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culture

We are the distributed medium of cultural information transmission…

There exists a radical misunderstanding and of the nature and of the role information plays in our lives and world. We do not possess or own information in any substantive sense – at least not beyond a certain superficial psychological or cultural attachment that really only serves to mask the many ways that information, in fact, own us. A vast and sprawling industry has emerged to exploit the multiplicity of data points and the differential turbulence we each leave in our (information) wake but – again – it is highly probable that we are massively misunderstanding the nature of this adaptive dynamical system and economy of abstractions within which we are so intimately embedded.

We do not move through information spaces so much as they move through us. The cognitive hyper-extension of information and communications technologies is not only (or even primarily) evidence of our own significance within this maelstrom of difference and differentiation that we inhabit. Our personal lives, personalities, cognitive methods and externalised aspirations to influence or effect in the world is in most cases entirely trivial and inconsequential.

As the underlying nature of our lives experience and reality is as a transmission medium for the self-propagation of the emergent complexities and abstractions of thought, language, culture and ideology – it becomes a matter of conjecture as to what purpose our individual selves and subjective experience actually serves. The emergence and continued self-replicating patterns of subjectivity and a distributed, networked psychological self-hood survive and thrive because they are the most efficient, low-energy and compressed algorithmic entities and artefacts through which the abstractions and logical self-propagation of culture encodes and encrypts itself as a resilient and adaptive mesh-network.

We do not own our ideals, our ideologies and our worlds so much as they constitutively own us. Our doubling-down on the significance and self-determination of individuals and subjective experience attempts to privilege those gravitational nodes. What we commonly fail to notice is that this assertion of individuality and uniqueness, while being an authentic and valuable aspect or dimension of the lived experience of human life, is precisely the (or at least one of the the) way that the system(s) of information and energy-processing autonomously seek and consolidate their own continuity and environmental tenure.

We each carry a whole, but variously inaccurate or usefully ambiguous, map or simulation and mental, behavioural and linguistic “image” of culture within ourselves, as ourselves. This is the autonomously emergent method by and through which cultural information systems cultivate resilience and ensure their self-propagation. That individual node and subjective self that you are and that you hold so dear is the disaster-recovery insurance plan for the cultural continuity and continuing self-replication, self-propagation of autonomously emergent information abstractions.

Take a moment out of your day and look carefully at any contemporary public place where there large numbers of people. Observe the dozens of people engaged in some kind of interaction with their mobile phone. Who or what benefits more: person seeking communication, information, culturally-reflexive identity-definition, meaningless distraction, social camouflage, news and entertainment; or the self-propagating mesh of integrated, interdependent information abstractions that those mobile devices deliver? The ways we define, entertain and understand ourselves are also the ways that the poeerful tides, flows and eddies of logical information self-replicate.

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