review of Jaron Lanier's "Ten Arguments for Deleting Your Social Media Accounts Right Now"
2102. "review of Jaron Lanier's "Ten Arguments for Deleting Your Social Media Accounts Right Now""
- the complete version of my review
- credited to: tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE
- published on my "Critic" website on July 31, 2022
"Ten Arguments for Deleting Your Social Media Accounts Right Now"
by tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE - July 28-30, 2022
I use common online resources for presenting my writing (Goodreads, Medium), my (M)Usic (SoundCloud, Internet Archive, BandCamp, YouTube), my movies (YouTube, Internet Archive, Vimeo). I have had accts that I suppose wd be called Social Media ones w/ Facebook, Instagram, MeWe, ello, International Union of Mail Artists, LinkedIn, Twitter, Visual Music Village.. I've been a so-called "Mail Artist" since 1978 & communicating & exchanging w/ people internationally (or 'patanationally as I sometimes prefer to call it) is very important to me. SO, as postal rates got less & less affordable, having communication thru email, messaging, Facetime, WhatsApp, Skype, & Social Media, etc, became welcome & promising. While an exchange of actual physical objects thru snail mail was generally more exciting, one cd still see images & hear sounds & read txts thru these electronic mediums. I'm an electronic kindof a guy anyway, I make electro-acoustic music & make movies so it worked for me fairly well.
But, still, it wasn't quite right & the more widely used the Social Media, the more wrong it seemed to be. I've rarely been enthusiastic about popular things, I like the obscure, the esoteric, when things are popular, w/ a few exceptions, they're usually so LCD (Lowest Common Denominator) that there's very little there of substance to hold my interest - usually it's just aggravating, a dumbing-down that I resist for the sake of maintaining my precious intelligence (such as it may be). & Facebook was the worst. Just about the only online place where I made any quality friendships was Goodreads & that just seems to deteriorate more & more.
I don't remember when I joined Facebook but it was probably around 2007. At 1st I just posted the occasional picture of myself in chronological order - providing a simplified timeline of my growing-up. I rarely posted anything, I didn't make much of an effort to seek out friends. When people friend-requested me I asked them why they wanted to. If they replied I'd probably accept the request but if they didn't I just ignored it. Then there was the girlfriend from 2010-2012. As 1st she didn't care about FB either, then she started getting obsessive about it. I remember one particularly aggravating time when we sitting in bed & conversing & whenever I sd anything she'd type in into FB b/c she found what I was saying entertaining & wanted her FB 'friends' to see how witty she was since she wasn't contextualizing it as my half of our conversation.
Anyway, I started using FB to post links to anything new I put online, to advertise events I had upcoming, etc. It was useful for that but very-few-to-none of my local FB friends had any interest in the events I was promoting (including, appropriately, the UNDERAPPRECIATED MOVIEMAKERS FESTIVAL I organized in 2018: https://youtu.be/KwlfRxmRU3E ) but it still seemed useful in a more & more central way. I'm prolific, so it was fun to be able to post links to new work on a fairly regular basis.
By 2017, my new girlfriend exposed me to Instagram Poetry as the worst poetry that either of us had ever seen. I hadn't used Instagram, I wasn't really interested, but I created an acct so that I cd post fake Instagram Poetry in the hope that people might actually like it. I even created an Instagram Poetry website: http://idioideo.pleintekst.nl/InstagramPoetry.html . Since thinking up Instagram Poetry was so easy it became a kind of unhealthy obsession that took over my mind & I stopped doing it fairly quickly so that I'd stop thinking in such stupid oversimplistic phrases. To the limited extent that I used the acct at all, I created a fake personality, a person who was interested in the Kardashians, e.g., popular figures I knew next-to-nothing about & had no interest in whatsoever. Then I didn't post anything at all for about 4 & 1/2 yrs.
THEN, on March 16, 2020, I posted my 1st observation about the so-called pandemic on Fecesbook - calling the 'health crisis' into question as an exercise in mind control. I was immediately attacked & these attacks continued for the next 5 mnths. I was somewhat astonished, & certainly dismayed, by how narrow-minded people had become in the throes of fear. FEAR: it seemed so obvious to me that the fear was being generated by the mass media, that the so-called 'pandemic' was grossly exaggerated, & that it was being used opportunistically to create a situation where big business wd make insanely huge profits at the expense of the vast majority of people who were being beaten-down under the guise of 'for your own good'. Inititally, this insanity was presented as if it'd be over in a couple of wks. It's now been over 2 yrs, 4 mnths, & it's still going strong, & life has changed dramatically. People have become mind-bogglingly stupid, obedient, & gullible.
During those 5 mnths I continued to post observations about the current times that expressed accurately what I thought was happening. These were often in the form of text panels that were meant to be something that had a strong graphic presence that cd also be easily shared (although few people did so). I cowrote a bk w/ a few friends who had a similar take on the PANDEMIC PANIC ( http://idioideo.pleintekst.nl/Book2020.09PANDEMIC.html ) in wch I reproduced these graphics & I made a movie that strung them together: 665. "Check out of the Mass-Formation Roach Motel" - 37:40 - 1920 X 1440, 30fps, Stereo - on my onesownthoughts YouTube channel here: https://youtu.be/vWIyZ5vKdAY - on the Internet Archive here: https://archive.org/details/roach-motel . Despite frequent personal attacks & trolling-baiting & an almost total shunning of me at a local level, I didn't generally engage in interpersonal sparring but instead made more meta-observations & critiques. Friends who became abusive I simply unfriended. Eventually, the FB environment seemed so toxically conformist that I quit the many FB groups that I'd been a part of, announced my intention to stop posting & did so on August 16, 2020, 5 mnths after my 1st posting regarding the so-called 'pandemic'. Now, I post something only on March 16 & August 16 - still continuing my critical positioning - not allowing comments. Psychologically, it was a huge relief to essentially get off Facebook since every day brought out new hatefulness from the zombies there.
In early 2022, I revisited Instagram & posted yet-another critical statement about the quarantine. I was surprised to see that every Instagram Poem I'd uploaded there had been removed, the result was I had no posts other than the new one. When I went back a day or 2 later, that, too, was removed. I had no posts at all. Not having seen Instagram as a place where much talent manifested itself & utterly disgusted by the apparent censorship I closed out my acct.
In the meantime, despite the vast promise of increased social connectivity, I've been finding my online social life proscribed & limited more & more, often by subtle ways that reek of covert warfare: Goodreads changed my name from "tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE" to "Tentatively, Convenience", they're getting rid of the Creative Writing section: reducing participants more & more to just free marketing promoters for Amazon - as if Amazon's not rich enuf already; YouTube makes problems for me of various sorts - such as a copyright claim that I'm using 'someone else's music' when there's no music in the movie-in-question at all (I can thank algorithms for that one) - some movies get blocked altogether, others get age-restricted; a poet's dream blog I liked posting to hasn't shown any sign of life for 4 yrs.. It's obvious where this is leading: I was ripe for Lanier's critique.
Lanier starts off promoting the mind-set of cats as one to take in relation to high-tech.
"Cats are smart, but not a great choice if you want an animal that takes to training reliably. Watch a cat circus online, and what's so touching is that the cats are clearly making their own minds up about whether to do a trick they learned, or to do nothing, or to wander into the audience.
"Cats have done the seemingly impossible: They've integrated themselves into the modern high-tech world without giving themselves up. They are still in charge. There is no worry that some stealthy meme crafted by algorithms and paid for by a creepy, hidden oligarch has taken over your cat. No one has taken over your cat; not you, not anyone."
"This book is about how to be a cat. How can you remain autonomous in a world where you are under constant surveillance and are constantly prodded by algorithms run by some of the richest corporations in history, which have no way of making money except by being paid to manipulate your behavior. How can you be a cat, despite that?" - p 2
"Something entirely new is happening in the world. Just in the last five or ten years, nearly everyone started to carry a little device called a smartphone on their person all the time that's suitable for algorithmic behavior modification. A lot of us are also using related devices called smart speakers on our kitchen counters or in our car dashboards. We're being tracked and measured constantly, and receiving engineered feedback all the time. We're being hypnotised little by little by technicians we can't see, for purposes we don't know. We're all lab animals now." - p 5
&, yes, I think he's spot on & that this is a very important observation wch it wd behoove more people to be aware of.
Now's probably a good time to interpolate a little personal history. When I was 20 I was pd (a very small amt) to be a research volunteer for 15 days at Johns Hopkins Hospital's Phipps Clinic in Baltimore. That wd've been 1973. The research was for NASA & was about preparing to live in space stations. Essentially, it was a test of the effectiveness of behavior modification strategies for keeping astronauts mentally & physically active while confined to the space stn environment & cut-off from ordinary physical & social life. The volunteers were college students (I was a music major at a community college at the time) selected in groups of 3 friends.
The simulated space stn was built inside the Phipps Clinic & raised above the floor & otherwise isolated so that no sound from the outside world wd seep in. It was rectangular. Imagine the rectangle as having its width more narrow than its length. There was a hallway running thru the middle of the bottom 2/3rds of this. Off the sides of the hallway were the 3 private quarters of the 'astronauts'. The hallway led to a communal room that constituted the top 1/3rd of the rectangle. Off of both this communal room & the hallway at its upper right extremity was a project room where the astronauts were kept busy working on making pot-holders, if I remember correctly.
Each individual living space was a cube roughly 8 ft X 8 ft X 8 ft very efficiently arranged to contain everything the 'astronaut' needed. There was a bed, a shower that had a fold-out toilet seat, a kitchen, a work table w/ a computer, & an exercise area in front of a wall that, when in use, had flashing button-lights that the exercising person was supposed to tap when they lit-up. The bed had a wooden cover that was to be locked over it when one was finished w/ sleeping. The work-table had a drawer that was also locked except when in use. These lockings & unlockings were controlled by a remotely viewing person & weren't directly controllable by the occupant of the room.
In one corner of the room was a camera aimed to cover everywhere in the space but the shower off to its left. In the upper rough middle of the room, to the left of the work table & the right of the bed, was a hook on wch the occupant was to hang cards w/ #s on them that indicated what activity was planned next. There was a 'tree' of possible activities that followed a plan that was restricted for behavior modification purposes. I forget the exact range & paths of possibilities but they went something like this: on getting out of bed, one had to close the lid of the bed, wch was then locked remotely by the unseen observer. The 'astronaut' cd then choose to go to the toilet, which was always available as an option followed by making a meal, wch was probably also always available.
After that, one cd hang up a # card that indicated that one wanted to do a math problem on the computer wch wd lead to a series of them appearing on the computer screen. A certain # of these had to be completed correctly, perhaps 100, before one cd move on to a different activity. A possible activity was reading or studying. I had brought William S. Burroughs's "The Wild Boys" w/ me b/c I saw it as an anti-control novel, a subject I took very seriously. I imagine it's obvious that that choice was calculated to be a counterpoint to the control that I knew was happening in the study. In order to get out of the room one had to both do the math problems & exercise. The exercise consisted of tapping the wall-lights as they flashed on w/in a certain amt of time, perhaps one had a 3 second window. Again, one had to tap them correctly, perhaps 100 times, before the exercise was over. There were 4 lights, arranged as the corner points of a rectangle defined by one's bodily reach - 2 upper, 2 lower. After going thru this routine one cd either stay in the room or ask to go into the hallway w/ a destination of either the main communcal room or the project room. Only one 'astronaut' cd be in the hallway at the same time. Each room had a telephone that communicated w/ the other 2 private quarters. If I recall correctly (this was almost 49 yrs ago), we had to consult w/ each other & agree to meet in the communal rooms before being able to get into the hallway. Perhaps we had to agree on the order of going there since no more than one person cd be in the hallway at the same time.
A # card wd then be hung by the 'astronaut' visible to the surveillance camera that announced the intention to go to the communal room. & the room door wd be remotely unlocked so that we cd leave & locked behind us. Once we were gathered in the largest of the 2 communal rooms it was a relaxed environment. There were probably board games we cd play & a kitchen. One of the other volunteers, Ken Moore, had brought in a Moog synthesizer for us to play. I remember his being surprised that I wasn't more interested in it. I must've already had more of an interest in electro-acoustic music rather than pure electronic music. Ken & I are both still making electronic music now that we're in our late 60s. Going into the project room was probably something that we cd do collectively or not but, while there, we had to work on making pot-holders. Of course, that was designed as a non-challenging activity that wd keep us busy - actual astronauts wd have a different activity.
I deliberately toyed w/ the experimenters by deviating from their plan. When in my efficiency, I tore up tufts from the slightly shaggy carpet & used them in an artwork I was making, maybe something as banal as a portrait, I don't remember now. I figured that by slightly 'damaging' the physical environment I might be perceived as 'losing my mind'. The volunteers cd only leave the simulated space stn before the designated 15 day limit under threat of non-payment & the researchers weren't supposed to intervene in the environment at all (after all, in an actual space stn we wd've been physically inaccessible). Therefore, I was testing whether the observers wd intervene if I started manifesting any unusual behavior.
There were hidden hallways for the experimenters to come into so that they cd deliver requested supplies. I imagine this was how our food supplies were replenished. Perhaps we'd have to request food w/ a # card & then they'd place that food in the back of a drawer from their hidden hallways, perhaps that drawer was then unlocked for us so that we cd access the food, perhaps our refrigerator was already completely stocked, I don't remember.
The relevance of this story, aside from the obvious behavior modification aspects, is that I enjoyed this experience. I was young enuf to not be overwhelmingly bothered by the sexual deprivation, as I wd've probably been a mere few yrs later. I DID find the procedures & available activities stimulating. This was probably the 1st time I'd had access to a computer & I was good enuf at math to find solving the problems pleasurable instead of frustrating. The physical exercise was a slight challenge but not too much of one so that I was ever defeated by it. MOST IMPORTANTLY FOR THE PURPOSES OF THIS TELLING, I enjoyed being under surveillance. I saw widespread & constant surveillance as a major factor of the probable near-future but it didn't bother me - perhaps b/c I felt like I was performing for an unseen audience. Of course, enjoyment of this was predicated on no malevolent results of the surveillance existing.
NOW, 49 yrs later, the surveillance is far more widespread than what occurred in this study. At the same time, it's not so overtly claustrophobic unless one's in prison. I want control over when & when not I'm under surveillance. Obviously, that's not the way it works, the importance of surveillance to those making it happen is to have people be surveilled at the time when we don't want to be. Still, I tell this story to try to illustrate why some people might enjoy being under surveillance - it's like being the star of one's very own 'reality' tv show - definitely NOT something that I'd want to do now. I make movies of my life & I make most of them publicly available - but it's more under my control than surveillance is.
"Now everyone who is on social media is getting individualized, continuously adjusted stimuli, without a break, so long as they use their smartphones. What might once have been called advertising must now be understood as continuous behavior modification on a titanic scale." - p 6
"Most users of social media have experienced catfishing* (which cats hate), senseless rejection, being belittled or ignored, ouright sadism, or all of the above, and worse. Just as the carrot and stick work together, unpleasant feedback can play as much of a role in addiction and sneaky behavior modification as the pleasant kind." - p 12
* "Catfishing is a deceptive activity where a person creates a fictional persona or fake identity on a social networking service, usually targeting a specific victim. The practice may be used for financial gain, to compromise a victim in some way, as a way to intentionally upset a victim, or for wish fulfillment." - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Catfishing
Aside from the poor comparison between "the carrot and stick" (one tool) & unpleasant & pleasant feedback (2 separate tools) I agree w/ the above.
"People are keenly sensitive to social status, judgment, and competition. Unlike most animals, people are not only born absolutely helpless, but also remain so for years. We only survive by getting along with family members and others. Social concerns are not optional features of the human brain. Thay are primal.
"The power of what other people think had proven to be intense enough to modify the behavior of subjects participating in famous studies like the Milgram Experiment and the Stanford Prison Experiment. Normal, noncriminal people were coerced into doing horrible things, such as torturing others, through no mechanism other than social pressure." - p 16
I agree here too. I often use the term "robopath" wch I find once again useful. Nothing has exemplified the above-described behaviors so much as the malevolent mass conformity of people on Fecesbook during the so-called 'pandemic' of 2020 into the misty future.
"Negative emotions such as fear and anger well up more easily and dwell in us longer than positive ones. It takes longer to build trust than to lose trust. Fight-or-flight responses occur in seconds, while it can take hours to relax.
"This is true in real life, but it is even more true in the flattened light of algorithms.
"There is no evil genius seated in a cubicle in a social media company performing calculations and deciding that making people feel bad is more "engaging" and therefore more profitable than making them feel good. Or, at least, I've never met or heard of such a person.
"The prime directive to be engaging reinforces itself, and no one even notices that negative emotions are being amplified more than positive ones. Engagement is not meant to serve any particular purpose other than its own enhancement, and yet the result is an unnatural global amplification of the "easy" emotions, which happen to be the negative ones." - p 18
That, too, seems fair enuf - but I wonder how the all-too-common mood elevator drugs are affecting that. In other words, are there millions of people whose ability to even have negative emotions, when appropriate, is diminished by drugs meant to make their life more bearable even if delusional?
"Seems like a good moment to coin an acronym so I don't have to repeat, over and over, the same account of the pieces that make up the problem. How about "Behaviors of Users Modified, and Made into an Empire for Rent"? BUMMER.
"BUMMER is a machine, a statistical machine that lives in the computing clouds. To review, phenomena that are statistical and fuzzy are neverthless real. Even at their best, BUMMER algorithms can only calculate the chances that a person will act in a particular way. But what might be only a chance for each person approaches a certainty on the average for large numbers of people." - p 28
"Spying is accomplished mostly through connected personal devices-especially, for now, smartphones-that people keep practically glued to their bodies. Data are gathered about each person's communications, interests, movements, contact with others, emtional reactions to circumstances, facial expressions, purchases, vital signs: an ever growing, boundless variety of data.
"If you're reading this on an electronic device, for instance, there's a good chance an algorithm is keeping a record of data such as how fast you read or when you take a break to check something else." - p 30
& perhaps all this data might seem inconsequential to some but it can all be used for manipulation - wch, of course, is Lanier's point. One might also consider the possibility of deliberately providing misleading data in order to increase the chances of skewing the behavior modification.
In 1981, I cofounded a telephone network whose # was AGENT-11. Callers were encouraged on an answering machine msg to say the words "heroin" & "assassination". That meant that those words were repeated every time the message played & there was a chance that callers wd repeat them too. I had recently learned that the NSA's surveillance of phone calls searched for those words to help find potential targets for increased attn. The idea was to try to overload the system or, at least, make it less functional. Cd people do something like that now w/ computer surveillance?
A game I like to play is something I call "Fauxed Rage": that's fake road rage, in wch I, as the driver, pretend to get very upset over something that I really find trivial or not upsetting at all. Then, in my exaggerated response, I wish all sorts of ludicrous horrors on the not-really-offending other driver. What about expressing fake & possibly randomized negative & positive emotions in response to things on social media?
"If owning everyone's attention by making the world terrifying happens to be what earns the most money, then that is what will happen, even if it means that bad actors are amplified. If we want something different to happen, then the way money is earned has to change." - p 34
Jaron Lanier's net worth is $5 million according to https://www.celebritynetworth.com/richest-celebrities/authors/jaron-lanier-net-worth/ . His proposal strikes me as solidly capitalist, something not surprising from someone that rich. But what wd happen if money were devalued? & I don't mean by inflation, we already have that & it seems to serve capitalism as much as anything else given that it enables people to have the delusion that their lives have improved w/ increased wages that're simultaneously accompanied by increased expenses. What I mean is: What if money were no longer the central enabler of survival? What if the billionaires cdn't buy ANYTHING w/ all their wealth? What if just being a living creature were what was valued the most? What if genuine kindness, an imagination, generosity were what were rewarded? & I don't mean rewarded w/ money, I mean rewarded w/ respect & kindness & imagination & generosity in return. That's more the direction I'm interested in going in.
"The most dispiriting side effect of BUMMER policy-tweaking is that each cycle in the arms race between platforms and bad actors motivates more and more well-meaning people to demand that BUMMER companies take over more and more of our lives. We ask remote, giant tech companies to govern hate speech, malicious falsified news, bullying, racism, harassment, identity deception, and other nasty things. Well-intentioned activists demand that corporations govern behavior more and more. "Please tell us what we can say, oh rich young programmers of Silicon Valley! Discipline us!" The bad actors who wish to discredit democracy using the BUMMER machine win even when losing ground to well-meaning activists." - p 36
Is that what's happening? I'm a "well-meaning activist" & I'm not wanting or asking for any of the above. I perceive the people that Lanier refers to as "well-meaning activists" as easily manipulated fools who've fallen completely for crowd manipulation psychology that's designed to turn them into the robopaths that they now are. As such, the question for me is: How much were they ever genuinely "well-meaning activists" in the 1st place rather than just poseurs &/or sub-culture conformists? Ultimately, all the censorship that people are clamoring for these days serves one primary purpose: to justify limiting critical free speech - by highlighting the assholes as a justification, other people who are actually trying to say something important can be swept under the same smothering rug. The real defeat of 'fake news' wd essentially require getting rid of EVERY mainstream 'news' outlet, there's not one of them that isn't lying & supporting a hidden agenda. While there's genuine news to be found thru them too one has be very perspicacious to sort thru all the garbage that's there to prop up the existing power structure.
"I'm a father, and I want the children my daughter interacts with to be immunized. Immunization is a common good, a gift we can give each other. It is one of the greatest inventions in human history." - p 59
Note that he says: "I want the children my daughter interacts with to be immunized": it's not just a matter of wanting his own children to be immunized. The alleged purpose of immunization is to make the immunized people no longer vulnerable to disease. If that were true then there wd no longer be any personal health worry about what's happening w/ other people as to whether they're immunized or not. But, strangely & illogically, the people who most believe in vaccination also react fearfully to the unvaccinated. The object of fear doesn't even have to be sick! One also has the completely idiotic idea of "asymptomatic" to eliminate even that shred of sense. Lanier, being a fat cat, takes it for granted that he has the right to dictate to other people.
"But I know other parents-educated, upper-middle-class American parents-who won't even consider vaccinating their kids. Some of them are "left" and some "right." It's not just that they think immunization is bad; they believe that it's evil, alien, and icky. They think it causes autism. They can't get conspiracy theories out of their heads. You might think I'm being elitist when I am more appalled that "educated" parents, who are more likely to be affluent, foment dangerous nonsense, but isn't the whole point of education supposed to be that it diminishes people's susceptibility to dangerous nonsense?
"I have tried to engage with these parents, and that's when they show me their BUMMER feeds." - pp 59-60
I find the above to be very loaded. What the parents he's criticizing have in their heads are "conspiracy theories", what he has in his head is 'solid scientific knowledge' - but his idea of "BUMMER" is easily dismissed by people as also a 'conspiracy theory'. When Lanier says he tries to "engage with these parents" what he means is he's proselyzing to them for his religion, science - & he does it for the same reasons that all the other proseltyzers do: he's sure he's right & the other parents are wrong. But why is he so arrogant as to believe that he has the right to try to browbeat parents to raise their kids the way he wants them to? B/c he has the same mindset as what I consider, to use his terminology, the other 'bad actors' to have: viz: a sense of superiority that, in his case, is grounded in that very education that he refers to when he says "but isn't the whole point of education supposed to be that it diminishes people's susceptibility to dangerous nonsense?" To wch I answer: NO, it isn't. The purpose of education is to educate but it's also to socialize the students into whatever class ideology it's grooming them for - & if that class ideology includes a conceited sense of superiority that makes the student feel the right to impose a medical system on EVERYONE then so be it - it's b/c Lanier is obvious to himself as a 'good guy' who deserves to lord it over others. He didn't get to be a millionaire w/o that built into his personality. The ultimate question here is: Whose kids are the healthiest? The proof is in the pudding.
"There wasn't anyone sitting in a tech company who decided to promote anti-vaccine rhetoric as a tactic. It could just as easily have been anti-hamster rhetoric. The only reason BUMMER reinforces this stuff is that paranoia turns out, as a matter of course, to be an efficient way of corralling attention." - pp 60-61
Is "anti-vaccine" speech really "rhetoric"? If so, why isn't he also referring to pro-vaccine speech as "rhetoric"? Perhaps it's b/c he wants to discredit anti-vax positions by making them seem like empty argumentation tactics. It seems obvious to me that anti-vax arguments are made w/ the same passion as pro-vax ones by people who are equally interested in doing what they think is healthiest. Since Lanier's on one side of the argument he's sure he's right & they're wrong. What if they both have valid points? It seems that Lanier can't even allow that as a possibility. That's his conceit.
Actually, I don't think it cd've been "anti-hamster rhetoric", it's not nearly that arbitrary. Vaccination has been a controversial practice for hundreds of yrs. Many of the people against it have been doctors who've had substantial experience seeing its effects 1st-hand. It becomes most controversial when people try to make it mandatory. &, no, I don't think anti-vax speech is being used to corral attn - I think it's Lanier who's being paranoid here. Are you a pot-head, Lanier? If you are, you might want to give it up.
"Speaking through social media isn't really speaking at all. Context is applied to what you say after you say it, for someone else's purposes and profit.
"This changes what can be expressed. When context is surrendered to the platform, communication and culture become petty, shallow, and predictable. You have to become crazy extreme, if you want to say something that will survive even briefly in an unpredictable context. Only asshole communication can achieve that." - p 65
"communication and culture" [also] "become petty, shallow, and predictable" when they're shaped by the LCD (Lowest Common Denominator) - as far as I can see the LCD isn't a desire for challenging, complex experiences it's for the simplest possible things that give one the delusion that one 'understands': it's for music that people w/ minimal imagination & talent can dance to w/o worrying about whether they look too weird to their peer group. I don't think "[o]nly asshole communication can" make an impression when "communication and culture" [has] "become petty, shallow, and predictable", I think it's the asshole communication that makes it that way.
"What if deeply reaching a small number of people matters more than reaching everybody with nothing?" - p 68
Exactly. & that's where non-LCD communication & culture comes in. I like to think that my reviews, e.g., are in that category.
"I note that news sites that are trying to woo advertisers directly often seem to show spectacularly greater numbers for articles about products that might be advertised-like choosing your next gaming machine-than for articles about other topics.
"This doesn't mean the site is fudging the numbers. Instead, a manager probably hired a consulting firm that used an algorithm to optimize the choice of metrics services to relate the kind of usage statstics the site could use to attract advertisers. In other words, the site's owners didn't consciously fudge, but they kinda-sorta know that their stats are part of a giant fudge cake." - p 68
Gosh, isn't that a CONSPIRACY THEORY? You must be one of those pro-Trump Anti-Vax subhumans!
"the most common form of online myopia is that most people can only make time to see what's placed in front of them by algorithmic feeds.
"I fear the subtle algorithmic tuning of feeds more than I fear blatant dark ads. It used to be impossible to send customized messages to millions of people instantly. It used to be impossible to test and design multitudes of customized messages, based on detailed observation and feedback from unknowing people who are kept under constant surveillance." - p 78
& here we really are at the crux of the matter, aren't we?! If anyone were to ask anyone else where their 'news' comes from & what things they've read recently & why they read those particular things wd they be able to answer? How many people read a particular thing b/c a promotion for it has appeared on their computer as a result of a long chain of data-analysis that suggested that this is 'the type of thing they want to read'? Now, let's look at a list of the 10 most recent bks I've read & reviewed before this one:
Eric Ambler's "The Light of Day"
Earl Derr Biggers's "7 Keys to Baldpate"
Harlan Coben's "Six Years"
Lawrence Block's "Grifter's Game"
Eleanor McBean's "The Poisoned Needle - Sup[p]ressed Facts about Vaccination"
John Brunner's "A Maze of Stars"
Members of the Detection Club's "The Floating Admiral"
Paul A. Offit, M.D.'s "Autism's False Prophets - Bad Science, Risky Medicine, and the Search for a Cure"
Solomon E. Asch's "A Study of Change in Mental Organization"
Mark McDonald M.D.'s "United States of Fear"
One cd probably deduce a psychological profile of me from this but wd it be accurate? The 1st 4 bks are crime fiction from my personal library chosen roughly in alphabetical order of the author's name w/ the authors all being people I hadn't previously read. But it gets more complicated than that. I read Coben's bk before I read Block's b/c Coben's was a smaller paperback & easier to carry around. I was only reading Coben at all b/c a friend of mine loves his writing so I decided to read it even tho I expected it to be what it was: somewhat formulaic pop thriller writing. Then I switched to an anti-vaccination bk written by an autodidact whose researching skills & dedication struck me as remarkable. THEN, science fiction b/c I love SF & was getting a bit bored w/ the crime fiction. THEN, back to crime fiction again. I had read work by some of the people in the Detection Club so I cd've rejected this bk on those grounds but I chose to treat the Detection Club as its own entity. Then I read a pro-vax bk by a mainstream doctor. THEN, a short child psychology study. THEN, an analysis of the COVID-19 quarantine from the POV of a conservative psychiatrist who believes the fearfulness of women is the problem b/c it's unchecked by the emasculation of the men in their lives. This is even a narrow range of bks for me but how many people do I know who wd read even this diverse a selection? None, I suspect. Did I choose these bks as a result of algorithmically created prompts? I don't think so - as far as I can tell, I'm still able to pick what I read w/o being trapped in a socio-political-economic stereotype. I seriously doubt that any of the people that I know who're so adamantly pro & against things that reek of subculture-required beliefs can make the same claim validly - including Lanier - who seems only slightly less intellectually buried alive than other 'hip' liberals.
