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Samstag, 29. September 2018

The beauty of the machine.

The beauty of the machine. [translated by Malte Forstat]


(Image: Beijing, tomorrow morning…)

No, the water is not up to our necks. Water is not the problem but a source of life. We shouldn’t fall for every hyped-up media sensation. Let’s take the climate crisis as a new opportunity. This may sound fatalistic, but nature’s regrettable habit of being totalitarian can also be quite fruitful.

The nation state is on the way out. That concept was never really updated and is now, at least in its 19th century manifestation, obsolete. But that won’t stop those on the far right and in the land of stupid to continue to abuse it to foster a rhetoric of ‘us against them’.

Even if marauding bands of fascists put some corner of the world to the torch because democracies are either unwilling to put up a fight or are mired in corruption, in the long run – but even already today – national sovereignty and statehood are a thing of the past.

These electronic dark ages are giving rise to fantastical and paradox phenomena. Today’s bumble brains, supposedly oh so unpolitical or patriotic usually excrete their mental diarrhoea via a highly complex and more-than-international machine, i.e. it even leaches into near space, and wallow in their own ignorance which is slowly suffocating them.

Through high-frequency-trading in ultimately imaginary financial markets, the economy is shooting itself in the foot and the Good Lord as a drug remains a murdering good guy.

The particularly gaga, there is no other way to describe them, drivel on and on about digitalisation in general. And they don’t seem to get that binary isn’t something to eat or that ASCII is not the latest sports craze. The fear of the machines, the clever robots, manifests itself in recurring bouts of luddite dementia.

Well, this is something we’re just going to have to get through: Those mostly unnecessary bureaucratic entities (Banks, national governments, administration and other aberrations) will be held back by the Peter Principle and will continue to indulge in vampirism without noticing their evident self-annihilation.

Sadly, even seemingly progressive movements, such as labour unions, are also playing a tragicomical role in this.

From the hand axe to the smart robot, it is always us who are the machine. The tool is an integral part of life. And even some animals use objects to make their lives easier – for survival.

In that sense, we live in the best of all possible worlds. The fear of intelligent systems is more than unfounded, because ‘intelligence’ is a concept that is hard to really pin down, and thus comes in guises that can always be renegotiated. Automation, facilitation of survival, progress and the development of systems capable of being rational seem to be more apt terms.

They are a valuable opportunity and the promise of a great future, which only has to be put on a democratic foundation. Put simply: The beautiful machine works, thinks (and in a way it also sets the course), generates value and pays taxes. Meanwhile, we contemplate, learn, engage in research or simply do what we want. It is not like we have ever really had control over anything. And that is not and will not be the case in the future either.

In practice, that results in the demand for a machine tax, the socialisation of global electronic networks and their so-called portals (antisocial media, online retailers etc.…)

Once we have this, we can sit back and watch as egomania slowly but surely dissolves in a puff of logic. What this self-dissolution will destroy in the meantime remains to be seen. Nevertheless, we should today already give thought to how we can find a reasonable and humane way to rebuilding afterwards.

Let’s have intelligent systems, intelligent algorithms and put an end to hard physical labour, the armaments industry, slavery and war! I-diots of the world, whatever happens, your days are numbered.

Never forget: “Machines are only people, too. And beautiful people exist; in fact, there are plenty of them.”

Besides, I am convinced that Trumpism & Co. has to be destroyed. [MLR. Idealist Cato]

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If fear and malice are seen as reasonable, resistance becomes a civic duty.

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