This blog is dedicated to the memory of David Weintraub, who took on insidious astroturfers and won.

Thursday, July 9, 2015

The Medium is the Conspiracy


"The medium is the message" may have been the most perceptive, not to mention prescient statement every uttered about the infotainment age, and this stated way back in the infancy of TV.

Also, this:
1 The words of the Preacher, the son of David, king in Jerusalem.
2 Vanity of vanities, saith the Preacher, vanity of vanities; all is vanity.
3 What profit hath a man of all his labour which he taketh under the sun?
4 One generation passeth away, and another generation cometh: but the earth abideth for ever.
5 The sun also ariseth, and the sun goeth down, and hasteth to his place where he arose.
6 The wind goeth toward the south, and turneth about unto the north; it whirleth about continually, and the wind returneth again according to his circuits.
7 All the rivers run into the sea; yet the sea is not full; unto the place from whence the rivers come, thither they return again.
8 All things are full of labour; man cannot utter it: the eye is not satisfied with seeing, nor the ear filled with hearing.
9 The thing that hath been, it is that which shall be; and that which is done is that which shall be done: and there is no new thing under the sun.
10 Is there any thing whereof it may be said, See, this is new? it hath been already of old time, which was before us.
11 There is no remembrance of former things; neither shall there be any remembrance of things that are to come with those that shall come after.
12 I the Preacher was king over Israel in Jerusalem.
13 And I gave my heart to seek and search out by wisdom concerning all things that are done under heaven: this sore travail hath God given to the sons of man to be exercised therewith.
14 I have seen all the works that are done under the sun; and, behold, all is vanity and vexation of spirit.
15 That which is crooked cannot be made straight: and that which is wanting cannot be numbered.
16 I communed with mine own heart, saying, Lo, I am come to great estate, and have gotten more wisdom than all they that have been before me in Jerusalem: yea, my heart had great experience of wisdom and knowledge.
17 And I gave my heart to know wisdom, and to know madness and folly: I perceived that this also is vexation of spirit.
18 For in much wisdom is much grief: and he that increaseth knowledge increaseth sorrow.
The brilliance of these statements indicates to me anyway that people were much smarter, sharper back in the day than are we supposedly more evolved peons of today and of course they were.

The radio age! People scrapped and suffered greatly during those times and humanity became the better for it, until the postwar era and the advent of the baby boom. Now everything has a gauzy soft edge, nothing really matters and there is none, zero, nada, fight left in a populace that is all too happy to throw away their personal freedoms for instant internet connectivity and free bread/circuses.

Including, uhmmm, you too. Oh yeah, and me, as you kindly pointed out.

Infotainment addicts are way, way overstating the importance of Snowden, especially the latest so-called revelations. Mainly Snowden has impacted Greenwald's future prospects and bankroll for nothing else actually has changed anywhere that I can surmise, for even if the government were to "reform," it is the private sector driving the secret data bus these days and guess to whom Greenie just sold title to the Snowden revelations....uhmmm, thats right to a billionaire internet oligarch.

Is that an elegant coincidence or a hidden in plain sight conspiracy?

Whatever, meet the new boss. Not really same as the old boss with the smiley face, the kute kitten pix, the new/improved line of BS.
The solution to this displacement, according to Schmidt, is to foster conditions that encourage the creation of fast-growing startups that generate lots of jobs, or "gazelles." Those conditions include better education, looser immigration laws, and deregulation in strictly-controlled areas like energy and telecommunications.
When Levy noted that fast-growing "gazelles" seem to lead to more inequality, at least in the case of the 50-employee WhatsApp which was acquired by Facebook for a reported $19 billion, Schmidt brushed aside the apparent contradiction. "Let us celebrate capitalism," he said, opening his arms. "$19 billion for 50 people? Good for them."

Yes, wake the fock up everbohdee. Your new enemy doesn't work for the government. Your new enemy has more skills, less constraints and a more omnipresent future than the government.

The government works for him. And so do we, suckers. We just dont know it yet because we are too busy having fun with the toys he gave us.

Governments are soon to become as obsolete as state-run jails. Thats what 'libertarianism' means. The future is that of an enslaved mankind who delusionally believes that we are "free" simply because the government has subsided doing all these evil things government does.

Including Medicare. And social security.

Blame Obama yes, oh yes, that fucking kissass pussy but dont forget the manly virile Vladolph or the sneaky Chinese, and dont forget our heroes Glenn, Assange and Snowden either for that matter.

