Into A Dark Silicon Back Alley … or a Regenerative Society ?

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You are passing a DARK ALLEY, and therein awaits a savage mob of thieving Krapitalists, thugs with knives, automatic rifles, tasers, networked surveillance tools, corporate bank accounts, an army of investors and lawyers and lobbyists and crony judges.

The MASTER NINJA says: It is unwise to pass through the alley in these times.

The TECHNOTOPIAN says: Come with me, the internet will save us !

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We really need some serious analysis, strategy and exit-map for the perilous paths ahead… This isn’t a Bruce Lee flik, nor a Wachowski Bros ‘chosen one(s)’ scenario, where one can outmaneuver a few bungling, dumb attackers w/ superhuman martial arts skills.

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Note: we certainly aren’t knocking Bruce Lee, nor disciplines like Wing Chun. Nor goood juicy comic book stuff to inspire the warrior minds, but these are definitely not tactical assessments nor action plans for global regeneration and mass citizens participation in this era of predatory markets, transnational banks and corporate-control agendas, which are all leveraging in the now well-known crisis of civilization to come out ON TOP. As if any one entity could come out ON TOP of a burning building, or a globalized turf-warring inferno !

[ Funny, as we were capturing a screenshot, we noticed even Way Of The Dragon has to illogically explain why the cut-throat criminal gang can't just pull out more suitable weapons to easily take out the master 'Chinese boxer'. In other words, we can't just tailor the real life situations to work for some heroic fantasies. ]

And yet, this is often what the stories told to us by technotopians ( and the usual hacker contingent) sound like. A cheesy Hollywood redemption and/or ‘fight club’ script. We might add that we are now facing challenges that do not actually apply to merely concrete enemies, but systems and cultures which are massively destructive, exploitative and wrong-headed.

The idea of hacking and re-routing these systems for a better society is absolutely appropriate, and yet believing that technological solutions will get us out of our dystopian trap is somehow blind to the fundamental dysfunction of our times.

We initially missed this article on June 15 – The internet is the answer to all the questions of our time - by Cory Doctorow, one of the most ingenious and evangelical spokespersons for the Netted generation. But seriously ?!

The article provokes an XLterrestrial to quip:

“If the internet is the answer, it could just be a white male entreprenuer’s California-baked question. “

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Sure, the online tech tools represent a whole spectrum of real and potential community resources, but they appear increasingly unlikely to be our means to liberation or balance.

Why ?!

Because digital culture for the general public may already be irreversibly lost to a military-industrial-shopping complex. It cannot be magicly reclaimed for a higher purpose, without a radically-altered and evolved behavioral shift.

And because we are not numbers, not data, nor simulacrums. We do not operate like smooth algorithms and rational formulas. And contrary to fun articles like the one that says we exist inside an alien-made hologram,  we are pretty non-negotiably flesh and blood, mind/body beings that require a physically manifested earth habitat to survive , to evolve, to learn, to be fully, dimensionally present. Perhaps even to have some coherent meaning ! And we are not alone. We co-habit this physical world with a gazillion other living organisms in complex layers of eco-systems ( not fully comprehended, much less respected and protected ), and our 21st century wired+consumerist solutions are NOT their solutions.

[ Enter the Anthropocene and Anthro-obscene debates, but we'll caome back to that in another essay ]

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To be blunt, we humans have been bad neighbors, very bad, like living next store [ sic] to a frat house from Hell. An entire Frat House Culture accelerated by weapons of mass communications, which is a little like gifting a trampling idiot-herd with a 24/7 global sound system pumping atrociously dim-witted and unsophisticated techno thumps combined with a tequila bottle brain-tap.

The Internet is the answer?! Or is it now becoming the most serious obstacle to embodied intelligence and responsible community-scale ( communication and interaction) upgrades  ?!

Ok, we are entirely open to debates about this, but let’s be serious, shall we ?

From our – not conclusive – analysis, the internet is currently best serving the managers and winners of a Krapitalist operating system. Are we likely to see a shift as Paul Mason recently argues, in a direction towards something closer to dot-communism or post-capitalism ?! Or does striving for liberation thru primarily rapid technological advances ( prior to necessary social evolutions) now ensure dark outcomes … An apocalyptic and fascist singularity ( powered by markets and obsessive-compulsive desires for the new), rather than a sharing of utopian ideals ?!

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Another article that stirred our imaginations this week, is one from Daniel Pinchbeck who recently founded the Center for Planetary Culture, which seems prime territory to juxtapose with Cory’s heavily-reliant technotopian thinking above.

And to ponder how central are technological innovations ( and internet) really to the things we need to do to transition to a regenerative, inhabitable society ??

TOWARD REGENERATIVE SOCIETY: PLAN FOR RAPID TRANSITION

And sure, the internet may provide a means to facilitate some of these directions, but considering it the “central nervous system” to our existence and ALL rapid transitions, in our current view and assessed contexts, SPELLS : GUARANTEED CORPORATE ABYSS  !

Btw, this kind of thinking IS fueling the next visions of Cybernetic Wonderland- ubiquitous computing, also called The Internet of Things, which corporations are indeed making huge investments to advance. If you think 5-Eyes surveillance culture and corporate domination is fun now, you’re going to be strapped in for pure data-mined and digitally digested Nirvana w/ IOT. But that’s also for a future XLt article.

more XLt analysis on Pincbeck’s work coming soon in Part 2 of this article !

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>> Additional Notes <<

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Techno-solutionism fantasies/absurdities/commercials explained in one easy video ( via our friends at Bendito Machine ) :

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Our friend @Ms_Multicolor has been thinking alot about these same debates, and has assembled some important resources about The Internet + Capitalism, and other angles. SEE THESE LINKS !

THx !

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