inkwell.vue.490 : Digital Life - a conversation with Mark Stahlman and friends
permalink #51 of 195: Ted Newcomb (tcn) Thu 28 Apr 16 12:07
    
Oh, and one more thing...the "landscape" in which digital is taking
place...it's not on the screens, it's in our heads...you may be
reading these 1's and 0's on any given device and seeing them on any
shaped screen, but it's all being processed within your head...so,
back to neurology and one of the fundamental principles of
communication: the message sent is not always the message received.
:)
  
inkwell.vue.490 : Digital Life - a conversation with Mark Stahlman and friends
permalink #52 of 195: Mark Stahlman (spheres3) Fri 29 Apr 16 06:03
    
Ted:  Correct!  These SPHERES are descriptions of *people* and how
they live their lives based on the psychological effects of the
technologies they use.  The three spheres we are talking about are
all *global* and "overlap" each other, which has never happened
before to so many people in human history.  In many ways, New York,
LA etc are already Chinese cities and the notion that when someone
from China buys a hotel chain or a technology company or a penthouse
they are engaging in "capital flight" is just more silly globalist
talk.

In many ways, the "complexity" in all our lives today is result of
these overlapping spheres.  We are being pulled in multiple
directions at once and the "confidence" we might have felt as a
result of living in our previous environment seems to have
evaporated.  Bruce Sterling calls it the "Counter-Revolution" and
he's right that we aren't living in MONDO-land anymore.  Nowadays,
S.M.I2.L.E. just seems like a cruel joke (possibly made worse by
knowing that Joi Ito is running the MIT Media Lab and that Ray
Kurzweil works for Google <g>).

http://www.futureconscience.com/smi2le-the-futurism-of-timothy-leary/

Our *senses* are being scrambled.  Whereas we were once living in a
world that emphasized "make-believe" (as a result of the
neurological reaction to a collection of technologies that were
designed to cause us to *hallucinate* and, thus, consume things that
we didn't need), now our neurology has been tipped in favor of
MEMORY (as we increasingly rely on the "cloud" to remember our lives
for us) and the result is jarring.

Shirky's "Here Comes Everybody" was, of course, from Finnegans Wake
(typically abbreviated as HCE) and it applies to a world that is
driven by mass-media advertising -- which is how many of the 90s
"digerati" made their money consulting.  Yes, McLuhan was fascinated
with advertising and published his first book about it, "The
Mechanical Bride: Folklore of Industrial Man" in which he described
the RADIO world in which he had grown up in the 1930s/40s.

http://www.amazon.com/Mechanical-Bride-Folklore-Industrial-Man/dp/B000KXMW6M

This is also the world about which Adam Curtis produced his BBC
documentaries, including "Century of the Self" and "All Watched Over
By Machines of Loving Grace" (also now the title of a John Markoff
book, which I helped him with), as informed (in part) by Stewart
Ewen and his "A Social History of Spin."  But that world is now gone
(which we all knew, since you can't do a documentary about the
"present") . . . !!

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Adam_Curtis

What happens to people when they experience DIGITAL is *very*
different from what happens when they experience TELEVISION (which
is the technology that dominated our Western
culture/political-economy for the 50 years from 1950-2000 or so). 
And, yes, this experience occurs "inside" our heads, which is to say
as a result of what Aristotle called the *interior* senses of
Memory, Intuition (or Estimative Reason) and Imagination.  The world
today is no longer *electronic* and many of us aren't very happy
about the change.

Today we "waking" up from the FANTASIES that *television* (and all
the other chemical and electronic "virtualities" overwhelmed us
with) and it hurts our heads.  This is why VR/AR/MR *and* drug
"decriminalization" are so prominent today.  The
Drug-Entertainment-Complex industries that have been making
trillions by selling us these fantasies know that the old stuff just
doesn't work anymore.  They are well aware that their future depends
on tricking us into buying into new-and-improved "higher-resolution"
and "designer" hallucinations.  

But will we fall for it this time . . . ?? 
  
inkwell.vue.490 : Digital Life - a conversation with Mark Stahlman and friends
permalink #53 of 195: Ted Newcomb (tcn) Fri 29 Apr 16 07:26
    
No Maps for These Territories is apropos:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pSnPa1mWgK0

As the man, William Gibson, coined cyberspace, this documentary is a
nice ramble on discovering it.

<What happens to people when they experience DIGITAL is *very*
different from what happens when they experience TELEVISION>

<They are well aware that their future depends
on tricking us into buying into new-and-improved "higher-resolution"
and "designer" hallucinations. >

Thanks for #52 very clear...

Will we fall for it this time??? Of course The WHO is playing in the
background of my head  - 'meet the old boss, same as the new boss' 
We won't get fooled again!! Hmm, not so sure...

That's the dilemma isn't it? However, techno-utopia aside, there
exists a tremendous positive potential in all the tools, platforms,
digital communities and the ability now to cooperate and collaborate
instantaneously and with no geographical limitations.

I would imagine bringing all those tools and communication
literacies to bear within the places that overlap would be critical
to a proactive, sustainable future.

Would you talk a bit about the forces (triggers, markers, tensions,
etc.) at play within this merge of East, West and Digital?

I'm thinking both at the practical level - what 'shapers' are you
following, how do you measure change (both now and future)? And I'm
also thinking along the lines of our tools shaping us -- two lines
of development would seem to bear worth examining: 1) development of
A.I. and how well they are our servants; where's it all going? and
2) a rise in human consciousness as a 'network effect'.
  
inkwell.vue.490 : Digital Life - a conversation with Mark Stahlman and friends
permalink #54 of 195: Mark Stahlman (spheres3) Fri 29 Apr 16 10:11
    
Ted:  Merge?  No, I don't think that is going to happen . . . <g>

Remember what the *words* mean: DIGITAL = "discrete" and ANALOG
(i.e. electricity) = "continuous," so what we are all heading into
isn't going  to be a "merge."  Instead, it will likely be quite
"discontinuous" (while simultaneously overlapping).

The ROBOTS (aka "A.I.") aren't human and those who would like to be
a part of that *sphere* don't seem to like humanity much either. 
After all, we aren't perfect: to start with, we die.  So, they don't
really want to be either EAST or WEST (although, to be sure, there
is lots of confusion in those quarters).

The Chinese have no interest in joining the WEST.  They are already
*global* and have their own civilization to work with, which, at the
moment is on a roll -- perhaps a 100 years from its next "peak."

http://www.nybooks.com/articles/2016/05/12/who-is-xi/

And the WEST still has to get over its fantasy of "One World"
organized on Western terms.  Anyone who is paying attention now
knows that will never happen, so there will be lots of difficulties
as a result as we adjust to this *new* reality.  Yes, some will only
go there kicking-and-screaming (maybe causing a fuss until they
die).

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/04/29/opinion/if-not-trump-what.html?_r=0

Yes, there is a *big* dilemma in the WEST.  In fact, as a result of
pretending to not actually be the WEST (i.e. fantasizing about being
everything and therefore nothing), we are at a serious disadvantage
compared to the two other Spheres.  We have a *lot* of "remembering"
to do . . . !!

The important signs of *positive* change will start with that
realization.  The extent that each of these Spheres comes to
recognize its own "discreteness" and then approaches the others with
respect and with plans for mutual benefits, that will probably be
the best measure of change.  And, after all, that's why I agreed to
this conversation.

A good start might have been to restore the requirement for a
required Western Civilization curriculum at Stanford Univ.  However,
as you might know, those who voted on the measure defeated it by
6-to-1 . . . !!

http://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2016/04/stanford_students_vote_6_to_1_agai
nst_required_study_of_western_civ.html

Perhaps that means they would rather belong to the ROBOT Sphere? 
Or, perhaps there is enough EAST among the student body that
studying the WEST would be a waste of their time?  Or, maybe it just
means that they are just confused?  If that vote had gone the other
way, then you would know that we are making progress . . . <g>

Human "consciousness" is certainly a *network* effect.  Before we
learned how to read-and-write, we were, in modern terms, all members
of a BORG, without separate identities.  Julian Jaynes (who I got to
know pretty well) explored this transition in his 1976 "The Origins
of Consciousness," as did Merlin Donald in his "The Origins of the
Modern Mind," and both of them are on the "basic" reading-list for
the Center.

http://digitallife.fastnew.com/index.php/research/library

Yes, the effects of *digital* technology on us is probably the "next
step" in what they were talking about (since they stopped their
analysis with the effects of literacy, circa 500BC).  If we don't
"mutate" (i.e. evolve so that we can remember what it means to be a
human-in-the-West), then things look pretty bad.  All of the
tools/platforms/communities you refer to are "working us over" (as
McLuhan put it) right now, so let's see what they produce.

