I don't really quite know how to do this. First of all, it's always very humbling to hear accomplished academics speak. Formally speak. I tend to feel like an idiot for trying to think things through at all on my own. I have no right!
Second of all, it was very disconcerting for me to find that the event would be held on Facebook. That was cognitive dissonance, for me, in and of itself, to some fairly painful degree. I prefer my irony to be announced and on display, full stop.
Well, but how could I? It would hardly be irony then, now would it? But whatever. As though we have any choices about participating in the disastrous overtaking of historic time by geologic (a lovely new locution I learned from the seminar).
I'll tell you what my trouble is; I can't tell irony from earnest much of the time. Televangelism, the capitol insurrection with horns and hangman's noose and prayer from the pulpit of the Senate.
I know Bratton places the blame with neoliberal economic individualism and therefore seems to discount surveillance capitalism as a concept, but, well the film The Social Dilemma is pretty scary about Facebook's power. We clearly don't care about privacy as such, or we wouldn't do Google search so very much. But we do care about curated reality for someone else's profit. Get a grip, Bratton!
Anyhow, it was chaotic. I could never find the actual event, and the schedule bore no relation to the presentations, and the promise to give me a link to the "actual" location was never met. But I managed.
Projecting my phone to my TV via ROKU via Airplay, just released to ROKU, or just "installed," and then navigating beyond the Polish, where it probably all made sense, and to the event, which had nothing actually happening in the event announcement space, and then onto where the videos would play and would sit by back and forth through English, and Polish with an "english" button to somehow find it, but not repeatably. I mean, maybe if I were an actual Facebook addict. Whatever!
So here's the thing. I spent the fall working on my daughter's house. Much of that was working on the electrical system, which was an incredible and dangerous mess. The house itself was built in 1850, and for at least part of its life served as a boarding house. Rooms were advertised far away (New York? Philly? I found the ad online in some handy archive) for upscale attendees to the electric-themed Pan American Exposition circa the turn of the twentieth century. "Fine dining within a short walk." Still true, although most of it is hip youth now. Maybe it always was.
So I know something of the 'electrical sublime,' I do. Electrical hell, same difference (engine).
I supervised the excavation of the crumbling terra-cotta sewer - apparently big enough for a small city, and a shock to the three sequential teams of plumbers brought in. I brought them in, the kids paid. They are University professors. No one knew ahead of time how much simpler it would have been to cut it out and replace it with plastic. Well, except then the city would have to be brought in, and it would get really time-consuming and even more expensive . . .
Their sewer was surely big enough for a boarding or a bawdy house, which its twin next door had been. In today's terms, it's a very small house indeed. The neighbor's house still has the rooms numbered in it's attic, they tell me. I might have seen them had there not been a pandemic. I can't wait! But there is an Alpha Romeo [spell check] in the driveway now, so, well, I guess I never will. I hear even normal people can buy exotic cars now, though. Could that be true? The end is surely near.
And surely there was no electricity in either house when they were built, or even by the time that Buffalo started to light up after the Exposition. A Buffalo First.
First Night is always at the electric tower. A family affair. Replete with ball drop and no booze.
I also worked for the power company which in my time still inhabited that "electric tower," which was and remains a replica of the centerpiece tower of the Exposition, as featured in one of today's presentations from Warsaw. Through Warsaw. Now it's an office/apartment building. The company outsourced to British National Grid.
When I worked there, I had unique access to the auditorium at the top. Word was that the Big Boss would convene his subalterns each day to preach the mystical power of antiquity as transmuted into electric power. Must have been descended spiritually from Niagara regionally-claimed Tesla, the man. He actually beat Edison to the punch of alternating current. I think.
Now all we get is one of the Tesla gig-factories, over-subsidized by state and local, and still understaffed, reason of something wrong with the installation process for the solar roof panels. Not predictable. Space shots predictable. Fee payer super-predictable.
((I also had exclusive access to the "picture windows" (documented in the Warsaw presentation) to the upper floors of the building next door, where porn was being shot. Soon hauled off, and good riddance. So, something beyond porn. Something toward what preachers and maybe rich or royal folks do, out of proportion to the rest of us. I only saw the backside of fully grown women.))
I was doing IT work - distributed server maintenance for a massive set of databases which the big service trucks could access for maps, documentation, technical drawings as they did their maintenance and emergency or scheduled repair labor. Early wireless. The power company was then removing the massive prototype cellular transmission base. It had allowed relay radio to all. It took up too much space in the massive Halon-protected (like rare books, where you have to get out fast if the alarm sounds) server room over by the massive garages. We built two tiny fridge-sized racks to replace all of it with rare earth code.
