TIMES, TIME, AND HALF A TIME. A HISTORY OF THE NEW MILLENNIUM.

Comments on a cultural reality between past and future.

This blog describes Metatime in the Posthuman experience, drawn from Sir Isaac Newton's secret work on the future end of times, a tract in which he described Histories of Things to Come. His hidden papers on the occult were auctioned to two private buyers in 1936 at Sotheby's, but were not available for public research until the 1990s.



Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Away from Blog



I will be away from the blog on summer vacation until 10 September 2017.

Sunday, August 20, 2017

Time and Politics 24: Kiwis on the Cutting Edge


L & P Stubbies Ad (NZ) (30 August 2006). Video Source: Youtube.

A hat tip goes to Ed at The Outer Light on Youtube for sharing a funny Kiwi ad for the famous New Zealand soft drink L&P (Lemon and Paeroa) featuring the equally famous Stubbies, "short shorts ... for informal wear" favoured by Aussie and Kiwi men since 1972. The ad reminded me of my earlier post on Canadian humour, here.

CIA whistleblower John Kiriakou, Kim Dotcom & Suzie Dawson - 2nd #AntiSpyBill event (20 August 2017). Video Source: Youtube.

If the Kiwis were on the cutting edge of men's fashion in the 1970s, they're on the cutting edge of political fashion now. This was Ed's segue, not mine! The point he was making, I think, is that the world used to be more trusting, naive, and less oppressive. People hung out, had parties, drank soda, and wore tight pants. Ed's Outer Light videos often express nostalgia for the lost, pre-Internet past, when everyday people did not worry about global crime and mass surveillance, and they felt they could trust their governments.

One of the Internet Party's supporters and spokesmen is Barrett Brown. For more on him, go here. Image Source: Facebook.

If citizens did not worry about mass surveillance then, they certainly do now. The New Zealand Internet Party held another worldwide roundtable meeting on 20 August 2017 to continue to develop a bill against government spying on citizens:
"Acclaimed CIA torture whistleblower John Kiriakou and other special guests will join tech entrepreneur and Internet Party founder Kim Dotcom on the panel of the next #AntiSpyBill live event this Sunday night.

This comes hot on the heels of several major American publications reporting on technical evidence recently presented by the group Veteran Intelligence Professionals For Sanity (VIPS), of which Kiriakou is a member, to the White House regarding the DNC leaks of 2016, The event will be held online between 8pm and 11pm on Sunday the 20th of August, 2017, NZST (UTC+12) and follows on from the Internet Party’s flagship #AntiSpyBill event which featured appearances by Dotcom, award-winning journalist Barrett Brown, hacktivist Lauri Love and comedian Lee Camp. ...

The Internet Party is inviting the public to join the roundtable event, which as well as discussing contemporary issues of the day, will continue its effort to draft crowdsourced legislation to counter government spying."
The Internet Party is headed by ex-Occupy-Auckland citizen journalist, Suzie Dawson, a New Zealand political refugee living in Moscow, Russia (she has applied for temporary asylum); she made a documentary about her experiences in the Occupy movement and the events which led her to seek asylum, here.

The fledgling movement was established in 2014 by Megaupload and Mega founder Kim Dotcom. The party aims to prevent the world from becoming like George Orwell's Nineteen Eighty-Four. You can watch the party's statements on their Youtube channel, here; on Twitter, the hashtag is #AntiSpyBill.


When Dotcom - a Gen Xer who was born Kim Schmitz in Kiel, Germany in 1974 - first founded the Internet Party, he was dogged by accusations that he had a past as a neo-Nazi sympathizer. Dotcom denied these allegations, claiming they were a smear campaign to derail the Internet Party.

The Internet Party is symptomatic of an enormous evolution in politics, due to the advent of global technology. Notice that the tone and mode of Internet Party presentations follow a hacktivist aesthetic, straight-to-you from the laptop in the bedroom or the basement. This is not someone in a suit, micro-managed by handlers, talking to you under the lights of the corporate media. If Donald Trump brought Reality TV to international politics, this party is bringing the Internet Underground to international politics.

What does that mean? The evolution of politics concerns a constantly shifting engagement with reality and fiction, between actions and labels. A hacktivist would say that conventional politics is a confidence game, in which there are two paradigms. First, there is the picture of what is happening as described by the establishment to the public. That misleading vision messily overlaps with the establishment's desired outcomes, goals, and values. Then there is a different landscape, defined by what the establishment is actually doing. Outlets like WikiLeaks claim to be devoted to exposing that latter truth.

