Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Entertainment As Distraction And Why Being Entertained Came To Rule Us

The juxtaposition of the two items you see below came from a direct screenshot of Digg this morning. I did not really appreciate the extra dimension of this positioning until I read the article from David Rothkopf concerning his take on our mad Trump obsession (do read it, by the way, it is an enlightening viewpoint).

I have to say that I have a visceral connection to the other piece on the early TV show "Queen For A Day." My mother loved that show precisely because it was both entertaining, and a personal fantasy. To understand that you have to understand that, though the old man could have worked a pretty good paying job as the airframe and engine mechanic he actually had the training for, he could never stay with them (that's another long story I won't get into here). For some unexplainable reason, what he seemed to really like doing was selling things. And the things he liked to sell were used aircraft parts; something you certainly can make money at, if you have the capital at the get go to do it properly. He just as certainly didn't, and as a result money, or the lack of it, was almost always an issue at our house. Not a good thing when your mother was also totally captured by every glowing image of American materialism (you can begin to get a sense now as to why money isn't exactly one of my favorite things).

Getting back to the point here, though, what you have in these two articles is a sort of point to point arc of how we started cycling the "information can't be delivered unless it's paid for somehow" merry go round. A merry go round that goes way beyond the adverts in newspapers.

Radio started it, of course, but Television really put the peddle to the metal when it came to figuring out how to get brains engaged with what was preordained by post war, economic prowess; consume as humans have never collectively consumed before. And go ahead and feel good about it because it just keeps making better paying jobs available, so we can do even more of the buying. What a happily reinforcing circle of betterment.

What, among many things, we didn't realize at the time was the fact that not only were there unseen costs of the production, and consumption, especially downstream of it; costs we not only call pollution now, as well as political upheaval because the resources, and profits, weren't always a fair deal for a lot of countries, but also of what we were setting up as the only way to conduct national dialogue on things of importance. To get people to watch, or listen, at all, you had to have something to attract them with in the first place. And so programming, and ratings were born, and content became a secondary consideration (the nature of print changed too with the advent of the glossy magazines, and the photo ads that would have Marshall McLuhan climbing the creative walls with much broader metaphors as to what was going on here; which is why everyone should read "The Mechanical Bride"). 

So here we are now. On the one hand considering the idea of "poverty porn," and not realizing how hooked on chaos porn we are now, of which our de facto ex president is but a symptom; which itself is simply an offshoot of apocalyptic porn (see my recent post on the growing list of porn types). Questioning our fixation of the ultimate narcissist, our de facto ex president, and all of the things we are not paying attention to that any reasonable nation would if it were sane. But that, unfortunately, is the real, growing problem. We are not sane in ever greater proportions. Why should we be, or how can we be anything else when we now live the age of "The Absurdity Of Growing Up," as opposed to still thinking about the possibility of "Growing up Absurd."

This is what happens when you are every more completely saturated with message; message the primary purpose of being to directly stimulate whatever base instinct is the most cost effective. Sex certainly, but how much kinkier, or naughty, can that be made (do we even want to tempt fate to find out)? So you start mixing them together more, as in fear and sex: bringing "am I fuckable?" to whole new height of social concern. Or how about fear and prestige: am I displaying my importance properly? The right power clothes? The right power vehicles? Etc. 

I think you get the idea. 

So now everybody, including the ideologues, and the propagandists, know the value of entertaining BS. And with properly coordinated, entertaining BS, you can get people, who are made ever more infantile, to do pretty much anything you want, sort of; where what you want is actually more of a lucky form of collateral damage. And that is so because trying to control large numbers of ever more infantile, and insane, people is an undertaking that makes herding cats look trivial. Something our current state of national affairs demonstrates all too clearly.

If we truly value sanity. If we truly value not be kept as childlike in our minds, then we have to accept that having a society where everything is based on the commercial commoditization of everything, so that virtually all interactions are cost based in the abstract sense of counters, and the supposed value of those counters. In all of this if we truly value being whole, completed human beings, we have to accept the need for fundamental change on how we operate. And we must begin soon, if for no other reason than the fact of the lead times involved in getting set up to do it are so great, while our ability to work together is being so quickly undermined at the same time.

Think about these things. Become better informed. Ask deeper questions. Take peaceful action.


The Soul-Sucking, Attention-Eating Black Hole of the Trump Presidency

This 1950s game show profited from the poverty of a new woman every day

They were ‘Queen for a Day.’ NBC was king of the decade.



Monday, March 27, 2017

Forget About The Family Behind This Monstrosity Of A Building

Just focus on the money, and the system that has made money, so destructively prominent in our lives.

It is simply time to start considering another way to go about things. Plain and simple really.

We can figure out a better way to allocate work, and the product of work, fairly. We can do this if we resolve to be directly involved at all levels of the planning, the implementation, and the operation. We just have to acknowledge the need, and then accept the difficulty, and sacrifice, to get it done.

If you don't it won't matter if you do something about one family in power now. There will always be more families, or individuals, who will do whatever it takes to put the same kind of power into their hands. And as long as you have a money oriented form of economic operations, you will be much more vulnerable to the abuses of power these kinds of people will always gravitate to.

The choice is yours. And if ever there was a moment ripe for taking hold of fundamental change, this is it. There likely won't be another.


666 Fifth Avenue Is the Perfect Symbol for the Trump Era


See Also:

SWAT THOUGHTS


Kushner to helm White House Office of American Innovation, an ideas factory and clearinghouse for business executives.



How Do You Repay People For Forty Eight Years...

...Of sickness and lies?

One thing is clear. You don't do it by getting rid of the agency that finally uncovered the truth, even if it did take way longer than it should have to prove.

Another thing is also clear hear. When profit is your primary motivator you tend to love localities in direct proportion to their powerlessness. And even if you have to spend capital to control local government it is an investment for the long term operating environment you desire the most.

Government may be pretty shity in doing right by us most of the time, but it is still better than nothing. And if we are unhappy with how often that "shity" happens may be it's time to take full responsible for ourselves. Take out all of the extraneous factors (which usually revolve around money) and just run things for our own benefit.

It can be done. All it takes is the will to make it happen, and a willingness to compromise in order to forge a consensus shared vision. No easy thing to do at all, but compared to suffering through more decades of sickness and lies?

Think  about these things. Become better informed. Ask deeper questions. Take peaceful action.


For decades, people living next to the neoprene plant in St. John the Baptist Parish, Louisiana, have felt they suffered more than their share of illnesses. And sure enough, they had.


Sunday, March 26, 2017

The Thing About Not Getting The Important Things You Need...

...In a Commercialized Society is that it automatically creates a market where someone can dream up what they think will be an irresistible substitute. And with money being an amazing stimulator for creativity, unfortunately, you can also assume that many of these will quite certainly be at, or at least near, irresistibility.

Lots of clever effects blended into reality in real time are, I think everyone will agree, likely to be irresistible indeed. As to actually giving you what you need? To be honest, quite possible as well, at least occasionally.

As I've often said, experience is experience, so no one experience matrix is going to be either better than, or worse than, another; just different. The key thing to remember, however, is that, having said that still doesn't change the fact that each matrix may well have something that the other does not have. And by that I mean some aspect. Some component. Something that channels affect the other does not channel, or channels quite differently. From this one can have at least some confidence in concluding that utilizing one matrix, at the exclusion of the other, may prevent one from getting a channel effect one might not have even realized was important, until of course it is taken away.

And that is only the first part of what makes this complicated.

With people doing this as a matter of commoditization you are, in effect, allowing the profit motive to determine who has a major control over not only what you try to connect to, or with, in your life, but also to how you do the connecting. And the more high fidelity it gets, the more deeply into your very nervous system you are going to have to let them make direct link to.

You think you worry about cookies being left on your hard drive now? About malicious code getting into system boot files, so it resides is system ram at bootup? What about what might be left on the wet drive in the future?

So not only could we be entering a new realm of hacking (the image gets quite a bit more vivid when considered as an aspect of your own wetware, doesn't it), but we could also be entering a realm where we space out so much in one experience matrix (which might have only imaginary space in it), that we stop getting an important resonant vibe, of one form or another, for still being human.

Consider this. Let us suppose that we have an interface fused into us somehow that allows experience in a completely artificial, digitized, reality. Let us then consider a similar set of interactions that one might have in Artificio Land, as opposed to not being there. Say giving someone a hug. Having a dog or cat you love in your lap as you pet them. Touching the face of someone you love. Etc.

Even if they could figure out electrically stimulated equivalents to the right synaptic bundles to re stimulate the sensory effect any physical world situation might present us with, no engineered instrumentality is perfect. Some aspect of all of the information of actual physical experience will be left out. That's just the way it is. And because we're talking about complex systems all the way around here, you have to keep in mind that "small inputs can have very large effects."

