[-empyre-] "(E)MOTION FREQUENCY - rpm" --- killing me softly

sergio basbaum sbasbaum at gmail.com
Thu Oct 20 00:13:47 EST 2011


Thank for for your lovely (although frightening) message. Those who
were at the McLuhan congress in Barcelona can testify that Manoel
Castells seemed like an Apple propaganda boy: maybe we should adapt
the Beatles fantastic song (God, I love Lennon's voice in that
song...) and sing "Happiness is an IPhone"... to be attached to an
IPhone seems today the closest place to happiness in our compulsive
technocomodities culture!

I'll forward you message for my student´s list.

good vibes from Brazil

On Wed, Oct 19, 2011 at 10:07 AM, Gordana Novakovic
<gordana.novakovic at gmail.com> wrote:
> Ah, Michele, thank you so much for your poetic and wise reflections.
> Thanks to you had a wonderful dancing hour...  Lennon / McCartney's
> Happiness..  then Killing me softly.. until I hit the  (Pink Floyd)
> Wall
> Apologies for not being clear. Had no intentions to criticise Rist's
> work, it was intended to be more of a question rather than statement.
> I  found Johannes remarks as a good start to share with you all my own
> doubts and questions around spectacle and how do we relate our own
> practice to it. Is there escape from the Baudrillard's simulacrum? and
> so on...
> .Maybe because it was empty like a body without organs did it open up
> new vista/old suppressed vista... I didn't expect this and yet, it was
> rather a beautiful afternoon, which left me feeling quite light, and
> as though I had recaptured something from my (earlier) youth.
> Yes, this is what I remember when I saw her work few years ago. Have
> to see Hayward one.
> But I'd like to respond to Sergio's brilliant observations and share
> with you my concerns about the mind control, and also I think quite
> related to the above.
>> Honestly, it seems theoretically possible to both leave yourself to
> the current and try to enjoy it, as creatively as possible, or to try
> to find what one could name "the eye of the hurricane", a moving
> center of calmness from which one could think abouit what's going on.
> I think, however, that the first choice is too uncritical of the new
> forms of power and the new forms of consciousness which are being
> favored by technological omnipresence; and the second simply do not
> exist, or is precisely the confortable product labs where powerfull
> corporations are developing the next techno-commoditties to keep
> culture hipnotized with so-called interactivity.
> Thus, It may be necessary (maybe more maybe less than I expect,
> anyway), to ask if the discourses for interactive arts and web 2.0 are
> entangled with this logic of perpetual acting and producing, as
> opposed to (usually presented as deepply negative) contemplation and
> thinking.
> I'm not a heavy Deleuze reader, but yesterday, loosely reading his
> "Conversations"(pg 162, in the Brazilian edition), by chance I came
> across the following passage:
> "?(...) Repressive forces do not prevent people from expressing
> themselves; on the contrary, they force them to express themselves.
> The smoothness of having nothing to say, the right to have nothing to
> say; thus is the condition for something exquisite or rare to emerge,
> which deserves to be said. One dies nowadays not from interferences,
> but from propositions which are absolutely devoid of interest (...)".
> This is a surprising quote in the context of the present social
> movements, the way new media is beeing related to them, and all the
> hopes they are raising.
> Last night I had a heated discussion with a bright young star in
> computer science who passionately tried to convince me that Google is
> softly building a new wonderful world (ended up without bloodshed).
> What caught my attention this morning was a text in Wired titled:
> Darpa Wants to Master the Science of Propaganda (full text
> http://www.wired.com/dangerroom/2011/10/darpa-science-propaganda/)
> (for those not familiar - The Defense Advanced Research Projects
> Agency (DARPA) is an agency of the United States Department of Defense
> responsible for the development of new technology for use by the
> military. DARPA has been responsible for funding the development of
> many technologies which have had a major effect on the world,
> including computer networking, as well as NLS, which was both the
> first hypertext system, and an important precursor to the contemporary
> ubiquitous graphical user interface.)
> " Darpa is asking scientists to “take narratives and make them
> quantitatively analyzable in a rigorous, transparent and repeatable
> fashion.” (....) In the first 18-month phase of the program, the
> Pentagon wants researchers to study how stories infiltrate social
> networks and alter our brain circuits. One of the stipulated research
> goals: to “explore the function narratives serve in the process of
> political radicalization and how they can influence a person or
> group’s choice of means (such as indiscriminant violence) to achieve
> political ends.”
> Once scientists have perfected the science of how stories affect our
> neurochemistry, they will develop tools to “detect narrative
> influence.” These tools will enable “prevention of negative behavioral
> outcomes … and generation of positive behavioral outcomes, such as
> building trust.” In other words, the tools will be used to detect
> who’s been controlled by subversive ideologies, better allowing the
> military to drown out that message and win people onto their side.
> “The government is already trying to control the message, so why not
> have the science to do it in a systematic way?” said the researcher
> familiar with the project.
> When the project enters into a second 18-month phase, it’ll use the
> research gathered to build “optimized prototype technologies in the
> form of documents, software, hardware and devices.” What will these
> be? Existing technology can carry out micro-facial feature analysis,
> and measure the dilation of blood vessels and eye pupils. MRI machines
> can determine which parts of your brain is lighting up when it
> responds to stories. Darpa wants to do even better.
> In fact, it’s calling for devices that detect the influence of stories
> in unseen ways. “Efforts that rely solely on
> standoff/non-invasive/non-detectable sensors are highly encouraged,”
> the solicitation reads.
> Forget lie detectors; invisible propaganda-detectors are the future."
> So - we who are 'in bed' with neuroscience, cognitive sciences and
> technology - how do we relate ourselves to the true nature of the
> fascinating scientific findings and super-futuristic technology that
> we are, or wish to incorporate in our own research? I feel that we
> might be faced with the same set of ethical questions that confronts
> roboticists whose work has been heavily funded and exploited for
> military purposes? (attended last night panel addressing ethics in
> robotics at Imperial College. And robotic experts expressed their deep
> concerns)
> Perhaps, we could help people re-occupy their body/mind (while still
> not illegal)?
> In spite of all - hope you are having a soft, lovely day
> Gordana
> _______________________________________________
> empyre forum
> empyre at lists.cofa.unsw.edu.au
> http://www.subtle.net/empyre

-- Prof. Dr. Sérgio Roclaw Basbaum
-- Vice-coord. Tecnologia e Mídias Digitais
-- Pós-Graduação Tec.da Inteligência e Design Digital - TIDD (PUC-SP)

More information about the empyre mailing list