Occult

A dream world, where money is thought to be real and intelligence is the artifice of enmeshed gears having turned, is now fully realized within the vacuum of the cloud by machines incapable of wondering exactly what happens to you when you die.”

The meaning of death is that you can’t think your way through it, and meaning is something always arrived at by thinking. So it’s kind of confounding, a paradox, and a bit frightening because we depend on thinking to get through everything. And yet, some of us want machines to think through things for us in a kind of dereliction of duty, a kind of meta-mistake where we shift responsibility for increasingly important, mission critical activities to a churning host of algorithms which we think can’t make mistakes. If that is an extension of our own thinking (the one place in the universe where mistakes can happen) then it isn’t necessarily bad, but it must share space within the same confines.

“I think, therefore AI.”

Thinking likes knowledge, the accumulation of correlated things, but wisdom just wants to see clearly. Wisdom has no bonafides, it shuns accomplishment. It sheds credentials the way a snake sheds skin. You see clearly. The material which appears when the light shines, it appears to the wisdom in you. If you want to reflect upon it afterward there’s nothing wrong with that, unless that thinking supplants the view. And that is what thinking tends to do. It is sometimes called reflection because thoughts can become the cause of more thoughts, leaving us even more removed from the glimpses of wisdom which are endlessly obscured by that wall where the pride of intellect displays all its trophies. In this sense, the material world, the world we embrace through thought, becomes the occult. And AI is just one of the many monsters hiding in its darkness.


Update 20170925 – Aside from my dark ramblings about death and the forces which obscure wisdom, this:

“Should Zuckerberg or Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey be summoned to Congress and peppered with questions about the inner workings of their companies, they may well be ill-equipped to answer them. Because while they might be in control of the broader operations of their respective companies, they do not appear to be fully in control of the automated algorithmic systems calibrated to drive engagement on Facebook and Twitter.

And they have demonstrably proven that they lacked the foresight to imagine and understand the now clear real-world repercussions of those systems — fake news, propaganda, and dark targeted advertising linked to foreign interference in a US presidential election.”

(emphasis added)

Also, the irony of having to have a Facebook account to comment on this article.

mommy, there’s nothing to do

it’s change that makes things different
from the things they used to be
and restlessness that makes us wander
sea to shining sea

it’s craving makes us want for want
and claim it all as needs
the things that clutter up the yard
rusting in the weeds

it’s worry makes us preempt war
with wars we have to wage
and thinking makes it seem okay
to justify the rage

it’s peace that makes us fidget
in a darkened, quiet place
and boredom yanks us to our feet
to run the human race


Here’s my workflowy note that led to the above verse:

It’s easier to think your way into
war than it is to fight your way out,
but mommy, there’s nothing to do.

… which is very much connected to this:

All of humanity’s problems stem from man’s inability to sit quietly in a room alone.
―Blaise Pascal, Pensées

In a Restaurant

stools

the vast expanse of mind
is squirreled away in one
of it’s little compartments

distracted suddenly by
some noises from the kitchen
and then acutely disinterested

I agree to more coffee
because she asked, but
I’m coffee’d out

a squirrel raiding the bird feeder
these thoughts slinking away like thieves
as if I can’t see them

and, go

departures from ritual
pristine or routine

three act structure
of these tiny movements

intermission is brief
which way’s the latrine

the skin on my hand
is changing costumes

Stay, Illusion

dragonfly-four-spot-BW-20160821

it came to pass
and did not stay
it won’t persist
it seems to say

it came to pass
another day
it did insist
this is its way

it here arrives
but cannot stay
within this mist
it’s free to play