"Here is one thing I discovered about myself: I don't mind being judged if the judges put in real effort, and a higher purpose is being honestly served, but I really don't like it when a crowd judges me casually, or when a stupid algorithm has power over me." - p 85
"More and more people rely on the gig economy, which makes it hard to plan one's life. Gig economy workers rarely achieve financial security, even after years of work. To put it another way, the level of risk in their financial lives seems to never decline, no matter how much they've achieved. In the United States, where the social safety net is meager, this means that even skilled, hardworking people may be made homeless by medical bills, even after years of dedicated service to their profession." - p 93
Doesn't that make it obvious that the medical bills are a problem?! The Medical Industry, IMO, is a juggernaut that sucks as much as it can out of its patients w/o necessarily providing much actual health care in return. Doctors & hospitals can literally kill the patients & be not only protected from consequences but even praised as heros AND make a fortune off of the procedures leading up to the death. & vaccinations are very much a part of the whole racket.
"The free services that you get are disguised versions of services someone like you would otherwise be paid to provide. Musicians use BUMMER to promote themselves for free, and yet a smaller percentage of musicians are doing well enough to plan families-which is a reasonable definition of "security"-than during the era when music was sold on physical disc. Recording musicians; language translators . . . who's next?" - p 101
Indeed. Musicians even became 'non-essential' during the quarantine - showing, to me, at least, the coworkings of BUMMER & the Medical Industry (wch includes vaccination). I put my work online, for no financial reward, partially just to help IT survive. I doubt that I'll be holding on much longer.
"Car drivers instead of horsemen. Indeed, the new roles that came into being because of such tech disruptions were often more creative and professional than the old ones. Robotics programmers instead of ironworkers. This meant that more and more people gained prestige and economic dignity.
"BUMMER reversed the trend. Now if you bring insight, creativity, or expertise into the world, you are on notice that sooner or later BUMMER will channel your value through a cloud service-probably a so-called AI service-and take away your financial security, even though your data will still be needed. Art might be created automatically from data stolen from multitudes of real artists, for instance. So-called AI art creation programs are already practically worshipped. Then, robotic nurses might run on data gabbed from multitudes of real nurses, but those real nurses will be working for less because they're competing with robotic nurses." - p 102
It's not clear to me why Lanier thinks that car drivers & robotics programmers were really improvements on horsemen & ironworkers. Does he even know what an ironworker is? I haven't seen any robots building I-beam skeletons for skyscrapers - have I missed that? & I don't see why BUMMER is any different from the use of the Spinning Jenny to put Cottage Industry craftspeople out of business so that all the wealth cd be even further accumulated by the controllers of the industrial devolution. In other words, the same process has been at work for a long time: there are those whose main concern is monopolizing the profits from production by syphoning it off from the producers & reselling it under their own financial system. Is it that Lanier doesn't want to diss capitalism so he sticks to the particulars of BUMMER? After all, capitalism is his feeding trough - what wd he do w/o it?
"Meanwhile my patriotic, hawkish conservative friends now find themselves aligned with a leader who would almost certainly not be in office were it not for cynical, illegal interventions by a hostile foreign power." - p 115
This bk's being copyrighted 2018 means that he's referring to Rump, the Idiot King. I reckon Lanier's referring to the alleged Russian backing of Trump, something that, as far as I know, is unproven &, therefore, another Conspiracy Theory! Yes, Lanier, who mocks the 'Conspiracy Theories' about vaccination has no problem w/ latching onto the Conspiracy Theories about Trump. Has there ever been a president who wasn't backed by "cynical, illegal interventions" of some kind or another? It seems intrinsic to the electoral process, particularly the electoral college. I mean the struggle to get 'your figurehead' into the position where YOU get what you want must be fiercely competetive - of course, some lobbyists just back both contestants to be on the safe side.
"A year after the election, the truth started to trickle out. It turns out that some prominent 'black' activist accounts were actually fake fronts for Russian information warfare. Component F. The Russian purpose was apparently to irritate black activists enough to lower enthusiasm for voting for Hillary. To suppress the vote, statistically." - p 120
More Conspiracy Theory. Wd we've been any better off under Hilary Clinton's presidency? Despite the widely Trumpeted mass media accts of Trump's opposition to masks & the like he was still the one who enabled such medical coups by signing into being the EUA (Emergency Use Authorization), a practice initiated by Obama. Trump managed to avoid taking responsibility by enabling state's rights, enabling governors to make the ultimate decisions about how extreme the quarantine wd be in their states, enabling the power-hungry Democrats to go completely dictatorial. Now we've got Bidentity Crisis in there & Roe vs Wade has been overturned & Biden, too, can claim innocence - after all he didn't appoint the Supreme Court judges that made the decision - &, once again, state's rights are enabled - both Trump & Biden have brought the post-Civil War South's wet dream into existence: the right to not be completely ruled by the federal government.
Don't misunderstand, I'm not dissing conspiracy theory, I'm dissing Lanier's very selective use of the term to criticize others while somehow appearing to consider himself to be free of them. &, once again, there's a post-2018 tie-in between political corruption & the vaccinators that Lanier loves so much. After all, Sanders & Warren both disappeared pretty quickly as potential presidential candidates b/c of the so-called 'pandemic'. It seems to me that that's not exactly a coincidence.
"Activists might feel confident they are getting their message out, but it is indisputable that black activists have severely lost ground politically, materially, and in every way that matters outside of BUMMER."
"One example of Component F in the 2016 U.S. election was an account called Blactivist, which was run by the Russians. A year after the elections, the true power behind Blacktivist was revealed and reporters asked genuine black activists what they thought about it."*
- p 122
"it is indisputable that black activists have severely lost ground": That's like saying in 2014 that there's no way Trump cd ever become president. It's "indisputable"? &, yet, Black Lives Matter started in 2013 after the murderer of Trayvon Martin got off. In 2020, after the police murder of George Floyd, Black Lives Matter became one of the most widely supported black activist mvmnts I've ever seen & 2020 saw an incredible number of protests in its support. As for "Blacktivist"? Never heard of it - so who exactly was it important to? I'm certainly not aware of every manifestation of political activism that might be relevant to my concerns but I was very active in the Western Pennsylvania Committee to Free Mumia Abu-Jamal, I did organize a screening series on the subject of the "Suppression of Black Radicals in the US", etc, etc, so I'm not the most ignorant person on the subject either.. & I've never heard of Blactivist. So, maybe, just maybe, that was the type of online thing that's more important to people who think that some social media group is more important than the 'real world'.
At the top of the Guardian article that Lanier links to, there's a small banner that says: "This article is more than 4 years old". Of course, that wdn't've been the case when Lanier wrote this bk. It does, however, point to the possibility that something that was 'topical' in its day might've been proven wrong sometime after.
""Blacktivist" a social media account coordinating and promoting the march online was not run by black American activists, but instead, it is now believed, was operated by an agent of Russia attempting to interfere with US politics."
"Recent disclosures have revealed that Russian trolls and bots manipulated social media sites to spread false and inflammatory news in an apparent effort to stoke political divisions on a large scale. Facebook admitted last month that a Russian influence operation had purchased $100,000 worth of ads to spread divisive messages about racial injustice, LGBT rights, immigration and other hot-button subjects, and Congress is now investigating. It appears that Twitter, Google, YouTube, Instagram, Pinterest and other sites helped spread the content.
"This week, a Moscow-based news outlet called RBC uncovered the work of a troll factory that infiltrated US social networks, with Russians posing as Americans and making payments to legitimate activists in the US, directly funding protest movements. The revelations suggest that the Russian operation went beyond spamming online comment sections and spreading false news and that a sophisticated interference campaign manipulated, controlled and created real-world events."
- https://www.the guardian.com/world/2017/oct/21/russia-social-media-activism-blacktivist
MAYBE, such a 'discrediting' serves purposes in & of itself. After all, the issues are certainly real so the issue might not be whether Russians were puppet-mastering people but whether the 'revelation' that this is the case might be an attempt to discredit completely valid mvmnts. The dirty tricks are everywhere, perpetrated by a variety of 'bad actors'. In the last few yrs I'd say that the Democratic Party, desperate to get rid of Rump BAMN (By Any Means Necessary) & to put one of their own puppets in there, has been willing to pull any & every dirty trick in the bk.
There is a redacted document available online called "Report On The Investigation Into Russian Interference In The 2016 Presidential Election Volume I of II" by Special Counsel Robert S. Mueller, III. This document contains the following:
"The first form of Russian election influence came principally from the Internet Research Agency, LLC (IRA), a Russian organization funded by Yevgeniy Viktorovich Prigozhin and companies he controlled, including Concord Management and Consulting LLC and Concord Catering (collectively "Concord").2 The IRA conducted social media operations targeted at large U.S. audiences with the goal of sowing discord in the U.S. political system.3 These operations constituted "active measures" [Russian version here], a term that typically refers to operations conducted by Russian security services aimed at influencing the course of international affairs.4
"The IRA and its employees began operations targeting the United States as early as 2014. Using fictitious U.S. personas, IRA employees operated social media accounts and group pages designed to attract U.S. audiences. These groups and accounts, which addressed divisive U.S. political and social issues, falsely claimed to be controlled by U.S. activists. Over time, these social media accounts became a means to reach large U.S. audiences. IRA employees travelled to the United States in mid-2014 on an intelligence-gathering mission to obtain information and photographs for use in their social media posts."
- p 22, https://www.justice.gov/archives/sco/file/1373816/download
As the plot develops it provides this:
"Many IRA operations used Facebook accounts created and operated by its specialists."
[redaction claiming: "Harm to Ongoing Matter"]
"groups (with names such as "Being Patriotic," "Stop All Immigrants," "Secured Borders," and "Tea Party News"), purported Black social justice groups ("Black Matters," "Blacktivist," and "Don't Shoot Us"), LGBTQ groups ("LGBT United"), and religious groups ("United Muslims of America").
"Throughout 2016, IRA accounts published an increasing number of materials supporting the Trump Campaign and opposing the Clinton Campaign. For example, on May 31, 2016, the operational account "Matt Skiber" began to privately message dozens of pro-Trump Facebook groups asking them to help plan a "pro-Trump rally near Trump Tower."55
"To reach larger U.S. audiences, the IRA purchased advertisements from Facebook that promoted the IRA groups on the newsfeeds of U.S. audience members. According to Facebook, the IRA purchased over 3,500 advertisements, and the expenditures totaled approximately $100,000.56
"During the U.S. presidential campaign, many IRA-purchased advertisements explicitly supported or opposed a presidential candidate or promoted U.S. rallies organized by the IRA (discussed below). As early as March 2016, the IRA purchased advertisements that overtly opposed the Clinton Campaign. For example, on March 18, 2016, the IRA purchased an advertisement depicting candidate Clinton and a caption that read in part, "If one day God lets this liar enter the White House as a president that day would be a real national tragedy."57 Similarly, on April 6, 2016, the IRA purchased advertisements for its account "Black Matters" calling for a "flashmob" of U.S. persons to "take a photo with #HillaryClintonForPrison2016 or #nohillary2016."58 IRA-purchased advertisements featuring Clinton were, with very few exceptions, negative."
- pp 22-23, https://www.justice.gov/archives/sco/file/1373816/download
Now documents like this that have the appearance of thoroughness & 'objectivity' are easy, perhaps all-too-easy, even for sceptics like myself, to find convincing. But 'justice' in the US has a long history of bias against what political activists consider to be justice. Is "justice.gov" exempt from this? Of course not. The political interests of the ultra-rich are always going to prevail. Expenditures of "approximately $100,000" are enormous to me but small-time in contrast to the political lobbyists in the US. $100,000 is the equivalent of what a pharmaceutical company might bribe a few well-placed doctor-administrators, small change for the company as long as the doctors then promote the use of their product to produce millions in profits.
"Believing something only because you learned it through a system is a way of giving your cognitive power over to that system. BUMMER addicts inevitably at least tolerate a few ridiculous ideas in order to partake at all. You have to believe sufficiently in the wisdom of BUMMER algorithms to read what they tell you to read, for instance, even though there's evidence that the algorithms are not so great." - p 129
Indeed. & it's precisely these algorithms that've helped create such fervent BELIEVERS in pro-vax & anti-vax positions. Lazy pseudo-scholars just go to the links that algorithms determine are appropriate to their demographic & get opinions that weren't really theirs to begin w/ reinforced. That's one of the reasons why I'm a big proponent of going to scholarly used bookstores & browsing for bks of possible interest. But, BEWARE!, even in those conditions the biases of the store managers & other personnel will prejudice things. E.G.: my 14th bk ("Unconscious Suffocation - A Personal Journey through the PANDEMIC PANIC": http://idioideo.pleintekst.nl/Book2020.09PANDEMIC.html ) was shelved in the paperback fiction section of a used bookstore by the manager b/c she's a hypochondriac quarantiniac who will be hiding behind 2 masks, plexiglass barriers, & social distancing long after the rest of us will have gotten past the madness.
"I've been using both the term "spiritual" and the term "religious," and here's why: Religions generally are connected with specific truth claims, while Spirtuality might not be. Spirituality can usually coexist a little more with Enlightenment thinking." - p 130
& that's a common positioning taken by people who consider themselves 'enlightened' & who, therefore, also consider themselves to be "spiritual". To me, the difference in degree described above is not really enuf to stop 'spirituality' from being similarly egregious to "religion". I quote from an interview conducted w/ me by writer Alan Davies & published both online & as a hard-copy bk:
"When I hear people speak about their own 'spirituality' I have much the same reaction - I'm immediately suspicious. People often refer to 'spirit' instead of 'god' as a way of expressing their investment in a 'non-material 'higher' 'essence'' 'free' of religious baggage. In other words, 'I believe in the spirit as the pure guiding force of all good impulses'.
"What I find that this usually means is something more along the lines of 'I can disguise my own sleazy ulterior motives by camouflaging them w/ references to an intangible higher authority that I am supposedly deeply in tune w/.' In other words, bullshit, dogshit, cowshit, humanshit, eatshit, seenoshit, hearnoshit, speaknoshit. In OTHER other words, I'm not sure I've ever met a 'spiritual' person who didn't strike me as a fraud.
"So what does that say about the concept of the 'spirit' & the 'spiritual'? At the risk of overquoting Wikiwhatever, "spirituality" is presented in the opening paragraph of its Wikipedia definition as:
""Spirituality can refer to an ultimate or immaterial reality; an inner path enabling a person to discover the essence of their being; or the "deepest values and meanings by which people live." Spiritual practices, including meditation, prayer and contemplation, are intended to develop an individual's inner life; such practices often lead to an experience of connectedness with a larger reality, yielding a more comprehensive self; with other individuals or the human community; with nature or the cosmos; or with the divine realm. Spirituality is often experienced as a source of inspiration or orientation in life. It can encompass belief in immaterial realities or experiences of the immanent or transcendent nature of the world."
"My questions are:
"If spirituality is an "immaterial reality" why is that "ultimate"? Why is there a hierarchy in wch immateriality is 'better' than materiality?"
"Usually Google has had a way of coming up with the creepier statements, but Facebook has pulled ahead: A recent revision in its statement of purpose includes directives like assuring that "every single person has a sense of purpose and community."" - p 133
Ha ha! What about those of us who have had a sense of purpose our whole lives that we've stuck to w/ the strength of visionaries? Shd we change to the purpose Fecesbook creates for us? & what about those of us who find so-called 'community' to be just as often a PEER PRESSURE COOKER clique or mob than it is its more positively touted 'sense of togetherness'? I'll express the lone wolf's mutual aid solidarity w/ other people over specific issues such as anti-racism & class war but I'm not going to merge w/ a subculture that can be jerked around by crowd psychology - & that's ALL subcultures, ALL communities. At least Lanier can recognize the 'creepiness' of such a mission statement as that of FB.
"Google's director of engineering, Ray Kurzweil, promotes the idea that Google will be able to upload your consciousness into the company's cloud, like the pictures you take with your smartphone. He famously ingests a whole carton of longevity pills every day in the hope that he won't die before the service comes online. Note what's going on here. The assertion isn't that consciousness doesn't exist, but that whatever it is, Google will own it, because otherwise, what could this service even be about?
"I have no idea how many people believe that Google is about to become the master of eternal life, but the rhetoric surely plays a role in making it seem somehow natural and proper that a BUMMER company should gain so much knowledge and power over the lives of multitudes." - pp 133-134
Do I detect some professional jealousy here? I knew of Kurzweil several decades before I ever heard of Lanier b/c I used his Kurzweil machine that enabled the reading of bks aloud to blind people way back in 1980, an invention I'm still quite fond of. At any rate, I think Lanier's warning is well-advised at the same time that it just seems to me that Kurzweil probably reads enuf SF to've come across that consciousness-upload idea in quite a few stories.
"Mind uploading, whole brain emulation, or substrate-independent minds, is a use of a computer or another substrate as an emulated human brain. The term "mind transfer" also refers to a hypothetical transfer of a mind from one biological brain to another. Uploaded minds and societies of minds, often in simulated realities, are recurring themes in science-fiction novels and films since the 1950s.
"Early and particularly important examples
"A story featuring an artificial brain that replicates the personality of a specific person is "The Infinite Brain" by John Scott Campbell, written under the name John C. Campbell, and published in the May 1930 issue of Science Wonder Stories. The artificial brain is created by an inventor named Anton Des Roubles, who tells the narrator that "I am attempting to construct a mechanism exactly duplicating the mechanical and electrical processes occurring in the human brain and constituting the phenomena known as thought." The narrator later learns that Des Roubles has died, and on visiting his laboratory, finds a machine that can communicate with him via typed messages, and which tells him "I, Anton Des Roubles, am dead-my body is dead-but I still live. I am this machine. These racks of apparatus are my brains, which is thinking even as yours is. Anton Des Roubles is dead but he has built me, his exact mental duplicate, to carry on his life and work." The machine also tells him "He made my brain precisely like his, built three hundred thousand cells for my memory, and filled two hundred thousand of them with his own knowledge. I have his personality; it is my own through a process I will tell you of later. ... I think just as you do. I have a consciousness as have other men." He then explains his discovery that the electrical impulses in the brain create magnetic fields that can be detected by a device he built called a "Telepather", and that "[t]hrough this instrument any one's mental condition can be exactly duplicated." Later, he enlists the narrator's help in constructing a new type of artificial brain that will retain his memories but possess an expanded intellect, though the experiment does not go as planned, as the new intelligence has a radically different personality and soon sets out to conquer the world."
&, yeah, sure, there're going to be people who'd want to 'own' such a process & make themselves even more rich & powerful than they already are. & then there're going to be people who manage to avoid being captured in such a trap. Personally, I have no desire to be uploaded in such a way whatsover. While it seems to offer immortality, it strikes me as offering a very long-term prison that wd be a hell that competes w/ or surpasses the one(s) that religious people imagine. As far as I'm concerned, things are constantly changing & when I die that'll be just-another change. Maybe nothing that I currently conceive of as 'me' will be even remotely recognizable anywhere (esp to some semblance of what I call "me" now) but, WHATEVER!, somehow things that I consider to be important about 'me' will probably be in the mix.
"This is madness. We forget that AI is a story we computer scientists made up to help us get funding once upon a time, back when we depended on grants from government agencies. It was pragmatic theater. But now AI has become a fiction that has overtaken its authors." - p 135
I prefer the term (that, as far as I know, I coined) "AU" (Artificial Unintelligence). This gives me an opportunity in a bk review to promote one of my (currently 692) movies that hardly anyone ever watches:
648. "Artificial Unintelligence"
- made in June 2021 as a collaboration between tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE + Dick Turner + Carrion Elited
- 1920 X 1440 - 30fps stereo
- on my onesownthoughts YouTube channel here: https://youtu.be/Iw-rTflW-EQ
- on the Internet Archive here: https://archive.org/details/artificial-unintelligence
My movies will put hair on yr chest so if that's not what you want use them wisely.
"Should machines be given "equal rights," as is so often proposed in tech culture? Indeed, Saudi Arabia has granted citizenship to a "female" robot, and with that citizenship, rights not available to Saudi human women."*
*"https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/innovations/wp/2017/10/29/saudi-arabia-which-denies-women-equal-rights-makes-a-robot-a-citizen/" - p 137
Given that corporations already have legal rights as if they're individual humans it's not that far-fetched that the same thing might happen w/ machines.
"Corporations express the collective investment goals of shareholders. The legal stricture known as fiduciary responsibility confines all but closely held corporations to this singular goal. By shutting off other values to focus solely on pursuit of profit in inherently amoral economic competition, corporations are by their nature amoral as well.
- "How corporations became 'persons'
- The amazing true story of a legal fiction that undermines American democracy."
- Tom Stites, May 1, 2003
It's highly unlikely that any machine, no matter how it's programmed, will have the sense of ethics that humans hypothetically instinctually do. But are humans naturally ethical? Or is that something induced by education? I'm sure there're people who'd argue the latter - thusly adding to the case for giving machines 'rights'.
"Techies can become isolated through extreme wealth and might seem unreachable, but actually we miss you. When techies engage in fixing problems they helped create, they become connected again and that feels good." - p 143
I feel yr pain, Lanier - & b/c I'm such a compassionate (SPIRITUAL?) person I'll give you a chance to fix both our problems: give me one million dollars so that I don't have to suffer from my $8,000.00 a yr Social Security income & I'll play music w/ you. Deal?
& then we get to something I really wasn't expecting:
"Social media was playing a role in making the world newly dark and crazy, and I was asked about that. This book arose from things I thought to say when confronted. I must thank the journalists who forced this issue, including Tim Adams, Kamal Ahmed, Tom Ashbrook, Zoë Bernard, Kent Bye, Maureen Dowd, Moira Gunn, Mary Harris, Ezra Klein, Michael Krasny, Rana Mitter, Adi Robertson, Peter Rubin, Kai Ryssdal, Tavis Smiley, Steven Tweedie, and Todd Zwillich." - p 145
& why wd that surprise me? B/c Kent Bye is one of the journalists listed. Kent started making a documentary about me in 2001 but gave up after 7 mnths b/c he'd wanted to make a single-issue doc & I presented too complex of a subject. Still, he shared his footage w/ me & it's featured heavily in the following movies of mine:
599. "Street Ratbag No5 Release Event"
- shot by Kent Bye & tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE in the fall of 2001E.V.
- centered around the manufacture & release of the "Street Ratbag No5" magazine edited by Rita Rodentia & RATical
- featuring performances by Guitarists Anonymous (tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE + Daryl Fleming + Greg Pierce) + the Hip Criticals (HipHopcrates + Little Orphan Anarchy with guest appearance by tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE)
- also featuring a movie by Mark Dixon of Think Tank VIII & an excerpt from a movie of tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE's CircumSubstantial Playing & Blindfolded Tourism
- edit finished June 25, 2019E.V. by tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE
- UNLISTED on my onesownthoughts YouTube channel here: https://youtu.be/3hEepzUGkss
- a tour of a closed-down mental hospital called Dixmont on February 17, 2002E.V. conducted by Zack Jones + scans & readings of a printed matter interview conducted by Rita Rodentia with Zack for the Street Ratbag magazine, issue 6
- featuring additional input from Erok & Angry Ron, urban explorers who joined us on the tour
- (almost) continuous camcorder: tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE
- intermittent camcorder: Kent Bye
- all else: tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE
- edit finished June 19, 2019E.V.
- on my onesownthoughts YouTube channel here: https://youtu.be/yEWrSNKzg60
596. "tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE Interviewed by Kent Bye February 16, 2002E.V."
- shot by Kent Bye; edited & titled by tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE who also enlarged upon the interview - especially by including footage shot by Kent Bye of his Frame of Reference puppet theater (1975)
- on my onesownthoughts YouTube channel here: https://youtu.be/6E8U-O0b21U
- on the Internet Archive here: https://archive.org/details/tENTInterviewKent
595. "DUET February 17, 2002E.V.: Michael Pestel & tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE"
- shot originally by Kent Bye for tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE's "Guitarists Anonymous Withdrawal Aids". It was also intended to be used in a documentary by Kent about tENT. The documentary was never finished. This version is the entire duet with most of the talking removed.
- on my onesownthoughts YouTube channel here: https://youtu.be/hYMMgww0gLg
- made under the name of Tim Ore
- cameras: David Yaffe, Lizard Media Systems, Craig Considine, Kent Bye
- conception, didActing, scanning, editing, etc: tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE
- This is basically a drastically upgraded version of 036 that's different enough to get its own number.
- 1/2" VHS cassette, 35mm slides, mini-DV -> DVD
- '82-'84 / '01-'02 / march '06
- on my onesownthoughts YouTube channeel here: https://youtu.be/_HxXGlMriKA
220. a. "A Slide Show by tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE"
- slides originally assembled in this order in november of 1999 by tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE
- transferred to mini-DV by Kent Bye in the fall of 2001
- narration from tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE
- in-computer editing & additional photo insertions by Kent Bye
- 35mm slides & voice -> mini-DV -> computer -> 1/2" VHS cassette
- november, 99 / fall, 01
b. version with 2 titles added to end on June 16, 2019 for the internet
- on my onesownthoughts YouTube channel here: https://youtu.be/tWqjOGPyf98
So, thank you, Kent, I'm glad you're still out there being active. & then there's
"Thanks to Jerry Mander; this book's title is a tribute to his work." - p 145
&, yes, Jerry Mander's "Four Arguments for the Elimination of Television"? Yes, I agree - it's an excellent & very important bk. I used readings from it in 2 movies of mine. Here's a relevant quote:
""It is no accident that television has been dominated by a handful of corporate powers. Neither is it accidental that television has been used to re-create human beings into a new form that matches the artificial, commercial environment. A conspiracy of technological and economic factors made this inevitable and continue to."
- page 113, Four Arguments for the Elimination of Television - Jerry Mander, 1978"
As for "Ten Arguments for Deleting Your Social Media Accounts Right Now"? From my POV Lanier nails it when he critiques the way algorithms in social media are behavior modification tools used to narrow human behavior into economically motivated channels. Where I think Lanier fails is in not critiqueing capitalism in general & the Medical Industry in particular. As such, I can only give this bk a 3 star rating.
tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE
idioideo at gmail dot com
to the tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE Anti-Neoism page
to the tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE Audiography page
to the tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE Bibliography page
to my "Blaster" Al Ackerman index
to the tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE Books page
to the tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE BYOC page
to the tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE Censored or Rejected page
to the tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE Collaborations page
to the tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE Critic page
to the tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE (d) compositions page
to Amir-ul Kafirs' Facebook page
to the "FLICKER" home-page for the alternative cinematic experience
to tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE's GoodReads profile
to the tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE Haircuts page
to the tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE Home Tapers page
to the tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE index page
to the tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE Instagram Poetry page
to a listing of tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE's manifestations on the Internet Archive
to the tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE as Interviewee index
to the tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE as Interviewer index
to tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE'S Linked-In profile
for A Mere Outline for One Aspect of a Book on Mystery Catalysts, Guerrilla Playfare, booed usic, Mad Scientist Didactions, Acts of As-Beenism, So-Called Whatevers, Psychopathfinding, Uncerts, Air Dressing, Practicing Promotextuality, Imp Activism, etc..
to the mm index
to see an underdeveloped site re the N.A.A.M.C.P. (National Association for the Advancement of Multi-Colored Peoples)
to tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE's Neoism page
to the DEFINITIVE Neoism/Anti-Neoism website
to the Philosopher's Union website
to the tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE movie-making "Press: Criticism, Interviews, Reviews" home-page
to tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE as Reviewer page(s)
to tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE's Score Movies
to find out more about why the S.P.C.S.M.E.F. (Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Sea Monkeys by Experimental Filmmakers) is so important
to the "tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE - Sprocket Scientist" home-page
to Psychic Weed's Twitter page
to tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE's Vimeo index
to Vine movies relevant to tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE made by Ryan Broughman
to tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE's presence in the Visual Music Village
for info on tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE's tape/CD publishing label: WIdémoUTH
to a very small selection of tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE's Writing
to the onesownthoughts YouTube channel