The company was also replacing the massive failsafe power cutoff detectors with new sub-cycle electronics, whose racked servers I installed. Negotiating screwdriver rights away from the union, who still stood guard, and I should be grateful. Unlike most IT guys, I knew how to work a screwdriver.
The massive three story control room with lighted schematics of their entire grid, and where NASA grade leather round multi-person control centers had gone fallow. The blackout came later, when I lived in the country and had primitive backup systems. Hand pump for water. Kerosene lamps kind of thing. I didn't need no stinkin' generator. I had a woodstove.
Still they did once cut their own fiber-optic cable, old dead and gone Niagara Mohawk did, electronic guide system notwithstanding, and I got autopaged for nearly all my servers, all over the map. Not that they'd gone down. They'd just gone out of touch. I'd set the traps and now I had to live with them. On call 24/7. The apex auditorium was now full of servers. The seats were still bizarrely there, and I could walk the astonishing balcony, from which the ball would later be dropped on New Years. Anyhow, no more communal spiritual gatherings to romanticize electricity.
I'd worked with GIS systems in an academic setting before, at just about the time when public-facing maps of disease distribution in relation to toxic plumes, and of high wind location for wind farms were being taken down for reasons of whatever lawyerly reality, and databases (construction and maintenance) and lots of network engineering, including construction on the web before dot.com hit. After Netscape was real. I'd boned up with Gopher.
One of the first with dialup through the University, and I decoded pictures from ASCII text. Harley choppers from the Denizens of Doom Foucault-reading usenet group, like the one I rode circuit on to my distributed servers. Pam Anderson silicone leaping. A meme, as such would later be called. ASCII also transformed by an escape code to Chinese, once the Hercules graphics card came into being. Trivia.
I tag myself here as "author of my own life, dammit!" I myself have no real idea what I meant by that way back when, and it always embarrasses me when I see it. But this is such a barren venue that it's never worth my while to update it. It has archival truth.
Did I mean "protagonist?" Probably, since when I started blogging I felt that my life was a novel, but certainly not written by me. It was the things that happened to me and some marvelous disasters that I'd overcome which might have inspired me. I read (past and present tense both) myself like I read a novel. Who knows how I come off? Not me, that's for sure. I know I like to drive, and it feels like agency to do it. But it isn't agency.
And again, as I learned today, author is not the same as protagonist, and I might say that agency belongs to neither. Benjamin Bratton certainly wanted to distinguish between protagonism and agency. I believe he sees agency as a more cooperative matter. More socialist than anarchist, he declares. Against what, really? There are no names yet which might apply. But against collective death, in any case.
My own personal authorship probably has more to do with what I resist than what I take control of. What I quit as much as what I join. Protagonists act that way too, right? That's what the brain is for. Staying alive in the face of recognizable but always shifting patterns. Emotion be my personal guide, Luke Skywalker. Intuition. My emotional responses are not uninformed. There are but few choice in the face of sure failure most of the time. Failure is legion. Success the threading of some needle. Can't take it with you. Sometimes quitting is the best and rational choice.
We get better at it when we can share the code for those ever shifting patterns; after we read books that explain what might actually be going on. Imagine ordinary denizens of bars taking cases of beer to work in the sweaty high reaches of the power plant. You have to know what you're doing! Drills every morning in those line-worker garages, calisthenics and reminders about what never to do. Remember him?? How he died? Let us pray. Now go out there and fix shit!
As much as I learned from an incredibly interesting set of presenters (five, I think) at this Electric Summer School, I still heard no real inkling of what I consider to be my own core project. My work. There were never more than 40 or so live in the audience, though reassuringly, in this age of plague, the talks would be lightly buffed and then archived. And they have been. But you have to join Facebook to see them.
I am the audience. I am your audience, but not your colleague. I will take your exoitc locutions for the people. Their envoy, not yours. Hanging by the skin of my mind on words which always seem inexcusably arcane, technical, and having a private meaning.
Academics mostly talk only to each other, juggling concepts, calling them idiotically "ideas" while jockeying for position, and honing the skills of clever. Imagine one of them named master. We tried that once, and only once, I think, with Woodrow Wilson. Mixed results. And he might have known how to talk to the people. That might have been the problem.
