ho ho & ha ha. We insist on dystopia. Decline, deterioration, invalidation & expanding disability. Less capable, able, cognizant human beings, but faster & more powerful machines with a continually pervading reliance & prevalence that becomes despotic, as abstaining or avoiding technological/computerized participation becomes practically impossible. It’s really not as voluntary as the market projected ‘common thread’ narrative purports, & duress, pseudo-compulsory shunting, exclusion & heavily prescribed destination – all decked in major misinformation & categorically disingenuous benign-guise vitiate the democratic/volition assertion. Your not ‘alive’ or progressing unless your locked into the shit-matrix of self-stunt & tech-suck. If this is the future, I am much happier in the brush with a bow & arrow with Bezos embossed on the tip. Of course there will be some side effects (tellingly excluded from the relentlessly optimistic industry discourse or phenomenally played-down & palliated utopic assurances & increasingly empty promises of personal empowerment), major new vulnerabilities, colossal psychological & social damage & truly frightening surveillance capability, all in a time of paranoia, turmoil, corporate tyranny & welling instability. But of course, the magic tech nostrum – the very thing that’s digging our grave & rushing us into the coffin – is hailed as the messianic savior & therefore championed for acceleration in some kind of tail-eating-serpent suicide calenture.
Luckily – the fall-out, blowback, unforeseen doom & materializing menace, horror, devastation & disadvantage, are pouring out of the miracle-monster & exposing exponential threat & harm that’s way-off the vaunted ‘benevolent-wonder-convenience’ that we have been so mendaciously mis-sold.
And so, here is James Bridle to speak truth to tech…to shred some circuits & CEO’s from their off-shore ivory towers, presiding over human factory farms run at ‘maximum efficiency’ with some breath-based algorithmic atrocity roll-out that maps & modulates every thought-spur. Humanity, reason, caution, sapience, wariness in the wake of the oncoming ‘dark age’ , with a peeling forewarning & urging to sensibility & prudence.
It’s nice for such an inhuman & commercial environment to be confronted without the typical deference, moderation & defeatist acceptability that frequently tranquilizes a considerable section of objectors to technophile expansionism & it’s many perils. Bridle also possesses a very human reaction & lens – not allowing the mechanical plasticity & corporate machine-think to dictate the parameters of the argument, language, response or awareness angle.
“We refashion our understanding to the world to better accommodate the constant alerts and cognitive short-cuts provided by automated systems. Computation replaces cognitive thought. We think more and more like the machine, or we do not think at all.”
the book roves over a massive orbit, pulling in the many associated actors – nuclear weapons, intelligence agencies, state surveillance, climate catastrophe & planetary warming, species extinction & environmental collapse, finance, shadow banking & speculation. It also spills many of the calamity cases that are starting to occur as these new technologies are introduced or further relied upon/adopted by a self-incapacitating public that have been sold a false convenience with a devils-deal hidden-expense that is now dawning on the duped.
Some of the current & historical research, of super computers & shadowy (as in fully disclosed & factually accepted/none conspiracy theory) programs in the distinctly dodgy terrain of state-military-corporate co-operation, are an exceptionally alarming reckoning. It also clearly marks-out instances of where extremely virulent ideology or practice becomes standard application & globalized market aligned paradigm with a built-in permanence, to go on unquestioned as some kind of immovable ‘god-given’ right no matter how ludicrous or absurd the body-count or catastrophically parlous effects are. Bottles & genies. “there is no alternative” & engineered inevitability, stressed & screamed through commercial channels, ad-overload & a pliant & lagging captured government that’s quickly being overshadowed by the mutants it pertains to contain & regulate.
A fucking good book from an extremely inquiring & lucid mind, we need much more of this unfettered clarity, clear vision & conviction for dealing with this spiraling freakoid menace & it’s many prolocutors & the defensive deception that guards it’s perennial growth & impositional dilation.
“our thirst for data, like our thirst for oil, is historically imperialist, and tightly tied to capitalist networks of exploitation. The most successful empires have always promulgated themselves through a selective visibility: the subaltern to the centre. Data is used to map and classify the subject of imperialist intention, just as the subjects of empires were forced to register and name themselves according to the diktats of their masters.”
James wrote a walloping good piece for the Guardian on the poisoned air mass murder/pollution atrocity that is one of the most obstinate & immense of the current NegaTory regimes crimes against humanity. As you will probably be familiar with by now, the Cancervative government is considered actively criminal/in breach of humanitarian law (suffering three consecutive court defeats) over it’s tenacious & continued mass indiscriminate polluting/murder of it’s own people, resulting in an estimated 60,000 deaths per year with millions more adversely affected, impaired & hospitalized. If ever you needed to know the extent of depravity, the true criminal intentions & extraordinary disregard for the welfare of the British people, here’s the irrevocable smoking gun (& don’t forget the fossil fuel & motor industry who are all spurring the puppets to maintain the massacre). You simply couldn’t demonstrate it in clearer terms – https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/sep/24/air-pollution-cognitive-improvement-environment
Verso, 2018, 252 pages