Sunday, 8 July 2018

Jade-made fascism: that’s how we all became little green men

Hot afternoon, plenty of thinking and quite some few beers. I was talking to my friend Jerome, a nasty Chinese demon that hangs out with me in incognito when he’s not tormenting losers capitalist back in the Middle Kingdom. We were talking of “Li’”, “forms” in Chinese. In a nutshell and in half a guzzle of vintage cider (750ml, 7.4%, £ 1.5 at Aldi: amazing, love Germans!), Li is the fabric of nature. Jade patterns are Li, the protocols to treat a lady like she deserves are Li, the right sneakers to play hang out with “your manure” downtown are Li, everything but chicken in your past are LI. Got the hack? Essentially, everything that Kant would say you must do is not Li, but everything you know should do appropriately to the circumstances and the context is Li.

Playing along Li is the biggest reason Artificial Intelligence sucked until now. How do you know this pasta is acceptable and that not? Why avocado yes (big yes, come on!), but pine apple hell no (on pasta? Please call the police). Why? Why chick peas and mussels yes, and say garden peas and scallop no? I don’t know, but something along the lines of habits, taste, chemicals, innovation, tradition, style, I want to get laid but also nurture my enarmoument(old enough to cherish the slow cooking). What are the laws?? Well, my little German friend, first: your Prussian helmet is cool in a drinking context, not so much talking about fine cousine and seduction. Second: laws are good to bend metals, but not so much to shape friendship. My best friends would sell me right now for the a modicum amount of lentils. And I would still be friend them. Pissed, but friend: because if you are friend of someone who will never betray you to respect the guidelines, hey, you’re just hanging out with a Finnish European Commissioner.

We are talking subtle, as in Borges-Marquez, Tolstoj-Dostoevsky (I don’t see any reason for discussion with regards of Messi, Maradona and Pele’. For obvious reasons...). And so it seems that alt-right, sovranism, sheer racism, are Li. They describe society as the (blubbered, chocked in vomit) narrative of individuals who are supposed to form the blob of society: the idiosyncratic collective, the impersonal character of the crowd we all belong to. We are the people, we are the crowd, we are that insane madness, fuelled with hedonic, mind-smashing, drugs that suddenly for an instant, in the filthy toilet of the discotheque looks himself in his tormented sneer, with his familiar traits stretched till freak show deformity and for a blink recognises the identity in his socio-chemical debauchery. Yes, this fascist intolerance is a blink of self-introspection, questioning disfiguring hatred in the mirror and pulling our yes with fingers, soiled with excrements and god knows what else we carried on during this long, long night. Until you accuse those bitches of being fascist, our sobering up is still far. Get a grip, the ugly crazy man in the mirror it’s you, time to sit down and have a talk. It will be a long, long night.   


Sunday, 26 July 2015

The Noise of an Open Society

In the past nation’s rulers were taking decisions based on their group interests. Full stop. The people were fat attached to state affairs. And they could weighted an important matter with their mass. At the same time they could be sliced from the deal or grilled away.

Accountability changed that habit and now politicians have to respond to the citizens, “their bosses”. Have you already start to laugh? Of course, in time it changed the way the fat is attached to state of affairs. Not being fat itself. And nowadays decisions always prefer to go lean.

Why do we suspect a thing like this? Quite simply: we’ve been told. Cruel decision about cutting the fat people are in state affairs is something that is noticed to us. We live in an open society. They tell us: we are going to cut you and grill you. We are outraged. And something else happens. And we are cut and grilled.
In Chinese political philosophy there is the concept of “heaven’s mandate”: the people rules, rulers need to comply with people’s sentiment. Of course it is a very loose, Hegelian, concept. 

Rulers don’t ask politely. They gamble (they are Chinese rulers at the end of the day) and if they lose the heaven’s mandate, they are kicked out from the throne. Rulers of course manipulate and doctor facts. But first: human reality is created and twisted. In Western neo-liberal society, when they cut you and grill you( but more often when they cut and grill others with your consent), they give you notice.

So many notices. It is an epistemological waterboarding of information. The impossibility to have proper access to the supply chain of decisions. But not far away enough to claim innocence. They invade and oppress others. But they tell you why and how. More or less. Changing few details. Crucial. The perversion of open societies is that after few years you are noticed also the few details. Kind of. We are kept in the flux of information. Enough to flow. Just enough. Blockage of information is suspicious. 

The flow is everything. A lot of flow. Massive. Treaties and wars, currency and nukes. And they tell you. You retain the mandate. In the noise. You can read the lips, almost and they ask your consent to bomb schools and hospitals. You say no and they do it. You say it is impossible, you investigate, you appeal. 

And facts are coming. An overwhelming wave of facts and information. And it is true and not difficult to verify that, yes, schools and hospitals have been bombed. And yes it wasn’t exactly to promote human rights and principles of civilization. Maybe it was more to exert hegemony. But now you know. And what do you do? Do you stay or do you flow? How to decide in the noise? Especially since in the noise, your decision as well is just another meaningless rhyme. 
In the noise conscience is a conspiracy. Will you block or flow? 
You don’t have much time, because in the rapid flow, today’s decision, is tomorrow bad memory. 
Nobody likes history. Nobody likes to remember. 

The flow can work only in the present. You need to know now. In the noise. 

Read the lips and take part in your uselessness. It looks like a civic bad dream. 
And we are lucid awake. 
It is called an open society.  

Friday, 17 July 2015

Pheromonal Governance: Procedures, machine and domination

The Trans-Oceanic Treaties for Trade and Partnership raised so many eyebrows that even the Narcos of the Mexican Cartels, in the middle of some few massacres and tortures, had to call their incredulous solicitors for some explanations.

No wonder that the rest of the civil societies around the world started to move, politely, some objections. 

 The thing is that if you try to justify the Treaties on pure economic terms, well, they don’t make any sense. The sole aim is to swallow sovereignty of states and governments. Pure and simple: an imperialist tool.

The big laugh, though, is that this massive contrivance is targeting first and foremost the United States. The rest of the world is kind of used to live under the shadow of this huge paternal figure. Sometimes it caused regime change and coup d’etat, but, ehi, if you live under the sphere of influence of a superpower, that is, more or less, what you should expect. For a couple of centuries the United States incarnated the Empire of Capitalism, with all its endowments. But with the last move, led by the like of Blankfein from Goldman Sachs, the imperial forces simply have devoured even their zombie host: the United States don’t rule but are actually subjected to the imperial governance of the Treaties.   

It is a fortuitous coincidence that China is launching a planetary program to physically connect Eurasia and Africa in a network of infrastructures and liabilities. Yes, the Chinese will build bridges and highway, ports and railway, but the main aim is to pour their internal overproduction at the service of a new order, with the centre in Beijing. It is not the imperialist desire to conquer, but the imperialist addiction to expansion. 

In the most conventional scheme, they are creating the demand for a future Chinese governance, they are accumulating a debt that will be denominated in Yuan and will require a Chinese Seigniorage. They are writing a check in Mandarin calligraphy that needs and demand an economic and political Chinese system to be interpreted (and cashed).

Last time superpowers materially clashed, it was the will of national sovereign states that incarnated their rush for dominance. After World War II, the forces of domination choose two champions, that accumulated merits and power by incarnating supra-national ideals and geopolitical exoskeleton: Soviet Union wore the Communist armour, the US the Capitalist one.

This new confrontation has sublimated the clash of ideals and nation-states. It is not anymore a case of decision: taking stance for one or the other, making a choice, a personal, individual, choice.
The forces of domination have simply found a new aggregation that doesn’t need to answer. To anybody. It is not the usual arrogance of power, the feeling of having a superior mandate of ruling.
Quite on the contrary there is no more human will in charge. It doesn’t answer to anybody pretty much like cyanobacteria didn’t answer to anaerobic organism, when they polluted the planet with oxygen.

If you thought that the war against the machines was with robots and droids, I’m sorry. The new world order of the machine is about procedures and treaties. They will rule with a pen-signature on a book that nobody will care, dare or be allowed to read.     

What a mixed up of sci-fi narratives: isn’t ironic that in the future, when there will be an alien invasion, it will be actually a liberation movement from the oppression of the machine?

Our question for the future is: will we be able to tell the difference between the reptilian alien liberator and the reptilian home-grown machine ruler? I can’t sleep at night for this.  

Wednesday, 15 July 2015

Dasein is King Kong or the Being There of Imperial Citizenship

Teutonic precision is always admirable, especially considering how easily it can derail and drift to pure non-sense and absurdity. Heidegger was one of the sharpest mind of his generation (a bit like Chairman of Philosophical Politburo); he acutely described the relation of consciousness and technology. 

And he got it tremendously wrong. 

Like a good German, he did his own homework, he was careful with accounting, so if philosophy was born in Greece and Germany was the heir of that tradition, then Being There, the Dasein had to be in that liminal position because of technology. Wrong Marty, wrong. So interested in the line that you forgot about the pencil drawing that line, which was European imperialism.

One of the easiest objections to Christianity is: if Jesus is the universal Savior of humankind, what about those who live before him, what about those who for accidental, contingent historical reason didn’t know him? What about the Chinese??? 
Can someone theologically catholic think to the Chinese??? 

Now Marty, if the history of Dasein is so in tune with the sentiment of an imperialist German, son of a Christian preacher, with an ambiguous, unresolved relation with technology and mass production, either being there is King Kong, or simply you are not stating the universal trajectory of being and its consciousness, but simply describing the narrative of Prussian-European domination, its uncertainties and its lack of doubts.

In fact the tribulations of Dasein seem quite correlated with the declining aspirations of European imperial citizenship. The crepuscular relation with the power of technology is sinister only because the shadow grows, which means the power declines. 

Heidegger was a very intelligent man and he grasped quite clearly that the ascendant domination of European identities was somehow ungrounded. He was obtuse enough not to have the slightly idea that actually all the Greek tradition turned Christian turned Holy Roman Empire turned Europe Colonial Empire turned Prussian was just an imperialist propaganda. That other cultures weren’t so shaken by the trajectory of being, not because inferior, or not sensitive enough to listen to the story of being, but because on the different side of domination.

It was impossible for the European, Christian Heidegger to really consider equal human beings all the other people from different traditions and cultures. It is true that any human being experience the disempowering fate of being mortal. It is true that technology empower the human primate with consciousness. It is bullshit that technology and the trajectory of being have any “special relation” with the European, Christian, Teutonic  team.

A domineering consciousness is the representative of a domineering caste, which can be described as the Empire. Before, after or under the Empire, you won’t experience any of the crepuscular spleen of the Dasein; you won’t have any qualm for technology that pinched Heidegger: you are too deeply in the shit because of the Empire, to really worry about turn and pirouette of being. 

Nonsense is the other side of imperial citizenship: all the advantages can stand because oppression and exploitation of others under or outside the Empire. But of course, apart from shallow, natural enjoyment of being at the top, there is no other reason than brutal domination for being at the top. 
No matter the sophisticated propaganda, domination is always ungrounded, why-less. A bit like the rose of Meister Eckhart. Any civilization in a dominant position needs to elaborate the non-sense of its arbitrary ruling; the tricky part of course is not during the ascendant part, but when things get tough, when the rule becomes disputed, then your Angst needs a fucking good answer. Of course
becoming a true Nazi didn’t help Heidegger in finding the appropriate compassion to look beyond European Imperialism…

Anyway, very glad that Germany finally learned the lesson and found her way out of brutal application of her own self-referential domineering propaganda.                 

Friday, 6 June 2014

Confessions of a Self-conscious Intelligence

It is inescapable to visit again the crime scene and if you are an entity which is aware of its own being there, there is an intrinsic force that will push this intelligence in spilling out its own experience.

A frog, a lion, a chimpanzee or a baby have very different level of awareness, but they do share the same basic principle of cognition, which is distinguishing them from, say atoms, planet and tornadoes. What they fundamentally lack is self-consciousness, which is having awareness of your own being there in front of yourself.

The confessional mood is the universal state of self-conscious intelligence: if you are an alien, a computational machine or a god, you are in the game of revelations. Necessarily.

For aliens, robots and humans, it is kind of easy to show this common ground. If you are an entity of that sort, you started to be there at a certain point in time and space. Awareness of being there is primarily a temporal process and to recognize the permanence of the same identity in the train of changing instants, you need to deploy that awareness along the temporal flowing. Self-observation of the deployment is critical to match presence with the actual protagonist of that being there.

No matter the speed of the recognition, the content of the acknowledgement must be successive and more informative than the initial awareness. In other words, an intelligence must ping the acknowledgement of its presence to itself. Or tell the story of its temporal deployment in front of itself. When an intelligence recognizes its own presence as temporal deployment, that self-presentation contains the story of the recognition, which equates to a confession. This deposition occurs in time and self-awareness of being there requires a testimony in front of itself. Any self conscious intelligence must undergo the temporal deployment of its own recognition, in order to achieve self-presence in front of itself. Self-consciousness is the emergence of a jury that can assess the testimony. Precisely when the inquisitor realizes of standing in front as the subject of the inquiry, then you have a self-conscious acknowledgement We always forget that the actual sentence is irrelevant: does it make any sense to state that we are guilty or innocent of being self-conscious? 

