Yum-Yum Means Holloween Candy I Have No Doubt

and one more... a seasonal one.

via Last Days of Man on Earth (you should probably read the post for context.)

Time for...

I've said it before, but I'll say it again. Can we all agree that it is not now, nor has ever been, time for the percolator?

Add to file, "things I am glad to say have no doubt been broadcast into space".


And What Have I Done....

I've been playing with Wave for most of the afternoon, and it's been fun, but still pretty frustrating. It's a lot like moving into a new building while their still installing light fixtures. There is dust everywhere, many things don't work right, but mostly it's just exciting to be the new building and wander around, not really using the space, but just enjoying the new architecture.

There's all the stuff I could say about how it's amazing, etc, but I won't, because if you care at all I'm sure you've read it already somewhere else, in the near thousand blog posts that have just recycled the commonly held knowledge we all already saw in the video. So I'm not going to write about that, but simply record a few of my observations about wandering around in this new community center, just opened to the public, at least those willing to step around the ladders and buckets and stuff.

Why? Well, maybe that will be a little apparent by the time I'm done. Also, the reason you might be reading this either in Wave, or on a good "old-fashioned" blog might also be clear. But enough with the preludes, and let's get to it.

Firstly, none of the things I want to use work. True, I am writing a wave right now, or a "blip", if this new lingo is to be trusted. And after about five different "beginner's guides" I finally figured out how to search the public waves, so yes, I can do that too. But the Twitter functionality won't authenticate, and while I had some limited success getting a wave to show up on both a Word Press site and Blogspot, I would hardly call it really functional. So I'm stuck with... waves. Lost at sea. Adrift in the malestrom. Metaphors ad nauseum.

You see, this is really want I wanted to do--I wanted to use a single platform for instant web publishing. I wanted to open one control screen, and instantly slingshot my words to all the many repositories I keep on the network. I wanted to finally have one Google product to rule them all, and with the instant-update quality that is defining the mobile infinite-net. Instead, I am still trying to untangle javascript and making use of copious Ctrl C. I've written about it before... the dream of a easily accessible, atemporal network linking the contributing consciousnesses of the world in as much of a tangle singularity as it will probably ever get, what with our bizarre and varied tastes in personal hygiene and all.

But that's okay, because this is merely a preview of this game-changing, web-#.0-upgrading, temporal-continuity-destroying free web app. No need to get all broodingly philosophical on the first day, right?

Wrong! Look at these people! All of these villagers running around, pulling on the levers and setting up tents and shouting and waving their arms at their friends, trying to find the best space, and maybe even get a little something done before the porn bots and social media marketing gurus show up, as we all are sure that they will, as we cautiously peek out of the windows and at the horizon, keeping the children, old people and animals close, trying to build as many huts as possible before those vikings come over the hill.

Here are some interesting things that are happening:

- The Rush to Institute A Little Goddamn Law and Order: let some sysadmins in, and all of a sudden it's all wikipedia in here! Some wild west; more like a starving puritan colony where the few people left are desperately trying to use Roberts' Rules of Order to figure out how to get the corn to grow. We need a little less parlimentary procedure, and a little more Squanto! No, I'm kidding--I think it's awesome that there is already such a term as IBA (Initital Blip Author), and FIRM rules like reply-moderated tags, the seperation of document and discussion waves, and a thousand little convoluted discussions about etiquette. All of these are the sort of things that don't really need to be discussed, because just like the rest of the Internet, these rules will develop if it's going to make any sense at all. And yet they still are discussed, and politely discussed again. Because we're all educated people here, and we just love consensus! So groundbreaking, and yet so anti-punk-rock, it just tickles me pink. Google Wave really might be the next big thing, if people keep taking it so damn seriously!

- The Beginning of a New Era Starts...: When? I don't know, it seems like everyone's already been here for ever. All the good public waves have over a hundred comments, though this will probably end up being nothing as soon as they really open the floodgates. Maybe it's just that I can't get the Playback function to work, but it seems like Google Wave is going to have the same problem all new provinces and colonies have--everyone is too busy trying to survive to take down any history. Not that it's crucial to humanity to document these first few waves of the coming info-nami. Hell, the Internet isn't really exciting enough to keep a record. It's too big, too watered down, and too lumbersome to track each individual sweat gland of the beast, spitting moisture off into the tiny mossy filaments it is always trampling under foot. And yet, right now it seems like Wave is a community, or at least in some sense. The minute Wave becomes just another part of the Internet, that community will be lost. Anyone know where to read about the beginnings of Twitter? Something about some concert in Texas? Whatever, I'm just glad I started following Britney before she hit the million mark. But shouldn't somebody be writing something down? Who wants to be secretary? Nobody? Okay, cool. I mean, I'm not going to do it either. Just sayin'. This will probably seem pretty weird a year from now. But then again, time always does.

- JOIN US, BECAUSE WE'RE ALL IN IT TOGETHER!: But there is something kind of weird about these beginning times. I remember as a kid thinking it was so awesome that I could dial into a BBS and play tic-tac-toe against someone in another part of the state! I probably never played so much tic-tac-toe in my life as when my dad brought home a 14.4 modem. Times have changed of course, because now you can sign into Google Wave to play Sidoku against folks in Malaysia. But that's not all that's going on here. People are making rules, forming committees, and inventing new RPGs! People are making widgets, and handing out javascript samplers, and starting brand new photo pools, and talking about religion and the Internet and food and who knows what else. Everyone is getting into it, because it's new, and they want to get down. Hell, I'm trying to write some real time essays on it. Why? Because maybe it will be totally awesome, that's why. And at any rate, if something else awesome happens here, I'll be around when it happens. The numbers are still small enough that I can watch the public waves update, and be able to make sense of it. I can even recognize some avatars in the miniature view. We might as well be neighbors here in Google Wave. It's not just new tech, it's new Internet, and everybody's getting involved. And can you blame us? Remember how awesome the first Internet was?

And Other Great Prophecy: who knows what? Who knows what will be in the pipeline tomorrow? Who knows when stuff will really start to work? Maybe tonight. Maybe a week from now. Maybe when they finally release that hot gadget like they talked about and it works great and everybody loves it. Maybe not for a year, until the American Workers' Revolution is Wave-Cast, and the face of politics (and don't forget that pain in the ass, media) is changed beyond all of our wildest dreams. What? Don't worry about it. It's prophecy! We all know how awesome technology is, and now it is so awesome that we can all tell the future. Time has folded in half; time is a wave; periodization has reduced its wavelength to the infinitesimal scale of instantaneousness, and we are all a giant numeral one in the center of a sudoku grid with only one box. Shit is crazy, and you are/will be/have been there. So wave your hands like you just don't care. Because it's a new mediapocalypse every day, and if you don't sign in, you might just not even notice and instead do something else.

So until then, and for as long as it lasts, I'll send you my dispatches from the forefront of the bottom of the wave. You might not be able to read them, because they'll get lost in the cloud, or I'll forget to make it a public wave, or maybe you don't have an invite yet so all you see is a YouTube video rather than my words. But what is this if not a sign of the times, and proof of the cutting edge? Cultural incompatibility is the sign of big changes. Far be it from me to try and dumb down history for us. That's, like, some professor's job.

If you like this writing, or other stuff I've written, drop me a line, and the next time I clog the public wave feed, I'll make sure to add you. I know, this is kind of bootleg, but hey, this is Google Wave, baby!

Partners in Art

Well, I'm feeling much improved from my now-vanquished infection. Antibiotics--truly a triumph of modern times.

So I will now continue with my infrequent postings in the typical format, but before I do, there is one more acquaintance I'd like to share with you. There are many more than that of course, and I will try and add them as I think of them. This one, however, I fortunately remember.

The "M" I sometimes reference both here and on my Twitter feed is actually my lovely partner, Rosalynn Rothstein. She wears a great deal of creative hats, both the figurative and the literal varieties. But mostly she is doing two things: painting and arranging flowers.

And not just putting flowers in a damn vase either, but practicing the Japanese art of ikebana, and specifically, the sogetsu school. It's kind of like martial arts, in that they have particular styles and master teachers. I could try to explain the difference to you, but I'd just get it wrong.

The part that we can all appreciate is that it forms some awesome syncretisms between her flowers and her paintings. The flower arranging is all about balance, and both space and negative space, and throwing all these elements out of proportion. And her paintings, which she has previously referred to as landscapes, find themselves mimicking natural instances of balance and inbalance as well.

Her paintings are bright and colorful, rhythmic and abstract, and at the same time, they tend to put people off balance. Especially in Portland, the land of cutesy proportioned, baby-like animal paintings, they cut through the fog like uprooted trees and landslide scars. Nature may be totally sweet, but it's massive weight hasn't forgotten how to kick your ass. Bacteria, beetles, and boulders can all rend the flesh off your pretty little arms, and we should remember this, even when looking at the most delicate flower.

Rosalynn's work is available for viewing on her website, The Modern Forest, and is normally hanging around Portland somewhere. Right now she has a quilt sculpture piece at The Launch Pad Gallery, and some paintings at the Way Post. For the ikebana, there is always some around the house, and on our front porch. Sometimes she leaves them in public places as well, though those are not around for long. Especially in front of Stumptown, where people like to throw away pretty flowers. Damn you, Stumptown.


Please Stop Film, Turn Tape Over, Press Play.

My friend Jon, otherwise known as Lateral Hyetography, in addition to recording his own music produces the all-cassette label Really Coastal.

When I was in LA recently, Jon hooked me up with everything he had in stock: Theo Angell's "First Recordings", Antique Brother's "Hot Shit", and Bird Names' "Recession Vacation". (Bird Names is another venture of which I think I know, maybe two? of the current contributors.)

The selected cover art I've stuck here from Really Costal's website probably gives you an idea of the aesthetic. Funny how cover art will do that. In my two years reviewing music for a college radio station, I really found it interesting how sifting through the cover art will give you a pretty good idea of what the band will sound like. Thickness of paper and quality of printing will clue you in to the production quality of the tracks, and originality and artistic quality of the images will be a pretty good indicator of what it will sound like, and how good of a specimen.

But that said, and with the connotations that "all-cassette label" necessarily bring with it, there is a sort of music that cannot be produced any other way. The recording medium is part of the experience, and this holds true for torrented mp3, HQ 180g vinyl, scratched CD, or pristine cassette. When I put in the Antique Brothers tape into my crappy van's tape player, the only part of the music system that still works, and peered out of the rain-blurred windows on my way to work at 5:30 AM on an autumn Portland morning, it was precisely right. The echoing hues of the the tape matched my landscape with a soundscape for forty-five minutes, and then the tape reversed, dragging the long magnetic filament back to its origin.

Perhaps tapes, and the sort of music that must be recorded on tapes, are not for most people. But then again, most well-crafted art rarely is. This music is art music, because it meant to provoke something, not correspond to whatever the consumer already feels.


Pen and Ink Like Imagination Lassos

Amos Goldbaum lives in San Franscisco, and makes his living selling T-shirts on the streets.

He's also a pretty phenomenal artist, but I think the former is quite profound, due to my own ability to support myself with my work. The ability to intersect very creative work with something that the general public would like to, say, wear on a T-shirt is rare in this day and age.

At the school we both attended, I remember seeing his strange creations crawling across the walls of dorms, empty cartons of consumer products fixed to the walls with masking tape, and the odd book or pamphlet, produced who-knows-where.

His work, to me, is an interesting interface between the machinic, the animal, and the human, taking common-place sights and depicting them in an unsettling perspective. His ink and line form is perfect for the work, because it depicts shape while leaving it hollow. The uncanny, twisted shapes look like ghosts, showing just how uncanny it is to see people walking down the streets, strapped to the gills with machinery, as if nothing was wrong.

And at the same time, nothing is wrong, because these things are around us and in our minds all day, and we just go on living, from one day to the next. But are we okay? Do these creatures need our help? Are they trapped in their machinic assemblages? Or are they happily lurking, waiting to attack us if we try to pet them? Everything mundane is also uncanny, and everything horrifying is also normal.

You can either catch Amos on his Twitter feed, where he reports his daily selling location on the streets of SF, or at his website, where he has a very nice little store, and hundreds of images from his sketchbooks for your perusal. In addition to his own prints and shirts, he's also illustrated albums art work, a book or two, and done posters for local events. He's also had a few shows in the SF area, which you can see photos of on his site.


Friends, Philistines, and Countrypersons

I have an infection, and the constant hacking and coughing is giving me a nice little autumn writer's aesthetic, but I still am not feeling up to rattling off a philosophical tract at the moment, though numerous topics are flowing, especially after a great in-the-car discussion with Megan yesterday about intellectual property and folklore ethics. And other stuff too.

So instead, I'm going to do one of these curation things, where I take you on a guided blog post tour. It's not the most ground-breaking topic for a blog, or for the self-pleasuring world of the Internet for that matter, but it's something I've been meaning to do.

So without further ado, here are some people I know, who make interesting things.

They aren't linked by the type of things they make, or the style, or the potential interest to the "readership of this blog", but people whom I actually know in person, and not just via the Internet. Most of them I know from college, which for those of you who don't know, is a vast social system in america designed to sort and agglomerate human intellect during the end phase of pubescence. On the exit pipe side, here are some people who I ended up standing near, and who probably know more about me than my web auteur-ship typically exhibits, and who might have seen me shouting in various stages of undress at some point in time, which was probably not actually real.

The point is, among the various milieus and inspirations a person can inhabit and absorb in this atemporal, networked, year-of-our-data, there is still something to be said for those who have actually been seen going at it, making art, making gross body sounds, or just plain making a mess in some corner of the physical world. No genre here, man. Not even a categorical application of techne. No philosophical convictions or linked-in-thematic theses. But to paraphrase one of them, "I know some people, and now you're going to hear about 'em."

Beginning with the next post...


Behold, the pedal-powered panopticon

This has


written all over it.

