Sunday, December 23, 2018

timothy leary in the 1990s &/or how to talk nineteen to the dozen like a digital maniac even if you aren't + digital montages

Leibniz saw in his binary arithmetic the image of Creation...
He imagined that Unity represented God, and Zero the void...
Laplace (as quoted in Dantzig's Number) 

"Let me quote the wise old drug experimenter, Thomasde Quincey: 'the machinery for dreaming and the imagination was not implanted for nothing'" (xii);

"It turns out that the brain is a galactic network of a hundred billion neurons" (xiv);

"Around 1900, physicists (Einstein, Heisenberg, etc.) demonstrated that the elements of all energy matter in the universe, out there or down here, consist of quanta of information. Light. During the Roaring 20th Century, the equations of quantum physics led to the development of quantum appliances that allowed humans to receive, process, and transmit electronic images. Telephone, cinema, radio, television, computers, compact discs, fax machines; suddenly humans were creating digital realities that were accessed on living-room screens. This universe of electronica signals, in which we now spend so much time, has been called Cyberia" (3);

"The advent of personal and interpersonal computers, digital editors, and audio-video gear (1976-90) turned the average American home into an electronic information center..." (7);

"Just before yesterday, around 1984, a combination of American creativity and Japanese precision suddenly mass-produced inexpensive, do-it-yourself home appliances for individuals to electronify, digitize, and transmit personal realities. Digital communication translates the recording of any sound or photograph of any image into clusters of quanta or fuzzy clouds of off/on information. Any image digitized by an individual human can then be flashed on telephone lines around the world inexpensively at light speed... The basic elements of the youniverse, according to quantum-digital physics, can be understood as consisting of quanta of information, bits of compressed digital programs. These elements of pure (0/1) information contain incredibly detailed algorithms to program potential sequences for fifteen billion years—and still running. These information-jammed units have only one hardware-external function. All they do is flash off/on when the immediate environment triggers a complex array of 'if-if-if-if... THEN!' algorithms" (14);

"In the cybernetic age now dawning, 'Digital Power to the People' provides everyone the inexpensive option to cast, script, direct, produce, and distribute his or her own movie. Custom-made, tallorized, in the convenient sizes—mammoth, giant, regular, and byte-sized mini" (16);

"The equipment used by this family costs less than a standard 1990 television set, that pathetic junk-food spud-box with no power to store or process electronic information" (19);

"Nothing from our rich, glorious past will be eliminated... we will drive cars, as we now ride horses, for pleasure" (20);

"Burroughs and I are close friends. We've been through a lot together. I went to Tangier in 1961. I was in a hotel bar and Burroughs walks in with these two beautiful English boys. I tarted telling him about these new drugs and, of course, he knew much more about drugs than anyone in the world!" (24);

"The film industry's never been able to do anything with Gravity's Rainbow" (27);

"Hesse was hanging out in Basel, home of Paracelsus" (30);

"Computers will not replace real people. They will replace middle and low-level bureaucrats" (33);

"The human brain has a hundred billion neurons, and each neuron has the knowledge-processing capacity of a powerful computer. The human brain has more connections than there are atoms in the universe" (35);

"Much of Steve Job's astounding success in developing the Apple and the Mac was explicitly motivated by his crusade against IBM, seen as the archenemy of the 1960s counterculture" (40); 

"Physicists are traditionally assigned the task of sorting out the nature of reality. So it was Eistein, Planck, Heisenberg, Bohr, et. al, who figured out that the units of energy/matter were subatomic particles that zoom around in clouds of ever-changing, off-on, 0-1, yin-yang probabilities" (45);

"Next time you boot up your Mac, breathe a word of gratitude to Emerson, Stein, Yeats, Pound, Huxley, Beckett, Orwell, Burroughs, Gysin—all of whom succeeded in loosening social, political, religious linearities, and encouraging subjectivity an innovative reprogramming of chaotic realities... Imagine what James Joyce could have done with MS Word or a CD-ROM graphic system or a modern data base! Well, we don't have to imagine—he actually managed to do it using his own brainware" (47); 

