RAVEN MACK is a mystic poet-philosopher-artist of the Greater Appalachian unorthodox tradition who publishes zines & physical books & electronic books & music & photography & digital art & just generally whatever feels necessary to survive this deluded earth thru Rojonekku Word Fighting Arts survival systems (Version 69, establish 14 Feb 1973). Comments encouraged.

Friday, July 28

[2k=0] The Revolution Will Not Be Digitized (At Least I Think)

(U.S. political spectrum diagram, circa 2017)

Bots be built in abundance, swirling behind the wireless infrastructure, bouncing data to new highs, all of which is of course meaningless. Except it’s not. Because humans are tribal/social creatures, so as bots swarm off information superhighway down all the rabbithole side sites, humans become inclined to believe the bots, and start to think as the bots encourage. Mis- and disinformation becomes the new information, and real live IRL motherfuckers start to not only believe the bot streams of thought, but actually become militant about it, applying the hate which was once reserved for the relative anonymity of the digital realm onto the real world. Real world hate and immediate dismissal of other human beings as worthless and vile, because they think differently than you, and with the foundational thinking often encouraged or engineered or outright manufactured by bots.
The data on this page has spiked lately, but all of this ultimately means nothing in any real sense. When I am walking naked in the woods behind my house attempting to understand the crows, data graphs full of bounce sessions to a made up place with a made up name Rojonekku means nothing. And yet I will think about it. This seems weird. Even stranger I will think-tweet, which seems to be an abbreviated and less thought about form of what used to be when I think-rhymed or think-poemed. The converted humans who believe in digital salvation speak highly of one day being able to transmit our thoughts immediately into the digital realm. I think (even in think-tweet stage of fractured stream of consciousness) that this is gonna be fucked if-when it happens. In this advanced (regressive) age of people free speeching their innermost fucked thoughts a little too quickly, it’s already uncomfortable at times. Just like you’re expected to not walk around buck ass naked in the middle of public because it may not be appropriate for all other members of the public, you shouldn’t share your thoughts like that either. But just thinking and then shooting them into existence? With the lack of self-control that has been an inadvertent psychological (neurological) development after 40 years of unchecked capitalism? It’d be fucked.
The Revolution Will Not Be Digitized is a tag here. I put five tags per post and have done so since some time point in the past that I decided three was not enough so I started doing five. Over the course of thousands and thousands of posts, this creates a labyrinth that can be wandered through, simply by clicking tags. I enjoy in fact LOVE the organized chaos of the slowly created tag labyrinth. Try it… go to the bottom and click a tag that appeals to you, open it a new window so you can come back to this, or don’t, fuck it I don’t really care. I’m not trying to trick you into running up my page views to team with the bots to increase my meaningless data for some end goal that involves either money or ego. But that tag labyrinth is there. And The Revolution Will Not Be Digitized is one of them, because that shit remains true.
People think like bots now, hiding subliminal search optimizers into their shit, embedding their own little culturally acceptable cookie bots, all to boost their data. The basic philosophy here has nothing to do with actual cultural value but basically is if you increase your data, slide up into the algorithms as smoothly as possible, you increase your deliveries out the other side of the algorithm, increasing the number of eyeballs that look at it, and if you increase eyeballs looking at it, you increase your odds of someone putting money into you. That’s it. Cultural value is a somewhat disinterested side product in this philosophy. And we’ve seen this spread like wildfire… well no, more like bots, as wildfire spreads very organically and jumps from burning bush to tree, but we’ve seen this spread throughout our various cultures, through music, social media charitable activism (where going viral means success, like people pouring ice water over they selves two years ago), and on into most all forms of our life. Look at news now… There is little regard for slow build or story arc, it’s BOOM everything is BREAKING NEWS without confirmation or any real societal metric attached to whether it’s important or not. And it was this news culture that gave us our current Trump times, the pinnacle of immediate news without depth and bot engineering and IRL humans tribalized according to their online sources.
It goes without saying (I hope) that these times, in terms of politics and government, in the United States, are fucked. Remember what I said about not wanting your thoughts immediately shot out into existence? We basically have a President who does just that, and this is angled as “bold new access to the President”. So what is the philosophy of resistance to this, to counter this perfect storm of too much bot bullshit cybertronning our souls into A) electing chumps, and B) passively watching it all unfold on digital streams while adding quirky comments and somehow thinking this is activism? To copy the method. To be a different brand of the same bullshit. The last 40 years of our politics has effectively ingrained the two brands of bullshit – pick your favored brand – political tribalism, so that any other flavor, or even one that steps off the U.S. political spectrum entirely, is seen as a wasted action. This assumes the form of Constitutional government has attained perfection already, and at this point, 200-plus years into this empirical experiment, we’re just fine-tuning the process.
