~e; electromagnetism and culture

From brian carroll <human@electronetwork.org>
Date Fri, 5 Nov 2004 00:07:26 -0600

  hello everyone. i am forcing myself to write even
  though i'd rather be silent and wait for others
  to chime in with ideas regarding current events,
  yet things are piling on to a degree and with a
  speed that 'saying nothing' will be in hindsight.

  there has been a recent experience of 'falling out
  of the internet' which offered an interesting view
  of being online for a decade, and then outside of
  it in such a way as to better realize how much an
  online perspective may differ from being offline.
  and a most excellent book i'm starting hits this
  aspect in a way like no other i've yet to encounter:
  that 'cyberspace' is a type of 'heaven' manifest in
  a techno-religious age. it explains a lot of things
  in regards to the utopian viewpoints that today are
  in stark relief to the dystopia that exists offline.
  book: the pearly gates of cyberspace, a history of
  space from dante to the internet. margaret wertheim.
  highly recommend it. it fills in a void, for me at
  least, in connecting the dots online and offline in
  human experiences, and seeing a continuum between
  extended and related spaces, structures, et ceteras.

  (the one aspect that is potentially an early critique
  is that the aspect of 'immateriality' is, by fate or
  fortune, a boundary (it would seem, in early reading)
  which may continue what may be considered a misnomer
  relying on disassociating matter/ energy/ information/
  from each other in order to make a case for immaterial
  effects, left off beyond a human scale of experience
  while still active in subatomic aspects not discussed.
  if one takes the DARPA monkey-mind hooked up to some
  array of electrodes to control a computer cursor on a
  screen, this mind-body direct connect between moving
  of mind and moving of body (cursor at human scale on
  the internet, say) does show that these internal and
  external processes are fluid and not divided by some
  model that is impenetrable to human understanding...
  therefore, saying the 'internet' is not locked into
  infrastructure (technology, though so too the 'human
  infrastructure' should also be included, brain, the
  senses, nerves, etc, and its cyberspace of 'society
  of mind,' etc.) -- would be similar to the 'brain'
  and 'mind' debates, where 'mind' would seem to be
  able to transcend a finite and bounded individual
  brain, and possibly operate outside its immediate
  physicality, such as with electromagnetic fields,
  in which information is embedded and through which
  a brain may walk and interact and if Plato (i think)
  was considered literally (or Jung), some 'invisible'
  forms or archetypes or ideas would be suspended in
  some way in this invisible matrix (natural, artificial,
  virtual) space-time-place. maybe it is this aspect in
  which cyberspace transcends the internet, yet without
  infrastructure a certain aspect of it would appear to
  be readily unobtainable, similarly. so too, the meta-
  mind may be harder to access without a brain, and all
  of it would be pretty moot without electromagnetism.

  though, electromagnetism and knowledge of it does not
  exist in culture, it seems, nor in cultural terms of
  awareness that it is not just another kind of jargon
  but the fundamental foundation upon which the reality
  of the present is defined, historically, connecting
  an infinite amount of corresponding events and ideas
  that remain divided in outdated models of perception.

  considering recent events, if taken one by one they
  may not 'add-up' to anything much as a larger whole,
  given subjective views of any given worldview based
  on particularity. thus, what may be a catastrophic
  development could be considered as benign, even good.

  one aspect may be the role of media and war, a long
  analyzed and interrogated idea by many, in many ways.
  and who is alter-ego 'terrorist' of the media empire
  that, in distorting and editing Osama bin Laden, has
  forfeited the power and truth of reasoning by people,
  to some Cliff Notes version of events in what is said
  to be 'the information age' where access is all that
  much greater, therefore, censor the transcript which
  begins a questioning of policies in a public realm,
  that which is completely accessible yet not allowed
  to be permissible to open-eyes and the larger mind
  to contemplate and computate into another approach
  to some dangerously buggy core-coding developments.
  on cryptome.org the Al Jazeera (sp) transcript was
  in full, and read one way. the version in the local
  newspaper was translated and read another way, and
  the headlines and reporting on the newsbrief, was
  reported or propagated yet another way and was to
  be read even more distorted from the original text.
  this is like the game 'telephone' in which someone
  tells somehow next to them some made-up sentence,
  and tells them to repeat it to the person next to
  them, and as the story goes around a group of people
  it is bent out of recognition by the transmissions.
  this is the default for conveying information today,
  at least in the mass media. it has all the rationality
  of a movie, with some comic book hero (like batman),
  who enters stage right once the terrorist leader,
  say penguin, takes over all the TVs with a message.
  it is handled in such a way that it is cartoonish.

  why this is relevant to the culture is that this is
  the same media reporting on elections, for instance.
  say, the presidential debates in which millions upon
  millions gathered by their audiovisual hearths (TVs)
  to have an interactive and democratic fireside chat.
  it proves, as much, the power of the ideas of some
  kind of representative democracy enhanced by media,
  in its late and more matured institutional form, in
  that such an event can be considered legitimate and
  part of the tradition, the electronic exchanges now
  live, at world speed, at world scale, at the edge or
  at the center, potentially both. the 'traditional'
  issues related to cultural definition, then, might
  have some relevance to the electromagnetic pantheon
  being created by the microsecond in such environs.
  such as, the ideas of 'public' and 'private' which
  would seem oxymoronic to mention, even though the
  entities conveying information function in a type
  of superposition, alternating between the values
  and goals of these, or nowhere between these, to
  be pinned down in some absolute definition. tragic
  it is when, then, in the name of the 'public' that
  public analysis is relegated to 'personal opinion'
  if the lowest common denominator does not agree in
  the view, even if legitimated by the facts, on air.

  such as with the debates, a literal sweep by one of
  the candidates, all three debates, by any measure.
  yet 'the networks', all of them (public and private)
  played an equality card and equity card in such a
  way as to distort the reality of the public events
  in a type of private bounding box of interpretation,
  that limited the resulting public discourses about
  the statesman versus the businessman, et cetera...
  even about wearing a wireless microphone to answer
  (ala la torrettes outburst) a phantom experience...
  none of it made it into the news cycles, the short
  minute bursts of 'Bytes' of soundbites transversing
  the individual brains of the larger pulsing group
  mind, the shaping of a mentality of these events.
  who lost the election? John Kerry? No. the media
  lost the election because they did not report the
  facts about the election, about the debates, about
  analysis which should require checks and balances
  to the degree that the seriousness necessitates.
  this was lost to the conservativeness of media,
  its role as a 'state' institution and unelected
  representer (maker of the real for massive many),
  which 'privately' represents events, so distorted
  as to invalidate truth and factual representations
  when it matters most, and relying upon relativism
  to justify a by-default approach that the 'public'
  and 'private' are at most differentiated by some
  vague (immaterial, intangible) sense of intangible
  implicit understanding of where the boundaries are.
  that is, do what the group is doing, only moreso,
  whether towards more public or more private views,
  the model still distorts as a foundation for 'news'
  and views in such media is not based on physicality
  of the mediums, the mapping of 'public' space within
  such realms, and their tangible manifestations here.
  instead, it is a faulty mind-game, which reflects a
  failure of media and mediation and technological and
  cultural understanding to the individual, one of a
  degree of integrity as is Sen. John Kerry, and says
  he is not perfect enough for this media megamachine,
  and failed to fulfill its inhuman quest for a dream
  human-machine, when it in fact has achieved this in
  a much simpler way, an illusion of a person who is
  able to control such forces, yet instead takes the
  desires of such a giant techno-religious leviathan
  as its base goal, to transform worlds in its image.

  the media lost the election if anyone did. and it
  is because of the issues of the public and private
  being non-issues, unstudied in their roles in how
  people perceive, conceive, and convey information,
  and the fall-out could become heavily radioactive...

  consider, minus the electronic voting issues and
  the debates, what the 'surprise' Bush victory may
  likely portend for major current issues related to
  the health and welfare of the world. VP Cheney, who
  for four years has unsuccessfully lobbied privately
  and corruptly to continue a 1950s energy plan, is
  going to start building nuclear power plants all
  over to feed american consumption, and build long-
  distance lines in new corridors, to do so. that they
  are also the most prone to cataclysmic terror attack
  is irrelevant, that nuclear treaties are broken to
  continue such a path, unremarked. that new nuclear
  weapons and anti-nuclear weapons (missile defense)
  are an outgrowth of this energy planning are also
  on board, will also be going ahead, at any cost,
  even if it does not work, or if more bombs and
  loose nuclear materials (that is, WMD) is to be
  spawned around the black-markets of nuke trade.
  that the drilling for oil in a wildlife refuge
  is unrelated to global warming issues and bio-
  diversity and pollution control and the sanctity
  of some ideal of unfettered nature that is at the
  core and beginning of the value system of the .US
  and its gift to the world, is ignored. that SUVs
  are considered patriotic enough for tax cuts while
  soldiers die for the oil to feed these machines,
  through Halliburton's pipeline, through Texas to
  the Whitehouse, and maybe Ken Lay's penthouse, in
  which the scandal of three years ago has him still
  laying low without prosecution for bankrupting the
  economy and turning out the lights in California.
  that the forward-minded Russia is taking on the
  issues of climate-change, while .US policies are
  directly opposite the goals and needs of the rest
  of the globe. that pollution has become worse- yet
  it is a good thing, that while there may be tax-
  cuts, everything that moves requires oil which is,
  because of bungled policies and warped worldviews,
  more expensive and unsustainable to a crisis degree
  because of ideological beliefs requiring the faith
  of transcending the physical to a more perfected,
  intangible trust in what can not be readily seen,
  yet can be felt if it is believed- so just believe.

