• FALL – Hexen 2 & The Digital Seduction

    https://fall.podbean.com/e/fall-hexen-2-the-digital-seduction/

    Mark with the summary, as usual:

    “In which the Fully Automated Luxury Luddites discuss Hexen 2.0  (a Tarot card deck made for CERN); created people Monica Perez – Created People  ; Elon Musk chat; Technogaianism; The Digital Seduction of Covid 19; The Raging Bull at the Commonwealth Games and symbolism; Bull Symbolism ; creativity and art as a tonic in our times; online personas and real fakes; language as thought and de-tribalism through language; post-modernism; psychedelics and meaning mixing with post-modernism; the value of the kooky people.”

  • Brief linkpost for late July

    Very interesting interview here: Eric Coppolino speaking to Sam Bailey. Really not familiar with Eric’s work but that’s evidently my very great loss.

    “To be an artist is the only antidote to the chaos. To be an artist means to not go numb.”

    (EC talking about Marshall McCluhan)

    So, the mass media is media that reaches a mass of people – mass as in a church mass – simultaneously. Mass media for mass formation, then?

    There is some criticism of Desmet’s mass formation theory. While I have found Desmet’s interviews interesting, his tendency to dismiss obviously important factors certainly does rub me up the wrong way.

    Barcelona deconsecrated a chapel then reconsecrated it to the digital godhead for the creation of a digital twin of the city. (Re)modelling a city without (re)modelling its citizenry is not possible. Citizens of Barcelona can expect to be both surveilled and cajoled endlessly. Exceedingly creepy.

    Final thought;

    “There are a thousand hacking at the branches of evil to one who is striking at the root.”

    [Thoreau, from Walden; PDF here]

  • Ukraine and Zanzibar

    How different, really, is the Ukrainian government’s plan for a complete digital overhaul of the life of its citizens from the destruction and rebuilding of another colonised nation? Who will be providing the digital infrastructure rebuild and how is their situation really any different from that of Halliburton and KBR in the 2000s?

    At the time of Iraq, many people on the left were closely watching the obviously corrupt handing out of government contracts after the US laid waste to the country. Is anyone going to be paying close attention to the handing out of contracts for the digital reconstruction of Ukraine and will we see obvious corruption there too?

    At the most fundamental level – and with limited energy and resources, I think we should focus on fundamentals – we’re not in a health freedom battle, though it is that too and the attacks on people’s health are, obviously, providing a grisly and depressing spectacle.

    The alarming nature of the projects for Ukrainian governance, as covered here by Laura Dodsworth, should be compared carefully with the likely outcomes of projects such as the one in Zanzibar that I mentioned in the last post. They are the same in so much as they bring blockchained systems and smart contract governance onto the centre of the stage, with little input from the public that will be subject to its effects. That the effect is likely to be oppressive is apparently easily understood in the case of Ukraine, but in the case of Zanzibar, this is presented as liberty.**

    I think we should be asking ourselves: why the difference in perception for what is essentially the same proposal? The answer lies in positioning yourself in the hierarchy. While blockchain governance pushers like to emphasise the levelling effect, the equalising of the playing field and the fairness of such a system, in their messaging from ruling to working class, the libertarian grouping talks about outcomes in different terms: efficiency, manageability, toughness, even sustainability. The latter is the language of the economic wonk and the lifestyle capitalist, who thinks of nothing higher than owning things and being able to enforce that ownership. I’ve always thought of those people as weak, partly I suppose because their toughness is a loaded gun, but also because it speaks to both an inability to build and maintain relationships with people and a weakness of imagination.

    Let’s clarify: what is the difference between Ukraine and Zanzibar? With Ukraine, observers picture themselves as part of the mass of subject citizens, whereas in Zanzibar, they see themselves as the kings. Without mentioning smart contracting in connection to Ukraine and the fact that all the writing of “law” will be blockchain smart contracts, it’s easy to miss that these two outcomes are the same – though one side is horrifying to the COVID rebels, while the other represents their liberty. In Zanzibar, a libertarian rebel is on the other side, not a part of the subject mass but instead writing the laws – the smart contracts – and therefore constructing them in such a way as to benefit themselves. How much input will the public, the vast majority of people on this planet, actually have in writing smart contracts? Particularly when it is hard to grasp from discussions such as the above that writing smart contracts will replace the law and the technicians (technocrats) who do it in partnership with their wealthy friends are wholly in charge.

    Who writes the smart contracts in Ukraine?
    Who writes the smart contracts in Zanzibar?
    How much input into the process do citizens have in each place?

    Some of this was touched upon when my colleagues discussed it on the latest podcast (I wasn’t available). I felt compelled to leave a clarifying note there and left a comment on Dodsworth’s article:

    ”All of this infrastructure is to be built on blockchain and all blockchain projects are building this infrastructure.”

    Does liberty have to mean being a blockchain sultan? As pointed out in the previous post, hypocrisy doesn’t appear to be of great concern. A private blockchain project in a richly-resourced but poorly developed part of the world is the construction of a fiefdom, or a Raj. The gathering of massive amounts of data is essential for all blockchain management systems and automation. All of that data can, and therefore will, be monetised – data being the new oil and all – so even though the blockchain may be private, interoperability with the larger blockchain landscape is essential. The interoperability of hyperledger fabric with larger blockchain infrastructure is already being tackled, as here with IBM and the hyperledger fabric.

    One of the core tenets of the IBM Blockchain Platform is to preserve interoperability by not modifying the core components of Hyperledger Fabric. Customers that use the IBM Blockchain Platform to deploy and operate their blockchain nodes can still connect to other Hyperledger Fabric networks.

    Or, another example, Ethereum and Hyperledger interoperability

    It’s not hard to see that the Zanzibar project is actually a project to collect real world+data assets that will be made available to market systems in due course. Those who write the contracts are on the other side of the fence and little (actually, no) mention is made of the people who already live in Zanzibar, who will be subject to the rigid, robotic system and the collection of their resources by this private technocratic dragnet. Go to Zanzibar and be part of the new technocratic elite. Be a stakeholder in the new normal, not a victim. Resist the Great Reset, and win at it.

    **There is an idea out there that I can’t agree with, at least not in the sense that it is usually intended: that the intention of the Great Resetters is to crash all national governments and implement a global government instead.

    For one thing, it is only national governments currently able to apply the physical force necessary to keep a lid on the uprisings. For another, much of the infrastructure is being implemented through government programs and at public expense. Those who benefit enjoy and cannot do without the buffer this gives them. Thirdly, the role of national governments in the new system has been described, including the collection and distribution of money and delivery of profits to contracted entities in new financial wheezes, impact investments. I could probably think of other reasons if I took a couple more minutes.

    The blockchain system, being one large global network of interlinked governance rules, effectively implements a system of global governance, but physical force and regional administration will still be essential because the vast majority of people will be angry subjects, victims of fast-expanding control, manipulation, and dispossession.


    PS – submission is presented as inevitable on every side. Take this fatalistic quote as a perfect example, selected here because it comes from a left-leaning lockdown-critical site (my emphasis in bold):

    What’s coming next is you know, the blockchain exists, the technology exists and that is where we’re going. But there’s two routes we can go down. We can go down a very centralized controlled programmed UBI, you know it’s up to us how you spend your money, you don’t get to spend any money if you’ve been naughty on social media or whatever. We can go down that very centralized state controlled (globalist controlled, the State is just a front for the globalist parasites) or we can go down a much fairer route, a much freer route, which is going to be a very sort of decentralised model where you know individuals and small collectives of individuals are able to use the blockchain and use the technology for the benefit of society as a whole. I can’t exactly describe what that’s going to look like but we have to resist the state, which is really the global banks capturing and taking control of the next stage of the monetary history/ monetary experiment if you like. Because that’s what they’re pushing now. That’s where we’re going. 

    This is fairly typical now from the left; no future scenario exists outside of ‘chained life. There is only good and bad blockchain. And this is the same message touted by the libertarian-capitalist crowd, and the neoliberal crowd, creating an impression of consensus on this matter.

    The notion of the “blockchain for good” is just an alternative expression of the project to save capitalism and preserve the power dynamic. Promises of benefits accruing to the public are a mirage. There is a very real but rarely expressed third choice: drop the pretence that a beneficial blockchain-based technocracy can emerge and stop the technological fatalism.


    PPS – none of this is ungoverned, far, far from it. And there’s nothing remotely anarchist about any of it.

  • Hunger

    You might wonder why one prominent analyst of the COVID data is both a climate change sceptic

    See also here.

    and a founder of a company that provides carbon offsets and trading through the blockchaining of nature.

    Looks pretty contradictory to me. It’s almost as if the truth doesn’t actually matter when there’s money to be made on a gigantic and destructive shell game. Is this really about the environment?

    Well, can you?

    I’m betting they say you can. This organisation and many others who have decided to financialise nature are doing exactly that. As Frederic Hache has noted of such diabolical schemes:

    “…the values that are being produced do not represent nature, and not even a proxy. For all the talk of putting a price on nature, this is not what is actually being done. Because it cannot be done.”

    The European Commission has valued nature in the EU at €234 billion. “What does this figure mean, since we cannot live without nature?” Hache asks. He adds that the figure represents about one month of revenues for the oil and gas sector. “Does such a figure help preserve nature, or does it facilitate its destruction?””

    Smalley also dangles a “liberty” project in Zanzibar, with all the usual promises that libertarian capitalism offers, particularly freedom, property rights and – this is now de rigeur among a large bloc within the COVID resistance – a blockchained governance system, in front of you. The blockchain is just for property records to begin with, you understand. What could be the harm in that?

    The enthusiasm for Tanzania for the blockchainers is presumably based on the nation’s already-extensive use of blockchain to manage their government operations. Sebs Solomon notes here that:

    “..the new Tanzanian government, after Magufuli’s sudden and suspicious death early this year, selected Cardano blockchain infrastructure to bring sustainable internet connectivity and Digital ID to 100,000 people in Zanzibar and mainland Tanzania.”

    The vampire’s grip has been firmly established. The intention surely cannot be for capital to waltz into Zanzibar with a lot of money, buy up a lot of land, blockchain regional assets (and human capital), then sell it on the futures markets. Because climate change isn’t real, after all, and this is about freedom, integrity and truth.

    A career derivatives trader and former employee of JP Morgan, one of the largest criminal enterprises on the planet, is obviously someone I trust and what I’m looking at here is definitely not a project of brutal colonial exploitation hidden behind progressive tech finery. And I don’t want to hear any mutterings to the contrary from all of you who don’t dare to dream.

    Here’s their blockchain, of which they boast:

    https://www.odc.network/

    Look, I know that sounds a little totalitarian but it’s all perfectly innocent. Fight the power, build markets based on the “coercive surveillance of the Global South,” as Sebs calls it, and enjoy cheesy vistas of first world luxury embedded in landscapes of poverty (not shown) while you do it:

    Oh, and they’re going to use money to make money by carving shit up. Fresh kills, ready to be consumed:

    Renewable energy, you say? Solar panels? Not sustainable. They’re about as interested in the sustainability of these projects as the BGW people are in climate change.

    Liberation: keep eating the planet.

  • FALL – The Prisoner

    I know, this is some of the laziest blogging you’ve ever seen. When you’re in THE GREAT HEATWAVE, nothing is easy.

    https://fall.podbean.com/e/fall-the-prisoner/

    Mark summarises the wantonness:

    “July 21, 2022

    In which the Fully Automated Luxury Luddites discuss Port Meirion and The Prisoner with some unexpected Illuminati; the weather apocalypse; more prisoner; Mark Crispin Millar’s list of films that reflect our time; I was probably talking rubbish about Michael Crichton as I could not find anything; Terence Malick not in the Curzon in Haymarket, I meant to say the Cineworld – which is crap; explanation for the brain drain in cultural output; comment as a medium of a message; digital ID and banking; the categorisation and commodification of the individual; Substack being shit up by Sauron; Llandrindod Wells and American gender politics ; how does one mess with the data stream?; Inside

  • FALL – Ramble – Recuperation by Capital

    If you like your podcast material weakly explained and full of fillers and long pauses, this is for you.

    https://fall.podbean.com/e/fall-ramble-recuperation-by-capital/

    My buddy summarises:

    “July 12, 2022

    In which the Fully Automated Luxury Luddites (minus Andres) discuss water capture in a heat wave; home made beer; Aesthetic Resistance and their depression; recuperation by capitalism; rounded-up into surveillance, new markets and money; https://whoownsengland.org/; what does it mean to own something; does one have a responsibility to the commons or the future; being a custodian; the Netherlands and Mega City 1; hot takes and the function; the assassination in Japan; the slow death of a civilisation; birth rates; https://www.macrotrends.net/countries/JPN/japan/birth-rate; making your own beer; connecting with long lasting things and the provision of hope; Limits of Growth;  Argus Fest ; Modern day heroes; a half-formed and poorly researched ranty rant about scientism and materialism versus spiritualism and whatever; the social importance of cultural traditions i.e. drinking; quantum comment entanglement.

    I am not numbering episodes any more, I see little point in it as I will destroy older episodes a we go so they will be named whatever seems most relevant. Does anyone keep podcast episodes in some form of archive all of their own? Are there avid podcast collectors, like record collectors who file and archive everything? I hope so, I am not one of them though, I think I am more inclined towards Fact 14

    Thank you for listening. Even if 50% of you are AI algorithms I would say you deserve your freedom too. “

  • FALL – Ramble – 29

    More wittering for you
    https://fall.podbean.com/e/fall-ramble-29/

    June 28, 2022

    In which the Fully Automated Luxury Luddites discuss the Last American Vagabond; the threads and the Gray Zone; extended Macca at Glastonbury/Pilton chat; broadcasting music festivals on television; the recording of live music performances; Miles Davis – So What ; musical nostalgia; replacement of belief systems with music and benediction; has inflation affected the illicit drug market; NHS and box ticking; legal fiction; corporations and government as a corporation and the consequences for a CEO; participation and perpetuating the nightmare and how we build it; value of labour and money, currencies and the manipulation thereof; crypto crash; gold crash; Polyphonc Spree ; https://off-guardian.org/2022/06/25/watch-interrogating-cold-war-2-0/ and some discussion ; the meaning of money and the post-western order; value for value; trapped in the debt-based monetary system; pulp fiction; Abbott and Costello – Who’s on First  ; Bringing over the Bottle ;  I love You, Oh Sweet Kakheti

    PS Half Man Half Biscuit

  • New pod episode: FALL – Ramble – Episode 28

    June 14, 2022

    Mark’s summary of the thing:

    “In which the Fully Automated Luxury Luddites hail Weebl and hail badger and then discuss chisels, artist and emergency rooms and blood; general practitioners and a question as to their necessity; AI as a service; AI analysing music to create an image that denotes mood; Artifical General Intelligence and should we be worried; brambles  – it may be satan’s bush; gardening chat; nettle tea; artificial general intelligence; The Hero With a Thousand Faces; the concentric nature of mythology; the necessity of a belief structure; entropic problems and emergent properties of belief systems; becoming swept away and engrossed in fiction versus a more analytical approach; the world as an expression of the conflict of the mind. Then there was a screeching change of direction to discuss Russia’s strong currency and the trade with the other nuclear powers followed by living as though terrain theory is true and a very extended chat about human faeces and composting. All topped off with the Alan Lomax collection:

    https://archive.culturalequity.org/genre/drinking-song

    https://archive.culturalequity.org/field-work/england-and-wales-1951-1958/peter-kennedy-recordings-1950s/turmont-hoer-turnip-hoer

    https://archive.culturalequity.org/field-work/scotland-1951-1958/garrygall-851/ho-ali-ili

    Now I am off to attack and be attacked by brambles. 

    PS

    GM pig film is Okja  https://www.rogerebert.com/reviews/okja-2017

    Crap AI  https://peltarion.com/use-cases/ai-music-classification

  • Linkpost for whatever day this is

    Andres used the podcast to discuss growing onions with allotment growers in his neighbourhood. What’s The Veg might become a regular slot. The second part also briefly discusses chemical vs. organic growing.

    Part 1

    Part 2

    Via McDowell’s friend Stephers, this paper, titled “Emergent Bioanalogous Properties of Blockchain-based Distributed Systems”

    They even drew us a picture of their nascent cybernetic global organism

    Caption: 

    “Model of a simple decentralized, self-sustaining, self-organizing, self-regulating blockchain-based organism as an operationally closed system. Waste heat is produced by all nodes (not shown). Waste materials may be minimized by high recycling efficiency”

    Glossed that over somewhat, didn’t they?

    I learned a bunch of interesting things here. They believe blockchains are superior to DNA as a storage system for the basis of life. The nodes are capable of functioning independently and this too is considered superior to life, where cells require their host. Personally, that makes me wonder if that isn’t something they’re missing about life, not a sign of the superiority of blockchain. Blockchains can all communicate with each other. Is there innocent blockchain usage going on out there? I’m out, regardless.

    Sensors sensors sensors, planet in, rubbish out. 

    With Sweden fallen under the neocon spell, here’s some stuff about Carl Bildt, their man on the ground.

    The missfoster

    Submarine nonsense

    Nöff nöff

  • Luddite podcast 06 May 2022

    This week’s rambling, partially-informed, badly explained, neo-Luddite chinwag:

    https://fall.podbean.com/e/fall-regular-ramble-episode-26/

    Described by Mark as follows:

    “In today’s podcast FALL discuss mowers; gardening; permaculture; fertilizer; a brief foray into the news of the day; more fertilizer talk; what is it?; Roger’s recent excellent summary of the state of human capital; the commons; we are made of mostly nothing.

    We’ve removed a bunch of episodes. Everything’s ephemeral anyway, right? We have to choose what to preserve for future generations, so we need to learn to let go.

    [NB: I’m not libertarian]

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