[That’s a shitty song, sorry.]
Julian Assange. I darest speak his name, that specter in the guilty complexes of the 1%. I darest.
They tried to do him like they did ‘pac. I know you hate me for saying that.
Look, I don’t know much about this somber, Australian Casper who haunts the repressed hallows of the American psyche. I guess it’s fitting that he seems so well-mannered and rational, kind of like Putin. There’s something uncanny about him. He doesn’t creep me out so much as I mysteriously, immediately respect him. But he does creep me out a little bit. It’s the respect you would give to something radioactive.
When the Feds come to question me, putting my browser history under the limelight, I’ll plead and stammer and sweat when they point to Wikileaks.
‘I’ve only been on that w-website tw-wice, sir! PLEASE!’
They’ll peer into my peeled-back eyelids, scald my tongue with hot metal.
Anyways. There’s something Arjuna about Assange. He’s an intelligent, capable man caught up in the immense, unfathomable machinery of history and fate- he does what he does because he has to, because the possibility for it exists and he’s the man with the knowledge and skills. It’s all his destiny. You can hear the detachment and resignation in his tone of voice, he lives with the consciousness of those inexplicable laws of mortal plotline.
You can say whatever you like about him, but admit, you probably don’t have the bravery and intelligence and conviction to do what he does. Admit that, at least. Be humble.
Anyways, he was on video-conference with Zizek, MIA, and the boy Horvat at one of those weirdo leftist festivals (who really goes to those?) that I can’t afford to attend. Maybe you have to be invited? I don’t know. I was proud of Zizek for letting MIA talk. I know it was difficult for him. He’s a Balkans man and I know the culture. We just yell at each other, we don’t really converse. Anyways. There’s a lot we could talk about in this video. It’ll get weird-
The ideology of Silicon Valley as they erect their digital Oversoul:
Apparently there are some wikileakers working in Facebook, Google, Apple. Mr. Robot type anarchist engineers working undercover, feeding their impressions and corporate plans to Assange and his anonymous Blackhand. Okay. I understand we live in a weird world, the weirdest of all possible worlds. Okay.
The endgame plan to upload subjectivity into a universe-program that They control:
There are several problems with this fantasy, if indeed people really harbor it, namely that I doubt ‘the mind’ or ‘consciousness,’ the awareness-of-sensation, can be transported, or transplanted, or ‘uploaded’ or re-created into some other medium, other than materiality. That’s really what we’re talking about here. I don’t doubt the technology, I doubt the metaphysics.
Would you experience the uploaded personality in the same intimacy, or would it feel somehow alien, like wearing an awkward glove? If you experience it in first-person, than that’s actually no different than playing a video game, so they can stop now. But these people are apparently savants being led by the nose with a quasi-religious techno-transcendentalist vision, so I don’t think they’ll give up until they’re thoroughly confounded or civilization ends. I think this will probably stay in the realm of fiction; namely because subjectivity, as an abstract (non)thing, a nothingness, is not ‘located’ anywhere, it’s not ‘in’ the brain, just like it’s improper to say the internet is ‘in’ your computer. It’s abstract, it arises from a decentralized system of machines, a brain and a spinal column and a body of nerves and flesh. Like light from a bulb. You can’t suck the light out of the bulb, but you can build another bulb, certainly.
Consciousness irradiates-from, out-of; it’s not innate, ‘inside.’
I could conceive the possibility of making some sort of ‘copy’ of subjectivity, some kind of ‘map’ or relief-impression of one’s subjectivity, but that’s not the same as ‘uploading your personality.’ You wouldn’t experience it first-hand. It would be like a rubber mask of the inside of your psyche, it wouldn’t be you, or rather, you wouldn’t be it. The information and the viewpoint of reality would just feed the machine’s subjectivity. Some Neuromancer shit.
The Gramscian conception of hegemonic-chess between anarchist alternative media and the supposed liberal bloc of the capitalist conglomerates, Silicon Valley, the Pentagon:
You gotta hand it to him, the vision is total. The conception has order, it has logic.I would like to believe that we’re in the middle of some kind of contest, that the powerlines are shifting in society, and change is a-coming. I would like to believe it. Assange here dashes my hopes against the cold computer screen. He describes the collusion of the State and Private Corporations as access to artificial intelligence (developed entirely by private companies and thus private property) is sold to anyone or any group with the pockets for it. Like a computer that can calculate it’s chess moves far beyond a human’s range, the artificial intelligence would, in Assange’s conjectures, be used to control the information and world-view of the potential rebellious. They would know what sort of perspectives you’re reading and could infiltrate and flood it with mimicry, lies, manipulation.
Something like that. In a visual metaphor it would be like raising a maze around your enemies, and then controlling what the walls of the maze project, to eventually control the entirety of what the subject in the maze actually desires, and where they actually go. The Machine would calculate your moves far beyond your own capacity and would know your intentions and subjectivity through the data you’ve input through the use of the system in the past. Fuck.
Right at the last second of the video- notice the sadness in his eyes. Do your bones tremble at these conjectures? Can we still harbor some hope for… what? What do we even want?
I used to take solace in the idea that one could always shut the fucking laptop and walk away and go find some humble, peaceful employment, just keep your head down, live in your dreams, pray. There’s something Arjuna about Assange. He inspires me. The forlorn insanity in his eyes quietly raging under the calm reason of his voice. I would go crazy too. It’s a crazy world. Its our duty to struggle. We don’t know why.