097 :: Fracking Whitney

Last weeks podcast was about ‘cultural fracking’ and how the purveyors and controllers of mass media culture can only continue to make money by fracking the past. Content from a time when mass culture still existed. As their business model relies on their audience being inside a shared reality or shared cultural grammar.

When I murdered Gramchi saying “The new cannot be born whilst the corpse of the old is being constantly ressutated to perform again and again onstage“. I was speaking figuratively. But with Robert De Niro and Al Pacino being de-aged for The Irishman. I suppose… I was also speaking literally too?

So this morning brings the news that Kygo has released a track with the late great Whitney Houston. Now, it’s only because of the video that I find this out the song has been on the radio all summer apparently. Anyway the video is tool that we need to think with further.

Higher Love is an (almost unreleased) cover of Steve Winwood’s 1986 track of the same name. Originally recorded for her album ‘I’m Your Baby’. Her segue into R&B queen from pop queen had already begun in the marketing so it was left of the release.

I’ve listened to the track a few times this morning already. Kygo is obviously the perfect necproducer to take the vocal tracks from 1990 into 2019. After all his Marvin Gaye Sexual Healing remix launched his career back in 2013.

(A track he produced when he had only just turned 21. His entire career of tropical pop vibes has been built from this foundation)

Everything about this Whitney x Kygo track is fascinating:

In the podcast last week I also talked briefly about with the breaking down of our ‘shared cultural grammar’ that has actually caused an explosion in creativity. This new Kygo track is a prefect example of this (remember he did the Marvin Gaye track without permission, the new Whitney Huston track is an opportunity-as-extension of that track tbh)

Observations about the track:

I mean.. It’s a Kygo track – enough said? The tropical Kygo sound I can usually take or leave tbh. I overdosed on it in 2014/5. But it’s Kygo, so you know what you’re get.

He largely leaves her vocals alone in the verses, which I totally understand. )Side note: If you have ever tried to construct a track around Hustons vocals A common challenge on music production forums. Usually with the isolated vocals from ‘How will I know’ – I have two versions of my own attempts from the early 2010’s in deep storage)

In the post chorus bridge he pops in with chopped vocals repeating the ‘higher love’ refrain. Plus this section makes it extremely 2019 with all the big room compression going on around the snare.

The track sonically is 2019 obviosuly. If you listen with a good pair of headphones it is kinda clear that the vocal recording was done with different aesthetics in mind. I suspect that he had to work with the reverb.

The tracks great and would be a stand out Kygo track in his catalogue but I really wouldn’t say its that ‘special’ though – Apart from the inclusion of Whitney Houston from the archives. All in all its a great track. I bet he’s really proud.

About that video tho..

The video isn’t just a nostalgic love fest for a time before Kygo was born (1991) – its vocal track is older than he is.. The video directed by Hannah Lux Davis is fracking our cultural grammar.

Go back and watch it again. This time hear your brain ping with subconscious nostalgic Grammer every time you see something you know.

OMG HUGE MOBILE PHONE

OMG SHARP GF 9191 Radio Cassette

OMG AEROBICS VIBES + DELORIAN!!!

OMG FLASH DANCE

There’s loads of other dance refrences from movies etc + many other visual ones. I just can’t be assed to list them all.

Plus, let’s not forget that the video stars Vanessa Morgan from Riverdale. A show that plays with atemporal cultural grammar in a way that is extremely effective – See also its cousin show Sabrina.

Basically I don’t like the video at all.


Nostalgia is an emotion. In the middle ages it was considered a disease. This videos attempt to conjure 90s nostalgia but feels ‘fracked’. Leveraging blatantly transparent (to my eye) cultural cues. It try;s an evoke an emotion from the viewer around the setting, its place and time. Of Whitney in her early ascendancy.

Now, It may be that I was actually alive when all these references were current – so maybe im just old and this is the tropey 90’s setting feels the same way to me as war films about WW2 would have felt to my grandad.

But I’m not so sure.