You may question the reputations of Gen X and Gen Y upstarts if you will, but these hacktivist politicians claim their brushes with the law, or convictions under the law, are due to the fact that classic rights and freedoms of citizens are effectively being criminalized to make way for totalitarianism. The people in the Internet Party argue that conventional politicians uphold citizens' rights and freedoms in name only, while they pave the way for police states. That is a sobering thought.

Political movements now involve 20th century ideas playing out in 21st century contexts. For example, spectral 20th century Nazism is currently being used as a weapon on both sides of the left-right divide to enflame public discourse. Again, there are two levels of Nazism to worry about - the reality and the projected image. There are the real, abhorrent historical precedents and a resurgence of equally dangerous, present-day neo-Nazi successors.

And - quite separately - Nazism, neo-Nazism, and anti-Nazism exist as online memes, as tools of virality which gain enormous Internet exposure and traction, however they may be used, and by whomever. In virtual reality, Nazism and anti-Nazism are magnifiers, ideas which pump debates and make them explode in size. They are also strong negative or positive labels, which can change the vectors of online opinion. If one imagines the social media environment as a big artificial intelligence system, one could see Nazism-the-meme as a switch with different operative capabilities. I will address these real and virtual aspects of online politics in future posts.




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Saturday, August 19, 2017

America's Total Eclipse of the Sun


Image Source: Travel and Leisure.

Other countries have solar eclipses cross their territories all the time. But America never does things by halves, and 21 August 2017 is no exception.

Jalu, Libya: 2006 Total Solar Eclipse (29 March 2006). Video Source: Youtube.

Total Solar Eclipse in Svalbard 2015 (Crowd Reaction) (20-21 March 2015). Video Source: Youtube.

Alaska Airlines Solar Eclipse Flight #870 (8-9 March 2016). Video Source: Youtube.

This is the first time a total solar eclipse will exactly span the United States in nearly a century; the last such eclipse took place on 8 June 1918. The moon’s penumbral shadow will produce a partial eclipse visible from most of North America. The most recent total solar eclipse prior to this one, which crossed parts of the USA and Canada, occurred on 26 February 1979.

Video Source: The Weather Network.

To celebrate this Monday's eclipse, there are family road trip eclipse maps; viewers which fit over your iPhone; shades and special eclipse binocularsglow-in-the-dark t-shirts and other appareltote bags; travel mugs; and commemorative Californian wines called Umbra and Totality. The company Possets released a dedicated perfume:
"On a bed of gentle sandalwood rest two softly animalic musks that encompass a suggestive intermingling of a spot-on lilac accord and a measure of sweet hawthorne. This is one sexy and classy perfume that will invite dimming of the lights..."
There is even a 2017 book about the 1878 solar eclipse: American Eclipse: A Nation's Epic Race to Catch the Shadow of the Moon and Win the Glory of the World. Bonnie Tyler will sing her 1983 pop classic, "Total Eclipse of the Heart" on the Royal Caribbean cruise ship, Oasis of the Seas off the coast of Florida.

A total solar eclipse sweeping across the US- BBC News (21 August 2017). Video Source: Youtube.

Image Source: NASA.

Saturday, August 12, 2017

Pedogate: Spin and Victimhood


On 18 February 2017, a mansion on Turkey Run Road in McLean, Virginia, USA burned down. Conspiracy theorists assumed that this fire related to their theory of Washington's corrupt establishment, and involved the destruction of child abuse evidence. News sources reported that the mansion was owned by the United Arab Emirates and the people who lived in the house escaped unharmed. Image Source: WUSA-9.

We live in a hybrid condition, between past and future, between the 20th century and the 21st. In this hybrid condition, we see a number of problems: systemic corruption; taboo ideas and extremist language to ramp up the energy of discourse; increasing efforts to use technology to impose control in old ways. This leads straight to totalitarianism, the very thing everyone claims they want to avoid.

The only antidote, the only possibility of recovering balance, would be to lay down ideological arms, step back from left-right arguments, and express compassion for those of opposing views and situations. Almost no one seems ready to do that.

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Surveillance Capitalism Crosses the Uncanny Valley


Me playing with the CUBO CC Girl (28 March 2008). Video Source: Youtube.

On the Youtube series, Deep Web Browsing, gamer host Mutahar stumbled in Episode 59 (here) across a Brazilian 'post-advertising' agency, cubo.cc, with a site on the Dark Web and supposed offices in São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, and New York City. Cubo CC claims it is part of the 'creative disruption network.' You can see what (I think) is one of their 2008 disruptive marketing products above, CUBO CC Girl, an interactive CGI girl who follows your cursor in real time. Forum members on Hacker News tried to trace this project's design and origins. You can see a similar 2008 project from Image Metrics, below.

The Emily Project from Image Metrics (2008). The project is explained here. Image Source: HDimagelib.

Monday, August 7, 2017

Look Skyward: Partial Eclipse of the Moon


The darker blue and pink areas show where the lunar eclipse will be visible on 7-8 August 2017. Image Source: Time and Date.

There is a partial lunar eclipse of the Sturgeon Full Moon occurring on 7-8 August 2017. The eclipse begins at 15:50:01 UTC and ends at 20:50:56 UTC. For your local time, go hereSpace.com:
"The Slooh community observatory will stream live views of the partial lunar eclipse of Aug. 7, 2017, which will only be visible over Africa, Europe, Asia and Australia. Watch live from 11:45 a.m. EDT (1545 GMT) to 3:20 p.m. EDT (1520 GMT), courtesy of Slooh. You can go to Slooh.com to join and watch this live show, chat with audience members and interact with the hosts, and personally control Slooh's telescopes."

Image Source: LA Times.

During the eclipse, you can watch a live feed of the moon passing through the earth's shadow on the video screen below. Eclipses come in pairs, so expect another, solar eclipse in two weeks on 21 August 2017. It will be visible on the other side of the world, in North America.

Partial Lunar Eclipse (7 August 2017). Video Source: Youtube.

Saturday, August 5, 2017

Time and Politics 23: The New Third Way of Internet Politics


Probably Chelsea (2017) by Heather Dewey-Hagborg and Chelsea Manning. Genetic materials, custom software, thirty 3d prints. Image Source: Joerg Blumtritt. Thanks to Heather Dewey-Hagborg for her press release on the 2 August 2017 opening at the Fridman Gallery in New York City, for the opening of A Becoming Resemblance, a collaborative exhibition with Chelsea E. Manning.

This post is part of a series which considers the impact of Internet leaks, hacks, urban legends, conspiracy theories, and rumours as forms of public discourse. This blog is politically neutral, and my aim here is to step back from left, right, and extremist debates in order to understand how politics is developing in a new environment, informed by online media.

I have a grand theory about current political evolution. Here is the

TL;DR: There are two stances currently merging in political discourses. One is the 20th century paradigm. The other is a 21st century form. It is difficult to understand political change because we are using 20th century terms superficially to describe 21st century trends. Whether left or right, the 20th century paradigm depends on labeling as a mode of organization and control.

The impact of technology makes for a very different 21st century model. Accelerated technology depends on our most visceral responses; its intimate incorporation into our lives and minds creates a political sphere driven by instinct, taboo, fear, projection, confusion, distraction - in short, the shadowy collective unconscious. Thus, we are using highly rationalized and limiting 20th century thought forms to describe the 21st century's exploding unbounded experience and the politicized anti-rational.

Friday, August 4, 2017

In Millennial Eyes 7: Edinburgh in 1544


Virtual Time Binoculars - Edinburgh 1544 from Smart History on Vimeo.

A new academic project has begun to explore the historical teaching potential of virtual reality environments. I have previously blogged on a similar projects concerning history and video game technology with regard to 17th century Netherlands in The Golden Age, and colonial Quebec in I Remember the French Revolution. This is the teaser trail for Virtual Time Binoculars - Edinburgh 1544:
"PREVIEW - TEASER TRAILER

New technology reveals old Edinburgh.

St Andrews research brings 16th Century capital back to life.

The lost townscape of sixteenth-century Edinburgh is being brought back to life by researchers at the University of St Andrews.

The reconstruction is still under construction and will be available on a number of digital platforms (including a mobile app, a 3D virtual experience, and more traditional web-based resources) from 1 May 2017.

'The new digital reconstruction is the first to be created of the sixteenth-century city, and is based on a drawing from 1544 (thought to be the earliest accurate depiction of the capital).'

The technology will be shown for the first time today (16 March 2017) at a special event showcasing the University’s research to industry partners.

The virtual time travel technology – which will be released as an app in May – provides a unique window into the capital around the time of the birth of Mary Queen of Scots.

The technology is the result of a collaboration between St Andrews historians, art historians, computer scientists and University spinout company Smart History. The result is an interactive tour of the capital as it appeared in 1544, just before the city was sacked and burned by an English army led by Edward Seymour, Earl of Hertford.

Dr Bess Rhodes, an expert on sixteenth-century Scottish history who collaborated on the reconstruction, said, 'For the first time visitors and residents can compare the city they know with the capital of James V and Mary Queen of Scots.'

