Saturday, March 09, 2013

We do not understand the world in which we live

It is always this way, on the micro and the macro. I didn't understand high school until college. I didn't understand medical school until I was halfway through. I was deep into the corporation before I recognized my surroundings.

Did hunter-gatherers understand their context? 

Three links that tell us we don't understand ours (all via DeLong):

  • The Singularity in Our Past Light-Cone 11/2010. " ... An implacable drive on the part of those networks to expand, to entrain more and more of the world within their own sphere? ... the radical novely and strangeness of these assemblages, which are not even intelligent, as we experience intelligence, yet ceaselessly calculating ..."
  • Twentieth Century Economic History - DeLong: "... What do modern people do? Increasingly, they push forward the corpus of technological and scientific knowledge. They educate each other. They doctor each other. ... They provide other services for each other to take advantage of the benefits of specialization. And they engage in complicated symbolic interactions that have the emergent effect of distributing status and power and coordinating the seven-billion person division of labor of today’s economy...
  • Algorithmic Rape Jokes in the Library of Babel | Quiet Babylon: " ... The Kindle store is awash in books confusingly similar to bestsellers... Icon’s books are created by a patented system... products that generate unique text with simple thesaurus rewriting tools called content spinners... Amazon ‘stocks’ more than 500,000 items from Solid Gold Bomb. These things only barely exist. They are print on demand designs... Talk about crapjects and strange shaper subcultures still gives the whole threat a kind of artisanal feel. The true scale of object spam will be much greater..."

In our work, our hive like human world, we seek those who know and do. Some hide themselves, some advertise. Some are specialists, some are generalists, a few are omni-talented. A very few are powerful, a few are powerless, most are in-betweeners. All are enmeshed in systems of symbiosis and parasitism, all embedded in the "novel assemblage".

This world seems strange to me.

It will seem quaint to whatever thinks in 2113.

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