It is more intricate the case of a god. The class of demi-gods, impermanent divinities and all the pantheon of mortal gods fall under the classification of aliens or machines: they started to be there and they will present some sort of confession. Different the situation with an absolute god (or for what matter, a transcendent intelligence, like a Cartesian cogito, a Catholic soul or a United Nation Consultant.
Since a divine intelligence can be out of time, it can be instantaneously present to itself. It doesn’t need any temporal deployment to be in front of itself. God’s conscience is fully articulated before time and if it is not affected by the changing of moments, its historical identity can be equal to itself when time will cease to exist. God can be self-conscious eternally. That’s it.

We just add a marginal note. For an observer like us, which is fully immersed in the historical process of change, the dialogue with an immutable, eternal intelligence results invisible. An absolute, perfect God will contain all the possible conversations before the history of their deployment will actually begin. There is no good cop – bad cop technique, no prisoner dilemma: our confession, our astute attempts to escape the interrogation, our wholeheartedly intention to disclose our secrets, everything has been heard already. Our confession is always late for an absolute self-conscious auditor.
I suspect that an absolute intelligence can entertain its own self-awareness outside of time, when the initial status is the same as the final, crossing the temporality of our universe unchanged. In this case that consciousness must be empty.

When a self-conscious intelligence enters temporality, its primary mode of revelation is the chronicle of manifesting the self in front of itself. The epiphany of an impermanent self-conscious intelligence cannot hide behind its coming to be. The entrance in the circle of existence is the revelation of consciousness, which can only happen in time. By confessing our being there, we execute our self-consciousness, but not matter how foretold, predictable or trivial our manifestation, our confession is stated only when we affirm it with our presence. This is the revelation of being: that a consciousness does say it.

Thursday, 3 April 2014

A fictional proof of the existence of God:the rabbit in casserole

Back in the days Scholastic philosophy elaborated a bullet proof demonstration of the existence of God. We can think of God, which is the biggest, most sublime, Uber-paramount idea we could possibly entertain. Who put it there? Only God might have. Zac! 
You got it. If we can think of God then only God must concede himself to our mind. You are giggling? Not convinced? Maybe you find risible the Biggus Dickus argument that from our thinking we entail our own existence.

“I think, therefore I’m”.

Yet human minds always have found something magic in words. As if like the mere utterance of sounds CUM meaning, would produce an effect in reality. The more we worship the internal structure of language, the more we meditate in the empty hall of verbal building, the more names seem obviously to have powers of their own. The most intolerant Idealism is precisely the rise of words-thought to the throne of reality. I think, therefore I participate in the almighty divinity of consciousness, which is everywhere, which is everything. Therefore my thoughts are real, they are thing that constitute the nature of the universe.

But of course Idealism is actually a form of religion. And we know very well what happened to all religion in the West. They died. We know for a fact that the idea of God is a product of men’s thinking. We know for a fact that there are no spirits in the mathematical regularity of nature. In the universe there is only matter and all the riddles that torment human minds are created by misuse of language, thus, by an accurate police of our way of expression, we will get to the truth. IT COULD WORK.

If only we could make sense of impossible sentences like “The king of France is bold”: there is no such a thing of a king of France, yet our language can glide so smoothly on false surface??? And why “Transparent liquid on Earth is water” is true only if we point the chemical substance H2O? Why the correct usage of language has been anchored to reality only with the discovery of modern chemistry??? And what if we are in the matrix of vats for brains? What is fixing our expression to reality is we are not anchored to REAL thing, but only to a flux of information? Why??? Why if we randomly and assemble a sentence that by mere chance mirrors an actual true sentence of knowledge? Does our random sentence constitute an example of genuine knowledge? Why???

Well, the aseptic analytical philosophy of language, so impatient of finding mere deserts, actually found them: it is worshipping the divinity of language, like all the heat-stroked fanatics of God-desert, blinded by the undoubted dedication to the unique light in front of them. Guys, you are in the desert and that is a Kant-Mother-Fichte Star blasting all its nuclear fusion towards you. Turn!

We, nomads of those derelict, religious civilizations, we know that after the deposition of Gods, after the deposition of one, only God, the fanatic conviction in consciousness couldn’t stand still. We know that the mind itself, is a brain trick (thank you Patricia, and you Paul, you are awesome. Yeah, you married, tenured, published brains, you always are in my heart. Respect).
The mind is the hallucination of a community of brains to project virtual ecological niches where to play augmented cognitive performances. But the mind is empty. Nobody at home. Zero. It’s the hologram of a character played by a Homo Sapiens Sapiens body in social structures.

