Sunday, April 30, 2017

The Singularity is Dear

This is getting tiresome, this Stack book. There are grand big ideas which I got in the previews, and I agree with the dude about what's wrong with TED, but in the end he feels like one of those pricks who knows how to throw around words like ontology, phenomenology, epistemology. Words that I can never keep a handle on.

Sitting in lectures with world-famous erudites, I'm always astounded at the chutzpah of young students confident enough of their grasp of the discourse actually to ask questions out loud and in public. Or last night at the Game Studio show, young designers of computer games talking like they're already on the indie inside of the industry, and I do wish them well, I really do. 

But there is something frightfully masculinist about how Ben Bratton writes. He feels an obligation to impose his astonishing cleverness on the world. After a while that cleverness smells like fear; a way to hedge against risk of bold statements, documenting every detour, establishing the absolute soundness of what he has to say.

To his credit, I don't really think he is the sort to throw around those words I doth protest to hate. I Googled Ontology of Accident before venturing to say it out loud here, and sure enough there's a book on it. It's what I want to see Bratton write about. He has nothing near to that, so far, and so I am left hanging, about whether he's just another one of those who think that human cleverness is what it's all about. 

I am compelled into side-excursions, like reading Mark Twain A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court, wherein I learn that to "hang out" was already around before Clemens died, and train conductors already sounded the way they did when I was little. Perhaps he coined it.

Looking up post-humanism, only to find - duh! - that its meaning which might have started in eco-consciousness to unsettle the "us" from some supposed pinnacle of evolution, with dreams of becoming one with nature again somehow; its meaning has been expropriated.

Now it seems that users of the term mostly talk about how technological elaborations on our being are what engenders the "post" to humanism. That it will only be our betters to put us in our place. Subject to the machine, and this is better how? Sounds post life to me.

This is all as ironic as the evident fact that Evangelical Christians are the most ardently humanist people on the planet, right? They're the ones who champion dominion over nature by manly man. As though it were automatically the case that God the Father is the most clever of beings. And not the most loving. The most angy. And not the most indulgent.

These highly technical usages for terms which ought to be common are what feel like sin to me. Humanism can't mean something special in regard to disbelievers in God at the same time it means those who don't believe. Dominion over nature with a vengeance. Angry God as though the New Testament were never written. Am I a subject or am I an object, or has all language lost its sense?

So yes along my way I discovered that it was Vernor Vinge coined the term Singularity, which Kurzweil only borrowed. It's always the narrative adepts and not the scientists. Writers of creative fiction, and not the earnest thinkers. Apotheosis of cleverness, and machine thinking will crowd out all else. 

Doubt it. Irony be my God.

Whatever we collectively decide its definition might be, consciousness implies bodily continuity with the cosmos. Of the simultaneity sort. Felt, not perceived and language abandons me again, for were not feeling that which moves from outside in? And must it not start with perception? My love is a rose by any other name.

That thing which binary realities deny, by definition. My ontology of accident is trivially simple, and not some clever way to account for the tragedy of accidental brain trauma or disfigurement, although I can only imagine love in that usage, as and and it was a woman who wrote it.

It was only our good fortune that we were the result of prior mass extinctions if and as we think of these as accidents. Accidents are phenomena (there I go!) cut off from our ability by means of cleverness to attribute their sources. We think we might eradicate these from existence and thereby or in the very process become omniscient, which would be God. But these accidents are our very all, and at their point of eradication we become as unconscious as I soon will be, who never did have a good ability to name and to attribute, and it's getting worse on a minute-by-minute basis. Let me tell you.

It were love that predicted us, and it had nothing to do with perceptual anything that could be instrumentally detected and measured and whose reality thereby ascribed. It was a feeling, and the accident of it is only a matter of point of view. We only can look forward, which is a limitation of our consciousness so far. Looking backward is a faculty being eradicated faster than I am dying, and it is techno lust the evil-doer. 

As I may have said, I live in Burlington Vermont which has to be one of the more expensive real-estate markets on the planet. There are no fools who do not charge the market rate for rent, and that just makes fools of the rest of us. There are no beautiful women who intentionally disfigure themselves, no matter their affinity for downscale rags. The brands are meant to enhance the brand. This is no kind of love that I want. It can only be a threat to my very being. When I insist on getting my best price, I am by definition cruel to my fellow man. I hold this truth self-evident. 

My dick shrivels and I don't have to worry about it anymore. There is far more pleasure in scalding my itchy skin than ever there was in orgasm whose discharge won't even wash out anymore. I have grown toxic even to myself. 

Still, I do await the borning of humanity on the planet and I find it just around my corner, hopefully not after the self-eradication of these beastly self-absorbed and narcissistic homo-sapiens all about me of which I am one. All or nothing, so says I, all or nothing at all as it were in the beginning, world without end, amen.

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