It ‘feels’ to me and I’m going to use the word ‘fracked’ again that the reason it is so pronounced is A Because the song itself uses 30 year old vocal tracks. B it’s a world contained inside a 5min music video which means all the tricks used to sell you a coherent world that no longer exists are compressed and tightened heightening the compression.

Alternatively, Now I’m running out of steam on this thought – that cultural fracking works as a metaphor at cultural level: Reboots of home alone, starwars, transformers, MCU from 70 year old comic book characters, etc

But becomes a different sort of thing at the low end when crafting a world. On the other hand for example the movie MID90S by Jonah Hill felt far more natural in its temporal setting, and not trying to evoke any forced Nostalgia or profit from shared expectations.

So I dunno.

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096 :: Salvage/Rescue

After writing on the Accelerationist political compasses last week I thought I’d make my own. The above is a kaleidoscopic compass of speculative multispecies imaginaries.

I made it with Dr Christoph Rupprecht from Doshisha & Kyoto University. Consider it an output from the “multi species cities” research stream his department have. (although he informs me ‘Meme’ is not a check box available to him in his system)

Of course it being made by the two of us, everything is footnoted in a document. Literally every square has two or more references to ideas, concepts, writers or thinkers in this space. I also threw in some Gordon White and M1k3y too obviously.

We’ve been thinking about maybe writing a whole essay together but I’m not sure.

Also Huw Lemmey had some nice words to say about Permanently Moved in his subscriber newsletter Utopian Drivel this week :

I would like to write more informally for this newsletter. I’m also thinking about doing a regular five minute podcast recorded outside, on location, which I might well release on this platform. If you have any thoughts about that, let me know — the idea comes partially from @thejaymo’s compelling podcast ‘301 – Permanently Moved’, a personal podcast 301 seconds in length. He writes, records and edits it every week in one hour, and following its development has been so interesting for me, its bitesize format allowing for short and punchy snippets of information.


I’m sure he won’t mind me saying that not every episode is for everyone, but they’re short enough that you listen anyway, following the ebb and flow of his intellectual life on a weekly basis. Having that constant this year has helped ground my own writing, but also I have noticed that I’m becoming a bit of a shut-in here in Barcelona (always a bad habit and function of my mental health), so perhaps a regular short podcast on life outside would, at the very least, be good for me. Stay tuned, and, in the meantime, do subscribe to Jay’s podcast. Three highlights for me have been:

[Media property name] isn’t your friend
Stella Maris
Remembrance

I had coffee with the artist Penny Goring in Kingston today. It was super good to meet her IRL finally despite living round the corner from her and knowing her online for nearly a decade.

Permanently Moved

301 – 1921 – Spider-Man’s MCU No Deal Webxit

S2E21
The Disney vs Sony Webxit negotiations. 
Gramsci, Cultural Fracking and, fans being dispossessed of their stories by private interests
This episode follows directly on from 1914 [Media property name] isn’t your friend.
 —
You can subscribe to Permanently Moved in itunes: permanentlymoved.online/itunes or search in all your favourite podcatchers.
Permanently moved is a personal podcast 301 seconds in length, written and recorded in one hour by @thejaymo

Pretty pleased with this weeks show. A few folks have said that they were nodding along with the argument about the end of history and how purveyor of mass media culture can only continue to do so by fracking content from a time that it still existed.

Though I did make a whole podcast just because I thought of the word Webxit during the week. Also disappointed in the comic books media for not using it as a headline

Dipping the Stacks

Profile: Bob Kramer of Kramer Knives Is Just Getting Started • Gear Patrol

Dropping Out: Why and How? | Meta-Nomad

I Tried to Live Like Joe Rogan – The Atlantic

NYU professor Scott Galloway calls WeWork ‘WeWTF,’ slams bankers

The Ministry

TBA

Reading

Atomic habits was a little better than first impressions. Had some good ideas that I’m going to take with me.

Spear of the Emperor is hands down one of the best 40k novels. Not for beginners but if you know the universe the lore etc its fantastic.

I’ve finally started reading Dark Emu

I’m finally reading Dark Emu. And its fantastic.

Music

Club music are great.

Also been listening to a lot of this new track by Fire-Toolz. It’s all over the place and extremely my shit.

Remember kids:

095 :: Half formed thoughts On ‘Ralphing’ and Compass Memes

Jump to the Essay

This week has been a week of difference influences swelling and receding like overlapping waves on the beach.

I’ve had on many hats for a few hours at a time this week.

I had a skype call with a narrative director of a large MMO about doing some work with them, which devolved into a conversation about Games Workshop finally listening to 40 years of customer complaints before we could really talk about the nature of the work. .

I was supposed to meet up for drinks with a ‘eerie ecology/film/geography/nonhuman art&research filmaker’. But had to move it to next week.

I also spoke to a VC briefly about maybe doing some strategy work with them, we’ll see how that goes too.

I also went to the Proms on Tuesday as the parents unfortunately couldn’t go themselves. Pretty standard week.

As I mentioned last week I’ve started making music again. This week I spent 2 evenings refreshing my memory on how to build synths from scratch using the principles of subtractive synthesis in Renoise

FUN

Permanently Moved

301 – 1920 – Episode 50 (Sprint Review)

S2E20

A nice round number seemed like a good time to review where I am at.

I discuss how the show has evolved, workflow, stats, “Perfectionism is the voice of the oppressor” and that making this weekly has done wonders for my psychological health.

You can subscribe to Permanently Moved in itunes: permanentlymoved.online/itunes or search in all your favourite podcatchers.

Permanently moved is a personal podcast 301 seconds in length, written and recorded in one hour by @thejaymo

Can’t believe I’ve made 50 of these so far. Big thanks to Warren for the idle morning.computer thought which became the catalyst for me last year to start making it.

Dipping the Stacks

Electric Boats Could Be Floating Batteries For Island Microgrids – IEEE Spectrum

Workers Seize the Shipyard That Built the Titanic, Plan to Make Renewable Energy There – VICE

As a shepherd, I know we have not ‘sheepwrecked’ Britain’s landscape
This whole article is basically “as a lumberjack, I know we haven’t over cut” 

German Peasants’ Song – Die Gedanken Sind Frei | Three Acres And A Cow

The Ministry

I started writing the half sketched bones of an essay to clarify my own thoughts that wasn’t going anywhere. As per this weeks podcast about pushing more stuff out I thought I’d flesh it out a bit and post it here

On Compasses and Quadrants

This week feels like the week that the weird Accelerationist political 4×4 compass levelled up out of cave twitter and went into wider consciousness.

The first in the genre I ever saw was on a friends computer at the workspace for “blockchain and utopian conspiracy Trust Support when I was speaking at P2P Web Berlin early last year.

This ACCompass came from Insta about a month ago

And this recent one is the one that has punched though.

I should note that Lilypatchwork is a “post left is the most left” internet figure. They themselves pointed out the pipeline to this sort of worldview in a recent tweet

post/ultra-left ==> left-leaning u/acc ==> problematic g/acc

Note: G/acc BTW for the un-initiated stands for Gender Accelerationsist (IE: using gender’s own process of decay to destroy the gender class system) It’s like xenofems black goo mirror universe form. Anyway I’m pretty deep in these circles quite a few people have read my conspiracy essay and stacktivism stuff but its not relevant or where I was going – Back to the compasses:

I know many in the Milieu love the 2×2 for reasons that Venkat neatly summed up way back in 2009

The quadrant diagram has achieved the status of an intellectual farce. If you, as a presenter, do not make an ironic joke when you throw one on the screen, you will automatically lose a lot of credibility.

How to Draw and Judge Quadrant Diagrams

I myself have my own contribution to the genre as part of the Cross-quadrant Working Group when I was writing about Conspiracy Theories, the value of entertaining them, and why everyone needs a bootstrapped postmodern hermeneutics of their own back in 2016

From my talk “Confusing ourselves to death” @ Unsound 2018

Anyways the good Ahmet A. Sabancı (in my head I always add the A. to his name) wrote the following in his most recent newsletter

Give Me More Compasses

Jay’s Twitter thread got me thinking about how we’re thinking about the future itself and how most of the mainstream conversation is stuck. Compasses over there names many different possibilities we might face or some of us even facing —maybe not as extreme as a sci-fi novel. I think one powerful side of compasses is the fact that it gives all options/possibilities at once, overloading the mind and forcing you to think about it.

I think that’s something we need more. Not always compasses but ways to push people to think about the futures we might face and start working on it. Although it might seem that all of those futures are far away but when you start thinking about it, you also understand that most of those possibilities are already here and rest is just 5 minutes bus ride away.

Compasses —especially the ones like the one here— with their design and the information density is something perfect for our current social media madness. It interrupts the clickbait and will-be-forgotten-tomorrow news and never-ending outrages with its weirdness and pulls people out of it. Of course one needs to take another step after seeing this but if we’re stuck with the current situation for now, I think best we can do is to make it as weird as possible. So that we can lure people to blogs, newsletters and other dark sides of the internet where real conversation happens. To at least try to break that banality of the future.

The bold points are my own, but also key here and I think speak for them selves.

It is exactly the “all options/possibilities at once” which makes them such fascinating memetic objects. Far more so than the tired pedestrian chaotic alignment charts you see floating around. #ACCompasses are an uplifted version of the 2×2 grid that have ascended beyond intellectual farce into the world of illusion and imagination.

In my opinion, one of the interesting judo moves that the X/Acc scene has been developing the last few years is to use weirdness as a bait/hook for the real praxis (even if the praxis is further speculation for now).

In the Acc world things aren’t weird for weirdness sake. But weird because the weirdness interrupts the clickbait attention feed. FWIW I think Haraway’s “Cthulhuscene” attempted this move in the academic world but largely fell before finished. “Tentacular Thinking” however…. influenced this information/meme dynamic deeply.

I’m inclined to see these compasses as one of the first direct examples of “Accelerationsist Anti-praxis” propaganda.

Anti-praxis consists of two basic principles: making political action as impersonal as possible and intensifying the actually existing processes of liberation and emancipation, without situating our actions within/against capitalism, but following those political vectors which point directly towards a possible exit.

Applying Applied Ballardianism

Mr Bloggy himself AKA Mat of xenogothic.com wrote a good piece late last year on anti praxis

One of the things I think is clear about this form of compass media object is that they rapidly open up new cognitive territory. But they also seize and claim the new territory the moment that you realise that it has formed in your brain. Like laying tarot cards of a kind you have never seen before on the table, and before you can read the spread shouting SNAP and pulling them back.

In the meme theory back channels I frequent this is known as “Ralphing”

Each and every box in those x/Acc political compasses is Ralphing cognitive territory. If just for a moment.

Again some more Xenogoth on anti-praxis this time quoting Land

Here we find the anti-praxis of U/Acc emerging into view. As space-time disintegrates, you have to make yourself worthy of the process. Land concludes:

Any perspective that can actually be realized has already been localized by serial breakages. Nothing begins with the whole, unless as illusion. Today, we know this both empirically and transcendentally. Anything not done in pieces is not done in profound accordance with reality.

I’m running the risk of putting woke words into Land’s mouth here but I think the implications are far clearer here than they have ever been. Expect frequent referrals back to this post in the future.

DISINTEGRATIVE COSMIC ACCELERATIONISM

The ACCompass Meme is an illusion. A whole Ralph memetic object of weirdness that is the summation of its individual Ralphs. One so powerful as to pull you, even just for a moment from the day to day algorymic media madness.

Note for readers who feel they are hallucinating. I highly recommend Xenogoths U/ACC primer

Reading

Image result for atomic habits

I started reading Atomic Habits by James Clear this week.

