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4. Each technological extension involves an act of collective cannibalism. The previous environment with all its private and social values, is swallowed by the new environment and reprocessed for whatever values are digestible. Thus, Nature was succeeded by the mechanical environment and became what we call the “content” of the new industrial environment. That is, Nature became a vessel of aesthetic and spiritual values. Again and again the old environment is upgraded into an art form while the new conditions are regarded as corrupt and degrading. Artists, being experts in sensory awareness, tend to concentrate on the environmental as the challenging and dangerous situation. That is why they may seem to be “ahead of their time.” Actually, they alone have the resources and temerity to live in immediate contact with the environment of their age. More timid people prefer to accept the content, the previous environment’s values, as the continuing reality of their time. Our natural bias is to accept the new gimmick (automaton, say) as a thing that can be accommodated in the old ethical order.

5. During the process of digestion of the old environment, man finds it expedient to anesthetize himself as much as possible. He pays as little attention to the action of the environment as the patient heeds the surgeon’s scalpel. The gulping or swallowing of Nature by the machine was attended by a complete change of the ground rules of both the sensory ratios of the individual nervous system and the patterns of the social order as well. Today, when the environment has become the extension of the entire mesh of the nervous system, anesthesia numbs our bodies into hydraulic jacks.
 

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That Eco thing about "internet populism" from '95 feels frighteningly prescient at the moment.
 

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UR-FASCISM by Umberto Eco - https://www.pegc.us/archive/Articles/eco_ur-fascism.pdf

Ur-Fascism is based upon a selective populism, a qualitative populism, one might say. In a democracy, the citizens have individual rights, but the citizens in their entirety have a political impact only from a quantitative point of view – one follows the decisions of the majority. For Ur-Fascism, however, individuals as individuals have no rights, and the People is conceived as a quality, a monolithic entity expressing the Common Will. Since no large quantity of human beings can have a common will, the Leader pretends to be their interpreter. Having lost their power of delegation, citizens do not act; they are only called on to play the role of the People. Thus the People is only a theatrical fiction. To have a good instance of qualitative populism we no longer need the Piazza Venezia in Rome or the Nuremberg Stadium. There is in our future a TV or Internet populism, in which the emotional response of a selected group of citizens can be presented and accepted as the Voice of the People.

Because of its qualitative populism Ur-Fascism must be against "rotten" parliamentary governments. One of the first sentences uttered by Mussolini in the Italian parliament was "I could have transformed this deaf and gloomy place into a bivouac for my maniples" – "maniples" being a subdivision of the traditional Roman legion. As a matter of fact, he immediately found better housing for his maniples, but a little later he liquidated the parliament. Wherever a politician casts doubt on the legitimacy of a parliament because it no longer represents the Voice of the People, we can smell Ur-Fascism.

The New York Review of Books - June 22, 1995
 
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The Joker inadvertently gets his hands on the Mask of Loki after it is found in a Gotham City museum. With its power the Joker begins to feel a new rejuvenation in his career of crime. Lt. Kellaway finds his way to Gotham and helps Batman and Commissioner Gordon in defeating the newly superpowered Joker. Batman is able to trick the Joker into removing the Mask by claiming that the villain is no longer funny, and is relying on tired schtick and the power of the Mask instead of his own style. It is worth mentioning that the Joker himself had enough will power to "emerge" from the Mask's body (resulting in a two-headed being) in order to remove the mask on his own. Lt. Kellaway asks Batman to give him the Mask. Batman agrees and the Mask is last seen as Kellaway digs up Stanley Ipkiss' grave and buries the Mask there with his corpse.
 

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I'll paste the connected stuff I was on about in some of the other threads.

I find communicating online feels like attaining several extra spider like limbs, like Dr. Octopus or the Boiler Geezer in Spirited Away. You've got words but you're also able to pull in images, video, audio and all sorts to make up for the lack of body language and tone of voice. It's like your mouth sealing itself shut as a bunch of antennas and tendrils sprout from your head.
spider like limbs, tentacles and antennas. Something gets sucked in or rendered obsolete and several mechanical/digital ones come sprouting and flailing out the other side. A human Swiss army knife or hydra.
I keep picturing smart phones as some sort of gateway which opens out on the other side into an increasingly elaborate hall of mirrors. It's like the knot at the centre of a bow tie, everything narrows to that point then opens out again on the other side of it, only it's becoming increasingly fragmented and distorted and sprawling on that other side.
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I keep picturing smart phones as some sort of gateway which opens out on the other side into an increasingly elaborate hall of mirrors. It's like the knot at the centre of a bow tie, everything narrows to that point then opens out again on the other side of it, only it's becoming increasingly fragmented and distorted and sprawling on that other side.
I'd never actually seen the sleeve art for Clear until now, but this is it. This is dematerialisation. It's fucking perfect. All the things I've been waffling on about for weeks re: falling through the mirror and fragmenting on the other side, smartphones etc.
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sadmanbarty

Well-known member
k punks understanding of cybernetics


how interconnectivity allows systems comprised of millions of individual entities all with their own agency to act as a single unit.


price signals in economics.
 

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I'm sure I was reading something about his idea of cybernetics the other day, can't remember if someone recently posted it or whether it was in an old thread or something I found elsewhere.
 

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Ah. It was something luka quoted last year in the Deleuze thread.

But let's dispense with one of the lazy, hazy assumptions we're all prone to fall into whenever we hear the word 'cybernetics'. Cybernetics does not only refer to technical machines. Wiener call it the study of control and communication in animals and machines (btw: why leave out plants?). Its principal discovery is 'feedback' - a system's capacity to reflect and act upon its own performance. So, as Luke and I were discussing the other day, the whole point of cybernetics is that nothing is 'more cybernetic' than anything else. There are only systems with more or less feedback, and diffferent types of feedback (k+, k-, k0.) So if the word 'cybernetics' calls up only gleaming steel you have the wrong association.

If cyborgianism is oriented towards a maintenance and reproduction of the organism and its homeostatic control circuitries, Cyberpunk or k-punk (one of the motivations for the 'k' btw is the origin of the word 'cyber' in the Greek 'kuber') flees towards a cybernetics of organic disassembly. Again, let's be clear here. You don't disassemble the human organism by replacing its parts with metal or silicon components. (That's why the term 'cyborg' - or 'cybernetic organism' is misleadingly redundant. All organisms are already cybernetic). What matters is the overall organization of the parts. Do the parts operate as hierarchically organized and functionally-specified 'organs' within a cybernegatively construed interiority or do they operate as deterritorialized potentials pulling from/ towards the Outside?
 

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The two questions from the Ratheanu seance in Gravity's Rainbow keep rattling round my head, both in relation to this and in general.

“You must ask two questions. First, what is the real nature of synthesis? And then: what is the real nature of control?"
 

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The internet. A developing extension of the human organism or a developing organism in its own right? Bowie once jokingly referred to it as an "alien life form" and I sometimes feel there was some truth in that, Carpenter's Thing being dug out of the ice and gradually assimilating everything on the planet.
There's something odd about the fragment having a richer context than the whole. You take a studio tune and it's suspended in space, take a section of it from radio and it's got a life of its own, an appendage severed from the body developing into an organism in its own right.

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