.
@dredmorbius @TheGibson @natecull Anyway, I’m obviously speaking from an outside perspective and don’t know what was in his head, but I do know he was a much less optimistic but no less hopeful man when we met.
I also RAed for Clay Shirky at the time, when he was working on Here Comes Everybody, and it was like being student to The Vinegar Tasters. (Clay didn’t put me in the acknowledgments, though... 😒)
I'd always thought cybernetics was about machine and process controls, but he very much intended it to apply to /all/ systems, including animal and human behaviour, psychology, sociology, economics.
And warned explicitly of the dangers.
He was sidelined due to his post-WWII conscientious objection to military work, and corporate criticism, in part being caught up in the Red Scare and McCarthyism.
A massive shame.
Adam Smith. Jevons. Keynes.. Frederick Soddy. /Not/ Friedman, though I likely should. Graeber. Joseph Tainter on Roman currency, etc.
Interested in what you came up with, and yes, it's pretty interesting. I'll check Life.
<<a very special moment in our recent history – a moment when anything seemed possible. When an entire subculture – like a kid at a rave trying virtual reality for the first time – saw the wild potentials of marrying the latest computer technologies with the most intimately held dreams and the most ancient spiritual truths. It is a moment that predates America Online, twenty million Internet subscribers, Wired magazine, Bill Clinton, and the information superhighway.>>
In 1993, I was at Bible college and wrote a paper on how I thought the future of the church was going to be on electronic discussion forums
(cos I was doing Fidonet at the time)
I don't know what my tutor made of it.
tbh that year was in the middle of my my 'finding myself 'period and I... am still somewhat lost, though maybe less so
I think that most people who have practical meditative / contemplative / psychedelic experiences are glimpsing part of the same reality. At least, from the stories I've heard, I see repeated elements that match up.
The idea that we're all united under the hood, so to speak, and it's more about how long it takes us to *realise* that.
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