***Everything from Timothy Leary's Chaos & Cyber Culture (Berkeley: Ronin, 1994/2014);

See also:
5G?! get real...
Facebook community, nudity;
The Doors of Perception & the learned foolery of research;

And also:
The House that Jack's Built's simple equation;
Nature's Horror and Grand Style in Lars von Trier's Antichrist;
- ERRATA list for "Narrative Outbreak in Contemporary Conflict Cinema: A Case Study of Steve McQueen’s Hunger";- "Narrative Outbreak in Contemporary Conflict Cinema: A Case Study of Steve McQueen’s Hunger";
Beyond Subjectiveness: Non-Realism and Ontology in Gus Van Sant's Paranoid Park;
- The Blindness of Meirelles;

Bonna Petit &/ou Helena Inez Transcendental:

l'évangile d'après Salò:

Crows in Berg (Inter) View & Pillage: 

Code Morel & One Hundred Forty Nine Inches:

Realce (Gilberto Gil + Andrea Tonacci):

the great abyss inframince:

Devenir Musician:

Somnambule 1:

My Dream with Johnny 5:

o (Des)construtor/a/z (Elke Maravilha + Lissitzky):


Le passe pur & le temps hors de ses gondes:

Thursday, December 13, 2018

recordar eh viver e/ou: 5G?! get real, who cares less for this shit!! Internet of things, adapt-or-die?! the crap of Occidental beastly corporate superficial unimaginative predatory innovation... Genetic medicine, be-the-next-plastic-hermetically-sealed-immutable-imortal-doll?! who ever needed this fucking nightmare in the first place?!

... what happens in today’s society, with its decline of 
the Master-Signifier and the rise of consumption, 
is the exact obverse: the basic fact is the loss of symbolic
identity, what Eric Santner called the ‘‘crisis of investiture,’’
and what we get in exchange for this loss is that we are all 
bombarded with forms and gadgets of enjoyment...
The key point here is that the expert rule of ‘biopolitics’ is 
grounded in and conditioned by the crisis of investiture; 
this crisis generated the ‘post-metaphysical’ survivalist 
stance of the Last Men, which ends up in an anemic 
spectacle of life dragging on as its own shadow.
Slavoj Zizek

Quando as pessoas pensam em consumo, às vezes pensam
 em consumismo, como se o crescimento do consumo se refletisse
 no que é supérfluo. Isso ignora a realidade do Brasil, a miséria de milhões 
de pessoas excluídas do mercado consumidor e que têm um padrão de vida
 muito mais baixo do que seria digno. Quando essas pessoas não estão gastando
 todo o dinheiro que ganham para se alimentar, tendem a consumir mais coisas.
 Um cabeleireiro, cultura, restaurante, serviços. Bens essenciais para que
 passem do nível da pobreza. São eletrodomésticos básicos, geladeiras,
 celulares. As pessoas olham para esse período de redistribuição de renda
 na base [durante o governo Lula], que teve muito esse consumo, e acham
 que isso é condenável. Eu acho que isso é parte sim do que a economia
 brasileira precisa para ser retomada, o que não não significa que eu
 defenda o modelo de capitalismo mundial, que fica incentivando
 a troca de bens tecnológicos. São coisas diferentes.
Laura Carvalho (Revista Trip)

twenty years later, this should sound like a collection of platitudes, but it really doesn't:

"The human nervous system does not process any information (in the sense of discrete elements existing ready-made in the outside world, to be picked up by the cognitive system), but interacts with the environment by continually modulating its structure... certain tasks should never be left to computers..."
"'... those of us who have contributed to the new science of cybernetics... stand in a moral position which is, to say the least, not very comfortable. We have contributed to the initiation of a new science which embraces technical developments with great possibilities for good and for evil... Let us remember that the automatic machine is the precise economic equivalent of slave labor. Any labor which competes with slave labor must accept the economic conditions of slave labor' [Norbert Wiener, 1946]..."
"... computers and the many other information technologies developed in the meantime are rapidly becoming autonomous and totalitarian, redefining our basic concepts and eliminating alternative worldviews... all forms of culture are being subordinated to technology, and technological innovation, rather than the increase in human well-being, has become synonymous with progress..."
"This spiritual impoverishment and loss of cultural diversity through excessive use of computers is especially serious in the field of education... the powerful computer industry... encourages teachers to use computers as educational tools at all levels... The use of computers in schools is based on the now outdated view of human beings as information processors, which continually reinforces erroneous mechanistic concepts of thinking, knowledge, and communication. Ideas are integrating patterns that derive not from information but from experience..."
"In the computer model of cognition... language is seen as a conduit through which 'objective' information is communicated. In reality... language is metaphoric, conveying tacit understandings shared within culture. In this connection it is also important to note that the language used by computer scientists and engineers is full of metaphors derived from the military—command, escape, fail-safe, pilot, target, and so on—which introduce cultural biases, reinforce stereotypes, and inhibit certain groups..."
"... when an animal is study while it is awake and behaving... its neural responses can no longer be interpreted in terms of stage-by-stage information processing... the most ordinary visual tasks, even by tiny insects, are done faster than is physically possible when simulated sequentially...  a shift in focus, from symbols to connectivity, from local rules to global coherence... from information processing to emergent properties of neural networks... nonlinear mathematics... the living system also specifies which perturbations from the environment trigger [structural changes]... even a bacterial brings forth a world of warmth and coldness, of magnetic fields and chemical gradients... Francisco Varela describes cognition as embodied action..."
****Everything from Fritjof Capra's The Web of Life (1998, p. 68-71, 265-68).

'the colonisation of everyday life by information processing...'
'The internet of things isn’t a single technology. About all that connects the various devices, services, vendors and efforts involved is the end goal they serve: capturing data that can then be used to measure and control the world around us.'
'Ask restaurateurs and front-of-house workers what they think of OpenTable, for example, and you will swiftly learn that one person’s convenience is another’s accelerated pace of work, or worse. You’ll learn that restaurants offering reservations via the service are, according to the website Serious Eats, “required to use the company’s proprietary floor-management system, which means leasing hardware and using OpenTable-specific software”, and that OpenTable retains ownership of all the data generated in this way. You’ll also learn that OpenTable takes a cut on reservations per seated diner, which obviously adds up to a significant amount on a busy night.'
'... the largely preconscious valuations, priorities and internalised beliefs of the people who devised Google Home. As throughout the industry, that is a remarkably homogeneous cohort of young designers and engineers. But more important than the degree of similarity they bear to one another is how different they are from everyone else.'
'Internet-of-things devices are generally conceived by people who have completely assimilated services such as Uber, Airbnb and Apple Pay into their daily lives, at a time when figures from the Washington DC-based Pew Research Center suggest that a significant percentage of the population has never used or even heard of them.'
'...the main problem with the virtual assistant is that it fosters an approach to the world that is literally thoughtless, leaving users disinclined to sit out any prolonged frustration of desire, and ever less critical about the processes that result in gratification,' Rise of the machines: who is the ‘internet of things’ good for? (The Guardian) (if you read the entire article you are going to realize that Adam Greenfield's criticism is still greyfully & disgracefully mild, because definitely no, 'it wouldn't be foolish to dismiss' the internet of things' rhetoric out of hand, we should have done that already; it is just pseudo-innovation, it doesn't even make the best of what we have in AI, it doesn't improve the world, it doesn't give you more time, instead, it helps big corporations to keep things structurally the way they've been, stealing the little time you've been left with, stimulating your complacent laziness and passivity);

'The communications industry could use 20% of all the world’s electricity by 2025, hampering attempts to meet climate change targets and straining grids as demand by power-hungry server farms storing digital data from billions of smartphones, tablets and internet-connected devices grows exponentially.'
'The industry has long argued that it can considerably reduce carbon emissions by increasing efficiency and reducing waste, but academics are challenging industry assumptions.'
'A 2016 Berkeley laboratory report for the US government estimated the country’s data centres, which held about 350m terabytes of data in 2015, could together need over 100TWh of electricity a year by 2020. This is the equivalent of about 10 large nuclear power stations.'
'The data will be stored in vast new one million square feet or larger “hyper-scale” server farms, which companies are now building. The scale of these farms is huge; a single $1bn Apple data centre planned for Athenry in Co Galway, expects to eventually use 300MW of electricity, or over 8% of the national capacity and more than the daily entire usage of Dublin. It will require 144 large diesel generators as back up for when the wind does not blow,' ‘Tsunami of data’ could consume one fifth of global electricity by 2025 (The Guardian) (cf. ''Much work needed' to make digital economy environmentally sustainable,' The Guardian);

