Been away for a while. Shit’s been getting complicated. Not sure what this post is about yet. Meantime, here’a a picture.
and a video
I’m quite pleased about this one, because this critter has been around for ages… a printable microcopter… and usually what happens with cool inventions on the web, is that they get a lot of blog traffic, and then nothing happens ever again. Like all good robotic advances that are cool, but not immediately useful, this one is (bless) going to be used for search and rescue.
But that’s not what this is about.
1) Talking to my friend the other day about why I haven’t posted in a while. When I started this blog there would be some new thing to write about every couple of days. Then a year or two ago it was about 5. Now it’s hundreds. I’m not that interested in merely echoing… I try to make meta-observations, and those are harder to do, because the rate with which my observations become irrelevant is speeding up.
2) Cody the 3D Gun printing guy (who has something of the Unibomber about him… ie: he’s swapped out his empathy/compassion software, and replaced it with MS-DOS era game-theory)… Cody the 3D printing guy has just developed an entirely 3D printed gun that is probably less safe than the stamped metal single-shotters they dropped over France in WWII
The fact that Cody has also seen fit to call his gun “The Liberator”
is probably not a coincidence… but is growing out of the warped (goebbels-like history-rewrite) that sees socialists as nazis, and that America is about to turn into a Muslim communist dictatorship. People who like to throw the word “Liberty” about are deeply suspect. It’s a word loaded with snow-blind right-wing spin… just like it was back in the 18th/19th Century when it was used to justify slavery.
So now these particular files have been “seized” (which is like going down to the beach and seizing the seashells) by the State Dept.
This gun is not really a gun though. It’s symbolic feint and counter-feint. Guns are kindof retro. Imagine this is 1913… 100 years ago. WW1 and WW2 (tanks, planes, radar) and Communism and the flu epidemic and lego and television and the internet… the explosion of technology that was the 20th Century haven’t happened yet… but people will still have talked about “the 20th C” as though they knew what they were talking about. I have forebodings about history repeating… because a lot of the ideological utopianism of that period is being faithfully re-enacted by people who think history is dates and battles… to be fan-ficked to suit “beliefs”. Mix that with Austerity and we’re right back where we were in 1913. 1932.
And it’s speeding up. Tech has changed more since the 1960s than it has in the last 1000 years. My dad learned to read using slate and chalk. Today kids “aren’t taught” how to use iPads… partly because by the time they leave school this tech will be obsolete anyway.
So guns are retro – if anything, the weapon here is not the gun, but the printer.
3) Talking to another friend about Zombie targets that really bleed being sold at an NRA conference… and one of the 15 different models was female, so the feminists found an excuse to cry “sexism” – which is utterly ridiculous… here they all are – does that look sexist to you? Personally I felt sorry for The Germans… or the fact that terrorists look like Religious Arabs or that the “straight” zombies look kindof gay. Just wheel out the same axe you were trying to grind last week. The world is a mirror that bites your arse.
What this (actually) is, is someone bringing video-games into actual reality… video-games growing from movies, which grow from books, which grew from folklore etc… when google-glass gets underway, reality is going to have fantasy mixed with it even more… and as we speak, Americans sitting behind screens in Nevada are playing video-games that kill real people in Pakistan.
It’s not just that “the internet of things” is allowing the internet to escape into actual-reality (my parents now have a car, with a computer… that “won’t let you do things”)… the entire collective insanity of human culture is increasingly blending into reality… and if you think this is going to be limited to “billboards coming to life” a la Minority Report, then you’re still in 1913 (opining about the 20th Century as though you know what you’re talking about)
4) Where the fuck is Craig Venter? His TED talk about gen-tech saving the world by making synthetic oil was 5 years ago and fuck-all has happened. The only sign of the gen-tech revolution that sees 100 new “breakthroughs” in the blogosphere every day, that I can actually buy (and that is the “photos or it didn’t happen” litmus test) is a recent kickstarter project making glow-in-the-dark-plants – that has pulled down $300,000 already
(this video has nothing to do with that)
A while ago I was going to write a blog post about this – because the numbers are truly mind-boggling… because as you add “transistors” you get an increase that isn’t exponential, but is “factorial” – an increase based on permutations and combinations – and if I’ve got this right, if you managed to make a device that has the same number of transistors as CPUs in 2013… billions… then you’ve got a device capable of making A LOT of simultaneous calculations… and by A LOT, I mean if you attempted to make a (10px font, 3 digits per cm) decimal representation of this number it would literally be about 50 miles long. It’s a number bigger than all of the atoms in the universe.
Now… this isn’t storage, it’s calculations. If it were possible to store numbers that big, then we could simulate our entire universe. We could big-bang it, and let it unfold in a test-tube. We don’t have storage for this… but we’re getting closer to creating a CPU that could handle the maths.
And maybe there is no storage. Maybe the whole thing is just generated on the fly – maybe that is why matter appears to only go to the trouble of actually existing if it’s observed.
6) There are murmurings out there from the world of physics, that the universe can be modelled as (or is behaving like) a neural network.
If the universe is actually behaving more like a creode-system than a Newtonian clockwork billiard-ball game… ie: if the laws of nature are actually not fixed, but are habits… probabilities that grow in a dimension of possibility… then… there’s a whole swathe of ridiculed pseudo-science (eg: homoeopathy) that loses some of it’s ridiculousness because what it is, is a type of ritual-magic. And what science itself is, is a type of ritual-magic… but one based on stronger morphogenetic patterns – so it doesn’t have to exist in some shadow-plane of inherently untestable placebo.
7) I’m not the only one who finds fractals terrifying.
(this one is understood to be real… ie: not generated by a computer – though you are just looking at a digital representation of a bit-pattern right now)
Not sure why – but it’s got something to do with vertigo. If you look deeper, eventually you expect the detail to stop… you know… like it would if it were a simulation rather than a generative process.
9) Scientists are about to test whether or not we’re a simulation – sitting inside someone else’s quantum computer.
10) that’s enough for now.
So… various people have talked about The Rapture Of The Nerds… emergent consciousness growing out of more complex networks, and computers self-building smarter versions of themselves in a feedback loop that leaves human intellect back with the trilobites…
… as though it’s a good thing. It’s only (possibly) a good thing if you survive it. I see all these pieces coming together… unstoppable information (3d printed guns, human organs, drugs, thunder)… godlike computing power… reality escaping into the real… humans-out-of-the-loop automated generative art as creativity. The acceleration into complexity… into boundary dissolution. Ego-loss is the final self-defence mechanism.
I think we’re creating a massive hallucinogenic trip. I think that’s what The Rapture of The Nerds (if it ever happens) will resemble. The Garden of Earthly Delights – with a giant AI (like google) hooked into a global network of bio-tech capable fabrication devices… just making shit up. What happens when The Free Spaghetti machine starts making Spaghetti Monsters. Stuxnet meets spam meets fabricators. More than a single imagination can draw a circle around. The dissolution of the boundary between inner and outer space… and meantime, the forces of “control” are losing their minds, going down to the beach, trying to seize the seashells.
If linear time is a useful navigational aid, but essentially an observational fallacy… and what we actually have/are is some great big “thing” with a big-bang at one end… and something else at the other… just floating in some higher-dimensional space… then what is “the other”? Hard to say – but something we do know about it, is that information-density and complexity are accelerating exponentially… possibly factorially… and we’re starting to get into an era where our controlling institutions are going insane.
And it’s only 1913.