I hate using the word “tribalism” for this type of stuff though, and ironically that relates directly to mention of the Constitution, which our wonderful amazing God-blessed all-white founding fathers gave the world, which was (at least through Benjamin Franklin) influenced by the Iroquois Confederacy’s oral constitution of that time. The direct linear influence is disputed in academic circles, but it should be noted that despite whatever unbiased objective angle it claims to take, academia is in fact a product of this U.S. culture, so is going to look at shit from its angle, whether it realizes it or not. So I think it’s safe to say the writers of the U.S. Constitution borrowed from the Iroquois Confederacy. BUT WAS IT CULTURAL APPROPRIATION?
This gets back into the militant translations of culture as applied in this hyper-digital age, and also is good example of why the Revolution Will Not Be Digitized. Appropriation assumes ownership, because an entity is clocking their grip off some other entity’s creation. But if no grip is being clocked, and the creation is being used to re-create, can that be appropriation entirely? And if the creation itself has no notion of ownership, how can you apply post-colonial notions of ownership to some shit and give it intellectual property where no fences existed previously? It reminds me a lot of how national borders in many parts of the world were drawn up arbitrarily by colonial powers after world wars with little or no regard for the cultures that existed there previously, sometimes for centuries. The entirety of Africa is a good example of this, as is most Middle Eastern nations currently embroiled in civil wars.
Two writers than have the byline on books that frequently plop down beside my bed as I finally doze off at night recently are Frantz Fanon and Eduardo Galeano. (I do not name drop them to pretend I am smart; I am lucky if I get through 20 pages a night. I am a horribly slow reader and if I realize I didn’t pay attention to a paragraph, I go back and read it again usually starting with the one before it.) Fanon’s The Wretched of the Earth is one of the world’s great revolutionary texts. One of the key takeaways (for me at least) from it is to not recreate the colonial power structure. In other words, do not resist, then imitate, or even imitate while resisting (as is the standard procedure in the United States). I currently have Fanon’s A Dying Colonialism by the bed, about the revolution in Algeria, and how in order to truly throw off the shackles of colonial rule, the Algerian people had to go back to the roots of their land and who they were, pre-colonially speaking.
Which brings me to Galeano’s influence on my outlook – that thinking of the United States as the entity called “America” does not do justice to all the other cultures which pre-existed “New World” discovery. America is two continents as well as scattered islands and in fact nearly an entire hemisphere with thousands of years of culture and history, much of it destroyed, but the shards are still in the Earth, both literal and psychic shards. Both Galeano and Fanon share a trust in the people as a collective, always having the power to throw off oppressive shackles, whether bureaucratic or dictatorial (or both).
The digital is data. It breaks music down to 0s and 1s, infinitesimal chunks which connect at rate that human ear can’t consciously distinguish from more organic analog. And it breaks humans down by labels, into microcosmic splinter groups broken off of larger ones, fracturing us into immense divisions that have put so many data point labels between us we no longer see our shared humanity. It doesn’t even exist in our eyes at times IRL anymore. “Those people” are worthless. This is done by both political binaries in our current U.S. discourse, deeply and without relent. We are fucked.
Digital will never easily build collective, as that’s not the philosophy behind it. Digital breaks the collective into microscopic parts, in order to squeeze them through tiny wires or invisible wavelengths throughout the world faster and more efficiently. The Revolution Will Not Be Digitized.
How do we solve this? Well first off I go no fucking clue. Being I am fractured consciously by the digital realm, I do not want you to think I am attempting to mansplain or talk down or know-it-all on you. I am aware of the wide array of pre-emptive dismissals available to negate all my words before they’re even seen. But then again, probably 90% of the people seeing this are bots. Not robotic humans, but actual cybertron bots, scanning through the internet, scanning through these words with efficient speed, never running it through a consciousness at all, seeing if it can find exploitable access points in the 0s and 1s to be used for its pre-programmed purposes.
America had a lot of deeply established culture before the United States came to be, long before a Constitution was even rough drafted at the club by a bunch of bros feeling lit off the possibilities. With Galeano and Fanon’s words in my mind, it seems we look to that for a real revolution. The etymology of the word itself does not mean a flat chronological timeline with binary ends pushing further and further apart as the years stack sideways, but an actual circular revolution. Why not go back instead of continuing to push forward, continue to progress further into splintered madness? And why wouldn’t conservative or traditional, if it was really going back (Jimmy Castor’s oft-scratched voice saying “what we’re gonna do right here is go back… way back…” should pop into your head right now if you and I are synchronized) would go beyond the United States and Constitution and the discovery of the new world, which already existed, a long ass time?
Of course, the ironic futility of me throwing all these words in this order into the digital intestines of current world culture, which pollutes so many intuitions, is not lost on me. If I was really bout it bout it, I would not be sitting in this stifling ass cubicle right now, and I’d be naked in the woods behind my house (which I have not been able to decolonize from ownership of in my mind), whispering at all the little mycelium mosques that have likely popped up due to proper conditions, saying “fuck the constitution, fuck the constitution” and sowing new (old) american prayers (poems) and meditations (prose) into the ground (Earth).

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