'Programmed to learn through trial and error, it shows just how difficult it is to teach a robot to complete a simple chore that we can do without thinking. This clumsy steel toddler may be at the cutting edge of AI and robotics, but here it struggles to even do the laundry. Domination by our robot overlords seems a safe way off.'
'Most of the domestic items on show... are seemingly geared towards the same end: saving us time [great! but why should we all have to live in such a tearing hurry first of all no one ask]... But these labour-saving devices have increasingly been revealed to be serving a different purpose: the collection of masses of monetisable data. Simply by going about our business in our voluntarily surveilled homes, we are unwittingly carrying out huge amounts of valuable market research for the tech companies and online retailers waiting to sell us more stuff,' Drunken droids and solar-powered shirts: what the smarthome will look like (The Guardian);

The Very Good News and/or when you realize people are not that stupid lazy bitches corporations take them to be (there should be more, but even The Guardian is only complacently critical, after all, what would be of countries like ex-imperialist ferocious England without an unspeakable swarm of infantile-demential global gadgets?):

Parallel topics (on the total idiocy of the contemporary consumer, yes you get your glorious genetic physician together with trash food, so the 0,001% become richer & richer and everyone is a consummate imbecil totally lost in the void):
'... the profits in olive oil crime are, as one EU official puts it, "comparable to cocaine trafficking, with none of the risks", and the regulations less effective than at any time in the last two millennia.'
'They got rich on the back of the incomprehensible twist in European law that, until 2001, allowed any olive oil bottled in Italy to be sold as "Italian olive oil", which, absurdly, is what we all pay most for. In fact, even now 80% of the oil Bertolli uses comes from Spain, North Africa and the Middle East. It it is still flogged in bottles with "Lucca" and "Passione Italiana" on the label. Today, Italy still sells three times as much oil as it produces.'
'"Gentle", "smooth" and "not peppery on the throat" are the sort of words Bertolli and its rivals used in ads promoting their generic extra virgin oil. But true extra virgin oil is peppery – it bites the back of the throat so fiercely it can make you cough. The flavours are vivid.'
'But you could tell the same story of almost any artisan's product we put in our mouths, from bacon to cheddar cheese or smoked salmon. Industrial production techniques and the supermarket's tendency to strip out quality in order to give "value" will debase any foodstuff once it becomes popular to the point where the producer has to abuse his animals, sin against tradition or commit fraud in order to stay afloat,' Extra Virginity: The Sublime and Scandalous World of Olive Oil by Tom Mueller – review (The Guardian) (cf. Extra virgin '100% real' olive oil goes on sale in UK, The Guardian);

And just in case you don't wanna be the-next-plastic-homogeneous-hermetically-sealed-downright-stereotypical-immutable-imortal-unbreakable-impervious-doll:
'This newfound embrace of grey hair is, according to Prof Dr Carolyn Mair, who specialises in the psychology of fashion, an extension of the “anti anti-ageing movement that is taking hold”. She notes that “this outward display of self-acceptance and self-confidence brings a sense of empowerment and authenticity,' Glad to be grey: how women changed the debate on hair colour, (The Guardian);

What looks like an interesting book (unfortunately I didn't as yet read): '... we are lost in a sea of information, increasingly divided by fundamentalism, simplistic narratives, conspiracy theories, and post-factual politics. Meanwhile, those in power use our lack of understanding to further their own interests. Despite the apparent accessibility of information, we’re living in a new Dark Age,' James Bridle's New Dark Age (Verso, 2018);

James Bridle (from the Youtube & Verso website):