  if it were benign, it would be completely absurd.
  tens to hundreds of thousands die for the policies,
  though, which perpetrate this culture. a mismatch
  has occurred, it is proposed, between the 'old'
  mind and the 'new' body, the old and new truths,
  power, vantages. they are outside the realm of a
  shared reality, somewhere bouncing around various
  versions of the many brains and in some segments
  of minds which have yet to cohere into a singular
  sense of the whole, what is shared, that is public.
  public for a community, public for a nation, public
  for a people, public for a cause. and, again, it is
  .US energy policy and the most corrupt .US political
  power of VP Cheney who has so distorted the reality
  of events that catastrophic policy is a good choice
  seen by some 60+ million, fed by a delusional media.
  the drive for the energy, the building out of global
  infrastructure, the markets and business, they pale
  in comparison to what is being lost as a result of
  the division of mind/labor, to segment these goals
  outside of the costs that are borne by those whose
  public roles are made to serve privatized interests
  to a degree that is unconstitutional at very best.

  electromagnetism, it can be said to be nothing, just
  another keyword or concept and since no one is using
  it in their popular works, it must not have meaning
  or weight or value, especially if it is too difficult
  for any individual to comprehend in its fullness, yet
  it is acknowledged as such by the greatest minds who
  have encountered it in their works which develop it.
  the mystery and romance of truth, power, consequence.
  today's culture is void of truth, power, consequence.
  it is lacking the core systems and foundational parti
  which connects the many disparate infrastructures into
  a whole, a conceptual unity and perspective offered to
  those who 'question' and do not already know all the
  answers in the traditional crib-sheet to run through,
  to ace the test, pass the class, and graduate masters
  of what has already been done, said, and believed...
  there is an uncomfortable reality not being met by
  thinkers and doers of this age, a deadly surreality
  which serves no one except the phantom brains of the
  past, which serve dirt, death, and ideas of 'history'
  before serving the present, people, and the principle
  of life, itself also related to electromagnetism, the
  intertwining of matter and spirt.

  whatever 'heaven' this may be, it appears more likely
  a type of purgatory as the offline world heats up, to
  the point where the mantel which holds up this place
  may become weakened by the events unseen here, the oil,
  the war, the falsity of accounts and representations,
  such that others too may fall from this lofty place as
  there is not much that can be done without the support
  which can sustain a view beyond the everyday, if this
  view is hostile offline, the body which sustains its
  mentality online must find the support to continue or
  it too will perish, or so it would seem the potential
  downside of a too-heavenly approach to ideas, ethereal
  experience, ungrounded and intangible with consequence.

  that is, while the 'cyberspace' of the human mind may
  continue indefinitely, even those outside these human
  ways, there is no guarantee that these recent artificial
  infrastructures are necessarily going to be around to
  support these views if policies actively against such
  freedoms, dreams, visions, are countering these ideas.
  it is a culture war yet of an entirely different order:
  electromagnetic. all things begin to make sense, anew,
  in that they are fundamentally related, as one mindbody.
  if so, the noospheric mind of de Chardin and spaceship
  earth of Buckminster Fuller may be this new world scale.

  (these ideas are being shared, imperfect and inaccurate
  as they may be, to put something out here to consider,
  disagree with, whatever. it is not necessarily 'right'
  though is sent as a contribution to the subject line,
  as a type of approach to this idea, EM culture, now.)


  brian thomas carroll: research-design-development
  architecture, education, electromagnetism

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