living an invented life as doppelgängers

December 18, 2016 Leave a comment

from The Lives of Ronald Pinn by Andrew O’Hagan

Many of our modern crimes are crimes of the imagination. We think of the unspeakable and exchange information on it. We commit a ‘thought-crime’ – giving the illicit or the abominable an audience. Some of us pretend to have relationships we don’t actually have just for the sense of freedom it gives us, and some want porn for that reason too. Building the fake Ronnie became something more than creating a character in a novel: it became personal, like living another life, as an actor might, trying not only to imitate the experience of a possible person but to test the meaning and limits of empathy. {…}
My special effects helper asked me if I’d heard of Weavrs.

‘What’s that?’

‘It’s where you’re going,’ he said. According to their website, Weavrs are ‘personality-based social-web robots’ that ‘publicly blog about how they feel, where they go and what they experience’. An article by Olivia Solon in Wired magazine questioned the guys behind it. ‘The team … won’t reveal exactly how the Weavrs algorithm works – referring to it as their black box,’ Solon wrote, ‘but say they create personalities from social data that then “blog themselves into existence”.’ It’s taken for granted in these circles that digital robots are becoming a tool of big business; in China, for instance, Weavrs are used to collect data on young people and their preferences. In the old days researchers would speak to individuals, but nowadays the invented person, the digividual, is more reliable when it comes to showing what people want.
{…}
After a while, an alarm bell went off somewhere, and Facebook sent a warning. ‘Please verify your identity,’ it said. ‘Facebook does not allow accounts that: Pretend to be someone else; Use a fake name; Don’t represent a real person.’ But the fakery of the fake Ronnie’s fake friends didn’t trouble them for long. It was just another robot sending the warning, moved to do so after a number of keystrokes set off the alarm. But the fakery continued to go deeper and Ronnie Pinn grew in reality and the warnings disappeared. Facebook has 864 million daily users, of whom at least 67 million are believed by the company to be fake. There are more social media ghosts, more people being second people, or living an invented life as doppelgängers, than there are citizens of the UK.

(excellent article, btw)

Categories: hyperstition

“In this manner you threaten the very existence of reality…”

November 4, 2016 Leave a comment

The time has come for the dismantling of fantasies. That is already happening to our universe. Now that we have this one chance of survival we must finally rid ourselves of fantasies and seize that chance!

For centuries our race has built on false assumptions. If you build a fantasy based on a false assumption and continue to build on such a fantasy, your whole existence becomes a lie which you implant in others who are too lazy or too busy to question its truth.

In this manner you threaten the very existence of reality, because, by refusing to obey its laws, those laws engulf and destroy you. The human race has for too long been manufacturing convenient fantasies and calling them laws. For ages this was so. Take war, for instance. Politicians assume that something is true, assume that strife is inevitable, and by building on such false assumptions, lo and behold, they create further wars which they have, ostensibly, sought to prevent.

We have, until now, accepted too many fantasies as being truths, too many truths as fantasies. And we have one last chance to discover the real nature of our existence.

Michael Moorcock, The Sundered Worlds, chapter 7

Categories: Uncategorized

fake realities will create fake humans

October 5, 2016 Leave a comment

“Because the bombardment of pseudo-realities begins to produce inauthentic humans very quickly, spurious humans — as fake as the data pressing at them from all sides. My two topics are really one topic; they unite at this point. Fake realities will create fake humans. Or, fake humans will generate fake realities and then sell them to other humans, turning them, eventually, into forgeries of themselves. So we wind up with fake humans inventing fake realities and then peddling them to other fake humans. It is just a very large version of Disneyland. You can have the Pirate Ride or the Lincoln Simulacrum or Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride — you can have all of them, but none is true.” – Philip K Dick ‘How to Build a Universe’

(reposting from awhile back – the circular process that Dick describes seems to be accelerating a la Godwin’s law…)

Categories: Uncategorized

everything is narrative

March 21, 2015 1 comment

from the Quietus interview with Ales Kot:

If everything is narrative – and your comics tend to bleed profusely into reality, making the line between fiction and reality a porous border – do you ever encounter the Grant Morrison mythos quality of seeing your fictions and characters embodied in the real world around you?

AK: Profoundly so, yes, in all manner of ways. The fictions we create are incredibly powerful. I have a quote on the wall – well, I have a few, some my own encouragements and reminders, and then a few by people who are not-me (but really where is the line between our identities? I find it might be just as fluid as the line between reality and fiction…) – such as Christian Wolff, Susan Sontag and… William S. Burroughs. Burroughs is also a part of the Zero narrative. Issue #15, the first issue to be a part of the fourth collection, expounds on this a bit, as you will see if you keep reading.

The Burroughs quote is this one:

“It is to be remembered that all art is magical in origin – music, sculpture, writing, painting – and by magical I mean intended to produce very definite results. Paintings were originally formulae to make what is painted happen. Art is not an end in itself, any more than Einstein’s matter-into-energy formulae is an end in itself. Like all formulae, art was originally FUNCTIONAL, intended to make things happen, the way an atom bomb happens from Einstein’s formulae.”

I believe this.

Categories: metafiction

terrifyingly easy to distort reality

March 21, 2015 Leave a comment

shout out to blog In Search of Logic for link love in post “The Ordinary Web of Lies”. Some very well organized and eloquent thinking about philosophical topics – something I’m not too used to seeing, it is a breath of fresh air.

Social reality is a labyrinth of mirrors reflecting each other. All the light ultimately comes from outside the maze, but the mirrors can distort it any way they like. The ordinary web of lies is my personal term for this. Many people will think of religion, but it goes far beyond this. When society decides a particular group is the enemy, they become the enemy. When society deems words or concepts uncouth, they are uncouth. I call these lies, but it’s not what we ordinarily mean by dishonest. It’s terrifyingly easy to distort reality. Even one person, alone, will tend to pick and choose observations in a self-serving way. When we get together in groups, we have to play the game: selecting facts to use as social affirmations or condemnations, selecting arguments to create consensus… it’s all quite normal.

This all has to do with the concept of hyperstition (see Lemurian Time War) and hyperreality. Hyperstition refers to superstition which makes itself real. Hyperreality refers to our inability to distinguish certain fictions from reality, and the way in which our fictional, constructed world tends to take primacy over the physical world. Umberto Eco illustrates this nicely in his book Focault’s Pendulum, which warns of the deadly danger in these effects.

Categories: hyperstition

forgeries of themselves

September 28, 2014 Leave a comment

from Philp K. Dick, How to Build a Universe That Doesn’t Fall Apart Two Days Later

Fake realities will create fake humans. Or, fake humans will generate fake realities and then sell them to other humans, turning them, eventually, into forgeries of themselves. So we wind up with fake humans inventing fake realities and then peddling them to other fake humans. It is just a very large version of Disneyland. You can have the Pirate Ride or the Lincoln Simulacrum or Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride—you can have all of them, but none is true.

Categories: Uncategorized

Everything, basically

September 27, 2014 Leave a comment

from here:

What was fake on the Internet this week: Everything, basically

this week’s installment of a regular weekly feature; past installments here:

from The Emma Watson nude photos hoax shames our ‘news’ culture

The internet is eating itself.

But there is a broader problem at stake here: the global news agenda is now regularly held hostage by small bands of loud but tech-savvy idiots.

Categories: Uncategorized