08 August 2005

Psychopathic paradox

Today I've flat-out been blown away by all the development going on in information design. There are so many people that are a kazillion times smarter than I, and the shit they're doing is enough to make you want to move into a shrub and live with the Rats of Nimh. And even then, those rats were pretty freakin' smart.

Via Tom Carden (who I am falling in love with, intelligence is sexy), I came across this wiki map, called OpenStreetMap ("Grab map!" and give it a moment to properly load the PNG image overlay). I took a look at it and so many odd little thoughts were running around in me noggin. For one, so many people freak out and censure transhumanism, citing what-ifs more akin to X-Men stories then to where humanity is currently taking the technology. One must keep in mind that the popular media is a good deal behind the cutting-edge developments and, more importantly, the expershit [sic] going on in the artistic community and behind closed doors.

EDIT — As I tend to try to type to keep up to certain thoughts that are generally not always rooted in any sort of easy-to-translate-to-wordy-talky structure, I often jumble up words and sentences. Especially when I speak. Today, "expershit" is an example of this. I believe the intent was to type out experimental shit, but that would only be a guess.

I would have to say that, albeit an atrociously written book, Vurt, by Jeff Noon, really opened my eyes to the context of a reality broken up by humanity's mass embrace of psychotic liberation. Sounds scary, I know. What I mean is that as more and more people drop social means and induced realities in favour of multiple perspectives — as I'm willing to put money on the next couple generations will embrace as they're raised on video games and the internet — we'll see more individuals rather than more communities. Or, as communities move online, individuals will be able to program themselves to maintain facets of cliques to their own liking. Not only that, but the video game cum virtual experience will offer the opportunity for all to pick and choose their mythic journeys. In effect, these are the very tools necessary for the metapgramming of the self. This echoes similar functions of what Tim Boucher and others are exploring with their analysis of Gnosticism: knowing that there is another level to conquer, a stronger, faster, and/or better way to do things, and, in time, that our malleable consciousness may be brought under reigns with the use of metaphysical exercises, manipulation of elements such as herbs and pharmaceuticals, and eventually wetware.

In Vurt, reality had broken down so much that dreams were sold à la Strange Days (except ingested as a drug in the form of a feather that the user swallows). Cybernetic thought permeated all consciousness and it was simply a matter of being able to navigate hierarchies of consistently more abstract patterns of information (translated to consciousness via symbolism and an apparent illusion of experiences). Fractal geometry, light, and viruses can be used as weapons. And because the whole notion of an inter-subjective phenomelogical matrix of perceived reality had begun to lose it's streamlined tangibility — due to more and more indivudals borne out of the concurrent matrices of the past — it was perfectly normal for both criminals and police to live out the same dance as they do today, except that they could walk in-between reality to do so. Genetic manipulation produced something like five or six dominant groups, some preter-human, some half-dog. These groups, in turn, develop their own myths and subcultures and co-exist in cities with one another. It's also a world where you can fall in love with and fuck your sister, apparently. And so on.

A wiki map. A wiki reality. Magic doesn't fucking exist. Sorcery is just a word, a key for a door that we keep fragmented by arguing words and semantics. The occult is a quest for understanding, yet does it prompt actual interaction like these scientists, programmers, designers, and artists are pursuing?

IBM just pushed out there big open source initiative, adorably known as the Unstructured Information Management Architecture (UIMA) used in the company's WebSphere Information Integrator OmniFind Edition, WebSphere Portal Server and Lotus Workplace. IBM is also open sourcing the UIMA toolkit. Creative commons, wiki initiatives, and the rest of it will continue to maintain an open infrastructure which fearmongers need not propagate against. "Reality" will begin to blur into "realities" and magic will become the way of life.

Just as Wikipedia allows the human tribe access to writing history and contemporary events as they unfold, a group organism debating and coming to group conclusions faster and more efficiently than ever before, this whole notion of wiki maps and, who knows — wiki reality? — will eventually establish the foundations for a place where individual consciousness can slip back a bit into a virtual comfort zone of the group thought process. Now that I think about it, it's a bit tricky to wrap one's head around the idea of psychopathy as an answer because of it's lack of social dictate, yet we're moving into a realm of paradox: individual navigation of a realm of information, yet working together to define a malleable group reality via the whole wiki context. I need to brush on my Kabbalah (not that Madonna dog piss), see if there are correlations between this oncoming shift into an experience of information design and interaction and the symbolic structures as put forth in the Worlds of Yetzirah and Beri'ah.

An exploration of the levels of deeper consciousness as we archive multiple versions of ourselves, egos programmed for this or that. Just like the "Media Mirror" posted earlier, Daniel Rozin explored reflections in an engaging way worth checking out (check out the Mechanical Mirrors).

And on that note, I just had to order the German book on digital design, Super: Welcome to Graphic Wonderland. I feel as though I am beginning to carve out a relation between design and the occult in my mind here, but I do not have the proper tools to fully explore what is possible. I may have to get back into coding. Harley passed Processing.org on to me this morning. With the ability to manipulate geometry and information in a much more algebraic fashion, I believe I can really start to explore how geometry and consciousness are entwined. Perhaps we'll find code and device to bridge sigils from a digital standpoint with that of a human host:—
Processing is an open source programming language and environment for people who want to program images, animation, and sound. It is used by students, artists, designers, architects, researchers, and hobbyists for learning, prototyping, and production. It is created to teach fundamentals of computer programming within a visual context and to serve as a software sketchbook and professional production tool. Processing is developed by artists and designers as an alternative to commercial software tools in the same domain.

I am not sure where I am going with this, I just need to process thoughts in order to cement them into some sort of mental hierarchy.

Virtual user interfaces and mythologic/dream design is going to be huge. When? I dunno, but soon enough. Don't think so, check out the rise of alternate reality gaming. People are dying (well, not yet…) to get involved in myths. They devoutly dedicate themselves to these ARGs all in the search of excitement, story, meaning… a new context. The Kabbalistic "World of Actions" aka Asiyah is fux0red, Philip K. Dick's so-called Black Iron Prison is crumbling, and the freedom comes from a manipulation and understanding of information and context.

On an end note to this entry, anyone looking for a decent flic to rent, check out the BBC production Code 46 (IMDb, QuickTime).

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