I recently went to the HD theatrical performance of the WHO's "Wall"
and it was quite a performance.  Did Roger Waters have any *clue*
about what would happen as a result of "Hey -- Teacher leave those
kids alone!!"?  Not likely.  Yes, now we are harvesting what we have
sown.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YKMJ6H9SSms

The only "happy" advice I can offer is that the HALLUCINATIONS that
the WHO (and all the rest of us) were a part of don't seem to work
anymore.  My guess is that *digital* technology has already changed
us so that we just aren't that impressed anymore.  There are some
indications that we aren't relentlessly chasing fantasies anymore --
as implied by the economic growth statistics.  So, perhaps we should
discuss "practical" ways to measure that change in attitude away
from "fantasy," maybe in terms of the "anxiety" that it has produced
. . . ??
  
inkwell.vue.490 : Digital Life - a conversation with Mark Stahlman and friends
permalink #55 of 195: Ted Newcomb (tcn) Fri 29 Apr 16 10:44
    
Instead, it will likely be quite
"discontinuous" (while simultaneously overlapping).

Can you walk that one out for me?  What's that going to be like?
  
inkwell.vue.490 : Digital Life - a conversation with Mark Stahlman and friends
permalink #56 of 195: Ted Newcomb (tcn) Fri 29 Apr 16 10:52
    
<The extent that each of these Spheres comes to
recognize its own "discreteness" and then approaches the others with
respect and with plans for mutual benefits, that will probably be
the best measure of change.  And, after all, that's why I agreed to
this conversation.>

That translates to people within each sphere, correct? Finding one
another, of like minds, would be cool..Are you all working on that?
Or is it more likely people will find each other as they come
together on collaborative projects?
  
inkwell.vue.490 : Digital Life - a conversation with Mark Stahlman and friends
permalink #57 of 195: Ted Newcomb (tcn) Fri 29 Apr 16 11:27
    
<A good start might have been to restore the requirement for a
required Western Civilization curriculum at Stanford Univ.>

Sad they defeated that...Columbia still teaches their Core
Curriculum:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Core_Curriculum_(Columbia_College)

But they are about the last to offer an actual Liberal Arts
education...perhaps we'll see some MOOC's offer one :)
  
inkwell.vue.490 : Digital Life - a conversation with Mark Stahlman and friends
permalink #58 of 195: Ted Newcomb (tcn) Fri 29 Apr 16 11:31
    
<Perhaps that means they would rather belong to the ROBOT Sphere? >

Good point, have you broken your Digital Sphere into AI, and various
human sub-cultures? How exactly do you model that sphere?
  
inkwell.vue.490 : Digital Life - a conversation with Mark Stahlman and friends
permalink #59 of 195: Ted Newcomb (tcn) Fri 29 Apr 16 11:35
    
<perhaps we should
discuss "practical" ways to measure that change in attitude away
from "fantasy," maybe in terms of the "anxiety" that it has produced
. . . ??>

Absolutely! I have a picture in my head of the folk walking around
the lake in Farenheit 451, sharing their stories...might be some of
the 'remembering' mentoring process...certainly could use some
digital platforms as well -- MOOCs, blogs, networks...
  
inkwell.vue.490 : Digital Life - a conversation with Mark Stahlman and friends
permalink #60 of 195: Mark Stahlman (spheres3) Fri 29 Apr 16 12:31
    
Ted: A major concern of the Center for the Study of Digital Life is
the interaction *between* the SPHERES.  In particular, how will the
WEST and the EAST deal with each other, under circumstances in which
there is yet another Sphere composed of people who who have
"aligned" themselves with the ROBOTS?

The way I put this on the website was based on a discussion with
Ellen Ullman in which she said, "This is an unprecedented situation.
Not only will humanity have to deal with *foreign* civilizations
that have all the same capabilities as their own but, for the first
time, we will also have to consider an *alien* entity as well. 
Never before has our need to understand the other been so urgent."

For hundreds of years now, the WEST has considered itself to be in
"charge."  Whether expressed as colonialism (British Empire) or
globalism (UN etc), the ultimate theme was "one world."  That is no
longer viable (if, indeed, it ever was).  We now live in a
MULTI-GLOBAL world and, so far, very few people have figured this
out.

The upshot is significantly greater chance of conflicts *between*
the Spheres.  We are dedicated to trying to minimize those risks,
which, among other things, requires that the WEST get its act
together, since *our* "chaos" threatens everyone.

I was trying to track down a quote earlier today that referred to
the "dictatorship of the imagination" which was (apparently)
mis-attributed to Walter Benjamin.  It seems that it actually came
from Franklin Rosemont, a famous long-time Chicago surrealist in his
"First Principles of Surrealism."

http://www.amazon.com/Andre-Breton-First-Principles-Surrealism/dp/0904383709

We all know what that leads to.  Putting it in the terms that
Margaret Mead used in her WWII psychological warfare studies, this
would produce the "illusion of free-will" for "rats in a maze"
which, in modern terms, would have its walls constructed by Disney,
Google and Facebook etc.

Frankly, while I think I understand the role of Surrealism in the
RADIO age, and I actually knew some of the Chicago *surrealists* in
the 1970s, I really doubt that people are stupid enough to fall for
any of this.  Yes, you can color me a VR/AR/MR naysayer (for, among
other reasons, its affront to World Peace) . . . <g>  
  
inkwell.vue.490 : Digital Life - a conversation with Mark Stahlman and friends
permalink #61 of 195: Ted Newcomb (tcn) Fri 29 Apr 16 14:19
    
As you are channeling Sir McLuhan, this from the McLuhan Galaxy:
https://mcluhangalaxy.wordpress.com/
People are the territory: How do we overcome the boundaries?
  
inkwell.vue.490 : Digital Life - a conversation with Mark Stahlman and friends
permalink #62 of 195: Ted Newcomb (tcn) Sat 30 Apr 16 02:53
    
"The next big step will be for the very concept of the “device” to
fade away. Over time, the computer itself&#8202;—&#8202;whatever its
form factor&#8202;—&#8202;will be an intelligent assistant helping
you through your day. We will move from mobile first to an AI first
world.
This would mean that AI interfaces&#8202;—&#8202;which in most cases
will mean voice interfaces&#8202;—&#8202;could become the master
routers of the internet economic loop, rendering many of the other
layers interchangeable or irrelevant. Voice is mostly a novelty
today, but in technology the next big thing often starts out looking
that way."
https://medium.com/@cdixon/the-internet-economy-fc43f3eff58a#.tzmt6s9yr

Move from mobile to AI, from screens to 'voice' on any device...so,
really, the Digital Sphere is undergoing such paradigm shifts, it's
too soon to model or measure. Not so hard to speculate tho....we
definitely need to be making friends with all our devices, as they
will all be spying on us :)
  
inkwell.vue.490 : Digital Life - a conversation with Mark Stahlman and friends
permalink #63 of 195: Mark Stahlman (spheres3) Sat 30 Apr 16 03:30
    
Ted: HA!!  Yes, I *am* "channeling" MARSHALL but that specifically
means that I am *not* promoting the activities of the "McLuhan
Centre" in Toronto . . . <g>

Marshall McLuhan has not been an easy man to incorporate into
contemporary academic studies.  Although some have tried, the crowd
that has gathered at his grave (in Toronto and elsewhere)
overwhelmingly doesn't like him much and, as is typical in today's
academia, tends to drape themselves in his disinterred skeleton,
as-if they were rummaging in what Yeats called the "foul
rag-and-bone shop of the heart."

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Circus_Animals%27_Desertion

Perhaps that "overcome the boundaries" quote actually came from
McLuhan.  However, I can assure you that the sense in which it is
being used by "McLuhan Galaxy" was not his intent.

Few who are involved with that program actually know much about
McLuhan.  Instead, his legacy -- much like it was at WIRED where he
became the "Patron Saint" -- has been hijacked for fund-raising
purposes.  In fact, McLuhan was very much a *humanist*, not a
proponent of "What Does Technology Want?"  

His goal, like mine, was to help the humans understand what
technology is doing to them -- not to *submit* to its rule over our
lives.  No, these technologies are not a signal of the 2nd Coming. 
Yes, our inventions tend to "self-amputate" and take on a life of
their own.  But that's our problem, not our *salvation* . . . !!

It's like we are all in Disney's FANTASIA and we, like Mickie Mouse,
would like to use *magic* to get the chores done.  So we cast a
spell on the broomstick to carry all those heavy pails of water for
us.  And then we fall asleep only to wake up to find that the army
of *robots* we have created won't stop and, as a result, we are
going to drown.

http://video.disney.com/watch/sorcerer-s-apprentice-fantasia-4ea9ebc01a74ea59a
5867853

Under *electric* conditions, we became the Sorcerer's Apprentice. 
Or, famously, "We are as Gods and might as well get good at it." 
But Stewart Brand was wrong. We are *not* Gods and might as well
admit it . . . <g>

http://www.wholeearth.com/issue/1010/article/195/we.are.as.gods

This brings us back to Marshall McLuhan's 1978 "Angels to Robots"
interview (in "The Global Village" by Bruce Powers).  The effect of
*electricity* on us -- including on the Whole Earthers etc -- was to
convince us that to be "merely" HUMAN wasn't good enough.  Our
imperfections, starting with the fact that we all die, somehow
needed to be overcome.  We needed to become GODS and, as Ray
Kurzweil tells us, the only way to achieve that goal would be to
become *robots*.

That is what we at the Center call the DIGITAL Sphere.  To the
extent that people wish for the Singularity, they are wishing to no
longer be "people" and to hoping to *overcome* the limitations of
human existence.  And that's not good for World Peace (i.e. we will
all drown as a result).

Peace was McLuhan's goal and it is also the goal of the Center for
the Study of Digital Life . . . !! 
  
inkwell.vue.490 : Digital Life - a conversation with Mark Stahlman and friends
permalink #64 of 195: Mark Stahlman (spheres3) Sat 30 Apr 16 03:58
    
Ted:  Google is a *giant* ROBOT -- not something that is human (as
we all know and, yes, the initial funding did come from the NSA) . .
. <g>

So, when the CEO of Google tells us that ROBOT "services" (aka
"A.I.") coming from the *cloud* will take over our lives, as he did
yesterday, that is just the Digital Sphere talking to us. Don't be
seduced by it. 

http://www.usatoday.com/story/tech/news/2016/04/28/google-ceo-predicts-ai-fuel
ed-future/83651232/

And, when we hear that the interfaces will be "voice" not "text," we
are being told that the humans will become the relentless
peripherals to the BORG or, perhaps worse, that we will be foolish
to "fall in love" with our new digital *overlords* (like Joachin
Phoenix did in HER) . . . !!

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Her_(film)

Don't believe it.  We are *not* being watched over by machines with
loving grace.  These machines are *not* our friends.  As my
godfather Norbert Wiener found out the hard way.  Our task is to
sort out the "Human Use of Human Beings," in which the machines work
for us, not the other way around.

http://www.amazon.com/Human-Use-Beings-Cybernetics-Society/dp/0306803208/

When Richard Brautigan wrote that poem in 1967, it was about a
*drug* -- perhaps even the 44 Magnum Nepenthe that killed him. 
Don't take it; it will kill you too.

I like to think (and
the sooner the better!)
of a cybernetic meadow
where mammals and computers
live together in mutually
programming harmony
like pure water
touching clear sky. 

I like to think
     (right now please!)
of a cybernetic forest
filled with pines and electronics
where deer stroll peacefully
past computers
as if they were flowers
with spinning blossoms. 

I like to think
     (it has to be!)
of a cybernetic ecology
where we are free of our labors
and joined back to nature,
returned to our mammal
brothers and sisters,
and all watched over
by machines of loving grace. 

http://www.brautigan.net/machines.html 
  
inkwell.vue.490 : Digital Life - a conversation with Mark Stahlman and friends
permalink #65 of 195: Ted Newcomb (tcn) Sat 30 Apr 16 06:57
    
Jumping in my "way back" machine, and I know I'm preaching to the
choir here, let's get some "origins" in as to the history of the
Net.

"Understanding the history of the Net helps us to understand the
past, present and future of human culture."
 (Eff's History of the
NET)https://w2.eff.org/Net_culture/net.history.txt

It wasn't just the Licklider's, Vennevar Bush's, Doug
Engelbart's,et.al work...it was also the acid heads - there's a
reason Silicon Valley is where it is and is the current hub of
digital tech...see What the Dormouse said
(https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/What_the_Dormouse_Said)

We did a nice Inkwell.vue with the author years ago, still viewable
on Topic 246, here's a link: 
https://user.well.com/engaged.cgi?c=inkwell.vue&t=246&f=0&q=0-

Lot's of manifestos, cyber-idealism, and generally good will all
along...Tim Berners Lee saw it as a cool tool, a place for academics
to share research papers and communicate...and then it mushroomed --
AOL, Usenet, BB's, IRC, gopher, ftp, phone phreaks became hackers
and DEFCON ensued...and by the early 90's the lines were drawn -
white hats/black hats, dot.coms and marketers vs the rest of us,
Eschelon, on and on...lots of tribes and sub-cultures today - too
many to map, and many in the Deep Web that can't be mapped and
barely infiltrated. 

Gibson was right about No Maps for These Territories...both inner
and outer space, head space (digital) and meatspace..

But there are new cartographers and cyberlibrarians working on it.
One new addition to the mapping quest is Parag Khanna's new book
Connectography: Mapping the Future of Global Civilizations.
Refreshing new way to look at our globe:
http://www.paragkhanna.com/connectography

I would add Peter Frankopan's The Silk Road : A New History of the
World for an overview of the infrastructures and political alliances
China is making as it moves forward in this 100 year curve:
http://www.economist.com/news/books-and-arts/21661564-ambitious-work-pushes-wo
rld-historys-focus-eastward-brilliant-threads
  
inkwell.vue.490 : Digital Life - a conversation with Mark Stahlman and friends
permalink #66 of 195: Mark Stahlman (spheres3) Sat 30 Apr 16 07:21
    
Ted:  Thanks! Yes, as you can tell, I *live* in my own "way-back"
machine (and grew up watching Rocky & Bullwinkle) . . . <g>

John Markoff is an old friend and I helped him with both "What the
Dormouse Said" as well as his more recent "Machines of Loving Grace"
(which is how I got to the Brautigan poem).

http://www.amazon.com/Machines-Loving-Grace-Common-Between/dp/0062266683/

Parag Khanna is, of course, a hard-core *globalist* and that's over
now that DIGITAL (which is "discrete" not "continuous") as taken
over.  My guess is that he hasn't gotten the memo yet.

The One Belt-One Road initiative is *very* EAST Sphere and, given
its historic ties to the Silk Road, also quite "medieval" in its
implications.  The last time the Chinese did this was in the (early)
Ming Dynasty, with the explorations of Zheng He, which is remembered
today as the most recent "peak" of the 700+ year dynastic-cycle.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/One_Belt,_One_Road

As you recall, John Barlow's 1996 "A Declaration of the Independence
of Cyberspace" was one of those manifestos.  It might be worth
reconsidering as an early statement on behalf of the DIGITAL Sphere
(although that probably wasn't his intent at the time).  

https://www.eff.org/cyberspace-independence

At the time, I took exception to what John said and penned a
response that also got some attention -- in particular, getting me
an invite to "keynote" a conference in Budapest (where Barlow had
presented his Declaration the year before, after penning it at
Davos) on the theory that I was the "anti-Barlow" and where I gave a
speech titled "Who are we: What are we becoming?" about how
technologies change humanity (yes, that sounds familiar) . . . <g>

http://thing.desk.nl/meta4um3/index.html
  
inkwell.vue.490 : Digital Life - a conversation with Mark Stahlman and friends
permalink #67 of 195: Mark Stahlman (spheres3) Sat 30 Apr 16 07:41
    
Ted:  Just to complete this part of the *way-back* landscape, for
those who are following the bouncing-ball, the nettime group (mostly
made up of euro/anarchists/artists) who had invited Barlow and then
me (as the anti-Barlow) had been organized (in part) around Richard
Barbrook's 1995 "The Californian Ideology" (yes, another classic
manifesto).

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Californian_Ideology

When I first met Richard in Budapest and noticed that he went out of
his way to remark about the nationalities around him eating their
goulash, I replied with my "English Ideology and WIRED Magazine"
(pointing back at his own nationality), which caused a lot of hubbub
at the time (and is still an interesting read, or so I'm told, and
for a long time was one of the first things that came up on Google
when you search my name).

http://www.imaginaryfutures.net/2007/04/21/the-english-ideology-and-wired-maga
zine/

All that then led to Bruce Sterling starting a thread on the WELL
called "Goofy Leftists Against WIRED" (or something like that, which
is probably still hanging around somewhere and has been referenced
by Barbrook in his recent speeches, although I think he has retitled
it "loonie leftists"), in which Bruce generously suggested that I
should be "drained of my precious bodily fluids" . . . <g>

https://vimeo.com/157715400
  
inkwell.vue.490 : Digital Life - a conversation with Mark Stahlman and friends
permalink #68 of 195: Ted Newcomb (tcn) Sat 30 Apr 16 11:22
    
You seem remarkably preserved for being drained <g>

And that reminds me what those daze were like on the Web and on the
WELL...flaming, phony avatar, spamming mothers !!! I took a five
year break from the Net, it was just not worth it to try and have a
reasonable conversation with all the flak that occurred. And
"Social" was just coming into its own, and I figured that was going
to take a few years to become integrated into people's digital
lives.

Came back on the Web about 6 years ago, became a Twitter freak,
noticed avatars were pretty much gone and people were being
themselves. Social media and mobile have exploded, but, by and
large, it seems more civil and manageable.

Lots more literacies are necessary and leads right back to your
point about communication these days:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_literacies
  
inkwell.vue.490 : Digital Life - a conversation with Mark Stahlman and friends
permalink #69 of 195: Ted Newcomb (tcn) Sat 30 Apr 16 11:28
    
This Digital Life, or lives, is a portmanteau...needs to be unpacked
on a lot of fronts...how we communicate, what is going on, with the
Web and with us, where are we going, who's in charge, etc.??

Feel free to chime in anywhere...anyone...Bueller, Ferris Beuller???

Speaking of which, this quote from Grace:  Oh, he's very popular,
Ed. The sportos, the motorheads, geeks, sluts, bloods, wasteoids,
dweebies, dickheads, they all adore him. They think he's a righteous
dude.

Imagine Grace riffing off all the digital subcultures today!! Not
sure it can be done, or at least, don't think anyone has done it
yet.
  
inkwell.vue.490 : Digital Life - a conversation with Mark Stahlman and friends
permalink #70 of 195: Ted Newcomb (tcn) Sat 30 Apr 16 11:34
    
Personally, for me, right now, it's all about a question of balance
and integration...how much screen time, and where and how do I spend
it...I take a lot of 'digital sabbaths'. Usually try and stay off
the Web from sundown Friday til Monday morning...this convo is
making break that rule...but, hey, that's what rules are for...also
try and limit myself to only an hour a day...that's a goal...and
gaming doesn't count :)

Pretty much avoid mobile all together...I carry a not so smart
phone, and use it only for texting...I use Skype for phone calls and
a no contact phone for general stuff.

Along with Doug Rushkoff, am thinking of dropping my Social Media
all together, except for the WELL of course.

But that's just for me, and just for now...YMMV
  
inkwell.vue.490 : Digital Life - a conversation with Mark Stahlman and friends
permalink #71 of 195: Ted Newcomb (tcn) Sat 30 Apr 16 11:42
    
A little something via R.U. Sirius and his recent FB post:
Lo and Behold: Reveries of the Connected World, by Werner Herzog:

https://www.vice.com/read/in-new-film-werner-herzog-tackles-something-even-sca
rier-than-naturethe-internet

"In Lo and Behold's best scene, a scientist calmly explains that the
most sophisticated AI in the world is still operating below the
level of a cockroach, which exercises choice about where to go and
what to do. It's as if Herzog, whose fear and loathing of nature has
always been underwritten by a healthy respect, is reminding us—and
maybe himself—that Mother Nature still has the upper hand, at least
for now. Whether or not the unfinished country of the internet will
render everything else prehistorical remains to be seen." (Adam
Nayman op.cit.)
  
inkwell.vue.490 : Digital Life - a conversation with Mark Stahlman and friends
permalink #72 of 195: Ted Newcomb (tcn) Sat 30 Apr 16 12:54
    
http://www.aljazeera.com/programmes/rebelgeeks/2015/11/give-data-1511121020008
29.html
Evgeny, again, on what's up with digital data:
""One has to be very naive to believe that this data is not going to
shape how we live the rest of our lives, especially when insurance
companies and banks are so eager to incorporate it in their
decision-making," says Morozov. "Unless we change the legal status
of data, we're not going to get very far.""

"What he details so acutely are the ways technology is changing not
just our behaviour, but also our political and social relations. The
rhetoric of "innovation" and "disruption"- coupled of course with
the reality of this amazing technology - has got us to accept things
we probably wouldn't vote for in an election." (Dan Davies,
Director)
  
inkwell.vue.490 : Digital Life - a conversation with Mark Stahlman and friends
permalink #73 of 195: Craig Maudlin (clm) Sat 30 Apr 16 13:10
    
Thanks Mark. These last few posts <64>++ have helped a great deal. It's
probably just me, but starting out trying to grasp what you were saying
in terms of the three spheres was a bit difficult. Now I think I am
understanding better.

Wiener's "Cybernetics or Control and Communication in the Animal and
the Machine" had a big impact on me as a young student, particularly
because of the reasons underlying the use of 'Animal' in the title.

It's always been a source of disappointment that the 'Cyber' prefix
came to be so strongly associated with non-human (non-animal) computing
systems (thank you CONTROL DATA marketing department!).

Common, simplified usage tends to rob us of so much meaning. I recall
listening to Barlow explain (in the early 90's) that "Cyberspace is
where your money is" -- and I laughed along with the rest of the
audience. But I suddenly realized that the cybernetic (or 'control')
function of banking records (as well as money itself) has *always*
lived in an abstract space of 'control' or 'governance' and, following
Wiener's original coinage, this would be a richer meaning for the term
'cyberspace.'

But, as Humpty Dumpty said,

   'When I use a word, it means just what I choose it to mean --
    neither more nor less.'

So we spend our time in semantic combat or confusion.
  
inkwell.vue.490 : Digital Life - a conversation with Mark Stahlman and friends
permalink #74 of 195: Ted Newcomb (tcn) Sat 30 Apr 16 16:49
    
And meanwhile the algorithms and A.I.s march on...
The Road From AGI to ASI

At some point, we’ll have achieved AGI—computers with human-level
general intelligence. Just a bunch of people and computers living
together in equality.

Oh actually not at all.

The thing is, AGI with an identical level of intelligence and
computational capacity as a human would still have significant
advantages over humans. Like:

Hardware:

Speed. The brain’s neurons max out at around 200 Hz, while today’s
microprocessors (which are much slower than they will be when we
reach AGI) run at 2 GHz, or 10 million times faster than our
neurons. And the brain’s internal communications, which can move at
about 120 m/s, are horribly outmatched by a computer’s ability to
communicate optically at the speed of light.
Size and storage. The brain is locked into its size by the shape of
our skulls, and it couldn’t get much bigger anyway, or the 120 m/s
internal communications would take too long to get from one brain
structure to another. Computers can expand to any physical size,
allowing far more hardware to be put to work, a much larger working
memory (RAM), and a longterm memory (hard drive storage) that has
both far greater capacity and precision than our own.
Reliability and durability. It’s not only the memories of a computer
that would be more precise. Computer transistors are more accurate
than biological neurons, and they’re less likely to deteriorate (and
can be repaired or replaced if they do). Human brains also get
fatigued easily, while computers can run nonstop, at peak
performance, 24/7.
Software:

Editability, upgradability, and a wider breadth of possibility.
Unlike the human brain, computer software can receive updates and
fixes and can be easily experimented on. The upgrades could also
span to areas where human brains are weak. Human vision software is
superbly advanced, while its complex engineering capability is
pretty low-grade. Computers could match the human on vision software
but could also become equally optimized in engineering and any other
area.
Collective capability. Humans crush all other species at building a
vast collective intelligence. Beginning with the development of
language and the forming of large, dense communities, advancing
through the inventions of writing and printing, and now intensified
through tools like the internet, humanity’s collective intelligence
is one of the major reasons we’ve been able to get so far ahead of
all other species. And computers will be way better at it than we
are. A worldwide network of AI running a particular program could
regularly sync with itself so that anything any one computer learned
would be instantly uploaded to all other computers. The group could
also take on one goal as a unit, because there wouldn’t necessarily
be dissenting opinions and motivations and self-interest, like we
have within the human population.10
AI, which will likely get to AGI by being programmed to
self-improve, wouldn’t see “human-level intelligence” as some
important milestone—it’s only a relevant marker from our point of
view—and wouldn’t have any reason to “stop” at our level. And given
the advantages over us that even human intelligence-equivalent AGI
would have, it’s pretty obvious that it would only hit human
intelligence for a brief instant before racing onwards to the realm
of superior-to-human intelligence.

This may shock the shit out of us when it happens. The reason is
that from our perspective, A) while the intelligence of different
kinds of animals varies, the main characteristic we’re aware of
about any animal’s intelligence is that it’s far lower than ours,
and B) we view the smartest humans as WAY smarter than the dumbest
humans. Kind of like this:

Intelligence

So as AI zooms upward in intelligence toward us, we’ll see it as
simply becoming smarter, for an animal. Then, when it hits the
lowest capacity of humanity—Nick Bostrom uses the term “the village
idiot”—we’ll be like, “Oh wow, it’s like a dumb human. Cute!” The
only thing is, in the grand spectrum of intelligence, all humans,
from the village idiot to Einstein, are within a very small range—so
just after hitting village idiot level and being declared to be AGI,
it’ll suddenly be smarter than Einstein and we won’t know what hit
us:

Intelligence2

And what happens…after that? 
(The AI Revolution: The Road to Superintelligence)
http://waitbutwhy.com/2015/01/artificial-intelligence-revolution-1.html
  
inkwell.vue.490 : Digital Life - a conversation with Mark Stahlman and friends
permalink #75 of 195: Ted Newcomb (tcn) Sat 30 Apr 16 16:51
    
Will it be a nice God? (from article above)
The comments are a complete geek festival, interesting if you've got
the time.
  

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