'It has been amazing seeing the recreation of a lost townscape. I hope this project makes the public more aware of the layers in the capital’s history, and furthers understanding of the complex way in which Edinburgh evolved.'

The reconstruction is inspired by a sixteenth-century drawing of Edinburgh made by Richard Lee, an English military engineer who later designed the massive artillery defences at Berwick-upon-Tweed. Lee accompanied the Earl of Hertford’s forces to Edinburgh in 1544, and his drawing is thought to be the first realistic depiction of Scotland’s capital.

The interdisciplinary team of St Andrews researchers supplemented the information from Lee’s plan with archaeological evidence, sixteenth-century written sources, and information about the geography of the modern city, to create an updated reconstruction of Edinburgh.

Dr Rhodes continued, 'The 1540s were a tumultuous period in Edinburgh’s history. In December 1542 King James V of Scotland died, leaving his baby daughter Mary as monarch. Not long after the English King Henry VIII ordered an invasion of Scotland, with the aim of forcing the Scots to accept a proposed betrothal between the infant Mary and his young son (the future Edward VI of England).'

'One of the first major actions in the conflict later known as the "Rough Wooing" was the Earl of Hertford’s attack on Edinburgh in May 1544. Hertford’s forces failed to capture Edinburgh Castle, but set fire to the city, damaging the medieval townscape, before they retreated. Our reconstruction is the first digital representation of Edinburgh at this eventful moment in the capital’s past.'

The new reconstruction gives an overview of the townscape of the entire sixteenth-century city, with a particular focus on the Royal Mile – the historic spine of Edinburgh. The digital development was largely financed by a grant from Innovate UK."

See all my posts in the series, In Millennial Eyes, in which I explore how history and historic themes are viewed from 21st century perspectives.

Friday, July 28, 2017

Once Upon a Time, Information became Technology


Image Source: Pinterest.

One of the marvels of the middle ages, a moment when technology jumped, is the flying buttress. Perfected by the 12th century, the elegance and grandeur of flying buttresses are obvious. As an architectural innovation, they leap toward the modern world's astounding tall buildings. They have a lesson for us, too, because flying buttresses tell us what technology really means and why we use it.

Image Source: Pinterest.

The flying buttress was not invented for its own sake. The point to the buttress - even with everything it did for architecture - was not the buttress. Its invention was a means to an end. The buttress was incidental to a larger goal that had nothing to do with the buttress itself.

The flying buttress was invented to solve a problem of faith. It was deliberately conceived to narrate a great architectural story about how human beings can reach higher. At that time, the metaphor for that adventure was religious; the flying buttress was created to vault ornate ceilings into the heavens, to make buildings which touched the edge of God's celestial dominion.


Images Source: Pinterest.


Images Source: Thought Co.

Image Source: Aramaic Bible.

Technology is a servant of higher impulses in human nature; it is supposed to expand our tool-using capacity to accomplish greater things. The past decade has confused the meaning of technology, with corporations portraying tech gadgets as autonomous objects, birthed in rapturous marketing campaigns. They present the technology as an end in itself. Some say this is a nihilistic message, and its implications are evident in recent scandals.

Apple Official iPhone 8 Trailer 2017 (26 June 2017). Video Source: Youtube.

Another Benchmark in the Downfall of Modern Society (26 July 2017). Video Source: Youtube.

This summer, I have covered several wild conspiracy theories and the evolving dynamics of memes, alt-news, and fake news in an effort to understand what part information plays as we use technology to reach beyond worship of the gadget. My posts are not advocating or seeking to prove conspiracy theories, rather indicating where their use takes us.


The established mainstream media attack the alt-media as the latter attract huge audiences on the Internet. The MSM insist that only the corporate media may define the narrative of what is happening in the world. They are grounded in reputation, domination, professionalism; these are the compensated establishment voices who wish to control the way we consume information.

Unless the MSM speak of a cherished citizen journalist who supports the mainstream narrative, there is an established media backlash against nearly all alt-media as 'fake news.' Do not believe the unbranded, no-name voices in the online realm of the disreputable, flawed, amateur, or ideologically threatening. For all this criticism, the MSM journalists have spent little effort trying to understand what practical purpose is served by fake news, conspiracy theories, and other dubious information.

To return to the flying buttress, technology serves a purpose larger than itself. In virtual reality, information becomes a technology. Information and disinformation are tools which can build new realities and new potentials. This utility is little understood by those who take information at face value, as an end in itself. Treat information as a new kind of technology, and the endgame of conspiracy theories, alt-news, and fake news makes more sense.