Digital Gluttony: from Kardashian to Kardashev

From postcard Kardashian to podcast Kardashev: a veritable smorgasbord of digital choice unfurls itself before us.  From the ridiculous to the sublime (and back again), so much noise, so much emptiness, so much colour and so many hues of bland grey.  Feeling somewhat adrift upon this ocean of information, we are lost for effective words (and actions).

The dream of a heroic stand to defy the world is a recurring narrative function of popular culture but it is difficult to believe that standing against the monumental ineptitude, cruelty, greed and corruption of the human world would ever be likely to achieve anything at all.  In standing against such a negativity we are very likely to become no less shaped by it than if we just yielded to it in the first place.  Feel free to rage, rage against the dying of some light or other but this sparkling cultural darkness will still outline, confine and eventually also define you.

Ever since we first crawled gibbering from the primordial mud we have been seeking a place to live, to simply continue to exist for as long as possible.  Security, sustenance, warmth and shelter – these have driven us to create our place, to mold our world around us. From straw huts through timber shanty towns to metropolitan mazes and high-tech electronic cities now blossoming and flickering incessantly with communications networks and transportation arteries, the shockwave of increasing complexity has spread and grown so wild.  What now when this world we have created has looped back upon its creators and overwhelmed them ?

Human beings are probably not clever enough to comprehend (or effectively command) the true complexity of our largely self-created existential context.  There still exists a profound belief and investment in the single-point frame of intelligence and comprehension, the authority of the gravitationally-binding power center.  Adherence to interpretations of an actual external and objective or isolated reality derived from a psychologically-motivated (or culturally inherited) framework of single-point authority and truth are largely false.  The emergence of concepts relating to distributed intelligence and an open-systems, emergent complexity interpretation of intelligence and culture forms another vector of explanation.  I wouldn’t be surprised to find that future discoveries in Artificial Intellience will develop from here: human psychological predisposition tpwards (and dependence upon) single-point consciousness or intelligence will eventually be superceded by networked, distributed and massively parallel-functioning intelligence.

Slaves as we are to our ideologies and paradigms of comprehension, we are being collectively swept away by the sum consequences of available and probable choice, of ingenuity and invention.  Cascading ripples and symmetries of cause and effect, memes and shadows of influence – our ideas (and their effects) have reached back upon us and swallowed us whole.

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