Robert Anton Wilson and Robert Shea. Blog, Internet resources, online reading groups, articles and interviews, Illuminatus! info.

Sunday, June 10, 2018

See the world from your computer

A stretch of road in Sweden at

It's become fashionable to complain about the Internet and find little good about it, but websites continue to arise that show what the technology can do. Globe Genie is a virtual teleportation site that shows Google Maps' Street View photos around the world; if you are at a destination you like, you can move the viewpoint around and roam around.

Faro Mangiabarche in Italy, via Global Genie. 

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Branka Tesla said...

It seems to me to blindly attack the Internet would just show neo-Luddistic tendencies. Internet offers many advantages and I am not against digital media. What I am against is the intentional behavioral manipulation of network services leading to addiction in order to make financial profits just for one side, just for themselves. Again, I am not against Internet, but I am against the feedback machine that deliberately modifies behavior for financial gains.

For example: Sean Parker, the first president of Facebook admitted that Facebook intentionally got people addicted. My question: Why not reverse the intent and make it more human and altruistic - why not use the technology to abolish poverty? Why is their business plan title not : "How to use Internet and the technology to abolish poverty"

There are increasing numbers of authors (Douglas Rushkoff, Sherry Turkle, Jaron Lanier) coming out with books based on studies of social media and how it affects us, and suggesting practicing mental hygiene more often. In my view, to ignore these studies and warnings, would be socially irresponsible.

According to Jaron Lanier and his new book "Ten Arguments for Deleting Your Social Media Accounts" : among all tech giants Facebook and Google appear most toxic because they both depend on the machine called BUMMER.
Lanier: "The mass behavior modification machine is rented out to make money. BUMMER manipulations are not perfect, but they are powerful enough that it becomes suicidal for brands, politicians, and other competitive entities to forgo payments to BUMMER machines. Universal cognitive blackmail ensues, resulting in a rising global spend on Bummer." (p.33) "The problem with BUMMER is not that it includes any particular technology, but that it's someone else's power trip." (p.38)

"E is for Earning money from letting the worst assholes secretly screw with everyone else." - Jaron Lanier

Cleveland Okie (Tom Jackson) said...

I liked Rushkoff's "Program or Be Programmed" and in fact I interviewed him for this blog. I plan to read Lanier's new book on social media.

Branka Tesla said...

Tom, What a great media theorist Rushkoff represents. I like everything he writes about media; particularly "Present Shock" - When Everything Happens Now and  "Throwing Rocks at the Google Bus: How Growth Became the Enemy of Prosperity "

If you liked Rushkoff, you will most likely also enjoy Jaron Lanier. I like reading about digital media from the insiders - Lanier being one of the pioneers of  Silicon Valley. I somehow feel closer to it and I think I can get more authenticity if an insider of the internet and digital media writes about it. I respect Lanier's honesty and clarity in his "Ten Arguments for Deleting Your Social Media Accounts Right Now". I like his personal touch - Lanier admits he was becoming one of the assholes in Silicon Valley and decided not to continue; and now he has no presence on social media and he explains why by closing our social media accounts we can make social media better. Brilliant!

"F is for Fake mobs and Faker society" 
"When people are fake, everything becomes fake" (p.55) - Jaron Lanier