Monday, November 23, 2009

connect the dots

Connect the dots and you will see key points that are repeated throughout this piece, that humans make choices about connections – the net works of many to many and the inter net of the single connections through a web of points and patterns. Patterns emerge from the text between the biological and virtual comparisons. Links are associated with the effects of political and social organization as a result of 911 and fears of biological disease, biological warfare, and human research data. Meanwhile, we humans continuing to seek virtual connections that result in power struggles, fear, loss of security and self, and exploitation by political and social powers. The biological, political, social, and technical edges of humanity begin to blur into one organism.

Here are some relations explored: Edges links to nodes. What is inside and what is outside a boundary. Centralized and decentralized structures. Rules and rebellion (anarchy). Language and code. The universe and the inverse. The macro and the micro. The real and the replacement/replica. The virus and the host. The self and the other. The controller of knowledge and the pawns or masses that are manipulated. The disease and the cure. A cause and a reaction. Replication and translation. Protocols and rogue behavior. Power maintained by fear. Life, demise and death. Zombie and robots. (Yes, I, too, fear the gray goo of sector 9.) The watchers and the watched. What is seen and what is not. The body and the shadow or trace.

These are themes that constantly reappear in the Exploit. The authors tie this all together to suggest political control of information of the masses that result in anxiety, fear, disaster and doom.

I see these aspects in my personal life. I can see this as I cruise in my little car on my happy way to work. I drive a great distance on the vein of the tollway. I queue up, and glide through the booth as my toll tag is read. I speed on through zones to my mapped out path to my cube at work. I proceed through the compartmentalized and segmented routines of my day. I attend to the meetings and motions of my day. I sort, arrange, and filter data. I speak in acronymic code. I use my network of tools and collaborate with clusters of multinational coworkers to complete lists of tasks, using a host of technologies. System acronyms are embedded in all the language we speak. Our actions are systematic. Our outcomes are predictable. We produce our required outputs.

I see how my job fits in the patterns and structures of the network. Our group is implementing a system to collect research on human subjects. This particular type of work is critically inspected and dissected in this text. I am part of the academic, research structure. I see the fearful side of the political powers who can profile, sequence, manipulate and control the gold mine of medical research data that is collected to manage and study human subjects. I see how the information could be used to control and result in economic gain. I see it.

I read my homework, in the allotted time and I have an overwhelming desire to go rouge! This is the system of life I live in.

As I leave work and walk to my car, I hear two young men comment about the wonderfully mild weather we are having on the 23rd of November. I hear them say something about global warming and hear them comment that they have nothing to worry about as it won’t affect them in their lifetime. I am saddened by their apathy.

Yes we have a desire to gather, collaborate, inspect and compare. And yes we have this burning hunger for knowledge and information. I see some who hunger power and have a need to control. All of these elements are examples of human characteristics. And when humans apply their human attributes to non-human systems the systems resemble humans…flawed, vulnerable and exploitable.

Humans have a desire to collaborate and connect? But what if we have this obsessive need to count and collect to seek something good? What if by reviewing trends the data leads to visibility, to a pathway or possibility for a cure? We share the desire to collect data, and bank it, and mine it to find answers even though there are mutations in our biological systems. We observe biological systems and how they behave in a like manner to non-biological systems. We compare the political, biological and social system structures. We project the political, the biological, and the social to the technical model to find new forms.

I believe we seek answers because we inspect ourselves from within and beyond to project ourselves in other resembling systems, like plant, insects, and animal, to find something better, something greater, looking for something artful and elegant. Yes we are flawed but we are wired that way. We will mimic and mirror what we are in hopes of finding something better. It appears that we will recreate, exhibit and war with ourselves until we construct, reconstruct or deconstruct into a trace.

Oh and PS: I still love trees.


Gary said...

Ah, I love the optimism. I share the optimism. But I'm glad there are those who warn us of the dangers of being hypernetworked. I'm so tied in to being part of a system, so accustomed to being connected any many ways, I can hardly fathom the idea of becoming digitally nomadic, much less physically nomadic like the Irish travellers. I also believe the great majority of people accept the control because they equate it with security, as hyped as that concept may be.

KEHS said...

Yeah, another optimist! I sometimes drive people crazy with my optimism. Like Gary, though, I am pleased that there are people out there who aren't optimists and occasionally warn us of the dangers of being hypernetworked. I personally recognize these dangers and pull back from time to time, but not everyone realizes these dangers and they need to be aware of the effect of being hypernetworked/mediated may have on them.

April said...

Yes, being overly mediated can definitely be a negative or harmful thing, and I think that many of us are hooked into so many networks, as evidenced by *all* the examples in this blog, that to think about it is frightening and overwhelming. So many of us walk around, a piece in many societal puzzles. It's good to step back every once in a while and realize that we are still individuals and need to take time to step out of a few networks now and then.