Of course I shall try to replace my use of "capitalism" with "vectorialism," as much as I can. I've had McKenzie Wark's fine and still-new book sitting on my shelf since it came out, capital is dead. I only opened it last night. Like many such things, I guess the reading of it felt like a chore, on top of too many other chore-like obligations. It is hard to stay on top of Chinese. It morphs mercilessly and sadly, in our direction. By our direction? Under our direction? Clearly not!
I was delighted to find Wark's book not only readable but incredibly useful, although, for the moment, I do still find hoarded piles of wealth to be at issue, even though that wealth now comes more quickly and isn't represented by "means of production" in physical form of capital hoarding and transmutation, so much as "right of transmission" (by fiat) or something like that. The capital still accrues, even if only in the form of futures. Information futures based on predictions of enclosure (of public space) by right of startup upstart primogeniture. How fucking primitive!
That's my issue right there. Nobody gets to own my future. I am Shevek from the rube colony, come to the imperialist universe-school-city, and the only thing I could never internalize was the cool on display even in this anti-establishment crowd of lecturers. Mine is purest engineering chic, still. Just ask my stylish daughters.
Sure, probably self constructed, but the patrician oligarch curator was gorgeous. Even McKenzie, the most down to the earth of the krewe was luxuriating in the privilege to re-design and re-engineer her body toward what? It's essence? I'd thought the project was to de-essentialize gender.
No, Benjamin reminds me that it's about feeling at home in your skin. Age is doing its surgery and hormone hacking on me just fine. As far as feeling at home, I'm from Natchez and when I itches, I scratches. So, no I don't quite feel at home in my aging and drying skin.
I wish the neighbor would lower his window when he pleasures himself in the shower. It's unseemly and unnecessary as goad to what? Jealousy?
Anyhow, I was glad to see the political soul still alive and livid, disavowal of politics notwithstanding. Well, not livid exactly. More genteel than that. I'd date her, but I'm probably too old. McKenzie, not my neighbor. He's as fat and hairy as I am. Blech.
I absolutely adored the first presentation, the imaginary tale of electricity's romantic sublime, by way of Frankenstein hermeneutics. Bruno Latour was corrected. Fine, but that doesn't make his point of view wrong either.
The most interesting presenter, doomed as she said she was to live on the other side of the Cold War (virtual) wall, and speaking, I guess, from Shanghai, lit a long and stylish cigarette on screen during the denouement group discussion. It couldn't have been vape; the flame of lighting was far too interesting in the auto-calibrated light balance of the screen. Does one still have to be stylish and cool to make it to the point of being invited to speak to global audiences? I should think so. I should hope so. Not a good example, she wasn't. ! I, cowed by the MPA. The board of what? "parents?" Less smoking on screen, please!
The earnest will, you know, take over. We always do. We are so earnest in our awareness of irony.
There seems to be more continuity between the flows of old-fashioned capital and new fangled information along the vectors which have always been channels for wealth flow and concentration. More than McKenzie seems to want to admit. Well, more likely I just don't have the proper mindset to do academics.
As the Chinese always did say, it's very important to rectify the words. But then, they weren't so into innovation, and so their rectification went, um, backwards. They were more worried about proliferation, while we celebrate it. As though proliferation of code is proliferation of information. Wait, it actually is. Hang on!
There was some discussion about how being human, and the human itself, transforms just now in our history. Mostly by the woman smoking the stylish cigarette. Have we become different, and how much further is there to go? And we must go further if we are to reclaim history from the geological transformations which have not only decentered us as apex masters of our environment to now the losers in the game where the earth is destroyed, and we along with it. First to dominate, first to go, FIFO we called it when I bartended, so to speak, it's opposite now that we've gone corrupt. No issue for the cockaroaches, eh Wall-E? First in Last Out.
Bratton made more sense than he had to me before about what he means by "governance," and why surveillance is not the issue (our private ownership of ourselves as property has never been that important, and we have overemphasized it, forgetting the importance of physical freedom, relatively speaking. Forgetting the function of the other kind of masks, I'd say)
I have no secrets from my government, if I could but trust the state. In Google I trust. They only want my desires, after all, and won't hold those against me. (Is digital desire a thing? Seems to me I've heard it said . . .) The issue is rather what kinds of data, depersonalized/masked if not delocated; what kinds of data we need to be gathering, and how our models must act recursively on the real, based on the data which comes to them. Or else!
But models can't act. Models stay still. That's what model means. Are we talking feedback loops? Are we talking the models as the basis for the machines? Wearing a mask in public will always be safer, no matter which kind of mask. Foil the AI recognition, foil the diseased vectorialists, foil the virus of money, which is information too, just like a virus is.
I'm the doer here, and you're the actors, the posers, the ones who will never do anything unless and until you have perfect agreement at the theoretical level, and then what? You'll advise the president about dropping the bomb, and he/she will listen because you're experts against the populists?
People don't believe in God because they're deluded. They believe in God because God is real. The trouble is that the populous to which the populists preach in Jaynesian tones of tractor-beaming; the populist preachers give them the explanations they want and need, just in order to breathe together. We don't need a Word or The Word for what is Real. The real takes no revenge. It just simply is.
Governance must happen at the level where individuals are impotent. Unless, of course, like good biological vectors, we learn to contaminate our fellows by our expression and by our actions. One metaphor which kept moving through my mind as I listened was that metaphorical masks may also defend us from the idiot winds of conspiracy theory. That preaching is always too pleased with itself.
Education composes such masks, that the tech vectorialists can't put up nearly fast and fine enough, since they themselves can't plumb their terra cotta warrior algorithms, and education can also help each of us to spread our individual infections of mind-influencing actual behavior. The truth will give us power, if only there were an educated populace to know the difference. I still strive to become educated, but not in one disciplinary dimension. Isn't that something?
We can't do a fucking thing if we feel too disempowered by, well, experts who want to tell us how it really is. Also on my mind was how massive a failure have been our state-run educational systems. Not disconnected, for sure, from the pandemic and especially now from its resurgence. The Internet is rotting and the words have gone amok.
We need much more of a hive-mind, but one without the Queen. Science be my guide, but not scientists. Scientists do the work, be the doers, and be not the patenters of my genes. You may have them for your work and not for your profit by proxy to the Big U.
Those conspiracy theorists have a point, Left and Right, about the profits to be made by the producers of the vaccine show. But that misses the point. It's a good show! Give Spielberg his due for the spiel. No, give the actors their due. No, the writers, the authors. The viewers get what they want. And how about what they deserve? Really?
Bread and puppets, people. But you know, poor Aaron Schwartz, it wasn't pure evil that put the scientific writings behind paywalls. Most people can't read them anyhow. Editors and the review process cost money, and none but subscription fees were on offer. We do the best with what we have, and so we use Facebook, because what else can we afford, Audre Lorde?
There was a mild review about how women were posed for electrification education. Actually, I was truly surprised that nobody mentioned the vibrator - the first "home appliance" once households were electrified. Before that, women were ministered by male doctors to cure their hysteria, I think.
There must have been a tacit agreement not to go there, since there were lacunae all over the presentations for the role that sex plays. And even in the way that the presenters presented themselves. McKenzie, herself having transitioned, at least mentioned invisible sex workers among the organization of the workforce to build Australia's massive Niagara-grade hydro project. But not as big as China's damn Three Gorges dam system.
All of it like mobilizing for war, or settling displaced migrants. We all go willingly. In or out of fear. by coercion if necessary. Or we did. Our new socialist near-mayor is being taken down by curvaceous boudoir shots, as if it were the Victorian age. What was she thinking (when she was very young)? She could never be a museum curator, but I'd sure take her as my mayor!
And I still want to know what will happen when we awaken to the fact that sex and emotion and wanting are all prior to cognition and ratiocination, and what Bratton calls sapience and agency.
In most ways our emotional stance is what has changed most evidently as the computational layers have piled on to what was always stacked. Against the people. Words are also currency for elitism. Agency requires them, if it is to be social, as agency always is in reality. Are elite universities becoming vectorialists? Have they already long since? I am not qualified to say. Well, actually, I am. Most of my academic life was in Comparative Education. Universities are uniquely qualified to grant degrees (of separation).
The dramatic tension is between the vectorialists who don't mind what subversive things we do with their vectors, so long as it's always all about promoting ourselves, and those we, the washed, represent as their avatars, as individuals; the tension is between the vectorialists and the information consumers.
What about stars as hackers, McKenzie? Avatars of hyper sex hyper consumption, mega maga jets and yachts?
Once the information consumers stop amusing themselves to death. Until then, there is no tension. But the postman cometh, ringing twice. It's the e-motions being manipulated, not the behaviors, Shosho. The behaviors follow. Academics, so far, give us no purchase on emotions. Fools and knaves!
Vectorialists and hackers are also consumers now. They must act the part, if they want our vote. They must be able to speak the language of the consumer, and act it, large. And be gorgeous and think themselves not. Unless they want to be President.