This is where you are almost forced to resort to cliche terms of fantasy and fiction to keep talking about something that may well be there, but we just don't understand the particulars of yet. So yes, even when Obi Wan tells a certain young Jedi "Luke, use the force," something of substance may lay behind it. After all, we all understand now that magic, and "sufficiently advanced technology" can be used interchangeably, at least some of the time.

Life force of some sort? Something still tantalizingly beyond reach to actual measure perhaps, but still there nonetheless? Something that, just by being around, and in it (as well as of it), let alone holding it tenderly, or caressing it in some way, might impart a basic carrier wave inherent in the reality (which is just a particular vector of experience association)? Something that we might not be able to completely detach ourselves from, but for which a minimum of connection to is vital; and perhaps not only the actual connection itself, but our acknowledgement of that connection, and creative expression of appreciation for same, being just as vital.

I also don't like things like this being commercialize because it makes it too easy for the quick buck, biggest profit pirates among us to take short cuts, or cut corners in general. Which is a big reason why they use all of our base instincts now to sell us stuff. Lust. Envy. Gluttony. Rage. Fear. Does any of that sound familiar? You think the results are a bit more than problematic now? Just wait till they get the new playground of a greater and greater, direct link, to our minds.

Oh happy days.

Please think about these things carefully. This may well be where we're going. Do we really want to continue down that path, with the same amount of control we have on what goes on around us now? I personally don't think so. What do you think?

This 'Black Mirror'-Like Short Dreams Up A World Where Augmented Reality Pets Are Commonplace






Saturday, March 25, 2017

One Legacy Commodity Made So Complex...

...Over time that it's still undecided whether scheming was going on or not in the distribution of net gain. But if something can be hidden in terms of milking others out of their fair share, according to Murphy's Law the scheming will occur eventually. And this was supposed to be a cooperative.

This ought to be cause to ask yourself: Where else would a word like "cooperative" be turned into an oxymoron other than in Capitalism. And how could it be otherwise when the desire to try and provide protections from one group gouging another, in whatever market power play you might want to prevent exploitation of, ends up collecting a huge detritus of accumulated rules, even as the markets themselves have morphed many times over since the first of them were introduced.

And, of course, the markets are only morphing faster now.

In all of this, unfortunately, is the fact that, at every turn, do you encounter the reality that every group involved is simply protecting what is their livelihoods. And if part of that is the result of a little extra milking going on, would you have resisted the temptation to get a little extra cushion if you could? In these uncertain times?

Maybe you would have, at least for a while. Until somebody else's scheming, somewhere else in the economy costs you big time. And in that context wouldn't you be a fool not to take an advantage if it was presented?

Just some more things to think about as you ponder you life in this polly glot of crazy we call an economy.


America’s Farmers Say There’s a Conspiracy to Steal Their Milk Money



Because Knowledge Is A Commodity...

...Because Teaching is A Commodity. Because nearly every social interaction we're involved in is a commercial exchange of some kind; an exchange where the bottom line is always net gain.

And of course that's the seller's net gain, not the purchaser's. And even borrowing the information (money) to allow you to learn now, and provide the recompense for that gain over time, is a variable commodity. Which means, depending on overall economic circumstances, you could end up accumulating interest at increasing rates over time. So you can't even know for sure, at the outset, how much, in total, that learning will eventually cost you.

Which ought to really piss you off when you also realize that, thanks to the competitive need to continually "disrupt" the current way of doing things, you will likely have a limited window of opportunity with which to make use of that knowledge before the industry involved either moves to a cheaper labor country, or simply buys the right new robot; whereupon you will be required to retool again knowledge wise. Rinse and repeat the above description.

Oh happy days.

And through all of this, who are the one group of people who are always the most likely to benefit? The people who keep convincing you that information should stay as money, and it's only natural that folks like them have huge accumulations of it.

These are the essential facts of a cost based economic operating system. Nothing will truly change until we have defined, and implemented a replacement. I've outline a place to start talking about an alternative. Perhaps you might want to give it, and the idea of moving to an alternative, some thought.


NO SCHOOL FOR YOU


As many as 95 percent of colleges are out of reach for low-income students even before they've taken the SAT.



Friday, March 24, 2017

Another No Shit Sherlock Moment


DEATH BY HOPELESSNESS


The very act of doing worse than their parents’ generation is what's killing middle-aged white Americans without a college degree.