Some history:
"... the big acceleration towards microelectronics did indeed begin with the invention of the integrated circuit, when at first small and later large circuits were formed on a single chip fo silicon. The net result was systems far larger and far more complex than could even have been dreamed of before..."
"The forerunner of today's devices was the point-contact transistor made by John Bardeen and Walter Brattain at Bell Laboratories in December 1947, hailed by some as the most important invention of the 20th century..."
"Within ten years the transistor itself underwent massive changes and emerged in new applications in integrated circuits (ICs)..."
"... the key to the whole future of semiconductor work was the planar process developed by the new Fairchild Semiconductor Company from 1958 to 1960."
"... silicon integrated circuit... enabled miniaturization to be pushed to such limits that the essential components of a computer that would outperform ENIAc (one of the first digital electronic computers, which occupied a volume of over 100m3) could be held easily in one hand..."
"The U.S. military proved to be a major marked for electronics as well as a major source of finance as the nation went through the Cold War, the space race, and the Vietnam war."
"In twenty years the industry's most complex devices have changed from chips containing one component in 1959, to about 10 in 1964, about 1000 in 1969, about 32000 by the mid seventies, and around 250000 by the late seventies... Costs have also fallen dramatically... The industry may run out of adjectives if the trend continues, though some see signs that economic limits are being approached..."
"... electronic computers have given us undreamt of powers for 'number crunching' and logical manipulation..."
"... in 1843... Charles Babbage was at work designing an 'analytical engine,' the first design for a genuine computer. It was to be a full-scale, general-purpose mechanical computer with a memory, arithmetic unit, Jacquard-type punched cards for input and output, and card-controlled programs that allowed iteration and conditional branching... This machine was never built partly because of Babbage's hunt for perfection and partly because of the limitations of the mechanical engineering of the day; but the design incorporated the major features of today's digital computers except that they were to be achieved mechanically instead of by electronics... Lady Lovelace, daughter of Lord Byron, worked closely with Babbage and today is honoured with the title of the world's first computer programmer..."
"... digital computers are the successors to the abacus and Babbage's Analytical Engine..."
"Programming a computer involves breaking down the problem to be solved into small steps and then instructing the machine how to perform them. Around the time of the French Revolution a famous French engineer called M. R. de Prony, who is also remembered for his dynamometer, was given the task of calculating a vast set of mathematical tablets that were to be bigger and better than any previously made or even conceived. He solved this immense problem by using a handful of mathematicians who broke the work down into relatively simple tasks of addition and subtraction, which were then performed by a small army of mathematical slaves. In a sense Prony had programmed a computer of around 90 people."
****Everything from W. A. Atherton's From Compass to Computer (1984, p. 237-304).
[Besides all the mysterious mystifying names, one should note that all the hardware developments  referred above depend on insights going back to Faraday's experiments with electricity and magnetism, later mathematised by Maxwell; further innovations rely also in paradoxical theories such as quantum mechanics, but the overall approach has always been mainly computational, that is, derived from a mechanistic and stereotypical, that is, ROUGH, if not primitive understanding of information processing processes.] 

See also: 

Friday, December 07, 2018

right truths to slay the enemy, Olavo de Carvalho's interview

even if he was mad... truth is hidden in madness, plain sight, and also irony (who's irony? one might ask):

(1) como disse aquele idiota do Mino Carta, “ano passado o comércio com a China nos deu 20 milhões de superávit”, muito bem. A China só fez isso porque o governo Lula e Dilma e o Temer também estavam distribuindo dinheiro para os amigos deles, os amigos da China: Cuba, Angola, Venezuela, etc: 1 trilhão. Levamos 20 milhões e distribuímos 1 trilhão. Que beleza, né?'
(2) 'Essa coisa anti-americana pueril é coisa de estudantezinho comunista de 1950, naquele tempo havia um livrinho que os comunistas distribuíam, a Editora Brasiliense, que é comunista para caramba, chamado “um dia na vida do Brasilino” e tudo o que ele consumia era americano. Só que se você retirasse todos aqueles produtos, o Brasilino retornaria à Idade da Pedra.'
(3) 'Você conhece um tal de Dicionário Crítico do Pensamento de Direita? Eu escrevi um artigo a respeito. Os caras se propõem a apresentar um pensamento da direita. Quando você vai ler o dicinário, todos os pensadores importantes da direita estão ausentes e no lugar deles colocaram meia dúzia de nazistas absolutamente alucinados. Eles escondem as ideias do adversário e ainda colocam falsificação no lugar delas. É uma obra coletiva feita por 104 professores universitários subsidiados com dinheiro público. Para mim, todos esses são estelionatários.'
(4) 'O PT dirige, dirigiu durante anos, o Foro de São Paulo, em parceria com as Farc, que são organizações criminosas, que inoculam 200 toneladas de cocaína por ano no Brasil. E estavam os dois lá de mãozinhas dadas dirigindo o Foro de São Paulo, que é a coordenação estratégica da esquerda no continente, e a mídia apoiando e acobertando e escondendo a existência do Foro de São Paulo. Durante 16 anos todos – Estadão, Folha, Globo, Veja – esconderam a existência do Foro de São Paulo.'
(5) '... seria preciso levantar todas as teses levantadas na área de filosofia e ciências humanas, em todas as universidades, nos últimos 40 anos, e você vai ver a onipresença de autores marxistas ou influenciados pelo Marx. E só. Não tem mais nada. É só isso que tem. Então você tem o discurso monopolístico sendo repassado tese em cima de tese. Isso dá para provar quantitativamente... Pior ainda, é possível provar que o número de analfabetos funcionais produzindo teses universitárias e sendo aprovados têm aumentado ao longo dos anos. Eu mesmo tenho alguns exemplos, pego de vez em quando uma tese para examinar e mostro “o autor é analfabeto funcional por isso, por isso e por isso, não poderia ter recebido jamais o seu certificado universitário”. E está lá o rapaz fazendo propagandinha comunista e sendo aprovado.'
(6) 'As opiniões políticas que um filósofo tenha em razão dos acontecimentos do dia devem ser interpretados em função dos princípios mais permanentes de sua filosofia. Isso é uma regra universal. Se você não conhece princípios do existencialismo, você não vai poder entender o que o Jean Paul Sartre está falando sobre aquilo que aconteceu. Agora, todo mundo vem me entrevistar e não quer saber, não leu meus livros, não sabe o que eu penso, inventam um Olavo de Carvalho que é a imagem do que eles chamam da direita e raciocinam a partir daí. Estão conversando com o estereótipo que eles mesmos inventaram. Não se manda uma pessoa sem preparo filosófico para entrevistar um filósofo, um repórter sem cultura literária entrevistar um escritor.'
(7) 'Eu não sei onde se alinha com o pensamento do governo. Eu realmente não sei. Eu sei o seguinte: parece que o Bolsonaro e os filhos dele leram algo do que eu escrevi e concordaram. Não sei até onde e o quanto eles leram, mas são pessoas de boa vontade para comigo e me tratam muito bem. Isso é tudo o que eu sei. São pessoas pelas quais tenho simpatia pessoal. Não há um acordo ideológico, não houve um diálogo ideológico nenhum. Aliás, se pensar, qual é a minha ideologia? Eu não tenho nenhuma. Eu tenho ciência política.'

the full interview:
- "Já gastei o meu estoque de ministros" (Estadão);

more material:
"Evidentemente, a questão da alternância de poder é legítima, e acho saudável que o Olavão coloque a discussão nesses termos. Verdade seja dita, o Olavão não vai se alinhar com discursos antidemocráticos ou totalitários, não obstante o número de viúvas e viúvos de regimes autoritários que admiram o Olavão. Acho injusto condenar o Olavo por associação com esse ou aquele filhote, ou exigir dele mais coerência do que exigimos de nossos pares vinculados à esquerda histórica e que várias vezes falam barbaridades sobre figuras do calibre do Fidel Castro ou do Maduro, apenas para ficar em dois exemplos" Fabrício Pontin, IHU;
***on the other hand, see this:
The Corruption Cabinet: Jair Bolsoaro Promised to end corruption in Brazil, then he appointed an extremely Corrupt Cabinet (The Intercept);

see also:


Bonna Petit:

l'évangile d'après Salò: