Monday, February 23, 2009

Jung with a computer: #1 and #2

(Disclaimer: forgive the discussion of self angst here, be patient)

So Jung understood the duality of his personality in terms of two distinct characters: "#1" and "#2."

#1 was mainstream, productive in the everyday world. Logical and ambitious for academic success, #1 pursued a prestigious lifestyle in relationship to Jung's surrounding society.

#2's personality was much more troubled, concerned more with ontological questions (God, the supernatural, truth) than the goings-on of physical society. #2 liked to brood, to comment, to lament.

Though identifying two personalities helps some people, it often oversimplifies mental conflicts within the individual and can encourage schizophrenia as a crutch for poor performance. Some people can handle it. Either way, this particular distinction is useful because I FEEL THE SAME WAY, and the split is caused by my lifetime use of computers.

If I have a #1 and a #2, the first is concerned with love, the outdoors, food and eastern spirituality: he chills, laughs. #2 is much more ambitious, worried about ontology, angry at society/ arbitrary authority structures and MAINLY EXISTS/SURVIVES ON THE INTERNET.

Now people have had different internet avatars for quite some time, early interactive fiction encouraged the formation of a "screen identity" from the start. But what is happening right now is something different, something more profoundly causal to real life, and I'm not the only one being affected. Not even close.

So I could throw out my laptop and live as #1 and go into teaching or finance and be healthy and happy, drink wine watch movies and be ignorant. Fck that. I have lived more as #2: complaining, thinking about biopolitics and ontology in relation to everything I do. Drug use encourages this perspective. #2 wants to be a savior of society, a more profound Cory Doctorow: Dr. Cosmos the seer. What a jamoke.

People are multifaceted, yet the conflicts that stand between personas can cause discomfort. I'm not going to slip into psychosis like Jung, but the ignorance=bliss split is made especially painful when computers are our main source of information (non-ignorance).

non-linear, non-authorial, non-finite knowledge

If computer use = non-ignorance, must it must also = non-bliss?

If using a computer for long enough (socially) creates a new personality, then MUST any human create a #2 if they want to take part in discourse online?* Who is Cory Doctorow? Who is Perez Hilton? If i let #2 run free, I think he could become a part of that world. I think I would suffer as a person for it.

I am.

Stayed up till 5am scanning websites about virtual reality, talking with a friend in Boston, listening to newly downloaded music... this is how I lived in highschool: perpetually tired, perpetually apathetic about reality and fully engaged in the internet. MMORPG's, 4chan, web comics, web sites, pod casts ---> there's enough to keep me satisfied forever. Hell I never even started hacking or fcking with proxies! I spent my hours in my mind/in front of a computer and I am... smarter for it? Maybe, I know some of sht.

Yet I have little use for the information I've soaked up in my drunken thirst for _____. I woke up at 11 and missed the sunrise.

So who's it going to be? Can we control them both? I highly doubt that everyone is this way, but if you have read this far: ask yourself who/what/why your #2 is. If you have no idea what I'm talking about, tell me how you manage your consumption of information and go for a nice walk. I need a break from academia.


Haha we're so spoiled, so ignorant here.


*(we don't really interact in physical space, making our bodies and our "#1" natural personalities obsolete.)

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Bombs away

Flight simulator players have killed 250 people in Pakistan without leaving the ground

"For some Air Force pilots, that means climbing out of the cockpit and heading to places such as Nellis Air Force Base in Nevada, where they can remotely fly the Predators ... About 120 Air Force pilots were recently transferred to staff the drones ... Some National Guard members were also called up ... more will be doing that in the coming months, as the Air Force adds bases where pilots can remotely fly the aircraft. Locations include North Dakota, Texas, Arizona and California, and some are already operating."

Unformatted data table:
Table 1. Drones Lost in Afghan Theater, 2001-2002
Unit cost # deployed # crashed % destroyed
Global Hawk $ 15 million 2 2 100%
Predator $ 4.5 million 12 6 50%

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Huxley beards Wilberforce

(So the blog is going to take an academic lean, becoming my notebook as I have very few readers. My thoughts at the moment are... chaotic. Biopolitics everywhere I look. Cyborg - humans walking relaxedly into symbiosis with their ipods. To ground myself, I will turn to the books:)

1860: Huxley, champion of Darwin's materialism beards (pwn's) jackass Bishop after monkey comment. read:

"I was happy enough to be present on the memorable occasion at Oxford when Mr Huxley bearded Bishop Wilberforce. There were so many of us that were eager to hear that we had to adjourn to the great library of the Museum. I can still hear the American accents of Dr Draper's opening address, when he asked `Air we a fortuitous concourse of atoms?' and his discourse I seem to remember somewhat dry. Then the Bishop rose, and in a light scoffing tone, florid and he assured us there was nothing in the idea of evolution; rock-pigeons were what rock-pigeons had always been. Then, turning to his antagonist with a smiling insolence, he begged to know, was it through his grandfather or his grandmother that he claimed his descent from a monkey? On this Mr Huxley slowly and deliberately arose. A slight tall figure stern and pale, very quiet and very grave, he stood before us, and spoke those tremendous words - words which no one seems sure of now, nor I think, could remember just after they were spoken, for their meaning took away our breath, though it left us in no doubt as to what it was. He was not ashamed to have a monkey for his ancestor; but he would be ashamed to be connected with a man who used great gifts to obscure the truth. No one doubted his meaning and the effect was tremendous. One lady fainted and had to carried out: I, for one, jumped out of my seat; and when in the evening we met at Dr Daubeney's, every one was eager to congratulate the hero of the day. I remember that some naive person wished it could come over again; and Mr Huxley, with the look on his face of the victor who feels the cost of victory, put us aside saying, `Once in a life-time is enough, if not too much.' "

So Huxley grabbed a transcendent moment of human-monkey relative acceptance. Who will do the same for robots? Is that relationship equally as evolutionary?


Drunken email to friends

Here's why "Yo, have a beer, chill out" doesn't always work for me:

"i just want some frozen pizzas.
Bob. pizzas. what the f@ck? why don't i have pizzas? why do
other people have pizzas right now and i don't?

If I could, I would have a pizza delivered to my door. I don't care how it gets here. Delivery, robot, teleportation, just make pizza happen.
now. f@ck.

whatever. once those b!tches exist. once I can have pizza right here right now, ANYTHING right here right now...

I'll never leave my house. I'll stay here, and the cities will die because no one will go to them. community will take to the cables, and "space" as we use and understand it will change forever.

-Open Sky, Paul Virilio."

I'd like to disagree with myself/Virilio here. If we can manage society's transition into to digital space with an emphasis on nature/ the outdoors/ enjoyment of physical activity, then people might "journey in space" all the time! They might even preserve and cherish it more than we do now, with the dissolution of infrastructure making way for some pretty killer public venues (who really likes highways / streets / buildings? )

I'd be a park ranger forever if I didn't have to pay for stuff.

Sidenote: people here drink too much, they do it to get out of themselves. One glass of wine, people.

En Vino Veritas


Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Melon Balls

(Check previous post for link.)

I think that advertisement producers are smart guys. Self-aware, cynical, critical... it's their job to understand how media and human cognition work.

So in a move to grab viewer attention and explain an entirely new product to AMERICA in thirty seconds... they told the truth? Sarcastically? Human mental vegetation will increase due to this product, and they jokingly advertise it as doing so...

OR, will allow people to watch what they want, cutting out captive viewing (being forced to watch shows you don't like) while increasing enjoyment and thus stimulating/economizing thought during media consumption.

OR, they used the popular theme of T.V.'s "brain melting" capability without being aware of the real threat posed by their new methods of communicative saturation.


I think they knew what they were saying, and I think that this half-step toward corporate reflexive criticism or self reference in advertising might be a very, very positive thing.

Or just been the best way to humorously explain new tech.

Compare this new brand of honesty, for interests sake, with the MANIPULATIONS at work in this bay area news broadcast. Fatez looked the guy up, his avatar is nothing, the dude is terrible and he sounds like an idiot. The entire thing is concocted to make ignorant people go LOL in the face of misrepresented new media.



The wrong way(more of the same)

This is the first thing I have written on a machine that was not connected to the internet in quite some time. In fact, it is the first thing I have written FOR MYSELF in quite some time.

What is the relationship?

If I was wired, I would most likely be... what was I going to do again? I think I was about to update my facebook status, perhaps even my twitter status to: "I belong in a Cafe..."

Because at the moment I am sitting in a cafe I like, thinking, writing and feeling for the first time in quite awhile. I always feel this way when I am cut off.
So I'm writing writing this paper on native Tlingit being and place as understood through stick-based gambling games. These guys sat there in the woods, played for hours and hours and believed in the superstition that surrounded them. They were THERE, yet in a fictional world inhabited and influenced by spirits. Today: kids sit for hours doing the same, just indoors(?) Where the hell are we? How has the internet partitioned or accelerated my sense of place in time? Well..not much at the moment, actually.

Hence the fondness for cafes without wifi.

Hold up: overheard discussion between two rabbi's and cafe owner:
*reference to superbowl ads, joking and commentary on spokeswoman.*

One 'rabbi': hey did you see the ad, they just came right out there and played off the brains-to-mush thing! They admitted it! Said you could check it on your computer if your tv didn't work!

*Long silence.*

Owner of cafe, standing, looking out window: "We're going the wrong way, guys."

Couldn't agree more, bro. Thanks for the concrete.