I think it’s fair to say 2015 and ’16 have been significant to ontology. AI from Google’s DeepDream seemed to ooze onto the internet, it’s generative and beautiful images to me seemed like organelles or embryonic forms evolving ever-closer to the forms of human perception, or imagery in the dataset. VR also came back. In media, a colossal shift to video occurred, with the focus on bespoke events, content, and user experience. This movement as well can be considered generative, or generative-media, it reflects the democratizing, but as well potentially homogenizing effect of ubiquitous access to information. And herein lies the fundamental fissure, between economy and evolution, where the former is an inhibitor to the latter. The current model is doubling down on cookies, which have an ever-diminishing return, and are the equivalent of a sanctioned peeping tom. This fissure is beginning to show, and is a human rights issue – an often overlooked aspect. So in platforms we see this issue manifest in headwinds to information access, copyright, healthcare, and intellectual property issues to name just a few. In politics as well the contrast between ‘Feel The Bern’ to the recidivistic and staid-fast ‘Make America Great Again’ of Trump or the innocuous corporative ‘Hillary for America.’ It is that all these platforms have inherent fallacy that undermines. The ideologies are maximally separated, calibrated to primary vs. general election. Radicalization of difference is the cascading effect. Noise is exalted as value, and is commoditized via the identity market of cookies, purchasable saturation, and on-demand ideology. Again, algorithms are a human rights issue. Algorithms clearly undermine public discourse, while concurrently enabling it to a greater than ever scale. Again, though, I wish to point out the contextual fallacy of the dichotomy itself, where we have to Become Great Again, or Bern ahead full steam. Both sides run full steam from the present – a poignant distraction, a broker between the offshore accounts where human rights are hidden, to the inestimable suppressions they hold – ‘Citizens United’ being another iconic example of a Unification only possible with this massive bitcoin market for campaign finance. Torture, justice, privacy – all are legal, necessary, inevitable to preserve our way of life? Well documented in Holocaust Literature is the burning of the blood, of genocide. Prison populations should not be the highest in the most ‘democratic’ of nations – but PICO necessitates PICO – and always more PICO is needed in the boroughs and pockets of humans who serve only to profit those systems, where recidivism rates are necessary, and must grow. And the pastoral return to Make America Great Again, of church, of duty, of family, of simplicity – which are fortified with weapons, and border patrols, and national firewalls – and a nationalist xenophobia toward difference, utilizing faith and educational repression, economic and cultural currencies, to instantiate ideology. When conflict trumps content, or contrivance fortifies form, or arbitrary constraints are imposed on platforms, or used to create them – these mechanisms, so much as gender and all contrivances of human ontology which undermine individuals and environment, are rooted in false choice. It is not that creators shouldn’t get paid, it’s not that economics shouldn’t exist, it’s not that it’s socialism is the contrast to capitalism, it’s not that it’s anarchist and chaotic – or atheistic, or impossible, or the communist liberal agendatotakeguns-awayandabortionsandcellphonesandwelfareforall, are in any way alternatives to one another, but alternatives to humanity as one to each other. It’s that McCarthyism begets Black, begets Women, begets Muslim. The need for secret banks, secret justice systems, secret prisons, secret campaign finance – while simultaneously demanding the inevitable relegation of all personal privacy to the dustbin of history as the price of access to a platform solely existing from the presence of the users from which it extracts.
Artificial Intelligence, Post or Transhumanism, New Materialism – will ultimately be brokered by individual behavior, they already are. The extent to which individual decision-making is influenced by perverse externalities will determine the course of human rights. How else could a small group of several million uninsured individuals getting basic healthcare in the U.S. be grounds for decades of protracted proclamations of catastrophic doom to America, of the horrors of foreign hospitals, of welfare recipients seeing neurologists for headaches, of hysterical women who abandon the hearth, of cantaloupe-calved Mexicans sprinting across the heartland for your jobs and daughters. And these echoes need no reference, so firmly are they understood by all, there is no being unaware of racism, sexism, gentrification, economic status – yet no child is born to these sentiments. Scarcity engenders and sustains profligate behaviors. And the ‘alternative’ or lesser-of-two-evils sustains, i.e. ‘Hillary for America’ the candidate who promises to say whatever is necessary, indoctrinating dishonest politicians, car sales persons, hippie environmentalists. These struggles are likely responsible for the widespread depression and anxiety and abuses of all forms as persons are forced to choose between two possibilities, neither of which is in accord with nature. We are forced to take comfort in substance, medication, alcohol, therapy, rehabilitation, anxiety, depression. Struggles with identity, sexuality, economic equality are all hegemonic contrivances of ‘selfie’ culture, which is lived in isolation, but attempts to maximize its exposure – the fundamental paradigm of reality tv, the move to video. This is the life of the ‘rugged individual,’ fiercely independent, users of hermeneutically-titled ‘tablets’ and ‘apples,’ ‘Personal Computers, and Political Correctness.’
The Danger is in the dichotomies, while so is the beauty and potential folding-forth of humanity, of TransPlatforming. In the next article in this series I’ll explore some of the positivistic generative art forms in music technology, research, and elsewhere