These guys, one and all, aim to privatise!

Greenwald's handling of Snowden versus Assange's handling of Chelsea proves once again that it doesnt matter who makes the discovery, invents the methodology, patents the process or creates the new paradigm, it is the lawyers who always win and everyone else gets fucked in the end.

[double entendre joke alert 0;]

IOW, Greenwald got to where Assange thought he was going to get, that is until he dicked himself all up with the FBI sweeties in Sweden.

The only reason Assange isn't today as free as Greenwald is because he isn't as gay as Greenwald.

And whatever happened to that Bradley Manning chick anyway?

Snowden himself is a cipher, an afterthought, a comfy guest/prisoner serving his time at the leisure of the king of all disorders authoritarian.

But he does have his own bodyguard detail, courtesy of the FSB. So he is protected by the guys who are also doing in Russia what their counterparts in the US whom Snowden exposed to the world are also doing.

Strange twist there, eh?

Snowden, Manning and Assange done good, fwiw, but they each allowed themselves to become objects in the process in one way or another just like every internet "user" who is oblivious to the fact that he is being abused.

Cass Sunstein published the blueprint for US Govt paid fakery years ago. It's not like the feds were obscuring what anybody who has served in the justice system involuntarily already knows fo shizzle.

Snitches. Everywhere. No escape, then you die. In prison. So keep you mouth shut and you eyes open, looking down at your ill-fitting prison crocs.

On the outside we do essentially the same if you simply exchange "smart phone" for "ill-fitting prison crocs."

And anyone who spends 5 minutes in the Guardian comment threads realises the Russkies too have a veritable Cossack regiment of paid fakes, which easily turn into a marauding army of red ants after you add in the unpaid millions of useful idiots (waves to Fairleft) who cheerfully consume the (free!) dogma and also the (free!) phony confirmation of the dogma provided (free!) by the professional online paid fakes at RT, PressTV, SANA, Pepe Escobar, Web Tarpley, Alex Jones, et al.

And this is just a partial list of those considered to be leftist (but in fact are simply another contending flavour of right-wing paranoia). In fact, the list of infotainers on the more traditional rightwing side is udderly in charge of that braindead caucasion demographic entrenched as they are both by the powerful elites and plebes alike. Their influence seems neverending. But as one noted oldster once commented when he was much younger, "time is an ocean but it ends at the shore." Soon enough there will be the carcasses dead white whales littering beaches from sea to shining sea.

Bet on it.

The grand consiracy of the internets is woven into the "network." A conspiracy requires a network. And a "web". The user is being captured, leeched upon, spied upon, bought and sold for huge profits every day by the real enemy. The internet user long ago signed away his freedom for free stuff.

The majourity of users understand and accept this fact of our cyber commodification in exchange for free stuff. And you, me and they ignore every bit of the downside except when we are also sold the Snowden bits as an infotaining distraction.

The government is today just a small department within the infotainment industrial complex that now rules our lives.

The government just doesnt fully realise it yet. They too are distracted by their own smartphones!

Infotainment Fascism doesnt require government stormtroopers for it is hardwired into the world wide web and generally accepted without thought by the users. The internet isn't controlled by a shadowy conspiracy at all, but by the same forces that always control everything, those who possess das capital. Capitalists do not require shadowy conspiracies to control us because the successful capitalist already possesses the means of control and can exhibit his control right out in the open, while people pay happy tribute to his Lordship with money, unquestioned product loyalty and effusive praise.

It is beyond ironic that Greenwald's funding now comes from Mr. Paypal billions, the same who cut Assnage's funding off at the balls, instantly turning him into an object. This perhaps above all else illustrates the very sharp point that I am making.

"The medium is the conspiracy."

Once we engage as objects (and there is truly no other way online for the 99%) we are dead and gone. In exchange for our souls we get to frolic and play reindeer games, cuss and discuss, watch all the old movies and listen to all the old and new music free! Shop at huge discounts on eBay!

Pay for our goods with PayPal!

Aye, but the real price we have paid is very, very heavy indeed. We have paid with our lives and have already forfeited our children and grandchildren in the bargain.

We just dont know it yet.


socrates said...

I'm slogging through Mcluhan's article. It's heavy reading.

donkeytale said...

LOL. Yeah. When I posted this piece on Pffugee Vox put in one of his rare appearances. He said this was a downcast entry by me.

Looking at it now, he's probably correct. Of course, he enjoyed the Ecclesiastes schtick.

Thanks for setting this up. Maybe the remaining parts I'll hack together into one more infotaining episode.

socrates said...

Here's what you do. Do not add the links to your rough draft. Highlight the phrase you want the link embedded into and then click the link button in the Blogger tool box. It's easy. Then you add the link there and click the box for the link to open in a new tab. Adding youtube videos is easy. All you need is the url. And that T with the x box is perfect to get rid of anything brought over from the original source for fonts and stuff.

It's really not that difficult.

I still have half of the McLuhan chapter one to get through from his book. The link in your rough draft was not working for me. I googled the phrase and quickly figured out what you were trying to relate to.

You must have written that around 2013 by the Snowden references. But it is timeless. I don't think there's anything wrong in it. Though I think the theory presented about the chicks seemingly entrapping Julian was that they were CIA, not FBI.

And I don't see many people other than us saying that it's the internet in itself (the status quo?) which is the problem.

It doesn't have to be this way. Yes, I agree with Vox this was one of your more pessimistic interpretations of social reality. But that's reality. You can't sugarcoat it.

If you haven't seen The Truman Show, you should. It would be the movie version of your entry, just substitute television for the internet.

socrates said...

I like this McLuhan guy. I had never read him before. He is very intellectually stimulating. I like how he pretty much called De Tocqueville a hack who succeeded because he was one of the few who understood the need for a blog schtick which McLuhan referred to as typography.

I found this part interesting too, a man sounding very similar to us speaking of being prescient and possessing greatness.

"“The war of 1870 need never have been fought had people read my Sentimental Education,” said Gustave Haubert."

I still have five pages left. People should really dive into this. It is only 17 pages, though heavy. Then they will understand wtf you are trying to say.

I'm now curious who this McLuhan dude was. I only wanted to find an appropriate link to edit into your masterpiece.

Yes, you should come up with one or two more parts. Maybe even write a brand new article after that to update your life's major opus.

This puts my Kimberlin schtick to shame. Whoop-da-doo, I knew how to google. Here you are presenting mind-blowing, life-changing philosophies to dissect and analyse, while I copy/paste my narcissism though the hot summer of 2015.

McLuhan mentioned narcissism. I think he realised there is something in the medium which prevents an authentic, competent communication of wtf is going on. He called them narcissists. I see them as blowhard hacks.

Nothing is new under the sun!

socrates said...

The kids and adults of today really should be reading stuff like that, Erich Fromm, whatever rocks their brain boat. Yes, every once in a while something remarkable is published on the internet, from Rolling Stone to fricken Reuters.

The day to day internet grind is something else. Patton Oswalt said Salon is bullshit because of its click bait formula. And that guy is simply an underachieving thinker captured by the whims of narcissistic success.

He does have a love for the game. I shouldn't be so hard on the kid.

He's at least trying to think.

McLuhan wasn't too pessimistic. He speaks of artists ahead of the curve who are Gambini like in their quest for truth.

Kurt Vonnegut had some skills.

Calvinism transformed into special snowflake theory.

Just thinking out loud.

socrates said...

"The percussed victims of the new technology have invariably muttered clichés about the impracticality of artists and their fanciful preferences. But in the past century it has come to be generally acknowledged that, in the words of Wyndham Lewis, “The artist is always engaged in writing a detailed history of the future because he is the only person aware of the nature of the present.” Knowledge of this simple fact is now needed for human survival. The ability of the artist to sidestep the bully blow of new technology of any age, and to parry such violence with full awareness, is age-old. Equally age-old is the inability of the percussed victims, who cannot sidestep the new violence, to recognize their need of the artist. To reward and to make celebrities of artists can, also, be a way of ignoring their prophetic work, and preventing its timely use for survival. The artist is the man in any field, scientific or humanistic, who grasps the implications of his actions and of new knowledge in his own time. He is the man of integral awareness.

The artist can correct the sense ratios before the blow of new technology has numbed conscious procedures. He can correct them before numbness and subliminal groping and reaction begin..."

socrates said...

This is amazing. McLuhan seems to have also coined the rope-a-dope concept and in regular guy vernacular:

And it is here that the artist can show us how to “ride with the punch,” instead of
“taking it on the chin.” It can only be repeated that human history is a record of
“taking it on the chin.”

socrates said...

Dude, look what I found.

"Marshall Mcluhan Full lecture: The medium is the message - 1977 part 1 v 3"

1,028 to 12 thumbs up

socrates said...

Orson Welles' The Magnificent Ambersons (1942) was a brilliant movie concerning the days when the automobile took over as the medium. Though I somewhat recall Welles was seething aout how the studios sliced and diced his masterpiece. Citizen Kane also hit some major the medium is the conspiracy notes, but it's a shame Orson had to smear sweetie cutie Marion Davies in the process.

As Gloria Swanson said to Cecille B. DeMille in Sunset Boulevard, "I'm ready for the close-up, Mr. DeMille." Or maybe that is more thinking out loud. :/

donkeytale said...

McLuhann was HUGE in the 60s, one of the most talked about of the hipper than thou. Not sure how or why his influence has waned.

It seems his schtick was prescient and has aged particularly well in this, the era of the infoboobtubes.

donkeytale said...

I like this one too.

It stands up alongside Troll Wars and some of my fictional efforts.

Tho it's from 2014 not 13. The Snowden revelations were the second set he released, I believe.

There are a lot of people mining the internet sucks phenomenon these days.

We were early but probably a bit too hazy and/or lazy to go the distance with it.

Still, we've made our contribution as boys inside the machine.

donkeytale said...

Something of a counterpoint to this masterpiece has been offered up on the Graun.

This is the utopian take of the internets. The book may be more in depth but this article reads like a load of fatuous hooey to this pargamtic observer.

More mind candy for the half awake social media addict.

"See Marge, I told you wasn't wasting my time all day every day. I'm in the advanced vanguard of teh new revolution!"

Eat carefully, suckers.

socrates said...

I am going to read this next. The great thing about Twitter is you can simply retweet stuff and be done with it. In forums someone adds a link or two, some opinions, and they trigger in us a need to respond.

Or I see losers from Twitter bypass that with a +1 dude! or "This."

Video killed the radio star and dumbass useful idiots destroyed the supertrolls. I'm not reading comments to exercise my fingers with scrolling techniques. I demand a better social media!

socrates said...

I switched the leader board for popular posts from the last seven to the last thirty days. The all-time leader list seems pointless, as it will simply regurgitate the entries from years ago.

I am starting the article. I did notice that click bait headline a couple days ago but never checked it out.

"The end of capitalism has begun"

We shall see if the article delivers.

The author has his own wikipedia page. I wish we didn't have to vet authors so much, but that is one thing I honestly believe must be done more often. I will assume for now he is legit. If the article is garbage, I may reconsider his passing grade so far in regards to introductory socratisation proceedings.

socrates said...

I can see why you said the Tinman would make a decent screenshot heading for this entry. He lacked a heart. Too bad there wasn't a character in the Wizard of Oz who lacked a spine. That might be more accurate. The strawman lacked a brain? That might work too. The lion lacked courage? I guess that is similar to lacking a spine.

It's hard to fault people for lacking a so-called brain when the medium is the message.

socrates said...

I am halfway through the article and am very impressed so far. I do acknowledge your warning that it is a pie-in-the-sky kind of schtick. He stole that from Jurgen Habermas who spoke of the internet as potentially being a positive steering device for positive social change.

I hope this isn't wrong of me to mix and match our comment threads, but it seems too much of a hassle to bounce back and forth. Having the separate sports thread seems to have worked out. For this other stuff, it simply is too related to feel the need to partition it. But with sports, I could see how it is in our interest to keep them separate, to make the joint user-friendly so to speak.

I wanted to add without having to go back to the current thread getting a bit into Aaron Walker and the troll wars. But I wanted to mention that my DKos schtick took place after I was banned and scrubbed from Democratic Underground. I copied and pasted what I found in Yahoo cache back then and reposted it on my first blog. This is my second blog if Youtube is ignored. Youtube is like the sports chatter. It is nice for those interested but doesn't really reach the levels of importance that hopefully our "real" blogging has nailed. I was actually much more effective imho at DU than at Daily Kos where I thought I could make safe passage to.

It's an interesting internet history. I am kind of glad that some years have passed and now I imagine we now have known each other for half of your blogging career. It's like Carlton Fisk. He played ten years with the Red Sox, then I guess ten more with the White Sox. The only thing we truly know about Fisk was that he was a Sox, though it is perhaps impossible to ascertain which colour he now wears.