On the run up to the year 2012. by Steven 'Fly Agaric 23' Pratt.
While the domesticated primates enter the Gregorian year 2012, I would like to share some of my thoughts on interpreting the ‘2012’ phenomena , and with a focus upon Bloomsday (16th June, the single day of James Joyce’s novel Ulysses) opposed to Doomsday (the end of humanity and planet earth as we know it). Most but not all of my observations today are highly influenced by the work of Mark Pesce and his conception of the next billion seconds (roughly a giga-second or 30 years) spanning from 1995-2025. Mark’s species of ‘2012’ phenomena, if you like, does not involve any galactic alignments or geological earth shifts, or the return of the space gods it simply involves the facts surrounding humanities collective decent into novelty (connectivity) and proposes answers to the question ‘what happens after we’re all connected?’ (please forgive any miss-interpretations and blunders I may have made in recycling some of Mark’s innovative study).
Well I interpret what happens after we’re all connected based in part on Mark’s scholarly answers, to follow something along the lines of…your connectivity and your network defines you, and if you are not sharing or prepared to be shared then you may be made obsolete by some superior shared intelligence, wither, and die off quickly.
With a ‘biological meaning’ concerning the human brain body nervous system: a human health-knowledge network of shared wisdom in real space-time, to the more abstract ‘software meaning’ concerning globalised light-speed computer networks and the resulting tendency for mash-upable, sharable, and free media to flourish, Mark approaches an almost Hermetic principle for the digital age echoing that which is as above, as that which is below. To remove the up/down two valued duality it might make sense to replace up and down with Software and Hardware, to produce that which is software, as that which is hardware, somewhat exstinguishing the distinction between the two by showing their unity and ‘mash-upable-ness’, I am here reminded of Terence Mckenna’s clever inverse of the old saying ‘The flesh made word’ into ‘The word made flesh’, in describing the technological singularity possibly taking place during 2012 and beyond.
Today the idea of the ‘word made flesh’ could be ascribed to transhumanism and the impact that ‘information processing or information theory’ reflect on the human genome, neuro-psychology and thousands of other fields that are certainly radically and utterly transformed by the new ‘digital word’ or program made flesh. In this model the network provides the essential bridge between worlds, the vital connection between the two or more opposing forces, resolving them to the satisfaction of the individual, as defined by the group or connected network.
I see a similar thread of openness and sharability and mash-up-able-ness in the methods and innovations developed by those critters whom Dr. Robert Anton Wilson listed as inspirations and those he recommended attentive study of, in particular the heretics listed in his ‘tale of the tribe’ which consists of approximately Twelve historical geniuses who have had a long lasting positive impact on humanity, and on Bob; and who may still yet emerge like Dracula from the grave to reposes culture in 2012? At least I get excited the more I look into these characters and into Bob’s writings upon them and why I think they are important for all around the world humanity in 2012.
If this be a conspiracy theory so mote it be. Just consider the efforts to supress and keep out of print so many of the texts and source works cited before the age of bit torrent and pirate bay. The burning of Joyce’s books, and burning of Giordano’s body, the imprisonment of Ezra Pound, the ‘top secret privacy’ assigned to some of Shannon and Weiner’s early papers, the general harassment of Giambattista Vico, Freiderich Nietzche, and Orson Welles, and the ‘crazy stick’ poked at Marshal McLuahan, Joyce, Pound and even ‘Wilson’ himself, that damned old crank’ as he often referred to himself in that somewhat Irish humour of self-mockery. Praise Bob!
So the conspiracy, if there must be ONE in this article takes into account that the most suppressive and violent censors throughout history, generally authoritarian systems of Church and State. (remember that the first paragraph of Joyce’s Ulysses starts with the word ‘Stately’ and ends with ‘crossed’ to symbolize State and Church crossed, as Bob liked to point out to his readers.) What we see in the current 2011, OCCUPY (world around peaceful revolution of economic intelligence and shared wisdom) echoes through Wilson’s works in the form of writings on Benjamin Tucker, Silvio Gessell, Lysander Spooner, Buckminster Fuller, Marx (and the brothers Marx) and Ezra Pound. Therefore the study of ‘the tale of the tribe’ can give great footholds and anchors for the Occupy movement to expand and feed on nutritious like-minded research into the ‘open source consciousness’ all-around-the-world movement.
Perhaps if the ‘decentralized cosmology’ of Giordano Bruno were applied to the Mayan cosmology and 2012 calendar conundrum we might begin to see that we are each to our own calendar?, above as so below, and that ‘every man and every women is a star. Or, that in a decentralized cosmology with no absolute centre anywhere at all at all, it follows that the self-centred idea of a single paradigm shift on a single day, on a single typical G-star orbiting the sun in a galaxy among hundreds of Billions seems just slightly, to repeat the phrase, self-centred. So maybe the galactic alignment is up to where you place yourself and the geological shifts are within your body, the super cosmic overmind inside your head? Let’s no forget however that alongside his ‘decentralized Universe’ Giordano Bruno accomplished great innovations in Kabbalistic science experiments, magical programing languages and magical devices (memory wheels, alphabet wheels, symbol systems) all of which can greatly improve the art of protest and IMPACT at any Occupy events.
McLuhan, like Fuller and like Pound might have us question ‘what is money and how is it?’ How did it get that way, and a deeper somewhat metaphysical look into the chain of values that lead to money, the relationship between credit and money etc., and right now…“No people ignorant of the nature of money can now maintain its rights, let alone attaining or holding to sovereignty. We have in our time two parties: the infamous, which tries to sabotage economic knowledge; the intelligent, which demands full light on the issue of coin, paper means of immediate exchange, and of credit. Credit, from this angle, becomes the privilege of delaying compensation.”—Ezra Pound, ARABIA DESERTA, Guide to Kulchur, pg. 271.
I have found that like Wilson’s writing on so many varied subjects, McLuhan, Fuller and Pound can radically alter your perception of ‘what is money’ by raising varied and good questions seemingly ‘ignored by the mainstream economists and journalists’ up until only quite recently 2009. Wilson would home in on these grey areas of the counter culture, like alternative economics and alternative systems of distribution, chains of value, intelligence and transparency and weave them into both his fiction (maybe the most scientific of science fiction writers) and in particular into his non-fiction. Hunt em’ down and source out the sources, a treasure trove of workable methods and principles, not least, for example in Bucky’s ‘synergetics’ ‘dymaxion geometry’ and ‘Tesegrity geometry’ lie scattered among Lovecraft’s letters, Einstein’s dreams and Goofy’s nighmares to interpret how you will. READ HIM!
“It is action at a distance, both in space and in time. In a highly literate fragmented society, “Time is money,” and money is the store of other people’s time and effort.”—Marshal McLuhan, Money: The poor man’s credit card, Understanding Media, pg. 147.
To return to Mark Pesce and hypereconomics, we can now see the real impact of technology on peoples in real time, making Bucky’s ephemeralization and McLuhan’s Global Village apparent facts of the process of living on earth in 2011.
Now we have the social networks to use as a parallel to the Global Village imagined out of thin air by McLuhan 50 years or so ago, and we have nano-technology and invisible light-speed information networks crossing the entire planet, imagined by Bucky to bring about an individual revolution of intelligence, as in the open source movement, sharing the tools and methods to then use them to build more tools and more sharable methods (maps, instructions, languages, blueprints).
McLuahn and Bucky were right on many observations and predictions about the future of technology and how we be living today socially, psychologically, technologically, but Mark Pesce presents detailed new books and fresh video lectures taking these ideas, by way of working examples from the real world, into 2012 and beyond, combining the knowledge and confidence to make it real as Bob made it real in his own literary synthesis, and helped define WHY we should also go back and read the sources and roots of these innovations in sharing and ‘open source consciousness’.
Bob specialized in this field and has a lifetime spent digging up and translating for those that follow the obscure bridges and links between multiple revolutionary innovations and their place in popular culture, Bob’s open source interests ranged from traditional computer software, political science and currency’s to open source Theology, Magick and Neuro-linguistic programing and open source psychology, and dipping beyond into open source nanotechnology and open source genetic engineering I imagine. Perhaps even contemplating open source atomic reactors for kicks?
“Of course, my position is based on the denial that money does store wealth. I think it’s a semantic hallucination, the verbal equivalent of an optical illusion, to speak at all of money containing or storing wealth. Such thinking should have gone out with phlogiston theory. The symbol is not the referent; the map is not the territory. Money symbolizes wealth, as words symbolize things, and that’s all. The delusions that money contains wealth is the mechanism by which the credit monopoly hof study. as gained a stranglehold on the entire economy. As Colonel Greene pointed out in Mutual Banking, all the money could disappear tomorrow morning and the wealth of the planet would remain the same. However, if the wealth disappeared — if squinks from the Pink Dimension dragged it off to null-space or something — the money would be worth nothing. –Robert Anton Wilson, Illuminating Discord Interview, 1976.
And remember that if your research into the tale of the tribe starts to get a little stale and you feel lost in Korzybski’s giant tome or Joyce's Wake, or staring at Shannon’s equations in a daze don’t be afraid to grab some stickers, a pen or some paint and go out into the wilderness and connect with your environment in a way that cannot be mistaken as vandalism but viewed as Art, funny, subtle, well placed and meaningful, and from the right place. Start a study group to begin looking into some of these characters and how they resonate with our current affairs on planet earth, make music, write, exorcise, smile, hug, love and live fully awake in 2011 and 2012. Get yourself connected. The writings on the wall, gotta’ get yourself connected, stumble you might fall.”
--Steven 'Fly Agaric 23' Pratt.