Through the Weave of The Dream


I don’t buy it. Not any more – back in the days of Bush, when the air was clogged solid with stupidity it seemed like a breath of fresh air… but now…

I don’t buy it. I think the title on the video below says it all “1000 remarkable people gather in Monteray, California” (breathless crescendo / roll of drums)

Really? That’s not only a party to which I’m not invited, it’s also a party where I would feel like a total cunt even attending… to think of myself as a “remarkable person”. Oooh. Aren’t I special. If only I can persuade other special people I’m special then we can all hang about have self-satisfied, special conversations.

Fuck that. I’d rather hang out with people with interesting angles on self-hatred than puffed up tossers being intelligent.

Still… I am/was quite interested in what people had to say – so once got as far as the entry form to attend one of these events – but then found that they only wanted “remarkable” people to attend… and you had to detail why you were so remarkable. All of a sudden I wanted nothing to do with it.

So anyway, enough about that. I thought this was quite interesting

apart from the fact that it’s

a) TED – which to me seems like some sort of uber-touchy-feely-smug-fest where remarkable people can give standing ovations to other remarkable people and…

b) … they all go home, and a year later, fuck all has happened.

c) It’s Microsoft, and nobody cares about Microsoft

d) Because there seems to be this new genre of Science Fiction – now that bringing your product to market before the bugs are fixed is no longer competitive… it’s “Product Concept” which may or may not be a mockup, may or may not work… whatever… it doesn’t really matter, because the only thing that DOES matter, is the flash of INSPIRATIONAL attention in the eternal here and now. 2 weeks later everyone will have moved on to something else.

e) Still, thanks for the embed – I couldn’t find it on youtube etc.

f) and he seems like a nice bloke. I mean most people are etc..

No – I found this interesting because if you tried to do this in a shopping mall anywhere in the UK, the privately-owned police would immediately arrest you. They’re allowed to do that now. They can issue on the spot fines apparently.

It would be interesting though – all those millions of CCTV cameras… I mean a lot of them are paid for with our taxes… why should we have access to the feeds? It’s not like CCTV cameras actually reduce crime anyway – they’re a total waste of time and money, although I suppose they do give the police something to do. Keep them out of trouble etc. Keep them off the streets.

You could actually fly around in the system like the Australian CCTV Doom stitchup from a couple of weeks back. We could all be ghosts in the machine – swimming through Victoria Railway Station like lost sperm, all disconnected, alone, and… impotent. Omnipresent Impotence. God in is own image. Isn’t that what you wanted? To be? Not to be?

I’m also interested in this from the point of view of the increasingly immersive quality of entertainment… and this vacillation between reality and fantasy – in not just entertainment, but also war. And sex.

For some reason it makes me think of sleep-paralysis… floating around in this environment that is indistinguishable from reality but you can never get past the surface. And the slightly disturbing notion that reality itself is just a surface.

Look up from the screen now.

What you see out there is an insane blizzard of electrons and quarks… photons, photons, photons… forces and waves – and almost all of which is empty space, but your brain takes the sensory input, filters it and gives you a model that allows you to negotiate it.

But really, you’re seeing the model. You’re sitting there in a room inside your own head.

3 Comments » for Through the Weave of The Dream
  1. Guillermo says:

    I found the engaging imagery of this post very enjoyable, kudos.

    It’s a shame we don’t hear about it more often, in popular media I mean. The notion that all reality is virtual.

    But then again, story tellers are prone to discovering hidden (sometimes universal) truths in their works; I’m trying to remember of a story line which explores this perspective of reality, while at the same time staying at that level, and I can’t think of any. The Matrix ended with love justifying mankind (talk about a more cliché deus ex machina), even Ghost in the Shell (while still awesome) has a rather religious-y ending, in which Motoko awakens to a greater truth of limitless information, she becomes a god of sorts (TED comes to mind). It equates information with truth, dismissing the possible argument that information can only be an abstraction, and one that, as you mentioned, is bound to the mental model of the receiver.

    Bram Cohen posted a message through twitter once in which he said that music is by nature half heard and half hallucinated, and it struck me not because it was an insightful observation (which I believe it is), but because I failed to notice it before. Our understanding of our mental models is always behind of our appreciation of reality, because it’s always a level of abstraction higher, and that makes that which is understood appear to be so much more _truthful_.

    TED, from what I’ve read and the videos I’ve seen, tries to impose a narrative to the whole event, that of awakening to _truths_ by grasping technology, and entertainment, and design, and business, and science, and culture, and the arts, and global issues (the themes are clearly labeled, and somehow New Age comes to mind). It pretends to give their audience goggles so they can see more clearly, not realizing that perspective is not a matter of focus, but rather an understanding of dimensions. TED is symptomatic of the difficulty of coming to terms with what we are, and how we operate, even (some would say especially) by those who are supposed to grasp things from above, the _remarkables_.

    I would like to make you a proposition, and I hope I’m not stepping on any unwritten blog boundaries, why not write about madness and how that relates to viewing the world as a series of, ultimately, ungraspable mental models.

  2. admin says:

    There is a science fiction movie… that I can only vaguely remember – it’s not Dark City… but not a million miles away – where they decide to break out, then drive to the edge of town… and reality just turns into bad computer graphics. Can’t remember the name alas. Had someone famous in it :) Had a 1920s vibe.

    There’s also one (a book) called Polystom – which I would have loved, but it had a really graphic depiction of someone being skinned alive in it, and my powers of empathy, even for fictional bit-characters is a little too strong for that.

    RE: TED… I was born (as the saying goes) in the spring of the summer of love. Which means I have punk in my blood/inkstream. Makes me ansty. Makes me not joiner-innery… TED’s all “save the world” but the people who need “saving” aren’t generally invited to participate in the conversation… not because the language barrier is… lingual, but because the entire raft of moral assumptions that TED subscribes to is a byproduct of a sheltered middle-class existence.

    RE: Madness – it’s a big subject – which is to say there are a lot more different ways of being mad than there are of being sane, or intelligent or whatever… and I’m not entirely sure that the main separator isn’t just… degrees of adaptiveness. When you get down to the nuts and bolts of it.

  3. Man, that’s brilliant, the TED video, both of your assessments and perspectives in post and comments. I heartily agree. There definitely is a nasty solipsism aspect to them.

    I haven’t watched many, too time consuming, but instead, as with everything, have watched the ones that have fallen into my path to be devoured. There have been a couple that rocked my world and showed me the future.

    And a couple that have made me want to gnaw my arm in disgust. I’m looking at you Elizabeth Gilbert.