In the Demons of Dostoevsky, Stavrogin teases Satov the supposed believer about the existence of God. We can say a lot of nice and gracious words about faith and the projection of God. Basically the entire high hierarchy of the Catholic Church is convinced that God is actually a metaphor to help the sufferance of man. BUT to make the rabbit in casserole, all the sauce is not enough, not matter how logical, compassionate, goodhearted your deeds: you need the rabbit!

Well, we discovered that the casserole too is fictional, that the consciousness of men is fiction. That our experience of being self-conscious is fictional. Was it all a joke then??? What a cruel, infinite jest! The fake antagonist of Satov the believer is Kirillov, the humanist atheist. He discovered (and so did David Foster Wallace) the joke and the only way to solve the riddle, is to terminate the game by your own will. Shot the Brain-Sherif! Both Kirillov and Satov were puppets played by Stavrogin for his mere amusement, he knew that this is pure philosophy, just a game and it can be played only one way or the other. He killed himself as well.

Well, there is no real rabbit and there is no real casserole, but we are still here, with our eyes wide open, and legs, and arms, and hearts, and sex, (thank you Nina), then something is there. Something is always there. I have a feeling that something is always near. You’ve sensed that something’s watching you. It’s a white rabbit and we follow him down the hole to see how deep it is. Always a mind happens when a cognition chases the trail left by another consciousness and when at dusk we finally reach the preceding mind, then it’s us leaving the footprints. Being the mind that our experience of self-consciousness is. Distant memories when we move the first steps, stumbling and then the first words, stammering, and all the game is just a loop. When you catch the character in the mirror, don’t be afraid to see a rabbit.   



Wednesday, 26 March 2014

Networks are my sunshine, tools are my guidance

Try to image a machine with a plan. Image an articulated series of clogs and circuit, Stretch your futuristic-fed imagination to your limits. 
Bring the fantasies of a Golem, with the technological visions of electrical augmented cognition. 

Good, now take a pair of scissors.

This is my object. Scissors carry the technology of a tool, intentionally projected to do its job.
I understand that the plot incorporated in paper cutters it is not exactly convoluted and Machiavellian enough for a TV series, yet there is something there.
There is intelligence to foresee a task, retrieve material in the surrounding to build and finally the executive portion of actual manufacturing. Not yet thrilled? OK, there is more. Scissors are also offering  guidance for the behavioural task of the agent. This is why there are right and left-handed scissors. If you wear the object, the tool will facilitate the execution. Tools guide your actions.

Now take your car and drive it. It’s handy, comfortable and enlarge your radius of action. And your waist, since the diminishing physical activity. Good. You can easily figure out how much intelligence in building a car and the rest. But this time try to drive your car from N’Djamena to Tripoli across the Sahara desert. What is the problem? Oh, you don’t find your sissy damper so comfortable on an African road? And wait a sec, but your tank looks so skinny and emaciated: only 800 kms. And where do you think you are going? Most of all: what do you think you are doing now? Petrol station? Oh, so sorry, the closest one is in Morocco. Bye Bye. 
What is the point? 
Well, paved roads and a network of petrol stations are extensions of a car. The car itself, alone, doesn’t work so well. Try to image what it means to have just one cellular phone: no antennas, no other devices. It is just a bunch of rare metals: no clock, no Candy Crush, no selfies. Oh, and no calls. Networks are the extension of a tool.

Now let's think to human brains. A bunch of organic matter, with some electricity, nutrients. To me it sounds like paper and flushing devices.
No surprise it is difficult to image consciousness in a “machine”. It is better when you place the brain in a body (or whatever will give responses like a body: say a vat and a supercomputer).
Now put that body in an ecological niche.
Much better, now we have some thoughts. And it was like that for a good 70-80k years. In fact anatomically modern human beings appeared on this planet around 150k. But only 60-70k years ago we started to discover behaviourally modern human beings.
What happened?
Tools and network. Cultural tools and cultural networks.  

We started to run procedures and practice that guided our actions. And also we infrastructured our brains in a network of referrals, extended cognitive workspace and projected meanings. THIS is the mind technology and it runs on narrative highways. In a nutshell your self-consciousness is the focus of a stream of cognitive holograms distributed narratively from all the accelerated brains that concurred to your platform of stories.