Sunday, January 29, 2012

twitter, informational manipulation, steam culture and telescopic evolution.


So ive got an obscene amount of things to do this week including a shit ton of sketches for Zombie Beach Patrol, a miniseries comic project im working on with a chap named Matt. also firing up the olde inkflow cannon and getting that fucking beast up and running with a little help from space lightning and monster fire, so that should be so time consuming that i take my own life.

but its all for the love, isnt it?

also against my better judgement for said week, i have decided to abstain from all of my vices. no cigs, no alcohol, no drugs, no reefer, no coffee, no orgasms and no internets.

i assume this will be terrible, but terrible things make nonterrible things even better, so 2 weeks from now will probably be awesome.

anyways heres a quick rant ive been meaning to rant about and i might as well get it done before i fast from the wired.

its about twitter announcing that they intend to systematically censor tweets based on different governments requests.

im going to keep it short because i feel like with all the things happening everywhere rants like this tend to sound similar, since they are in fact all connected in a lot of ways.

ok so this social platform called twitter, which owes its immense success on quite literally, freedom of speech in two areas: hollywood celebrity culture(the repulsive, empty side), and the recent arab springs/ows protests(the positive, potentially lifechanging side).

see it has this ability to connect everyone on earth in an instant, and during the protests it was a huge force in 'up to the second, feet on the ground, UNEDITED, crowd sourced news', which allowed people on the streets to coordinate and communicate on the fly, which is really an amazing thing to witness in action.

see this happens all the time when a company gets giant, they fall into the "too big to fail" mindset, like netflix did when they decided to split its services into two separate entities, or when bank of america decided to charge for having a debit card or when mcdonalds food processing techniques were found to be completely repulsive or when the government tried to censor the internet as a whole.

these 4 examples also have something else in common. they were all met with extreme, crowdsourced protests. as a result, all of these policies were quickly changed, suggesting that this is, in some ways, still a buyers market.

something like twitter has a purpose. its a laserfocused version of facebooks status update and introduced hashtags en masse to further its cause and become the infohub it is today.

see with businesses that start laserfocused, it starts out as something pure, and everyone notices how well it does at what its supposed to do. its the best of the best, 100% pure ideologies, theres nothing better for its intended purpose.

kinda like reeeeeally good meth.

but a lot of these companies dont have the strength to stand their ground like walter white up there does it terms of product quality, and they begin to get greedy. they then begin to cut their product with inferior ingredients and ideologies to maximize their output, and thus profits.

i believe that twitter will backpedal, as google eventually did with chinas censored search engine, but well see how it goes. it could easily be a publicity stunt to get people talking about twitter and its future as things move forward in time. i think its important to remember that while we all fought to keep the internet free from immediate censorship from the u.s. government, companies like google and twitter and facebook are NOT small companies. their focus, as with all corporate entities(especially publicly traded ones) is on continued growth and branching out, indefinitely.

spiral out, keep going.

to trust these companies fully is to misstep. they all have ties to politics and are more powerful and worth more than some countries, which is something to be watched of course, but they also revolutionized the world and are largely to thank for the way the world works now in terms of connectivity and information generation, as well as, on the downside, data collection.

the future will deal purely in information.

heres an excerpt from "The Mindscape of Alan Moore", a documentary on alan moore, the writer of watchmen and v for vendetta. yeah, hes the one responsible for the guy fawkes explosion over the past ten years and assumingly the reason anonymous uses the mask to represent their (un)organisation.

"If we take one period of human information as being the time between the invention of the first hand axe, say around 50 000 BC and 1 AD, then this is one period of human information and we can measure it by how many human inventions we came up with in that time. Then we see how long it takes for us to have twice as many inventions. This means that human information has doubled.

As it turns out, after the first 50 000 year period, the second period is about 1500 years, say around the time of the Renaissance. By then we had twice as much information. To double again, human information took a couple of hundred years. The period speeds up, between 1960 and 1970 human information doubled. As I understand it, at the last count human information was doubling around every 18 months.

Further to this, there is a point somewhere around 2015 when human information is doubling every thousandth of a second. This means that in every thousandth of a second we will have accumulated more information than we have in the entire previous history of the world. At this point all bets are off. I cannot imagine the kind of culture that might exist after such a flashpoint of knowledge. I believe that our culture would probably move into a completely different state, would move past the boiling point from a fluid culture to a culture of steam."

this doc was released in 2003.

googles CEO has been quoted recently as saying that human information is doubling now every 2 days. even people criticizing this statement come up with something like a doubling every 7 or 8 days instead. the point is its really moving now, compared to 2003s 18 month doubling, which is on par with, funnily enough, moores law(different moore), which basically states that transistors in a circuit, and thus technology as a whole, get twice as fast every 18 to 24 months due to mans ability to shrink technology using technology.

steam culture. telescopic evolution reaching some kind of peak and the speed in which information is produced superheats our already boiling lucid culture, leading to an eventual change in the way we must process our information.

once this happens, as moore says, "all bets are off."

you never know, maybe like kurzweil says well have a supercomputer in 2040 or so that will rival the brains redline capacity. maybe that supercomputer will be able to analyze all of this information weve been collecting ever since we created hard drives. maybe something like twitter will become some sort of collective human thought database to be bought and sold, copied and torrented. we found out the world wasnt flat, its entirely possible that well find out that creativity is another dimensional reality, or that our universe is just a drop in the bucket of something much, MUCH bigger.

no one knows whats going to happen, but thats what makes it so important. it will affect every one of us.

things are heating up on this little rock of ours.

anyway, the point is that information is and will continue to be mankinds most important resource, and any attempt to censor, bottleneck, manipulate or otherwise compromise this informational substrate will inevitably fail, and fail hard.

it is our job, as humans, to wonder and wander, in the darkness, try to make sense of it, always moving forward.

wherever forward is.

so get out there humans, there is much to do.

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