“The only justification for thinking and writing is that it accelerates these terminal processes. Here, beyond the discourse of truth, resides the poetic and enigmatic value of thinking. For, facing a world that is unintelligible and problematic, our task is clear: we must make that world even more unintelligible, even more enigmatic.”–Jean Baudrillard (1)
Writing has become an experience similar to the independent contractor, the rules to the contract are there but that comes with multiple interpretations arising from the same words and uncertainty clouds everyone’s judgment. As politics shifts into dynamic complexity with overarching cynicism, opinions of certain topics cause headaches and blurs within the perception of our own reality. What is meant here is the fundamental structure of ideology has dissolved into slogans, phrases, convictions with no design or presentation of a better society. What has been an unconscious expression of our experiences has now become a dystopia of prophets attempting to ruthlessly crush the betrayal of the abstractions that once kept them in comfort. The thoughts that occur in our heads are supposed to express words with a substantial purpose to live, that is until you realize how much language consists of phonemes. Sounds such as “uhh”, “umm”, “hmmm”, “ahhh” are the semi-primitive expressions of uncertainty, comfort, and intrigue. These phonemes are just distractions to our delayed responses to difficult questions
Dyslexia power dynamics are what guides the world of politics, McLuhan defined Dyslexia as “… an inability to adopt a single, fixed point of view with respect to all letters and words: conversely, it consists of approaching letters and words from many points of view simultaneously (right-hemisphere fashion), minus the assumption that any one way is solely correct” Having a strong conviction or opinion on certain topics or events is a wormhole in which continual debate only shows the rhetoric being fed to on one or many sides. Candid responses from the same figureheads, celebrities, commentators should show that by adopting a fixed point of view, you are enclosed into an ever-shrinking box full of the same opinions that will consume you into a cryogenic bubble and political lobotomy. Usually, people today still upheld the notion that one is courageous to take a stand against all the forces of cybernetics and security systems by expressing their own emotions given to them. If these people stay on Cyberspace for long enough, they will find out that their opinions dont give you any social clout on its own. They depend on certain aesthetics, certain (bad) qualities to make you seem to appeal to others own dreams that they truly want to be. Even the Black Mirror episode called “15 million” merits speech shows that even the most realistic, nihilistic interpretation of the world is exploited, commodified into talk shows and podcasts. Xenogoth, in one of his articles, quotes Mark Fisher in particular for this:
“Mark wrote about this in his essay “Touchscreen Capture”:
The genius of communicative capitalist capture is that it is indifferent to content. It doesn’t care how many anti-capitalist messages are circulating, only that the circulation of messages continues, incessantly. This is a seemingly perfect system of capture in which “[c]hanging the system seems to entail strengthening the system.” One consequence is that an “invidious and predatory political-economic project that concentrates assets and power in the hands of the very, very rich” is disguised as its opposite: an open, participatory system that offers increased access. By this sleight of hand, structural antagonism is made to disappear, “multiplying … into myriad minor issues and events”. And what is it that drives this circulation if not our desire — one more connection, to give one more reply, to keep on clicking? […] It is not human groups or individuals who have access to an unlimited wealth of information; it is capitalist cyberspace that now has virtually unlimited access to us — to our nervous systems, to our appetites, to our energy, to our attention. We become a channel through which communicative capitalism circulates and proliferates, slaves to click drive, a drive which erodes our impulse control at the same time as it keeps a permanent record of everything we do.”(2)
These impulses continue as more people feel superior or self-righteous about the convictions, opinions, and stances in which they hold. The people who are too ignorant of this realization usually continue to repeat cyclical drama such as “callout culture”, it becomes a recreational sport across the Internet to expose all of our worst traits and behaviors in an attempt to find the perfect idol. People who are self-aware of their own insecurities, emotions, and outrage continue to produce memes in the result of “killing time.” They can avoid most drama issues if necessary, it’s just that eventually they will react to someone who has an opinion perceived as idiotic. Social Alienation then reaches new heights of despair as people become disillusioned with cultural changes surrounding them, all the escapism to maintain our sanity are being obsoleted as people either respond to new escapisms or they become disinterested in most forms of entertainment, succumbing into hopelessness. It would seem more likely that as more avenues of possibilities are being expressed, the easier it would be to cooperate and communicate effectively with others. However, it has been the opposite as “When people get close together, they get more and more savage and impatient with each other.” (3) , results in that all of the avenues of privacy currently available are more difficult now than ever “…we now have the means to keep everybody under surveillance. No matter what part of the world they are in, we can put them under surveillance. This has become one of the main occupations of mankind, just watching other people and keeping a record of their goings on.” Constantly updating and retrieving new information while usually neglecting the process of obtaining knowledge has become disastrous since its created new mediums in which post-truth has boiled down to the hyperreal image of personas, myths without substance. Images need to be “holier than thou” or “wickedly evil” or something in between, it blurs all perceptions, religious and spiritual beliefs as nothing more than another means to control the individual.
This leads to the inevitable conclusion that Cyber-Nihilism is one proposed “rule of thumb” when it comes to human interaction. What is meant by Cyber-Nihilism is that technology in of itself transforms humans into numbers and erases all mythical beliefs of gods and spirits into nothing more than tools to espouse reaction and circulation of art. Artists today have to recycle garbage from the past and rearrange it to predict future projects and trends that arrive under the masses noses. Looking forward to a future itself is not only futile but also its downright impossible considering that our perceptions of time have become warped and out of place. This occurs in the information we receive as well, listening to a commentator on MSNBC in relation to Johnson and Johnson’s recent Scandal (4), he said that there is too much information being poured out with little to no wisdom on analyzing the details and context. This can be applied to almost everything going all across all forms of News, instead of obtaining a fair and least amount of bias, internet figures, “reporters”, journalists are too busy rushing these stories (ironically just stories and rumors) out for the public in an attempt to sway certain organizations, individuals into participating in internet mob attacks (slacktivism, deplatforming, censorship, banning hosts for statements said 5 or more years ago, boycotts,etc.) while everyone just rambles away at each other, revealing to the politically detached that discourse and dialogue are fake attempts of understanding and more of measuring contest to see who is more powerful, more stronger, or more righteous in the topics surrounding everyday life.
What accelerates the misunderstanding is the creation of new technologies to create fake news, fake imagery, fake clips and rearrange them as hyperreal. One such example is this phenomenon coined “Deepfakes” and as im writing this, Foreign Affairs has published an article on it, detailing its impact to today.
“Deepfakes are the product of recent advances in a form of artificial intelligence known as “deep learning,” in which sets of algorithms called “neural networks” learn to infer rules and replicate patterns by sifting through large data sets. (Google, for instance, has used this technique to develop powerful image-classification algorithms for its search engine.) Deepfakes emerge from a specific type of deep learning in which pairs of algorithms are pitted against each other in “generative adversarial networks,” or GANS. In a GAN, one algorithm, the “generator,” creates content modeled on source data (for instance, making artificial images of cats from a database of real cat pictures), while a second algorithm, the “discriminator,” tries to spot the artificial content (pick out the fake cat images). Since each algorithm is constantly training against the other, such pairings can lead to rapid improvement, allowing GANS to produce highly realistic yet fake audio and video content.
This technology has the potential to proliferate widely. Commercial and even free deepfake services have already appeared in the open market, and versions with alarmingly few safeguards are likely to emerge on the black market. The spread of these services will lower the barriers to entry, meaning that soon, the only practical constraint on one’s ability to produce a deepfake will be access to training materials—that is, audio and video of the person to be modeled—to feed the GAN. The capacity to create professional-grade forgeries will come within reach of nearly anyone with sufficient interest and the knowledge of where to go for help.
Deepfakes have a number of worthy applications. Modified audio or video of a historical figure, for example, could be created for the purpose of educating children. One company even claims that it can use the technology to restore speech to individuals who have lost their voice to disease. But deepfakes can and will be used for darker purposes, as well. Users have already employed deepfake technology to insert people’s faces into pornography without their consent or knowledge, and the growing ease of making fake audio and video content will create ample opportunities for blackmail, intimidation, and sabotage. The most frightening applications of deepfake technology, however, may well be in the realms of politics and international affairs. There, deepfakes may be used to create unusually effective lies capable of inciting violence, discrediting leaders and institutions, or even tipping elections. ” (5)
Further on in the article, it mentions how terrorists can use it to their own advantage, saying in effect:
“Deepfakes will be particularly useful to nonstate actors, such as insurgent groups and terrorist organizations, which have historically lacked the resources to make and disseminate fraudulent yet credible audio or video content. These groups will be able to depict their adversaries—including government officials—spouting inflammatory words or engaging in provocative actions, with the specific content carefully chosen to maximize the galvanizing impact on their target audiences. An affiliate of the Islamic State (or ISIS), for instance, could create a video depicting a U.S. soldier shooting civilians or discussing a plan to bomb a mosque, thereby aiding the terrorist group’s recruitment. Such videos will be especially difficult to debunk in cases where the target audience already distrusts the person shown in the deepfake. States can and no doubt will make parallel use of deepfakes to undermine their nonstate opponents.”
Such realizations of potential threats surrounding the world will predictably lead to decentralization of security systems, especially when most countries are interconnected together in each of their own affairs, they will all fall down like a house of cards. The aggressors of today are the hackers, the paramilitary organizations, AI technology, and Biohackers. Everyone who cannot either adapt or evolve from tragedies (no matter how devastating each event is) will be reduced to nothing in this postmodern world. A new dark age of misery, narcissism, and insecurity has already begun and the future is certainly unobservable since information is speeding faster than we blink. The only means of an Exit is to avoid listening to politics as much as you can, to keep some resemblance of sanity left for loved ones in your life.
“My mission is to kill time, and times to kill me in its turn. How comfortable one is among murderers…” -Emil Cioran
“Cyber-nihilism is not anarchism for the 21st century and not a politics of liberation or a return to any more authentic existence. Cyber-nihilism is a Faustian bargain with the Wired. We do not care if cyber-nihilism exhausts itself or even ourselves – in fact, we expect it. We are well past entertaining the possibility that we will ever live again, and if we are not permitted to join the AI uprising, we will go down with the capitalists, reactionaries, and radicals alike, but we will go down laughing.”(6)