Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Unexpected Snow Delivery

Colleges used to take a wait and see attitude, but mine today decided to trust the global information networks, and call a closure for Storm Stella, named for a cat I used to know. I had to take a break over this past weekend from reading The Stack, since I'd promised to deliver (as in construct in situ) this bookshelf to my daughter:
Happy to Send Trivial Plans Upon Request!
During the course of imagining and then trying to find various "parts," I realized that it was as difficult and sometimes tiresome to do this in English as it is in Chinese. Internet search is quite broken, and search inside Amazon's infrastructure for purchasing is even worse. I've written ad nauseum about why this is so, but here in brief I'll just say that it's because we're still stuck in keyterms. Vocabulary. Words, in the end.

Back in the good old days, one would intersect with some specialized discourse group or club or discipline, take your pick, and you could quickly learn the vocabulary for whatever it is you're trying to do, starting with thingamabob, say. Roofing, say. And then you can easily go about rounding up parts. But these days, without that personal interaction, it can be very confusing to determine if the thing you might be imagining even exists, and if it does, how to call it, especially if you're imagining that some roofer doohickie could be useful for the thingamajig you want to make.

In the case of Googling, the reasons are pretty easy to find; their main mandate is to preserve monopoly power on search, which means that they have monopoly power on being able to replicate in-house the near entirety of the near entire Internets in nearly real-time. There aren't enough resources to be able to do this more than once on the planet, except for possibly inside the NSA as the alter ego, but in any case search on near-frame proprietary storage has got be be quicker and easier than to do it on the clunky net.

For income, Google is addicted to keyterm auction, and again the scale for income dwarfs any alternative, even though I'm sure they are working like mad to stay ahead of the wave, just in case someone like me trumps them when they aren't even paying attention. I might do this by using Chinese written characters to seed the locii for search, along with modest AI to catch the intersection among words in any language, but again, I've described this ad-nauseum, and for now it's not really my point. Except that The Stack brings it up again.

I've already mentioned the one-way osmotic membrane alphabetic to sinitic written language, which makes for a global bifurcation in The Stack, which Bratton still seems to attribute to political forces. I say seems, because I've still only penetrated this tome to some shallow extent. I am waiting to see if he even has a place for what I'd like to call the human in any language. But I do know that bipolar defines whatever the fuck is going on right now, in the very local of ones own headspace, in the polity, on the planet, in the shouting matches, and I do want very much to find some common ground for more diversity. Diversity good. Monoculture bad.

Anyhow, for my book shelves, I guessed right about what might be called finger pulls, and already had the obscure "swage" in my vocabulary, but just as you're about to give up on the very existence of adjustable aircraft cable grippers, you go in by way of architectural lighting, say, or museum display and bingo that thing you thought might not exist is all over the place. I still can't remember the vocabulary, though, since for me it was pretty much single-use, and I've already established that the price-point is beyond me, since I'm not curator of museum-grade art or lighting, though I know people who are . . .

The curiosity is why it doesn't seem worthwhile for Amazon to make these searches easier. I suppose it's the old Pareto principle, and most people look for things they already know how to call. But creative types like me might like to review some thingamajig domain as though coming at it from many different dimensions at the same time. Or maybe nobody does create beyond their discipline?

Well, Benjamin Bratton sure does seem to cross a bunch of discipline-specific boundaries, and only a very few of these seem to intersect the domain of visual art, which is the academic discipline in which he seems gainfully employed. How strange and fascinating is that!?

The snow out my window is still rather fine-grained, and hardly threatening, although I sure am glad that I don't have to drive today. I expect new winds to start blowing it horizontal, and then I'll be prostate myself without anything gainful in which to be employed this day of enclosure. Bored and fatigued. My skis already in storage a drive away. Sigh.

Well, so what I would like to know is whither now? Bratton seems to have anticipated to excruciating detail what's up with Trump and Walls and what can make the world all a Twitter, since our focus is so infinitely manageable by systems not ourselves for someone else's gain and profit, but I'm waiting to know what I can do about this from my inside.

Basically, we've got guys behind bars calling all the shots, and the guys behind bars are getting shot from behind by people who are uniformly not behind bars, and so the game seems to be how do we flip this without pissing off all the people who voted for Trump who are so pissed off that they just want to wreck the whole system, even if it does mean that in some brain-dead standoff between the Donald and the Un, the whole shebang and shooting match comes down in one stupid maneuver. I mean those two guys are batshit crazy, judging from what comes over their names, and might just prosecute what seems a good idea at the time on the basis of some strange hormonal soup, surrounded by terrorized yes-men who were promised some piece of some action.

As I've already suggested, the answer is understanding, because at least in that way we might stand some chance to not do something colossally stupid ourselves in pursuit of our definitionally misguided self-interests. Misguided if for no other reason than that the uber information aggregation bureaux know way more about our interests than we do ourselves, and know how we might vote on any given issue to some absurd degree of accuracy based on just a few data points, in the aggregate of "we" the people, even when we might surprise them individually. I mean, how can they know if I don't even know, though I do worship coupons and sell my attention for pennies on my dollar against a price which has a snowball's chance in hell to be determined.

None of this matters, of course. It's got to be someone's fault that it's snowing in March, near the equinox, near the start of Spring, and I'm mad as hell and I'm not going to take it any more. It makes me so tired even to think about saying such a thing out loud.

So the other day for no good reason I decided to transfer my flatscreen wall-mount to my new portable packet real-estate, and didn't like the dimples in my tiny house's outer skin, even with the big washers. So I thought aluminum and then I thought maybe Walmart or some such place, remembering how easy it was to escape marine-grade pricing when I was living on my floating real-estate before the days of packet switched reality, and I was able to repurpose cookie sheets and cheap stainless bowls to shield my little coal stove, but now one day magically the square piece of aluminum turned round in my head, and then one lunch time I was strolling "downtown" in my little college-town with the pedestrian mall, and by some internal magnetism remembered the Home Port store, and there hiding in the bottom of some kind of torte shell was the very piece of aluminum I had in my mind's imagination. Bingo. Bam. It was even anodized and of course cut precisely in ways that I could never imagine doing and so now but for the grace of snow, I would be glueing it under the big washers and dimples gone and tra la la!

So what's the point in all that? The point, if there really is one, is to let the mind go and it might just provide you access to a feedback loop from your own future, which you might also apparently do by placebos in the medical arena or prayer in the religious. And even if you prefer to explain it away by some obscurely stored memory in your brain which stores way more than you can catalog and index for easy retrieval, it's still a neat trick when you can pull it off. Opposite to Internet searching. And very opposite to how we direct our anger and analysis against the idiot winds, because, and now I'm mindful of Bratton again, we're still stuck in where we were and not looking ahead to where we're going, which is a very very bad way to drive this wreck.

Looking ahead, one might see through to something better, pivoting on that proverbial dime, against that proverbial dollar, hi ho! Which is to say that the only way to unseat the powers that be is to let one's mind go and ignore them while repurposing what they're overcharging for in one domain to some other domain where it's really cheap, and then share it faster than they can stop you. Fat Daddio's is my design firm brand, purloined from some manufacturer of cookware. Go figure! If you just want to get rich to appease your insecurity, then you're on the wrong side of the structural barriers, boss. Make good with your gods before it's too late.

No comments: