052 :: Learn how to feel

I’ve be absolutely fascinated by various subcultural bloggers, thinkers and writers that are attempting to explain ‘what the fuck is going on’ recently. I’ve found myself pingponging around the occult blog world, conspiracy theory, nrx, accelerationism, anthropology and botany, to name a few places.

The most interesting of the writers have a number of things in common.

  1. They all come from outside of the academy.
  2. They operate from large macro discussions around society, history etc first.
  3. Some of them re-describe concepts from other subcultures and it isn’t clear that they have any cross pollination.
  4. Shady backchannel group telegrams, discords and slacks are full of women critiquing the loudest male voices in productive ways. (you will see many blogs that will say ‘I was talking with my friend X about something blah blah blah’)

A few friends have asked me to do a series as part of permanently moved called ‘Da Fuk’ where I attempt to summarise and compare various ideas across stuff I’ve been reading. I might just do that.

The first episode would begin with the most important element that almost all the writers and thinkers seem to hold in common. It relates to the fake news plague. But also questions of Truth in todays society and that I would summarise (and agree with) as:

You do not know what the fuck is going on.

Your job is to be absolutely certain that you have no idea what the fuck is going on.

And from that raw chaos, that raw uncertainty.. as a default state of being.

Learn how to feel.

How to move forward and act in the world

These are my words, but its also how I have lived my life for a while. Its interesting. No wonder why as a macro cultural trend theres a shift towards personal responsibility. Classical virtues, Ethics and Seneca etc

In other news I went for dinner with two of my old bosses, and it was AMAZING.

In other other news. Going to the pub in 2018 is Sci-fi as FUCK

imag4275

Permanently Moved

Thinking out loud about Genius Loci, Kitchens, Workshops, Desks, Mise en place and Knolling.

Please, like subscribe and share!

Dipping the stacks

Fertilizer destroys plant microbiome’s ability to protect against disease

RADICAL MUNICIPALISM & TRANSLOCAL FUTURITY – PART 1: QUERYING THE LOCAL (1)

The politics of Listening

BUDDHIST FUTURES: THE BLACK HOLE OF POST-CAPITALISM

The Ministry

By the end of today a short story i’ve been writing with a *real* sci-fi writer should be finished. We have till Wednesday to submit it to the anthology. Its been eye opening working with someone who can actually write. I’m really happy that they wanted to co-write something with me. The benefits of some of the travel i’ve done this year.

A lot of story edits have been done as we have gone a long which i wasn’t expecting. Whole segments ripped out and moved to different characters etc. A sketched out 90 word plot at the top of the document has ballooned to the target 8k words since July 27th.

TFW you see your words get re-written doe. Co writing for me seems to be less harsh emotionally that overzealous editing but still.

Screen Shot 2018-08-02 at 11.39.13.png

Reading

I finished re-reading all four Scott Westerfield books in less than two weeks. They are such an easy read. Well paced etc too. I remember i used to recommend it as a sci fi series to old greybeard sci-fi fans over a decade ago when I worked in a huge bookshop leading them up to the YA section. They would balk at the covers but eventually come in and buy the whole set.

Image result for uglies pretties specials

Finally reading How Forests Think: Toward an Anthropology Beyond the Human. I kinda already know what its going to say as its such a seminal text, but finally reading the source text. Every other paragraph is blowing my mind.

Image result for how forests think

Music

Man Child on repeat. All fucking week. Hang Up Your Hang Ups is one of the best tracks ever written. I sometimes take a break and listen to Head Hunters but the track Chameleon just gives me horrible flashbacks to being in an orchestra at secondary school and all the insufferable people who were in the Jazz band.

Remember Kids:

img_20180809_133351

Advertisements

013 :: #TTW14 abstract

PHEW. yesterday i finally submitted my extract/talk proposal on the ‘geopolitics of the stacks’ for the theorizingtheweb conference that takes place in april in new york . the piece is reproduced in full below. even if i am unsuccessful, i think the piece is a useful early 2014 ‘flag in the ground’ to orient my self around this year. as this is the direction a lot of my thinking and speaking will headed this year.

please note: im not an academic! but if you have any comments or the subject interests you please do get in touch on twitter , leave a comment on here, or mail me via the contact form on my homepage:

-0-

Colonising the Clouds. 

Infrastructure Territory and The Geopolitics of The Stacks

This paper will explore the implications of multinational technology corporations morphing into the entities that Bruce Sterling has named ‘The Stacks’ – companies that are setting out to build vertically integrated feudalisms. Building on and synthesising the work of Benjamin Bratton (UCSD), Tobias Revell (RCA/ARUP/SuperFlux), Paul Graham Raven (University of Sheffield), and Vinay Gupta (UCL ISRS) this paper will seek to explore ideas of infrastructure, corporations and nation states, territory, and the importance of societal understanding of the interrelations of all three.

It is a strange future-present we live in: corporations are people; Dogecoin exists; Google – a corporation whose mission statement to ‘organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful’ – recently acquired eight robotics companies and a thermostat manufacturer; and ‘The Stacks’ are emerging as digitally-dualistic geopolitical entities.

‘Institutional Memory’ is the method by which information is inherited and pass on between states, corporations and collective groups of people. Using this notion we can begin to unpack and explore the beliefs, biases, and assumptions of corporations and states towards concepts such as hierarchy, law,  and – most importantly in our case – ontologies of the internet.

The concept of a separate, distinct ‘cyberspace’, the subtle shifting of corporate discourse from ‘The Cloud’ to ‘A Cloud’, and the boastful claims of the Information Security industry all point towards the web as being understood along dualist lines by the Stacks. This stands in contrast to non digital-dualist views held by government cyber commands which sees ‘cyber’ as a theater not a territory, demonstrated in their understandings of servers on sovereign territory and the legality of cyber-espionage.

The Stacks require deep strata of data to do their business, and in order to get that data the userbase must be made legible. Following James Scott’s “Seeing Like A State”, this talk will argue for the need to “see like a stack” in order for us to better understand the approaches of these entities towards data collection, knowledge creation, and territorial definition.

The conceptual shift upwards from owning and controlling spatial territory to owning and controlling ‘informational territory’ is not new. It began with closing of the US frontier in 1893 & introduction of the telegraph interoperability bill a few years after. Today however, as these infrastructural territories are created and claimed, their owners and creators are influencing our political and economic systems at every level, from the geopolitical to the micropolitical, resulting in what Bratton calls “the ‘accidental’ de-lamination of traditional Westphalian geographies of sovereignty through the realization of other topologies”

This talk will pose the questions: Where are the nexuses of political contestation in this new landscape? Has the discourse of digital dualism been overly focussed on the individual, or is it that only now are the implications of dualism at the geopolitical level being recognised? What are the implications for politics, as nation states evaporate into the clouds, and the Stacks continue to build their own private infrastructures and extend sensing/robotic platforms into the physical world?

-0-

#TTW14 is a conference run by the crew over on cyborgology blog at society pages. i think the work they are doing is exciting and extremely important in the current moment, and the conference is always great.  I have watched it on live stream for the last few years, and have compiled an image of all the tweeted pictures of the keynote for the last two: