Wednesday, May 25, 2011

all watched over by machines of loving grace

Video - Part 1 of 5 of Adam Curtis new documentary - this series of films investigates how people have been colonised by the machines they have built.

Video - Part 2 of 5 - Although they may not realise it, the way many people see everything in the world today is through the eyes of the computers. Not just politics and the economy -- but also in the way bodies, minds, and even the whole of the natural world are perceived.

Video - Part 3 of 5 - The underlying argument is that people have given up a dynamic political model of the world -- the dream of changing things for the better -- for a static machine ideology that says everyone is a component in a system, and that the aim is to manage these systems and keep them stable.

Video - Part 4 of 5 - From the utopian visions of the worldwide web to the idea of an interconnected global economic system, to the dream of balanced ecosystems, all these ideas share an underlying machine vision of organisation and order.

Video - Part 5 of 5 - The series argues that by embracing this new machine ideology something very precious has been given up: the idea of progress and political struggle to change the world for the better.


nanakwame said...

I guess it begs the question what do we human ants mean by progress. We were going to reach this point sooner or later where our machines become the co-reality
Empaty and Kindness, we always have to go back to

"What is Human?" is: kindness, empathy. That's why it doesn't matter, to Dick, that those mechanical systems in his stories and novels that display kindness-like the automated taxicab that counsels the protagonist of The Game-Players of Titan not to leave his wife-are programmed to act human; if they act human, they are human. The converse is also true: A sly and cruel human being without empathy, without caritas, who "stands detached, a spectator," is-Dick insists-no kind of a human at all.

Dick votary Jean Baudrillard has said recently that "the real is what one must not consent to. Let's never forget that the real is merely a simulation, a model for regulating and ordering the radical becoming, the radical illusion, of the world and its appearances; for reducing any internal singularity-of events, beings or things-to the common denominator of reality." For Dick, then, what's "real" is a simulation, a replica which has replaced that real which cannot be regulated, ordered, or reduced by any philosophy, any theory, any narrative.

Two important things are to have a genuine interest in people and to be kind to them.  Kindness, I've discovered, is everything. Isaac Bashevis Singer

CNu said...

bah, bah, bleet, bleet - such is the noise of the sound asleep sheep, dreaming its impotent dreams of kindness and grace - while the sly man realizes the terror of the situation and acts so as to free himself from it.

Dale Asberry said...

I never really made the connection until seeing these videos:

Austerity measures are implemented solely to prevent collected tax monies from going to internal social programs such that bonds and loans will be paid off first to foreign investors, and to the detriment of the population. It's a squeeze that allows the foreign investors to to extract their profits before the economy and/or currency collapses which ultimately devastates the nation.

Clearly, all (most recently, distressed EU) nations being forced into austerity measures must resist by refusing to pay on those loans and bonds.

Dale Asberry said...

I think maybe this was because austerity measures seemed like good sense to me. If you don't have the money don't spend it. But the very fact that the IMF includes it as a provision in their loans smells like the odor coming from my chicken's coop when it hasn't been cleaned in a while.

nanakwame said...

Matter must stand by meaning to be corrected.
Empiricism is not the answer…Metaphysics are not avoidable.  The particular metaphysical system one subscribes to is a matter of choice. But the philosophy of science is quite clear that science cannot function without metaphysical preconceptions.  Everyone from Kant to Popper has pointed this out.  There is no point in priding oneself on avoiding metaphysics – one can’t. 
The contracting muscle is movement, and the wired brain is consciousness.

CNu said...

There is no point in priding oneself on avoiding metaphysics – one can’t.

Nana got jokes..., but more importantly, Willem of Occam says otherwise...,

nanakwame said...

Yes my friend keep my brian sharp as I walk into theTwilight of my life -  Serendipity is such a charm in life. The interesting thing is this man talks about the end of self, and is quite in line with the bright stuff you raised here. He has about the joint twins sharing one brain almost. I sent it to you. Whille let me get some more bright stuff. And I know you don't believe that any one thinkers has a patent on truth, not what we have learned in the last 60 years, with emprical tools.
W.V.O. Quine, Two Dogmas of Empiricism (1951

CNu said...

For the metaphysical magical thinker, the first theory is always "God did it". The second part that follows on this is "where did God come from?". This line of rhetoric is so complex that it makes even string theory might seem straightforward. What you know you're up against at the juncture at which you encounter a magical-thinking metaphysician is someone trying to deceive. When someone wants to get from point A to point B - one can make a theory about what route he would take with a fair amount of ease. However, when one wishes to deceive others about the route from point A to point B, the route becomes needlessly complex and impossible to predict because the person doesn't want to be found. The route includes detours, false names, disguises, track backs, etc. The whole point would be to make the route as complex as possible to avoid detection and to prolong the metaphysical and magical-thinking deception. For the magical-thinking metaphysician, it's always "turtles all the way down" For those whose religion is more materialistic than materialism, whose interrogation of reality is ceaseless and ruthless - we pinpoint structural and functional elements and look to the material substrate on which these structures and functions depend. Just a parsimonious and scientific approach that stands to date as the highest and best fruit of all human endeavor.Everything else is merely conversation, most such conversation intended to deceive...,

umbrarchist said...

Here is the first episode in one piece.

Powerless to control or to change?

Where is the mandatory accounting?   We have the cheap computers so everybody can do their own accounting. As long as we want the majority of people to be dummies that can be manipulated then the people that are not as smart as they think they are will lie the ignorant into mistakes.