Last night I dreamed that some time in the future, humans had figured out how to build distributed computing platforms complex enough to upload consciousness. As part of the bootstrap uplift into digital immortality, some members of our species began to migrate to self-assembling clouds of smart matter — tiny, networked, neuron-equivalent autonomous computing devices that in aggregrate provided enough googol-flop grunt to serve as personality substrate. iCloud, for reals.
The next logical step, of course, was for some of these cloud-personalities to migrate into the solar system, and by downshifting their time-sense to compensate for light-speed limitations when the distance between ‘neurons’ became thousands, then millions, of kilometers, then astronomical units, become brains that encompassed the entire solar system, but whose thoughts were occurring on much longer time-scales, as neuron-equivalents fired at intervals of hours and days rather than milliseconds.
Our solar system became a cloud of billions of overlapping brains, their tiny components wheeling around the sun like starlings, thinking slow thoughts.
And then, because why not, a migration to galactic scale. Slow down the subjective timescale even further, with computational neurons circling far-flung suns, brains spanning tens of thousands of lightyears, thoughts forming on geological timescales, our galaxy a circling glorious hive of trillions of overlapping slow intelligences who might experience the epochs until the heat death of the universe as comparable in length to a human lifespan, totally invisible to organic life.
Then I woke up, because I hurt my back washing the car yesterday, and that was a disappointment.
Increasing numbers of ‘terror suspects’ are being arrested on the basis of online and CCTV surveillance data. Authorities claim they act in the public interest, but does this intense surveillance keep us safer?
Update: I posted this yesterday. This morning I woke up still waist-deep in a dream. I’ve been dreaming more vividly in the last year or so than I think I ever have before in my life, and loving every second of it — actively looking forward to dreaming when I go to bed — in no small part because of the uncharacteristically (for me) frequent and rousing sexy dreamtimes.
But this dream this morning wasn’t just very sexy, at least in the third act. Though it early-on involved a lot of semirandom JamesBonding, with action sequences and exotic locales and ladies aplenty, the final segment of went like so: it had Been Revealed To Me By Those In The Know that Facebook and other social media sites that encourage you to frame and tag faces in photos with people’s names were feeding that data into government databases. You know, For Nefarious Purposes.
To the rescue! Sadly, swinging into action to right this wrong didn’t end up being all that exciting, though. Sitting in front of a computer is something I do too much of when I’m awake. In the dream, I heroically reopened my long-dormant Facebook account and started tagging faces with random, amusing-to-me names. The high point, just before I woke up, was tagging a picture of Stephen Harper with the name Whoopi Goldberg.
Small victories, I guess.
Look, Microsoft dum-dums, it’s super simple. You think this is complicated. That is not the case. It is not complicated.
TV: Do not want.
SPORTS: Do not want.
CALL OF DUTY: Do not want.
INFRARED LIVINGROOM PORNOSCAN: Do not want.
DIGITAL CLOUD PHANTOM SUPERSTRUCTURE IDENTITY GREASE: Do not want.
CANINE HOMINY RETROACTIVE ZYGOTE AMBERGRIS ROCKET MOUSTACHE: Do not want.
A minute and a half of predictable but amusing cluelessness:
Step 1: Saccharine art-directed wall of text ad copy (which, honestly, is just a little too twee, even if its heart is in the right place) gets auto-elevated to pretentious ‘manifesto’ by virality hopefuls pitching their product at Facebook likers and overwrought teenagers.
Step 2: Random loveable cynic Livejournaller rewrites manifesto, hilariously.
YOU EXIST. BE AS SELF INDULGENT AS YOU CAN. DON’T THINK TOO MUCH. BAD SITUATIONS ARE EASY TO CHANGE AND IF THIS ISN’T TRUE FOR YOU, DON’T GET LOSER GERMS ON THIS SIGN. MY EVERY THOUGHT IS SO DEEP. IF YOU ARE YOUNG, ATTRACTIVE AND PRIVILEGED, LOVE IS EASY. NO FATTIES, NO OLDSTERS, NO HOBOS. NOTHING IS COMPLICATED WHEN YOU CAN BUY WHAT YOU WANT. DIFFERENT TYPE SIZES CAN MAKE APHORISMS PROFOUND. EAT RAINBOWS, SHIT STARS. ASK THE NEXT PERSON YOU SEE HOW DESPERATE THEY ARE, AND SHARE YOUR DESIRE TO HUNT THEM FOR SPORT. TRAVEL OFTEN; TOURISM IS AN ADEQUATE SUBSTITUTE FOR DEPTH. IF YOU ARE UNHAPPY, IT’S PROBABLY BECAUSE YOU MISSED YOUR CHANCE AT AWESOME. LIFE IS BEING BORN ON THIRD BASE AND ACTING LIKE HITTING A TRIPLE IS SIMPLE. HANG ON TO THOSE DREAMS, IT MAKES IT EASIER TO SELL YOU. LIFE IS SHORT AND BRUTAL IF YOU CAN’T AFFORD TO LIVE A WINSOME CLICHE. WELCOME TO HELL.
Step 3: Clumsy Photochop remix.
Step 4: Profit.
This Steven Hyden piece on the new Daft Punk product led me to this Wikipedia article on ‘Rockism’ (I am an unapologetic rockist) which led me to this ‘Gallery of Rockism‘ which led me to this 1990 Robert Christgau post-mortem on the 1980s which contained the phrase ‘drastic shifts of fashion are to be expected when you valorize disposability’ which is something I quite like. ∞
What a piece of work is a man! How noble in
reason, how infinite in faculty! In form and moving
how express and admirable! In action how like an Angel!
in apprehension how like a god! The beauty of the
world! The paragon of animals!
Here’s a palate cleanser, though, which goes some way towards making me feel that the Obvious Ironic Quote above is maybe not so ironic after all.
“What is a farm but a mute gospel?” The Thoreau Poison and Shane Carruth’s ‘Upstream Color’. ∞
One of my top ten movies of all time, even though I’ve decades since outgrown my Bukowski period. This is the full movie. Enjoy!
A research team led by Mark Pagel at the University of Reading in England has identified 23 “ultraconserved words” that have remained largely unchanged for 15,000 years. ∞
There will come a time when you feel the need for a lot of Clash. Perhaps all of Clash.
I have you covered, friends.
It was maybe 11pm, deep into a Northern BC January Saturday night. We were both falling-down drunk, and we were 17 years old. We were sitting on crusty snow, leaning back against the side of somebody’s car, gazing up into the snowflakes falling gently out of the pitch-black sky. Everything was muffled and peaceful in the way it gets when the snow falls after dark. Clean, cold, quiet, even though we could hear the distant thump of Hell’s Bells coming from the basement party we’d left a few minutes ago. Lazy Christmas lights were still twinkling here and there. Fifteen minutes earlier, she’d asked me to hold her hair back while she puked into the toilet, something that in my hometown was tantamount to asking a guy to go steady. After, she’d asked me to walk her home. I wasn’t anywhere near sober, but she was plastered, and her parents’ house was a good 3 blocks away. I was in love with her. I had been for years. I’d never told her.