028 :: A strange sort of collapse

Let nothing disturb you,
Let nothing frighten you,
All things are passing away:
God never changes.
Patience obtains all things
Whoever has God lacks nothing;
God alone suffices.

— St. Teresa of Avila

Narrative

I walk from Bank down Bishopsgate.

A man shouts ‘Standard’ over and over. I wonder if he’s an NPC: street dressing in the simulation.

Though the new Spitalfields, past chain stores and expensive second hand furniture stores.

Cut across Brick Lane to the Co-working space.

So fancy, but at the same time just shabby enough to raise the rent. Dosa World next door seems utopian in comparison. We talk about designing Blockchain protocols as the sun goes down.

It’s all End of Empires stuff.

The background societal ennui comes from our cultures core problems. Ignore the buzzing, stick to the mission: Escape from Prison, Save the world.

-0-

Another freezing cold morning.

I follow an hour behind Eves commute. We met for a quick kiss at 3pm.

The building is next door to the Red Cross Office. Co-located but different views of the city and the world.

Blockchain talk again.

Nearly 6 hours of technical presentations. ZK-Snarks are discussed, the speaker assumed that audience knows WTF they are.

The MC is obsessed with alt coins. I shout out a fake ‘ASS coin’ and people around me nod and write it down.

A UK lawyer speaks: TLDR if you are in the UK and want to start a blockchain biz: Don’t bother.

I sat with someone from a Slack I’m in. I enjoyed his company.

The sun went down.

IMAG2965.jpg

I decide to drink way too much free Prosecco and watched the sunset to cope. Later, I wound up in full rant mode to a stranger about how despite everything we’re all fucked. “Gallows are platforms too”.

Inspired, I drunk call one of my oldest friends and demand he drinks with me in Moorgate after work.

He obliges.

Turns out he’s working out his notice.

Stress levels at the biotech startup he works at was getting to him. I told him he had a nice haircut – that made him happy.

I get back to the HQ in Zone 6 and drink even more with a different friend. We talk about his recent job interview and the state of high end electronics market in retail.

-0-

Skype call with a total stranger.

He tells me he liked my short fiction I sent him. “Don’t edit it down into a short story. Make it 3 times as long.”

We discuss grass roots democracy in the US. Watershed management in Arizona.

We discuss the merits of Cooking vs Polyphony as appropriate metaphors for ways of navigating online spaces.

We talk about intellectual pursuits and how some cultural figures preoccupations aren’t the ones I always want to be devoting my intellectual and moral energies to sorting out.

-0-

On a back channel I talk at length about Curation Markets and Token inflation curves with people who are inveting the stuff.

-0-

I remember that it’s always the End of Empires. And for now I’ll keep buying out of season fruit whilst it lasts.

Dipping the stacks

  • #Theassistance
  • Doesn’t matter what the hell you say there’s still 21 trillion dollars missing
  • I forget what we are arguing about but i’m going to argue anyway
  • Youtube launched a patreon thingy
  • Anthems good, Cops good (Apparently)

The Ministry

See the above Narrative. It’s been a weird week.

My new accountants terrified me by sending me a pdf of my old companies accountancy firm’s HMRC case from last year.  “Within the law, but not its spirit”. I might end up owing hella taxes. But hey ho, thats life I suppose, It’ll impact people in their early 20’s far more than it will impact me if it comes down to that. I’m holding on to my butt.

I wrote an essay for myself. Kinda like it.

I sent of nearly 1k words of critique to a blockchain startup on their go to market strategy having read their white paper and watched a few live Q&As with their founder they were super receptive which was really cool

I haven’t finished anything substantial that I thought I would do this week but there is always the weekend.

Reading

I put down 12 rules for life an antidote to chaos for now and decided to re-read the Papyrus of Ani instead.

Ma’at is good and its worth is lasting.It has not been disturbed since the day of its creator,whereas he who transgresses its ordinances is punished.It lies as a path in front even of him who knows nothing.Wrongdoing has never yet brought its venture to port.It is true that evil may gain wealth but the strength of truth is that it lasts;a man can say: “It was the property of my father.

The 6 virtues of Maat 

Truth, balance, order, law, morality, and justice.

The 42 laws of Maat

I have not committed sin.
I have not committed robbery with violence.
I have not stolen.
I have not slain men and women.
I have not stolen grain.
I have not purloined offerings.
I have not stolen the property of the gods.
I have not uttered lies.
I have not carried away food.
I have not uttered curses.
I have not committed adultery.
I have made none to weep.
I have not eaten the heart [i.e., I have not grieved uselessly, or felt remorse].
I have not attacked any man.
I am not a man of deceit.
I have not stolen cultivated land.
I have not been an eavesdropper.
I have slandered [no man].
I have not been angry without just cause.
I have not debauched the wife of any man.
I have not debauched the wife of [any] man. (repeats the previous affirmation but addressed to a different god).
I have not polluted myself.
I have terrorized none.
I have not transgressed [the Law].
I have not been wroth.
I have not shut my ears to the words of truth.
I have not blasphemed.
I am not a man of violence.
I am not a stirrer up of strife (or a disturber of the peace).
I have not acted (or judged) with undue haste.
I have not pried into matters.
I have not multiplied my words in speaking.
I have wronged none, I have done no evil.
I have not worked witchcraft against the King (or blasphemed against the King).
I have never stopped [the flow of] water.
I have never raised my voice (spoken arrogantly, or in anger).
I have not cursed (or blasphemed) God.
I have not acted with evil rage.
I have not stolen the bread of the gods.
I have not carried away the khenfu cakes from the spirits of the dead.
I have not snatched away the bread of the child, nor treated with contempt the god of my city.
I have not slain the cattle belonging to the god.

Music

Queen of K-pop BoA released a new single this week. Its the title track from the new EP of the same name. Its a reminder to everyone why she’s the queen. I think she’s in the 18th year of her career or something. Her 2003 album Valenti used to be on repeat in my kitchen at university. My housemate at the time Mari was obsessed with it, and we all loved it for its Britney vibes.

Remember kids:

IMG_20180220_174225.jpg

Advertisements

024 :: Well, fuck them. Make it personal

Oh so sick, just mark the middle of our door with a red cross a foot long. I’m writing this with an extremely light head.

Narrative

Jay Springett, uno de los principales paladines del solarpunk como movimiento, el objetivo es responder a la gran pregunta: “¿qué aspecto tiene una civilización sostenible y cómo podemos llegar a ella?”

– ‘Solarpunk’: así es la ciencia ficción optimista que contrasta con ‘Black Mirror’

I said last week that I wanted to re-read Altered Carbon by Richard K Morgan before the beginning of February and I have. The title of this blog post is a quip from one the main characters. In my mind Altered Carbon is probably the best cyberpunk novel ever written – I really do love it. The dramatic rights to the book were optioned pretty much from day one and I’ve always been optimistic about an adaption – until said adaption is upon me.

The plot (in short) is about Takeshi Kovacs, an off world super soldier ‘Envoy’ who by the technology of cortical stacks – the digitisation of personality, memories and consciousness – is ‘re-sleeved’ in a new body back on earth 250 years since he was last animate:  “Pull on the new flesh like borrowed gloves and burn your fingers once again”.

With the technology to transport consciousness from body to body, death has become less existential as part of the the day to day of human culture but real death the destruction of the stack/chip that sits in ones spine is feared beyond all measure. The main plot is driven by an impossibly rich and essentially immortal ‘Meth’ who’s backed up consciousness (in his replacement cloned body) can’t remember the last 48 hours of his life and refuses to believe the police ruling of death by suicide – Kovacs is sent to investigate.

The novel is somewhat of a meditation on samsara which brings me to my concerns about the Netflix series:

The noir element of the novel is its central conceit. I’d estimate that 3/4 of the novel takes place inside the main characters head – as monologue. The novel is tight with tensions around ‘otherness’. The character you are spending time with is culturally Japanese. An Envoy super soldier who before doing his duty in the human space empire grew up amongst Yakuza on a planet built by Eastern European labour, and politically leans towards neo-maoism (Quelleism). His character is completely defined by his conciseness. It’s all he has.

He is not a the middle aged white man’s body he is currently ‘sleeved’ into – who it’s clear from the trailer you will be seeing on screen for the majority of the show with the exception of flashback(?) scenes. I hope all this addressed in a creative way in the series. Because if not, then it results in another Hollywood white washing. Plus what the fuck is with all the explosions? I can’t say I have high hopes.

I must admit as a 32 cis white male who has a tattered copy of the first edition paperback, the books complicated relationship with race (and it’s treatment of women) is something that I have become more and more aware of as I have grown as a person, and as the novel has come along with me during that time. In 2003 whilst at university (I must be honest) I’m not sure I would have any concerns around a white guy playing the main character. However all these years years on (despite the major outrageous storyline changes evident even from the trailer – which are also terrible) the main character being played by a good looking white guy seems really wrong. I’m not even going to ‘wait and see on this’ and gonna call it now: I think its going to be a fantastic tv series but a terrible adaption from the source material. Seriously just read the book.

[UPDATE] Go read  Nerds of Color – Netflix’s Altered Carbon and Asian Consciousness in White Bodies from 2016

Dipping the stacks

  • There seems to be a lot less back slapping at Davos this year.
  • The death of Le Guin resonated across my feed far more deeply but with far less pubic mourning than other celebrity deaths.
  • My belief that ‘Media’ is a huge distraction machine continues to solidify.
  • Screw London snark.
  • #TheAssistance continues to go unchallenged I see.

The Ministry

I had an excellent call Sunday evening exposing exciting medium to long term possibilities.

The week started off well, with news reaching me that an organisation I have been coaching – their top candidate accepted the post. Tuesday, I had an excellent cocktail fuelled late lunch, followed by a beer filled evening with an old friend who now has a good job at a major tech company in Berlin – opportunities opening. Also I was also quoted in a major Spanish media outlets article on Solarpunk.

I also received a three pass editorial manuscript back from an editor who took a long look at a short piece of fiction I wrote last year. It was extremely helpful – it seems having an editor is just as important as having a good idea in the first place. I think working with them is going to make me a much better writer.

I was looking forward to attending DAOWO – Doing Good on the Blockchain at the Goethe Institut in London. …. But was struck down by dizzyness, headaches and wooziness. Mysteriously I have not developed the sore throat and full blown cold my partner Eve has – she is about two days a head of me – and I have literally done nothing this week except read Altered Carbon, Sleep and put about 15 more hours in to Zelda on the switch. Such is life.

Reading

See top of this blog post. No other reading. I am Dead.

Music

Yuri from The K-Pop band girls generation released this future bass genre banger this week:

I listened to a few times around the time I was having an intense lucid dream about being a Private Investigator who had “Cyber Professional” on my business card. I think maybe my life is a little bit too cyberpunk rn.

RIP Mark E Smith