I was DISTINCTLY TOLD, in the 1990s, that if we put computers into all the things it would make us all super-smart and super-sexy and super-kind and we would all live in houses made of translucent plastic and acid dance and rainforests and we would specifically NOT become a society of giant raging dumbass jerks selling fake nutritional supplements to Nazis.
There were RECEIPTS. Money changed HANDS.
I wish to complain to the MANAGEMENT.
@natecull My mentor in graduate school once wrote a book that expounded the former.
He now writes books mostly about how money and technology have formed an unholy marriage that is ruining the whole world. He's the most gentle and kind and wonderful human, and the most heartbroken person I know, because not only did he believe, he was one of the *prophets*.
...which is why I am now an anarcho-communist, because the thing he had me study was the history of money, LOL.
Also, the physical representation of the girl (whose name I can't remember right now) in Adolescent Demo Division is based on me!
@dredmorbius @TheGibson @natecull Well, it ended up in the book Life, Inc., though I think it’s threaded throughout a lot of his work that came after. For me, it became the basis for a hugely radical shift in my perception of politics— money is like god to us, and when the curtain is stripped away and you realize there’s no there there, it kind of blows your mind that you and everyone else is in pursuit of something that’s a fantasy.
@dredmorbius @TheGibson @natecull Oh, but as for when that happened... 2005 is when we started working together on Life, Inc., but I think it started before that. Maybe 2003ish? He was teaching at ITP and had watched it go from a school that promoted weird stuff made with tech to a school looking for their next alumnus to sell their thesis project to Google.
@dredmorbius @TheGibson @natecull Anyway, I’m obviously speaking from an outside perspective and don’t know what was in his head, but I do know he was a much less optimistic but no less hopeful man when we met.
I also RAed for Clay Shirky at the time, when he was working on Here Comes Everybody, and it was like being student to The Vinegar Tasters. (Clay didn’t put me in the acknowledgments, though... 😒)
I'd always thought cybernetics was about machine and process controls, but he very much intended it to apply to /all/ systems, including animal and human behaviour, psychology, sociology, economics.
And warned explicitly of the dangers.
He was sidelined due to his post-WWII conscientious objection to military work, and corporate criticism, in part being caught up in the Red Scare and McCarthyism.
A massive shame.
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