Sunday 1 June 2014

Express Subscribed Permission

I read somewhere that memory accounts for all of our brain function. I can't remember where, so it's probably true. Fortunately, when such information cannot be found in our re-collection, it is at our fingertips. I just don't feel like looking. But you can if you want to. I'll wait.

The info is sound. I mean, more reliable than just taking someone's word for it, you got facts and figures of data that can be checked and verified - you know, what you do when someone tells you something that you don't wanna believe.

That's right, you follow the suggestion of the last person you wanted to punch in the mouth for suggesting it, which, frankly, I understand, because "Google is your friend" is such an annoying thing to say. The implication is that one day it will be able to tell us about the good ol' days.

But that's what you do: you google it, or if you don't do that, you try really hard not to, which is almost as bad, especially if the only reason for the struggle is to avoid using a particular product. That means, even if Google itself is not skull-skulking you, you're being pwned. 

So you click on the first link resulting from your MukLukSno or Ting or Yeehah, Kahpoo, or Whatever?  Whichever way, it's a Wikipedia article right at the top. Of course, the article is only as good as the footnotey links. You might or might not check those, I'm going with not; I'm sure their presence or absence is an adequate indication as to whether or not a section is dubious. The key: you can check the links.

It's all god.

(That  ^ ^, meine Damen und Herren, is a sigmundian typo I almost corrected).

Okay. If you're back from your search and its purpose was to prove my tepid thesis wrong, then there was no doubt plenty of information available to support you in your quest. If, however, your bias lies with me, we continue...

In case you haven't noticed, the preceding is partially my attempt to illustrate that it is not just memory that is unreliable, or the trust we place in it. It's the tendency to place trust in as paltry a corroboration as humanly necessary, proportional to the tangling of the subject amid hierarchal authority. I mean, there's always more corroborating around every boring corner and at least one out of five dentists who simply will not abide.

Still, objectivity is a big deal. It's a bigger deal theoretically. How interesting that the importance of bearing personal witness has become so insignificant to so many. I think it's a manifestation of the denial of personal responsibility. Or a latent shirking of it. It's so much easier to blame someone else whenever something goes wrong. So it could be that a quick google is becoming less about backing up a theory, and more about letting somebody off the hook.

((Bear with me for a while, because I want to explain whose responsibility is being relinquished and why I allude to it with the above link. The story is that one of the huge American networks censored out an inconvenient truth in the broadcast interview with a former spy because it didn't jibe with the intelligence narrative. Conveniently enough, they kept it archived.

The framing of the story in the link supports the theory of incompetent prior knowledge regarding the failure to stop a intricately coordinated hijacking. The former spy states it so, his argument being that too much data obscures the ability to make sense of it.

What is not being framed within this little meta-talk about meta-information is that there is quite simply no way for anyone to know if it were left un-mined. How many oversight organizations would there have to be, and how many people would have to inhabit them for you to be comfortably sure that the letters flowing from your fingers are not being read by more than just whom they were intended?

And at the end of the day, do you really care?

The only relevant piece of information here is "They are watching." Even if it's not true, that's what is remembered and, though you'll always be able to look it up, it will one day be forgotten. All of this chatter of stolen and leaked information is wholly irrelevant otherwise and has negligible effect upon the evolution of the network.))


Learning is memory, which is not just about thinking how much you like lunch, but is decisive in determining whether you fork it in, or just use your hands and smear shit all over your face;

it's not just about knowing how to walk or thinking you're able to play the first few bars of Chopin's Berceuse really beautifully, it's about the refined awareness that stomping on the piano keys is too destructive to rise to the level of gauche and only funny if you can employ the likely non-existent perfect context for such a thing, and brilliant comic timing in doing so;

more than a guide to your sense of ethics or humor, without memory, your brain would be less human than a robot, but without any of the classic robot skills, like locking, popping, or being a foil to R2-D2.

Up to recently, your memories belonged to you alone and even when you shared them, their trustworthiness was arguable. Times have changed. Memories are being cataloged ever increasingly and with greater efficiency even as these words leave my fingers to reach your consciousness. Whether or not your own personal mnemonics for recall have been affected by modern technology, the next generation of learner is most certainly developing a different approach to storing their perceptions.

There is on-line journalizing and insta-accounts of stuff that are being recorded that never would have made it into the analogues. It is more quickly uploaded and more immediately trivialized, but also more widely accessible and, in spite of the relative weightlessness of the digits themselves, the amount being consumed is throttlingly heavy.

It's way easier to forget that shit and leave it for later (where I'm sure you'll be able to find it again) than write it to the soft disc in your bone housing. No doubt some people will always maintain a better capacity for recognizing the difference between random noise and the immediately pertinent and for storing the latter the orthodox way. There'll always be smarter people. Some of them get paid to write the code so that others don't have to understand it.

If it's true, then, that the trend of effectively outsourcing human memory to search and cypher machinery is increasingly due to necessity, as it was not so long ago down to the novelty of being able to, then during any given moment of effective recall, one mind must be potentially readable to anyone else with a connection.

Still, none of this means that the information being recorded is any more true or accurate than the original source. Wherever one might find such a thing.

The essence of time consists in the change of things.

Unfortunately we have to close Bookshop Friedrichshain.

We thank all the customers who
have remained faithful over the years.