But these days you have to travel simultaneously back and forward through a doom-plated meta-techno-apocalytpica time continuum matrix to really interest me.

I tell ya, some days it's just hard to keep up.


Get Weird, Young Man

So, after a tangential diversion into something I will go into later, I was reminded of one of the most important books in my life, and because I've never discussed it, I'm going to go on another little tangent to gush about it.

The book is, The Happy Mutant Handbook, made in 1995 by Mark Frauenfelder, Carla Sinclair, and some of the other original boingboing crew. Basically, it's a handbook into the lifestyle of the typical boingboing enthusiast, filled with essays, bios of interesting people and groups, a few manifestos, and lists of resources accessible through something they keep calling "the Net". Whatever that is.

Now, I give boingboing a little bit of crap now and then, simply because now it is popular, and almost, like, mainstream, so they get to lead the flying-V of geese for a while, and get hit with the worst air resistance. Sure, I lamprey a few links from the mega-feed now and then without citing my source. That's what the big shark is there for! But really, this book in no small way made me the man I am today, and that's why I want to talk about it.

Let me set the scene for you a little bit. The year was 1995. I was in seventh grade. The year before I had just moved back to the US after living in Germany for two years, moving into a suburban wet dream in Connecticut. I was extraordinarily introverted; I had always been a bit of a "entertain myself" kid, though social enough, but upon coming back to the States to realize everybody had made ultra-serious friendships in 4th and 5th grade and become obsessed with all kinds of music I had never heard before and talked constantly about something called "Saved by the Bell", and that my shorts were way too short... well, let's just say it drove me a little inward.

Looking back on it now, I really fear for that poor thirteen year old. He might have met a horrible fate in suburban Connecticut. He might have watched a lot of TV, kind of liked the Gin Blossoms, and went to school for business or actuarial training and settled down in a similar sort of suburb, maybe finally getting married and producing spawn. Or worse, I could have been driven inward, and worn all black, and had a really bad attitude, and maybe grumbled to myself while I drove a bus. Sometimes I think we forget just how much teenagers need affirmation. They desperately need someone to tell them they are okay, that what they look like and what they say and do is not horrible. West Hartford, Connecticut was not going to tell me these things. Hell, I didn't even play travel soccer. Of course, my parents thought it was fine that I told weird jokes and read a lot of books, but being a teenager means that your parents' affection all of sudden is no longer enough.

And this sob story might have continued, if I didn't lurk around the magazine racks at Barnes and Noble, which was just about the weirdest place in town after the hobby shop, after the record store closed so a greeting card store could open. In the back of the racks, behind the legitimate glossy magazines, I found odd-shaped magazines about computers and music, and weird stuff like esoteric religions. I always wondered how these magazines survived, if nobody had ever heard of them. I was interested in the Internet, and spent a lot of time exploring BBSes. I kind of put two and two together, thinking that maybe these weird magazines were sort of like the Internet--something almost free, not really for money, that only a few people knew about. I bought copies of 2600 and Z magazine, and understood almost none of it, but enjoyed the tiny 8.5 x 5.5 shape, and the feeling of reading something edgy nobody knew about or understood. It was arcana for me, and I would just like holding it in my hand, the way kids carry Animal Farm, or the Communist Manifesto. Just to feel those edgy words in your hand.

I never found bOINGbOING, the zine. This was still West Hartford, and the Barnes and Noble. I have no idea what 2600 was doing there. Maybe it was well known at that point. I didn't read any zines (unless you count 2600), and I wouldn't for another five years. It wasn't until the Internet really took off that I even understood that you could get zines, and they weren't just given to you by somebody you knew, on the sly, like underneath a diner table or something. But I didn't have any money anyway, so it didn't really matter.

What I did find was The Happy Mutant Handbook. Like all zany guidebooks, I was charmed by its unassuming and calming cover of a smiley mutant with big ears and antennae. Picking it up and flipping through it, I saw a bunch of things I didn't recognize, but stopped for the hilarious list of posts from alt.shenanigans. I saw articles with things that looked like instructions, but for... concepts? I saw a little bit of media hacking; I knew I liked that.

I don't remember if I read the "What is a Happy Mutant" section there at the store or when I got the book home, but I knew instantly that it was addressed to me. It told me everything that I needed. It was like someone had translated a first-year sociology text on counter-culture into my vernacular, and put a lovely "go! do it!" spin on it. I needed little more prodding than that.

I read the whole thing cover to cover. I still remember the sections on The Church of the Sub-Genius, and ribofunk. I sent away $3 for a pack of Schwa stickers. I looked every http and ftp address they printed in the guide, checking them off in pencil when I had. (I didn't follow the AOL keywords, being a Compuserve kid, and I didn't know how to make gopher work. Ha! 1995!) I signed onto the Usenet for the first time, and printed out pages and pages of alt.shenanigans which me and my new friends read to each other, cracking ourselves up by acting out the scenarios. Yes, I was making friends, finally finding the other kids who liked weird and funny and gross stuff like I did. (The tears better be flowing down all of your cheeks.)

I pocketed other items into my brain for later. Cyberpunk, and confrontational art, and maker projects, and bios of counter-culture freaks, and tales of adventures of all sorts. I let my eyes drift over references to people and music I had never heard of and would not hear of again until much later. Two years later when I tried pot for the first time, and a year after that when I first consumed my first dose of magic mushrooms, still having no idea what my brain was in for, I felt no fear. I always wondered why I didn't have a hesitation when I accepted my friend's offer of schrooms. I've never been a huge risk taker--don't get my kicks that way. Tonight, reading through the HMH I realize that the bio of Timothy Leary played no small part in the evolution of my mindset. Mark Frauenfelder writes with no hesitation or caution about Leary's expansion of the mind with psychedelics. I trusted this book, and if it told me that drugs could be a not-bad thing, then hell, I would find out for myself. (Hear that, Mark? You made kids use drugs!) Of course, it wasn't alone in pushing me in this direction. Meeting people who do drugs who are totally normal is the best anti-anti drug ad you could imagine.

In the years since the book has been on my shelf, traveling with me across the country as one of my most treasured books. I might not have opened it in ten years before tonight, and I forgot a lot of stuff in it, having to discover it from other sources further on down the line. Hell, I never knew Bruce Sterling wrote the introduction! I didn't read Bruce's books until college, by way of William Gibson, by way of druggy SF cronies. And look at some of these other contributors: R.U. Sirius, Rudy Rucker, Richard Kadrey, and others. I didn't re-discover all these folks until the last few years. But with the HMH, things definitely altered direction for me. There were a lot of tangents, and a lot of detours.

From the logo re-purposing section, I first picked up Adbusters around 1998. While it didn't have the mutated illustrations I hoped for, it opened me to anti-globalism and left politics I could understand, before I read the heavy stuff. By turning me on to Usenet, I got onto rec.music.phish. You laugh, (and I laugh too) but this was my introduction to interacting with "real adults" as an equal over the Internet. Plus, Phish became my resident counter-culture for 3+ years, introducing me to all kinds of underground music and underground personalities, the history of counter-cultures itself, and of course, mind expansion via brain chemistry hacking. From there it was another short leap to electronic music, and underground literature, and to mystical and bizarre religion, and anarchism, and, well, the list goes on.

Being a newbie is one of the most important points in any enthusiasts career. Every community, or pursuit, or craft, or subject needs one hell of an FAQ. It needs to be tongue-in-cheek, and self-deprecating, and welcoming, and exciting. And of course, well-written. There's not always a teacher around, or someone to copy, so you need a source to give you the dirt. And well, HMH was my first FAQ on how to not be a douche bag.

Of course, I might have ended up in a similar place. Even a lot of the things I forgot I found elsewhere, and it would be hard to say if I hadn't stumbled onto this book I wouldn't have stumbled on to something else. But wandering around those cold middle school and high school halls filled with the walking corpses of J. Crew and Abercrombie, it sure was nice to have that book under my arm. I remember my friends and I sitting around, dreaming about driving a van across the country to the desert for Burning Man. We never went, but it was nice to have some sort of crazed mecca like that to think about. Out west, away from New England and the East Coast, there was a place where they burned giant robots and took drugs and drove motorcycles naked in the desert. The HMH was a revealed text to these kinds of crazy worlds, which we hoped one day to set off towards, as if we were going on a crusade, a crusade against the country we wanted to leave behind. It was like an ancient text, but from the future, showing us all this knowledge that we didn't know had existed in the past, but we might live to see it in the future.

So I eventually did go west, and then back east, and then west again, and went to college a couples times, and ate a lot of things I probably shouldn't have, and saw some awesomely bad bands, and read a lot of books, and read a lot on the internet. All in all, I've never had to look back with regret. It's pretty damn good, knowing you can make your life as crazy as you want to at any time, any where you are, no matter who you're with. I don't know if I'm still a Happy Mutant or not, but whatever the hell I am, it's pretty alright most of the time. Cheers!

And so to conclude:

Thanks Happy Mutant Handbook! You pushed me towards loud music, weird clothes, esoteric internet drugs, and no doubt reduced my washing frequency! I couldn't have done it without ya!

It looks like the book is unfortunately out of print, though there are used copies for sale online. I'd like the authors to post it online, in its entirely. Man, look at this world! There are tons of kids who need something like this to turn them on, and I'm afraid the Kindle just isn't going to cut it.

Oh wow, it has... eww.

Let's try and forget that I'm posting this directly after a post about sex robots, and just enjoy it for how cool it is. In principle, this is the sentry units from The Prisoner.

So try and forget sex robots.

Also, try and forget you ever heard the phrase, "jammable slurry".

[via Posthuman Blues]


Once Upon a Time in the West

So maybe you aren't interested in the inner workings of the porn industry. But all the same, it exists. If we deny that, we deny how sexual human beings are, and we deny what will happen when you live in a claimed free market society, in which people do things that make money. So there it is.

And while there have been many articles detailing the horrible/degrading/un-feminist/sexy/mysterious/glamorous things that happen in the porn industry, I found this one especially interesting, just because it depicts it in a way that shows just how truly surreal it is. We live in a society that pushes everything as far as it will go in terms of being made a product. And when you commodify sex, a distinctly human act which almost every human ostensibly claims is at least personal in some way, besides being a rooted element of the psyche, well, things just get weird.

I can think of at least two important and interesting conversations to have about every page of this article, evoking emotions from amused to self-righteous to defensive to disgusted, but I thought this passage was the best. This is america, ladies and gentlemen. Intellectual property, mass production, recessions, fear/excitement for the future, labor relations, and... robotic phalluses.

The recession has forced us into making this,” Powers states flatly, the quiet machine at his feet. According to him, the “Fuck Machines” series isn’t a product of some sick mind—say, his. It’s a consequence of the recession.

The day of reckoning has arrived in the Valley. Online content pirating, increased competition, a flooded market, the economic crisis, and a series of federal obscenity indictments have completely transformed the business of making adult movies. Consumers are no longer interested in paying for what they can get online for free. Across the board, those I spoke to reported profits have fallen by an estimated 30 to 50 percent.

Three years ago, Powers shot four to five movies a week. Nowadays, he’s lucky if he shoots two a week. Like many other businessmen, he’s been forced to cut corners. Ergo, the “life support system for a penis” of yesteryear has been replaced by the lower maintenance RoboCock.

“We got rid of the male talent!” Powers crows, triumphant. He enumerates the benefits of working with an animatronic phallus on one hand. “They don’t complain as much. They’re always hard. You don’t have to feed them.” Of course, the 21st century woodsman does have one drawback. “They’ve always got bolts falling off,” Powers admits with a shrug.

“The market is saturated with porn, the Internet is pirating porn left and right, and the economy is in the shitter,” Powers laments after Hunter’s shoot, staring out the sliding glass doors at a fountain trickling pleasantly in the sun-dappled backyard. He looks like a spurned lover—heartbroken. “Porn destroyed itself,” he mutters. “2005 was the peak of shit.” He shakes his head. “Now, we’re just living in piles of shit.” He is crestfallen. “It completely destroyed everything.” He looks at the floor.

A redhead appears in the doorway. Powers will shoot a total of five scenes today, and hers is next. It’s time for Jim to get back to work. On the sidelines, another machine is waiting for its turn in the spotlight. This one is double-headed.


The Alma Mater

[Hello, alma mater!]

via Socialism and/or Barbarism:

[update from our New School comrades]


The night was joyous revelry. The mass moved through the conduits of the city, undeterred by material and social barriers, spurred on by the barricades we've raised in our hearts. Barricades against boredom, exploitation and the false trappings of a decaying so-called affluence.

Roving and ranging through the streets of Manhattan, we disrupted the rote circulation of the city's walking dead. We occupied streets and ticked off taken avenues: 5th Avenue, check; 6th Avenue, check; 7th Avenue, that's OURS.

Onlookers gawked and gaped as though watching a spectacle, though perhaps unaware that this was in fact its absolute negation. Others spontaneously joined in: evening revelers in their Friday finest shouting OCCUPY EVERYTHING; proletarian youth on bikes chanting WHOSE STREETS, OUR STREETS; young student passers-by screaming FOREVER IS GONNA START TONIGHT.

We played cat-and-mouse with police. City traffic allied with crooked streets to give us a decisive advantage. We moved leaderless through time and space, pleasuring in every moment of movement. After all, this is a movement with no demands except FUCKING EVERYTHING. When the time came we dispersed spontaneously, few words spoken because all had been said that needed saying.

But this is not enough, it is never enough. Now is the time to make connections and push this crisis to its necessary conclusion. Solidarity with Santa Cruz means ATTACK.

So rise up Berkeley, rise up CUNY, rise up Stella Doro, rise up workers and students!

Take the streets. Occupy everything. Off the sidewalks, into the FUTURE.

- New School for Social Revolution

Put Yourself in the Economical User's Sandals

Hot off the wire, (the wire is "blazing hot", of course, "smokin", etc. etc.) is this cute little article about an informal contest among design firms to see what a legalized marijuana package might look like.

Good fun of course, and a motion from design fiction to fact. I was recently in California and spoke to some residents about the medical marijuana clinics. In case you aren't way into the pot culture, or haven't read a Time magazine lately, in California pot is essentially decriminalized, and available to purchase in retail storefronts by anyone who can pick up a "medical license". Some of these are like the quintessential Amsterdam coffee shop, and others are more like a check cashing store, and still others are like a sketchy food cart that feels like it is a front to sell drugs even though it is legal to sell drugs. But the point is, it's rapidly approaching being fully legal and taxable, and whereas five years ago I would have said I would never see full legalization but my children might, today I would say I can see full legalization in at least some states in less than ten years for sure. Hell, I even saw a sheet of COUPONS for a weed clinic. "Buy One 1/8, Get One Free", and "New Hydro, ONLY $375 An OZ!" I'm not kidding. These were printed on a flyer, and an acquaintance carefully cut one out and stuck it in her wallet for later use. The dream is almost a reality, stoner layabouts.

The funny part is, it doesn't seem to change society in the slightest. Stoners are still stoners, and the rest of us wait patiently behind the wheel of the car while they try to find their keys and decide whether they want to go to In and Out or Fatburger. The main change I can imagine is, if California beats the rest of the country to full legalization by a significant margin, which it looks as if they might, then we will see a wave of young people swarming across the country from the uptight states. Everybody eventually knows somebody who picked up and took off for Amsterdam, but when leaving some place like Mississippi or Indiana to arrive in a sunny, beautiful state where the streets are paved with green is only an old mini-van or Greyhound bus ticket away, we're going to have a diaspora of anyone who ever got suspended in school for dying their hair heading West. Kind of like the 60s. 12% unemployment? Who cares! I'll just smoke and write on the Internet or start a band or something. The rent in Eureka is about as cheap as anywhere. Maybe they can squat the abandoned homes of the Inland Empire, which will more likely than not still be there. It'll be like a giant college town, only with no library.

But I just don't see the packaging looking anything like what these designers have invented. These all look like beauty products. Marijuana is a lot of things, but it is not a beauty product. At least not to the people who really use it.

I have no doubt that these designers have used marijuana. But they didn't consult a focus group here. It is evident in their designs. The weird thing about illegal drugs is that everybody thinks they are an expert in the subject. (I'm talking about socially acceptable drugs here. Nobody claims to be a crack expert... well, almost nobody.) Perhaps it is because these sorts of drugs provide such an ego-intensive experiment, full of first-hand sensation delivered at a thousand miles an hour, that after you baseline, the user is totally ready to tell you anything and everything true about the substance and its use. Don't believe me? Check out Erowid.org. It takes the intoxication-tale pissing contest to a scientific-method extreme.

But the fact is, no matter how much you did any particular drug back in the day, there is someone who did a lot more than you. It's not contest of course, but it's true. The consumer base of intoxicating, illegal drugs is a crazy slope, and you have to take this into account when thinking about the legalization of any such substance.

I have the benefit of at one time being fully ensconced in what one might call a prototypical, control drug culture. The situation was this: a small liberal arts college in the middle of nowhere. There are two important aspects to this.

1- There was nothing much to do for many people except experiment with drugs.

2- There was always a shortage of drugs. Meaning that:

A- Everyone who did drugs knew each other.

B- Everyone who did drugs had a pretty good idea of what drugs were available anywhere at any particular time.

It would have made a remarkable sociology study, if anyone had felt like betraying the culture just to write a paper (luckily there were plenty of prisons, ghettos, dying farm towns, etc. to study instead). The cops loved it too, because anytime they got some poor soul to give them information, they could get a bust big enough to give them something to do and justify their departmental spending. Iowa State Police LOVED our school (and probably still do).

But here's what I saw. Of the drug consuming population, people who ever do anything, I would say 90% of the drugs were consumed by less that 50% of the people. And of these 50%, these "regular users", I would say there was a 10%, or 5% of the total, who consumed 75% of the Regular Users' share, or 67% of the total drug quantity. And THEN, of these, call the "hardcore users", I would say there was 1/12 of them, or 0.8% of the Regular Users, or 0.4% of the total users, who would be "suppliers and distributors". They would probably consume 1/8 of the Hardcore share, or 8.4% of the total drugs consumed.

Confused? Well, I would hardly be discussing economic groups if I didn't give you a graph, so here you go. Click for bigger, of course.

The point is that, as you can see, a minority of all users, who are already a minority among the general population, consume a majority of the drug supply. No, I don't have any actual data to back this up, and these are my estimations, but I feel these are pretty accurate. Trust me: I spent A LOT of time puzzling over these figures. Supply and demand, buddy.

So if even among blazed, joint-toting, full-on stoners, the sizable portion of the weed is being smoked by only the most stoned of the stoned, it would seem that the way to market this product would not be by conforming to the standards of design. Design, after all, even with our most blatant commodities, still has some standards of proportion to it. A joint box to fit in the pocket like an iPod, or a package of smoke to look like a sweet little bottle of hand cream. These are products people pay more than they should for, right? Why wouldn't it apply to drugs? Because simply, the majority of the billions spend on pot each year are spent by people who spend more on pot than they spend on rent and food COMBINED. A tenth of drug users are buying 75% of the product. They give hits to their friends, their partners, and whoever happens to be around, but they are buying it. They are the ones who will pay attention to the marketing (if they aren't too stoned to do so).

Can you imagine designing an App Store for somebody who spends more than their rent on apps a year? You don't need to worry about clean lines, my friends! You need to worry about your product! A dedicated pot smoker, the core customer, is going to buy weed regardless of what it looks like. If they have the money, they'll go for the high grade. If they don't, they won't. A once-a-month smoker may pause in front of the rack, looking over the packaging, and finding a box that will fit in their skinny jeans. A real pothead will keep storing pot in the same film canister used since the sixth grade, because most of the other money will be spent on pot.

It sounds like an addiction, but it is really not, at least in the terms of Christian, moral "way and the life" philosophy. Potheads will spend their last dime on grass, but they will not steal your stereo. They will also blow fifty bucks on a video game, or a huge meal. They are not people whose body has become slave to a substance. They are consumers to the core, but they might just be more pure consumers than you and me. They care about consuming, and being able to continue to consume regularly, as best as they can. They are the true gourmands, not falling prey to little design fetishes. They buy with their bodies, not despite their bodies. They focus on the reality of consumption, not the american dream. There is no skinny-leg, wide-screen plasma pot. There is only good pot, and not so great pot. The names of strains are just a way to remember them. They are the purest of logos and slogans, not attempting to transmit anything other than brand recognition. They are dedicated users. They admire only quality, good deals, and availability. They are the internet users of the intoxicant grey market.

You cannot sex up pot. I remember laughing at the covers and centerfolds of High Times, sporting busty chicks with thai sticks between their thighs and breasts. Of course, you'd see them up on dorm room walls. But the stoners didn't buy Playboy and Penthouse. They only liked the skin because the pot was already there. The product was everything, and the skin was the bubblegum with the baseball cards.

Now, what about legalization? What will this change? I have a feeling that legalization will make the model look like my example above. As we left the idyll free-zone of college, those with something to lose, or something else to focus on, gradually slid out of the Hardcore group, into the regular group, and then into the maybe-or-never group. If anything, it concentrated the Hardcore segment, keeping a steady cycle of consumption going among this tight-knit group, while letting the outliers drift further and further away.

It is important to note that this is not just among the college-educated set. This is similar in all demographics I have observed, because these circles and percentages always widen around the "Suppliers", which is the crucial element of the culture. In environments with heavy persecution, the usage and consumption shrinks to the core, because the culture-circle is tightened, and naturally, so is the market. When persecution is relatively lax, it opens up to friends and friends of friends, there is more supply, and more outliers are allowed to join the market.

Just because a legalization scenario will potentially do away with the Suppliers does not mean usage will become a flat line. The upper level of occasional users will increase. But even if marijuana becomes as prevalent as drinks in the bar after work, this is not the sort of consumption activity driving the intoxicating drug market. Alcohol is a bizarre drug, because it is so underpowered, it can be consumed like food. Pot is never food (all suspicious brownies aside). It is pure intoxication, and even if we became a more intoxicated society than we are today, the population is not ready to live the life of a stoner. The regular and hardcore users would remain the same.

Because pot users are true consumers, we can depend on them to follow very closely to economic principles. They are very rational-choice consumers. If they can get good pot cheap from the store, they will do so, but if they stuff Fred grew in his parents' attic is still better and cheaper, they will buy from Fred. The Suppliers I've mentioned will lose their monopoly, but not their selling power. Of course, once everyone and their teenage brother can start a grow room, prices will decrease. The supply will increase, but the consumption will not increase by much, after an initial spurt of users jumping up a bit because of availability. The cultural-circle that once tracked supply will begin to follow quality. Fred will have to grow the good stuff now, and he probably will, because hydroponics is a pretty easy and cheap tech.

What legalization will destroy is the distributive relations between these groups. While previously supply trickled outward from the Suppliers to the outlying groups, now it will come from everywhere, though still consumed similarly. The black market control will be broken, but strangely enough, everyone will still consume the same sorts of product.

What will replace the distributive relations is the knowledge of quality. The knowledge of the intoxicating experience will still drive the purchasing. The former Suppliers will become the Foodies of pot, approving certain brands as quality, and disparaging the mass-produced schwag as swill. "Commercial grade" is already a degrading label for cheap, not gross, but still not great weed. It refers to commercial smuggling ventures, sending large bales of poorly-cured pot across the border, with emphasis on price and quantity rather than quality. Pot cultivation is looked on as a craft, to those with the money to spend. Gourmet strains will florish, and the price will drop. The casual users will look to the hardcore for info about where to go.

The hardcore will not be fooled by marketing and hype. The rhinestone encrusted joints will stay on the shelf, while the solid reputation brands will sell. "Bob Marley" edition joints will maybe be shoplifted by underage teens, while the pricey Internet specialty pot suppliers flourish. I'd look for a "Black and Mild" brand of pot to develop; something without much quality, but a certain economical cache that attracts occasional buyers enough to become well known. Look at some off-brands of malt liquor some time. "Rock Man", "Night Flight", "Hurricane", and others that stock the shelves of states with loose liquor laws (all of these having alcohol contents over 8%) are the choices of the cheap, but quality conscious consumer. 40 oz. of malt liquor for the same price as Miller, but having twice the alcohol? Disgusting, and Sold. Call this the "Night Train" marketing path. Bright, primary colors, an easy device to recognize like a train or a boat, and the best bang for your buck. This is what the marketing future of marijuana will hold. You'll hear about it on a rap song, and then go looking for the one store in the area that carries it.

The take away point here is that you have to look at your product. Not the commodifying concept of the product you may have (good times, giggling, munchies, joints and lost keys), but the actual consumption of the product (intoxication, consistent supply, word of mouth, and ratios of use among different lifestyles). Among other things, this suggests that the overall amount of consumption might not really change by much, but the pattern of the culture by which this usage aligns itself will change. Being stoned is largely an ego-trip, and these egos will align themselves towards increasing their experience thusly. These purest of consumers will swing towards the flows of supply they seek, like a compass towards a magnet.

ps. 420 420 420 420 lol !!!


Atemporality/Marx: a Brutalitarian Feature

This is totally a Brutalitarian article. It wasn't even planned to be a blog post but then got too long, like many articles that eventually head over there. But, because it is crucial to my ever-increasing musings on atemporality and cyber-time, I thought, you know what, why not cross-post it to the blog? More people read my blog. They can look at my other fun stuff here. And then, if they really like it, they can head over to Brute Press to download the free PDF and ODF version of the article. So here ya go, a Brutalitarian article on Welcome to the Interdome.

There is also another new article on
The Brutalitarian, also semi-related to matters of time and space, but more about poetry. This one will NOT be posted here. So you gotta go to the source for that one. Like, click here man. Enjoy--if anybody does enjoy this sort of thing other than me.

Atemporality and Marx's World-History

By Adam Rothstein

Published in The Brutalitarian, by Brute Press

Oct.1st, 2009


This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 License.

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“No matter whose books we've read, we're the children of capital; the love of speed is ingrained in us.”

- N+1

Certain things are appreciable whether or not we've really stopped to study them in detail. The days pass into days, whether we are asleep or awake. But there is mistrust of the progressions, an alienation from the day-to-day pattern of metered movement. We become detatched from time, from history, from others, and from ourselves. Perhaps we can get back on the spinning circle, but there will always be that separation. The segments change their length, or we perceive them to do so, whether we study them carefully, measuring them with complex physical instruments or simply with our untrained eye. Sometimes it seems nothing will ever meter out correctly, return when we expect it to, or take as long or short a time as we wish.
But then other times, we feel as if everything is precisely right. We pick up speed, and with this intensity we feel ourselves oscillating correctly. We couldn't put a number on the speed, or measure it relative to anything. It becomes an irrelative sense of time, relevant to itself and everything we see, but focused in our perception rather than our natural systems of measurement and thought. There is speed, and then there is the sensation of speed. These happen again and again, throughout our lives, and throughout history.

“Time is out of joint, time is unhinged. The hinges are the axis around which the door turns. Cardo, in Latin, designates the subordination of time to the cardinal points through which the periodical movements that it measures pass. As long as time remains on its hinges, it is subordinate to movement: it is the measure of movement, interval or number. This was the view of ancient philosophy. But time out of joint signifies the reversal of the movement-time relationship. It is now movement which is subordinate to time. Everything changes, including movement. We move from one labyrinth to another. The labyrinth is no longer a circle, or a spiral which would translate its complications, but a thread, a straight line, all the more mysterious for being simple, inexorable as Borges says, 'the labyrinth which is composed of a single straight line, and which is indivisible, incessant'.”

- Deleuze, preface to “Kant's Critical Philosophy”

Kant defined time as one of the foundations of transcendental idealism, the other being space. By having these ideals built into the framework of our consciousness, we were able to comprehend and perceive individual objects within time and space. Time was not something simply to be measured, to count in units of seconds and minutes. Time was an infinite length, the passage of which could be divided into units, but only as small subsets of a particular mental acuity. You must feel timeliness, in order to measure the passage of time. In human consciousness, there is a feature of time sensation, which must first exist purely, and then may be quantified. No extent occasion of time exist without it being a fragment of the ideal timeliness. In this way, 12:12 PM on December 21st, 2112 cannot happen more than once, because if you exist at that point in time, you would not confuse that moment with any other moment in history. (A tongue-in-cheek example, to be sure.) Space works in the same way; by every instance of physical, three dimensional space being a portion of the overall concept of space, you can be sure that two solid objects cannot exist in the same time and the same place.
From these transcendentally ideal concepts, we are able to measure the sequence of time and space in ideal units. Because we can think of the extension of a moment into a precise length, which we call a second, we can then measure one second succeeded by the next, and so forth. We can think of the extension of space in a precise length, which we call an inch, and then we can measure one inch succeeded by the next, and so on.
Through Kant, we can see that whereas we naturally think of movement—the measure of space in conjunction with a measure in time—actually requires the ideal concepts of space, and more importantly, time, before it can be perceived. We think of a ball traveling through space requiring physical space as its fundamental requirement for motion. But in actuality, before we perceive it in space, moving or not, we first require within us the sensation of time, because time is internal to us, as much as space is external. Things must be existent in duration, before they can exist in space.

“The philosophers have only interpreted the world, in various ways; the point is to change it.”

-Marx, Thesis on Feuerbach, XI

Movement is change, our way of noticing difference over time. Difference over time, as we make note of it and remember it for ourselves, is history. Marx was interested in history, and specifically, interested in rescuing it from the tradition of German Idealism, born out of thinkers like Kant, who drove us to look internally for our interpretations of the world. Marx wanted us to look back to the outside world, to society, and to history, but naturally he could not completely leave behind the internal world of our transcendental faculties.
Marx's four fundamental conditions of history are simple, and take root in such material idealisms as basic as time and space to the world of perception and intuition. There are human needs, and with human needs, develop more specific needs. Then there are humans themselves, each existent and fundamentally differentiated from each other as they reproduce; and then more humans, as they run into each other and interact. These humans and their needs must arrange themselves as they seek to fulfill themselves, and so end up with a system of relations between needs, the diversification of needs, humans, and the co-operation between them to negotiate this historical sphere, which we call society.
A need is an attachment to a particular thing more than it is a hole to be filled, as we tend to think of it simply. We may have a hunger for food at a particular time, but the need itself is a desire for food, refracted into beams of light, each shining at a particular time when bent off from the whole of desire. Certain things are illuminated, and then darkened again, but the desire continues within us. We form connections, and then they break off, and perhaps form again in another location or time, driven by the engines of desire constantly running. These connections may be with food itself, or with the land required to grow the food, or with the other humans whose help we require to grow it. This network of connections is constantly oscillating, breaking and then renewing itself, as we travel over our known territories in the material world, moving through physical space and time. Marx calls the connections relations, and equates them with the ideality of language, something appearing only in our consciousness. In his day he assumed only humans (or as he writes, men) had the capacity for communication, and while with idealized communications he may be correct, we have since learned that even bacteria communicate with each other to co-ordinate their needs in space and time. There are millions upon millions of interactions and connections breaking and re-establishing between the teeming life on this planet, all of them furthering the cause of material life.
But Marx wants to juxtapose the material relations with the social relations, because as he sees correctly, there is a distinct breakage occurring between these two, a rhythm that cannot seem to re-establish itself, a timing perpetually out of joint. Nature, the physical world opposed to our mental worlds, “appears to men as a completely alien, all-powerful and unassailable force, with which men's relations are purely animal and by which they are overawed like beasts,” (German Ideology, 51). Nature and the physical world, does not always adhere to our mental conceptions of it, because our understanding of our ideal faculties is an ongoing process. As such, we oppose nature as a force opposed to our knowledge of it, and we seek to master it as best we can. We develop natural religions, using magic and fetishes and other forms of esoteric knowledge in the attempt to affect the world as best we can. Our desires are routed through our limited knowledge of the stars and the seasons, and blood and other vitreous humors, and the basic social arrangements of the family, the village, the power of humans over humans, and what other sorts of relations as we can devise. We re-territorialize ourselves to our land and each other, organizing our relations through ideas, and our relations with ideas, hoping to somehow overcome this alien force.
And this is simply the beginning. In our effort to reterritorialize, we split our mental and physical efforts into categories, breaking our inherent knowledge of space and time from our measures of physical space and time, separating our needs from our actual work to procure the responses to these needs, and dividing humans and their labors from each other to create new regimes of desires, territories, production, spaces, and times. The division of labor as Marx would have it, but as we are beginning to see, it is something much more cosmologically complicated than that.
Very cosmologically complicated, and of course, we get confused. In the arising regimes of relations, the alien sensation of Nature becomes dislocated, de-territorialized, and routed through different stations and pathways. The productions of product, desire, ideas, and relations become more complicated, and difficult for our minds to hold on to. “The social power, i.e. the multiplied productive force, which arise through the co-operation of different individuals as it is determined by the division of labor, appears to these individuals, since their co-operation is not voluntary but has come about naturally, not as their own united power, but as an alien force existing outside them, of the origin and goal of which they are ignorant, which they thus cannot control, which on the contrary passes through a peculiar series of phases and stages independent of the will and the action of man, nay even being the prime governor of these,” (German Ideology, 54). The social forces have supplanted the minds which brought them about, and its controlling regime is more powerful than those who invented it. Our measures of space and time, and production and people, and desires and relations, are now more powerful our own interior, fundamental concepts of these things. What matter is your sense of time if you are late for work? Who cares about where you consider home if your mortgage is due? What difference does your skill make if you cannot find a job? What is suffering in comparison to GDP? What is sex in relation to society? Who are our friends, next to the power of our enemies? We are alienated from ourselves mentally, and therefore physically, because we cannot orient ourselves to a world that refuses to acknowledge us. Our ideals will never catch up with the physical world, because our conception of the physical world will not allow itself to be caught.
It was a natural religion which first attempted to change the regimes of ideals to match the natural world. Then, it was the State, which for convenience sake, absorbed all territoriality to itself. The it was Capitalism, and the market, which proved itself more efficient and lucrative than even the State. Will we ever catch up? Is it possible to catch up? Or should we listen to Marx, and try to find a new sort of rhythm?

“Capitalism is a bet about tomorrow—and it's always the same bet. Tomorrow will be “better” than today. More wealth will be created, more resources will be used, and, excepting recessions, the economy will continue growing forever. The bet takes the form of credit and investment—you lend or invest a sum today to get back a larger sum tomorrow, because tomorrow there will be more of everything (except oil, old-growth forest, et cetera).”

- N+1

Few, other than the lovely N+1 publication of course, are actually interested in review the ideal relations we have regarding our material conditions. It is a big project of course, and there is little way to tell when we are right in diagnosing a neurotic pathway of our consciousnesses, forever banging its head into some material wall because of something territorialized wrongly in one of those less-than-conscious pathways and relations. We can tell when we're banging our heads of course, but why? And what will make it stop? Who knows, right?
But on the other hand, we have no trouble keeping up with the speed of the times. Change is constant, and we're on top of that. We can adapt to the newest technologies without batting an eye, and we can be the early adopters, who go out and write long treatises and tutorials for our friends, with no motivation other than helping everyone out, and helping us reterritorialize to a new geography of ideas, spread over a material network moving at an incredible rate of speed. We can make social-tools of connection and communication a radical part of our lives, for whatever benefit there might be. Is there a benefit? Who knows, but we certainly won't be left behind when we all find out. We'll be there, and be on the forefront, in the vanguard of... what is it? Ah yes, an archaic term—history. We will be the ones making a change, and we won't even have to change, because change will become what we are, moving at the speed of thought.
But this is not real movement. This speed we think we are feeling is just an ideal increase of our time ideal. It is a sensation of always being in the present, and of history increasing its speed, and of us hanging on for dear life. But we are not moving. Society is much the same as it ever was, and it is only our relative sensation of speed which has decreased. As we shrink our quantitative segment of time, we assume, according to our material model of the world, that we are speeding up. We are not going faster, only our world is getting smaller. We are completely ignoring our acuity for ideal timeliness, and focusing on the passage of quantitative time segments before our eyes. We have rejected the ideal realm completely, and look to society for what we should think and feel. We have thrown away the idealism of Kant, instead trusting our most basic empiricism, as dictated to us by societies regimes. Society says Twitter is new, Twitter is fast, and Twitter is hot. But does it ever say why? Some completely ignore this toy train, but others grab a hold of it, shrieking with delight at the speed they are told they are feeling.
Marx would be appalled that we have become so propertyless, and yet our consciousnesses tell us we are rich. We have less, and are told it is more. History is stretched out to the breaking point, and we are told we are moving faster than ever before. We are so used to being deterritorialized, and having our world dragged out from under us, that we barely wake, instead just rolling over and going back to sleep.
And yet, the world is changing. We have new realms for society to inhabit, electronic realms that are virtually infinite in size. Our ideal concept of space itself becomes irrelevant to these sorts of connections and relations. Our ideal concept of time is left at the station, unable to feel any sort of time in relation to instant communication. Perhaps it is a state of constant deterritorialization, except that there are all these connections being made. All of this progress—perhaps not in a direction, or with any measureable rate of change, but change all the same. There is something happening, but we are not sure what. We connect, and others connect, and we engage, and we share, and we co-operate, and we produce, to what? What sort of production is this? The division of labor has grown into a division of cosmology, and one industry of cosmological progress cannot unify itself with the others.
The history, left confused and spinning in the dust, catches onto a gear and is pulled again into the machine. It is spread out, stretched, and multiplied, found in the strangest of places. In an article off in a corner of the Internet, an unnamed author calls out a particular social relation, explaining how it is a dirty trick, taking advantage of its participants for the benefit of a few individuals. Elsewhere, in a multi-party discussion on a web page, conclusions are offered about the future of a particular technology for connecting individuals across the world in archivable discussion. And then somewhere else, a particular person discovers a way to broadcast her personal opinion to a large number of people from her cell phone. She does so, serendipitously mentioning these two previous things, which she just so happened to witness unfolding on the Internet. Then, in a month, when the previously mentioned technology becomes available, someone searching for information about it happens across the old posts, and sees the evidence of the social injustice, and begins to test a third-party app for protesters to use with the new technology. The rest, as they say, is history.
But what sort of history is this? A history that is taggable, multi-user, archivable, constantly evolving with new uses and new developers, the very accessible fabric of which is constantly under revision, restructuring, retirement, and rerouting. Every person whose thought is routed through these series of connections becomes a part of this history instantly, though in what quantitative measurement, and to what isolated, casual effect is impossible to say. But there is an effect, there is no doubt about it.

“The real intellectual wealth of the individual depends entirely on the wealth of his real connections. Only then will the separate individuals be liberated from the various national and local barriers, be brought into practical connection with the material and intellectual production of the whole world and be put in a position to acquire the capacity to enjoy this all-sided production of the whole earth (the creations of man). All-round dependence, this natural form of the world-historical co-operation of individuals, will be transformed by this communist revolution into the control and conscious mastery of these powers, which, born of the action of men on one another, have till now overawed and governed men as powers completely alien to them.”

- Marx, in The German Ideology, 55

We always seem to return to our history. Only now our history is globalized, but split into fragments, not determined by the national and local lines of our previous history. It is stratified, but its stratification is one of connections, not of divisions. Our connections will not unify our history, but they can make a divisive rift impossible to maintain. Once the center could not hold, but now it is the splits and segments that will always shatter. The network is always on, and always connecting. Access is the principle, rather than the exception.
Our ideal concepts of time and space may just return, once the quantitative segments we have replaced them with in our minds refuse to stay ideal. Those primary principles will help us form territorializations and connections rather than needing to be paved over. What is the day to a world constantly online? What is a border to an anonymous chat? The real ideals may return, and we will remember than time is anything contemporaneous, and space is anything simultaneous, and with ideal time and space, flows ourselves. We will no longer feel society condensing us to singularities of infinite speed, but feel ourselves expanding to moments of pure totality, as far as we can reach. We can't connect with everything it the world, but we will have occasion to connect with the right things, the positive things, and that which can help us all, cooperatively. The infinite will return to its proper place inside us, and we will be free to engage with the finitudes of space and time in the world. We can deal with finite needs, finite desires, and finite space and time in which to affect them. We can make the proper connections and territorializations, not simply unified or totalized connections with regimes of control. The ideal will be brought back into proper relation with the material, and while it will never be a unified partnership, the alienation will stop shifting from one side to the other, and can be parceled out as it should be. There will be no moment of eternal, ahistorical self-consciousness, but rather a continuous unfolding and production of timeliness against time, and existence against space, and world-historiality against the tragedies of history.
It remains on the “real ground of history,” the surmounting of ideal and material obstacles by human beings. It is production, and relation, and resolution, and consumption combined into movement, the pure movement of ideal space over ideal time, and therefore, material space over material time. It is a passing-over, a constant presence of returning, a timeliness in atemporality, and a existential nonexistence in our spaces and bodies. By feeling the speed within us, we can properly measure it outside of us, not for a unification of quantitative segments with any particular regime, but to build from the segments something we can use.
But, Marx and Kant both knew its not something that exists apart from us. Technology dramatically changes the world, but only inside our heads can we really change ourselves. And then, once we have become the change in ourselves, perhaps there will be material change we can notice.