It’s not very good at all. I wouldn’t bother with it if you have ever thought about wanting to read it. The whole books reads like an advert for his blog which itself is a vehicle advertising James Clear.

I have of course been inhaling more warhammer 40k books. I read the BobbyG Primark series book, and started Spear of the Emperor but I’m only like 12% of the way in.

Music

I’ve been enjoying Pharmakon’s new track Spit It Out this week. It’s a claustrophobic noise hammer of epic proportions.

Pharmakon is the solo experimental music project of Margaret Chardiet. Her 2017 album Contact was fantastic.

I’ve also been listning to the new Album Collab Everything That Dies Someday Comes Back by Uniform & The Body ITS FANTASTIC

Remember kids:

094 :: One Step Forward Two Steps Back

Well, after talking how much better my mental health was last week. This week has been dark and terrible. I don’t want to talk about it.

Permanently Moved

From Blake’s London to Air to Surface Missiles

S2E19

The anatomy of an info binge.

Blake > Tennyson > 20th C Anglosphere Public Policy > Keplar > Lana de Terzi > Pearson’s Weekly

You can subscribe to Permanently Moved in itunes: permanentlymoved.online/itunes or search in all your favourite podcatchers.

Permanently moved is a personal podcast 301 seconds in length, written and recorded in one hour by @thejaymo

Bit of a filler episode this week. Still liked making it which is the main thing.

Dipping the Stacks

Artificial tongue’s nanoscale “tastebuds” can sort real whisky from counterfeits more than 99% of the time / Boing Boing

The Tragedy of “The Tragedy of the Commons” – Scientific American Blog Network

“The Greatest Menace to the Writer is the Reader” and Other Advice from Shirley Jackson | Literary Hub

Magical thinking: the history of science, sorcery and the spiritual

The Ministry

A week of basically doing zero work which was a feedback loop.

Did make some cool grooves tho

Reading

I might be getting to the end of my Warhammer binge. Im kinda getting a bit sick of it. 50 books or something tho… thats quite a binge.

Music

I’ve been LOVING this Blanck Mass track all week.

I’ve also been listening to lots of 80’s style modern synth pop. A mate and I are considering making some music together. Heres some examples

Remember kids:

093 :: Profiles and Radio

I’ve been in the media the last week:

Can Science fiction save the planet?

I was profiled/interviewed by French online magazine ulyces.co

The piece is in French but as you can see in the screenshot above, Google Translate does a very good job with it.

The interview covers Solarpunk, My Sonar+D talk, Stacktivism work and more. Really happy with it.

Siglo21 – Interview (Radio 3)

I was also on Spanish Radio this week! It’s one of the interviews I did at Sonar+D. I’m dubbed into Spanish and sound very handsome.

I speak about Solarpunk, Infrastructure and Deeptime.

You can listen to it here ~40mins in: http://www.rtve.es/alacarta/audios/siglo-21/siglo-21-angel-olsen-01-08-19/5359463/

092 :: Micronutrients

I’ve had the lurgy again this week. Maybe I picked it up some of whatever eve had last week but fought it off. Its been a whole week of feeling around 80% and then doing something like walking into town and having to abort the mission to go home back to bed and sleep it off.

However I slept like 12 hours last night and now feel really good today – apart from the grogginess of having slept for 12 hours.

I’ve was sleeping a lot earlier this year, it was really bad. I thought maybe it was my Anemia – A consequence of my Crohn’s disease. But even after taking my regular injection It didn’t help at all.

Holland & Barrett Magnesium with Zinc Tablets

I have been a notorious asshole in the first 10mins of waking up for most of my life. Manifesting as a period of rage that I don’t remember at all. A small window of the day where I would say the most outrageous things which were unkind and spiteful.

But then I started supplimenting magnesium and zinc about two months ago.

I’ve been taking Holland Barrett’s combined supplement as it was easy to buy. I take the full two tablets a day. Which gives you the following %NRV

  • Magnesium 266mg 71%
  • Zinc 10mg 100%

The effects were almost immediate. Within a few days of starting I was a much nicer person when I first woke up. To the point Eve mentioned it straight away. I feel way less groggy when I wake up and I’m also sleeping better (and far deeper) than I have for a long time .