That right there is really what will have to change. And that's the part that I'm working on, as is my right and privilege. If only I had the time. I shall have to take a job now, quite simply because I have no appointments. My work will be put to the side just simply because I've always been more of a doer than a thinker for pay, and I need appointments to keep me from getting fatter and drinking more. Workforce. Be true.
But I, Sedek, worshipper of dead Ursula, am done with my theories of time process and simultaneity. Though I have lived and worked among the servant classes, I am properly accused of having been born rich. I drip with social capital.
I lack the proper spirit of self-want, I think. One should never be accused of their birth. Right? Anyhow, my theories are complete. I just can't express them. From where? Oh, I don't know, from the mash, the hash, of words. They will catalyze themselves in time. Crystalize just in time. Because they must.
There will certainly be no expression from my mind, which is always a mess and unbounded. Expression requires an envelope, a bladder. Though not when I'm in touch with the Truth. Then my mind vibrates, and doesn't feel a mess. Incommunicado.
But friends seem to feel the need to joust about who is the most self-made. Whatever. It's tiring, and thank God this isn't Maoist China! No author nor protagonist can be self-made. 'Twas fate that made all of us. Anyhow, my theories are all public domain. Take them, please!
You self-branding hipster individualists all become the same, right? No matter which side of which wall dividing vectorialists from hackers in your imaginarium you hope to cross to (here on Urras).
Some of us strive to live in the real, (on Anarres) where there are no boundaries, no flags, no sides, no brands, and no exclusive universities. Make a name for yourselves then, in - what did you call it? - your technological sublime?
How here in hell am I supposed to hang onto any vocabulary? Sure I know you mock your own vocabularies. sort of, and know that no one lives in "the sublime," but how here, po-faced, shall I discern irony when you seem so certain? I couldn't give a shit. That's what the look of earnest means, when you're thumping bibles. I never was so paranoid about viral vectors as I was in Pence's Indiana. Land of the real? No irony at all!
My program is trivial. Emotion wants to be free. Fuck information. Information can never be created or destroyed. It's always there, even though and when we seem to be diminishing the information "content" of the earth. We are cosmically trivial. Humans a cosmic pratfall. If life may be comedy, we must cease to be so tragic. Always falling for the pathetic fallacy, as though there were no choice. Tragedy is always built in, dumbass.
If information cannot be created nor destroyed, all that can be done is to turn information into code for the sake of pleasuring ourselves, because we like to turn our minds into the pink/grey goo of output for our masters. The pink/grey goo was always input. Love your master and set him free. Lovers unite! and let the tinkerers with code go fuck themselves, the little Hackers, as the big O called one, showing that he didn't care. I vibrate with cosmos and come only in my mind, no math required. Snowden is one of the good guys, wearing a black hat. Obama a black neoliberal, wearing a white hat. GWB is still Alfred E.
The encoding of so-called "information" is what sapience means. It didn't exist before there were words, and the world is simpler now, not more complex. We never did have a grip on it before. The world. We had to imagine God or be damned.
Or let's tell it this way. Life also is about encoding. Replicators move unanimated matter in the direction of life. A kind of anti-entropy. Information theory shouldn't focus so much on transmission. It should focus more on survival, and how the tragedy of inevitable decay can be turned around into improvements by accident, by sex, and now by memes. Despite his militant atheism, I find Dawkins sublime. To read him is to get religion.
But there is a difference when it comes to digital code. The digital difference engine is cut off from the real. There is no longer the matrix of life to keep the code honest and moving in life's direction. The spoken and written word still evolve "naturally." Artifice is still work. There are dingbats in the code.
There is no substrate for digital code. We must be more subtle in our philosophizing, people. Names can conflate differences as much as they can help to analyze constituent parts.
Now then, ahem, let us recognize the startup emotions. The wanting to hit it by luck of idea. Let's call it what it is. Always wanting a hit. These cannot be our masters. I will not play in your garden, Facebook. Too many creeps and weirdos parading their emotions as though I should care. It's unseemly, especially the fruit-cakes of Democracy. The fruits of Democracy have yet to blossom. The fruitcakes will say anything to get attention, even though it kills you.
I am your audience, and I don't really give a fuck for your theories. I want to know what to do, and you are not my master, so you will have to give me something real. You can't tell me what to do. I don't live in your world. I live in reality, where geographic time is overtaking history, and so I feel some urgency about agency.
And I'm telling you, agency is about emotion which is what you must suppress in order to be listened to. You must play the Queen's gambit into eternity and the rest of us must act. The house burns and you are rearranging the code in its attic. (Were you transmitting from an infectious disease lab, Benjamin, or from a prisonhouse? Same thing?) Me must find the borders and keep the boarders in our attics. The Polish anarchist killed the President at the Exposition. We got Teddy insteady.
Look, we must feel free to question each other's morality using something at least analogous to the scientific method. Jennifer Doudna working for a vaccine is not the same as Jennifer Doudna working on military contract. No matter how nice and intelligent and true she might think those in the military she works with are, no one in their right mind can trust our nation's military deployments post Vietnam, post Iraq Afghanistan, post Gitmo and Abu-gareb, and especially post the Donalds. Such power does not belong in such hands. Look Godwin, even some Nazis were nice and polite when not doing their dirty work. Some great poets and philosophers and scientists made their bad bargains too.
Alright, I'm treading way out-of-bounds here, but morality can't be determined either by algorithm or by intuition. And it especially can't be determined by intuition applied algorithmically to what some man says the Bible said. Says that God said. Oh PLEASE!
Truth is not something science can approach. All science does is truing, the verb. That's all emotional intelligence does either (a rather stupid neologistical conflation, kind of like red anger or orange four or meaning of life - just because you can say it doesn't mean it's a thing).
Emotionally alive humans can tell the difference between love and hate. And it is not a subjective difference. It is not an individual judgement. And just like scientific truings, it can't be put to a vote. Morality is not up for vote. People are, though. Even if you don't trust the public ballot, people still vote and are voted on, even in an autocratic totalitarian state. Even if you don't trust the media, you can still true it and decide.
I once knew how to take Google down, and I knew it to be a morally good labor. My buddy with the coding expertise, who was more interested in some jackpot that I was, couldn't help but put me in the impossible position of explaining to him how to operationalize what we had been talking about. He lost his nerve. He still works in the hacker salt mines while owning his own successful company (where are the boundaries?). And we could have brought down Google and what a better world it would now be!
But what do I know? What's a crackpot sellout to do?
Google is evil not because they steal something by enclosing it without any consultation, although that's pretty bad. They are also bad because they steal hacker labor, by using up all the air in the room, if nothing else. What makes Google evil is that they overwhelm any alternatives. That was Microsoft's playbook. Amazon's for sure.
You either work for them, or you don't work at all, and the salary is calibrated against your enthusiasm, and according to your inner masculine whiteness. How does that feel? When you're a fifteen dollar an hour picker or driver or chatbot? When you're a black woman who brings up diversity? When you want an honest job that doesn't require you to be a monitored robot? When, as consumer, you want an honest search engine which doesn't try to predict what you want, based on what you seemed to want before.
Morality is an editorial process. There should be no vectorial force or flow without it. No published author. No engineering projects. Certainly no academic publishing, but then they all know that already. The scientists do as well. But some of the editing isn't linguistic or cognitive. It's more like knowing pornography when you see it, although we know better than to do that sort of editing, free speech and all.
Fine! I'm fine with pornography, and I'm fine with decriminalizing drug use, and I'm fine with redirecting the police away from traffic stops and domestic interventions. I'm less fine with guns for editorial enforcement, or mashups of so-called news based on occult algorithmic calibrations of my own enthusiasms where the so-called non-publisher takes no responsibility whatsoever about whose money they take for what. Free speech and all, especially if someone wants to see it.
Freedom to smoke is not like freedom to go maskless, unless you're holding an infant child in your arms, as I did, when you or I smoke. I know better now. Except that you won't tear my hands from my stick shift and sensorless car until all cars are gone and I don't need one. Or until my hands are dead and cold, of course. Or when I confess that I'm not a better driver than the unmechanicals who drive by sensor feel. Who park with a button. Damn the statistics, you shouldn't be driving if you won't learn to drive. I know my rights!
Shut up already!
Lies, damn lies, and then there's statistics. The truth is on my side. Whatever the fuck the truth is, it's on my side. You can't say that on an academic Zoom conference, now can you? But then, it's only academic. Truth is the best revenge. Against what's real right here right now. Killing ourselves softly is what we're doing. Sing it out! Or shut up yourselves.
Anyhow, did I say thank you? I guess not. Thank you Benjamin, McKenzie, Sandy, Katarczina, Natalia, Bagna. You were wonderful, each and every one of you. Thank you, one and all!
Now, back to work!
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