Tuesday, September 29, 2020

The Social Network Has Already Died

Of course, I'm not talking about Facebook or its ilk. I'm talking about the real thing. Social networks are built on social commerce, and not on mediated interactions. There has to be more than language to bind people, and of course I don't mean the various virtual interactions of sight and sound and sublimated fury.

Social networks incorporate body knowledge, let's call it. Shared ways to cook to walk to drive to think. It has been a bigger problem in China, I think, when the language embodied in the written word lost touch with the physical exercise of writing. Only lately have we begun to recognize that the loss of cursive writing in the West is actually a loss.

The words move away. Spelling is lost. How much worse in China?

I lost my cursive ages ago, mostly due to too much note-taking too rapidly, and so only my secretary could know what I had written, by the time I was a responsible adult. I had to ask her. I'd buried my thoughts in typescript by then, and hadn't realized what had been lost. I thought at least I could be legible. Inheriting one of Dad's Selectrics, I could type really fast.

Now I'm sad that I've lost so much of my Chinese vocabulary. This is quite simply because I no longer write it with a pen. I no longer draw air-strokes when I look up Chinese characters in the dictionary. My language can only be abstracted. And in the abstract, thought is aligned against nature. We aim to supercede nature by the power of rationality.

Those hopeful about the future of the planet - our little outpost of life in the cosmos - seem now to the ones who remain excited about how much we can and shall understand by the means of scientific investigations. These all seem directed toward triumphs over nature, as though we were apart from nature, whatever that word might mean anymore. Whatever it could mean.

I suppose that if we do triumph we will have completed our abstraction each from other and it will be very hard to distinguish annihilation by virtue of hatred from annihilation by virtue of hubris from annihilation by virtue of what we might call some mistake from annihilation by virtue of nature. Nature is that which prevails despite our theatrics. Nature is the real.

I know that these are sophomoric meditations, and I know that the adult practice of scientific investigation will never end. Well, it will never end before the end. The problem being not science or the scientific method, but the economic arrangements which organize it., and everything else. 

How else to characterize our choices of the one among various ways forward. Truth means this. It means a consensus choice, when the consensus includes all of life, and now we - the capitalistic we - are arrayed against the rest of life, thinking that somehow we will create an artificial life. A virtual life. Some combine of personality where the most common attributes are celebrated as the most unique. And I had thought that it was my joining with others which made me. My personality is not an entity by itself. 

So no wonder science as an enterprise is so loathe to release itself from subject/object distinctions. There is no end to what you might accomplish as Lord. There is only end to All.

Were we to allow the conspiracy of all into our contemplations, we might realize that there is nothing more fundamental to discover but that there is also relativity to subject/object distinctions. There has never been any cosmos void of life. Life is the retrospective organization of accident according to the direction of love which is not a perceptual motivated direction, but, rather, a conceptual one. Time is but the direction of life lived. There is no time without life. There is only void. Without love, there is no time. Some of you have learned this from magic mushrooms. I learned it the hard way.

We seek artificiality with our instruments in case there is life elsewhere in our cosmos. Elsewhere means out of time, since we can't go there without bending dimensions beyond those which matter to us, and by doing that we will have become Goddish which will then have to mean that the godhead will have been destroyed and life will not have been.

We refuse, ironically, to be subject to anything or especially to the godhead which is not some detectable force driving anything. We refuse to be subject to love, or as the bumper sticker or was it a larger window decal on the White Supremacist Trump Truck with Rebel and American flags sandwiching Trump flags said, "FUCK YOUR FEELINGS." This is pretty aggressive. Very naughty.

The only thing wrong is that we think we know what other people are thinking and feeling by the colors they wear, the team they belong to, no longer imagining that there might be things in common. Discovering those would require climbing out of our wombs with views, McMansions on polished lawns where life has already been sterilized and news of continued life is highly exaggerated. The detonations have long since taken place. The network is down. 

And yet I still do feel a ping from across the router. Rogue network alert. There was already life elsewhere in the cosmos, and it has always spoken in the body language of life lived.

I still wonder why it is that when you hire workmen to fix your sewer, say, they seem always to be Trumpsters. Who even gets their hands dirty anymore. Certainly not Trump. How can these associations hold. Am I the only one whose thinking and being has not been entirely wrecked by the Social Dilemma?


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