Last year the NHS said that people aged 20-29 in the uk had serious deficiencies in zinc (8.6%) and Magnesium (14%) and the numbers are far higher for a slight deficiency and increase as you go though the population by age.

I’m now a magnesium and zine evangelist telling everyone that I’ve been taking it and feel much much better. 100% recommendation.

Micronutrients

It’s interesting that these are both micronutrients and the effect that supplimenting them have had on me has been so large.

One of the biggest criticisms of indoor farming (under lights or hydroponics) is that there is the lack of micronutrients they contain. When you bring this up to people who are gun ho about it being a solution to fresh fruits and vegetables in cities they dismiss it. But its a real problem. Vegitables should really be gown in the ground powered by the sun.

But even then there’s still a problem. Take this quote from Scientific American:

University of Texas (UT) at Austin’s Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry was published in December 2004 in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition. They studied U.S. Department of Agriculture nutritional data from both 1950 and 1999 for 43 different vegetables and fruits, finding “reliable declines” in the amount of protein, calcium, phosphorus, iron, riboflavin (vitamin B2) and vitamin C over the past half century. 

https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/soil-depletion-and-nutrition-loss/

Further more:

A similar study of British nutrient data from 1930 to 1980, published in the British Food Journal,found that in 20 vegetables the average calcium content had declined 19 percent; iron 22 percent; and potassium 14 percent. Yet another study concluded that one would have to eat eight oranges today to derive the same amount of Vitamin A as our grandparents would have gotten from one.

https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/soil-depletion-and-nutrition-loss/

Organic food really is the best food for us. There needs to be an explosion in small scale market gardening to bring the price down.

Permanently Moved

Fortnite World Cup Explained (For Boomers)

S2E18

This week I try to explain (for Boomers):

The Fortnite World Cup

The Size of the Video Games Market
The Upcoming Live Streaming Platform Battle

Notes:

Follow @louiscenter on twitter. He is good people

You can subscribe to Permanently Moved in itunes: permanentlymoved.online/itunes or search in all your favourite podcatchers.

Permanently moved is a personal podcast 301 seconds in length, written and recorded in one hour by @thejaymo

This weeks episode was super fun to make. I feel like it’s full of power.

It’s the first time I’ve done research whilst making it. Googling for numbers figures and facts whilst making the script. It took a little longer maybe 15mins instead of 10 but is all the better for it.

I think the overall quality of the show recently has reached where I imagined it would be in my head when I started with episode 1 last year. Maybe other people would have given up by now but I dunno. I

It’s slowly slowly starting to break out of the bounds of my personal media sphere now and thats been very cool to see. (thanks Ahmet for mentioning it your newsletter!) Maybe that is because the quality is more consistent or just inevitable side effect of just having a how thats run for nearly 50 episodes.

Dipping the Stacks

Orion Magazine | Beyond Hope

McKinsey & Company: Capital’s Willing Executioners | Current Affairs

Why So Many Former Emos Are Now K-Pop Fans – VICE (SO SEEN)

BBC – Future – How to build something that lasts 10,000 years

The Ministry

I’ve written about 13k words this week including a surprise 2k words of fan fiction which came from nowhere. But it think it could possibly be a novel.

I haven’t edited anything this week as my head was stuffy and couldn’t concentrate. I NEED to get this first zine out.

Reading

Feeling ill has basically meant I’ve read loads and played Nintendo Switch A lot. I’m still on the Warhammer 40k kick. But instead of moving on to the final Seige of TerrA books I’ve read the following:

Three books in One week is reaching new levels of Aspergers binge Tendancies. Don’t think it’s been this bad for years. Plus its really nice not to be anywhere near Land As Platform related content whilst I’m writing the book.

Music

I’d like to direct you towards this extremely well written piece in the MEL magazine

Remember kids: