Social Change Through New Technology

I have long thought the Internet should be changing the way we live more.  In fact, all the technology seems to be making us globally parochial.  We buy a lot of stuff though Ebay, Ebuyer and Amazon (etc.) – but substantial change would come by breaking the consumerist mode.  If I needed smalltalk, baby pictures and so on I guess the Net has them in plenty.  I suspect such need, even in my form, is more biological.

I’m not much impressed by human emotion – machines can more or less provide art, literature and so on.  The Greeks had rules for tragedy and comedy and such rules on human emotional engagement do transfer to machines that can replicate the colours, shapes and patterns that ‘turn us on’.  The soap opera and art system is such a machine and the knowledge can be embodied as surely in a computer and robot arm as a welder’s skill.  We can even sweep Twatter, Faceflop and the rest to find out what’s in fashion and churn out the next action movie tragedy with human avatars like Stalone to fit.

You can check out the rules of Greek tragedy here if you don’t know them –  http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/humor/ – under 6. comedy

The embodiment of knowledge is an old theme.  The Luddites had some clue about it.  Much artisan skill has been embodied in machines – we’ve had less apparent success with professional skills and I suspect this is because professional people are smart enough to protect their competitive advantage better.

We can already buy programmes that will turn a photograph into a Caravaggio – with a 3-d printer we might even make replicas as good as the originals.  It’s not hard to think of putting the brains of a few soap opera constructors in non-human substrate and letting that churn out the dross.

At the non-numpty end of telepresence 90% of US prostrate operations are now done by a remote surgeon.  The change is with us.  Some of us now teach without ever seeing a student.  This is particularly good for my health – I haven’t been plagued with cold and flu-like agonies since leaving the face-to-face disease ridden job.

Deep questions on what originality is are arising and business models are collapsing.  The £50K debts of non-science higher education students are now indefensible – all this work could be done Open University style on something like day-release and networked tutoring – classrooms would be about action and thinking.  Pretty much any supply chain could have the bloat of retailing, finance, marketing and the rest of the ‘middle men taken out.  This has long been the manufacturing model.

The ideology of work for wages (vast bonuses and the rest) is under challenge.  The Internet is mostly global-parochial gossip at the moment.  More people would tune in to watch my dog chase pigeons or the hoover than read this.  In principle it crashes the old rules – but at the moment is merely extending the non-modern simulacrum.  In principle it brings public scrutiny that should change politics – but really we can’t do Panorama ourselves as yet and most postings are gossip not evidence (as in the UK’s paedophile scandal).

I’m struck that the possibilities (and occasional real effect) of the Net already expose the non-modern ideologies we live by.  Our societies are full of gatekeepers (television channels, financiers, corporations, religions) – all could be replaced by nodes.  Currently I might watch ‘The Pope’s Toilet‘ (Uruguay) and mention it in a group or blog – a few friends might thus watch and laugh because I was up late watching BBC4.  Enough of us interested in foreign films could form a node to get them instead of Sky Movies – a new form of marker segmentation.  I could have a cricket and rugby league feed without paying for Premier League soccer.  Trivia in comparison, say, with a history channel that built an analysis of the world wars around the British invasion of Iraq (with mostly Indian troops) and Eurasian adventure, the use of international finance to promote the Nazis and the exploitation of middle eastern oil to command against worker democracy in coal and the oil industry elsewhere.  Bits of this last are about the Net and literature (Timothy Mitchell‘s ‘Carbon Democracy’ is a start if interested).

The practicalities of getting anything going probably  re-write managerial dross on resistance to change and what the barriers to genuine innovation are. What’s being challenged is control of production.  I feel powerless enough to think all I can do at the moment (after day-job commitments) is write a book about what happens after the changes take place.  To corrupt what my mate Lee from Mind’s Eye says – ‘good idea, but well need some suckers brighter than us to handle the transition’.

Blast of a LAFF from the past

This is from 2006.  One of these economists is more or less right, the other is a total donkey.  Given what has happened since it’s fair to say it’s easy to work out Laffer is the donkey.  I still hear people talk about Laffer Curves as though they ever made sense. Our mainstream politicians and Bimbovision are still backing the obvious loser in this 2006 exchange.  Plenty of people saw 2008 coming -this is just one more example.

Negative Alpha and the Giant Peach

We slipped into the hands of organised crime some while back.  Remember ‘The Untouchables’, the brilliant anti-mob series in which ‘actors’ auditioned for parts in ‘Stingray’ and ‘Thunderbirds’?  The mobsters variously ran stuff like numbers rackets (lotteries) and other activities now sources of government revenue.  Now fuckwits like Brown sell off our gold reserves discounted at 10% of real value and plan the resurgence of the East Manchester economy through slot machine ventures glossed-up as super casinos.  Like there isn’t enough real need in the world for capital other than gambling?

This lunatic fairy story is justified by the production of Alpha by sharp-suited (I’ll let Brown off on this one) versions of ‘The Count’ from ‘Sesame Street’ who puke numbers and economic abracadabra like priests wafting incense.  The story holds as much water as a sea-going Giant Peach.  The question is whether we can wake from the trance of the story.  I doubt our ability to do this.

Language is now Orwellian.  Gambling losses are now termed negative Alpha, the gambles themselves having been no more than a perm on all the horses in every race, the whizz kids no more than Horace Batchelor able to take a share only from winnings.  Money, in vast quantities, is not stolen but “vapourised” in hectic trading.  Our authorities, like corrupt US police forces, change the law for the new mob by simply not applying basic justice in their case.  We can get done for picking up a fiver from the street floor, yet they can disappear the odd billion or three.

Everyone in this system is bought and paid for.  What would crime statistics look like if all this activity was publicly accounted?

 

Prude Joyced

Prude Juice

An electric clock tocked code riddled talk.  Ticks mated with tacs, tic-tac progeny like cake in Kendle.  Well-minted no one gave a flying proud Anglo-Saxon censored by chastity belt. When ticks blindly follow three mice’s fate tock follows tock follows tock follows tock. Tock time is eerie time to be off to the Flying Dutchman for sanity treat company in name for company abandoned.  No white whale oil better beef hooked. Bud was no wiser brewers’ droop no pleasure now beer was fresh out of fuggy muggy Irish talent with clarity no longer a pint of plain behind the welcome of an opened pub door firmly shut against the rain of English summer talk of the ball swinging to Indian rout Tendulkar named Anderson’s Bunny limping home short of the hundred hundreds sadly not six hundred Chiltern Hundreds of fiddling Members.  A screw turned the name of a good one barred by prissie privvy lit with prude not worth dousing with filtered ale.  Take the famed trip round a portrait traced in Dublin streets by the artist as a young man and read the words that must not be spoken adding you and what a hat pin used in several angers makes love to you all in my distance keeping in the phrase not with someone else’s preferring more honest company the pub whore content I’ll listen and buy liquid compensation for what others think she’s for a good one of and I reserve for the smart nob at crease not her crease chin begging for the ball’s tune to bring him down a peg before a shaping one edged to slip’s safe hands round gleaming cherry bled stains in shining on my creams for swing.  The player always good one’s the gentleman turning gentle man himself finding a professional down-at-heel taking the profane in the sacred to feed habit.  The shame is in barring words when mannered world exploits with charm language truly rotten from those who get nice and warm seeing the lights in the castle  To speak with fish-wife’s mouth  is tender to reduce others to poverty prostitution in the action of the word not spoken foul.   Go on Joyce yourself.  Because you know you’re not worth one.