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.

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Memespace Hyperventilation

Palaces in the sky: Dark Roasted Blend recently celebrated the incredible visions of French science fiction comics from the 1970s, which American and British directors mimicked in comics and cinema in the 1980s and 1990s. Image Source: Jean-Claude Mézières via Dark Roasted Blend (Hat tip: Me and You and a Blog Named Boo).

On 27 February 2015, Richard Branson encouraged entrepreneurs to come forward to share and expand new ideas. That's great, although some of the big biz riffing around the future celebrates the new idea of the new idea. One never actually gets to a new idea. The out-of-control lingo-about-lingo about the newness-of-newness reminds me of the explosion of Postmodern Expert Speak in the 1990s, which constructed new foundations of intellectual cultural authority.

The Valérian and Laureline "series focuses on the adventures of the dark-haired Valérian, a spatio-temporal agent, and his redheaded female companion, Laureline, as they travel the universe through space and time." Above, "Baroque spaceships (complete with ghost-ridden halls and gargoyles sticking out into the void of space)." Image Source: Dark Roasted Blend.

Mr. Branson quoted commenter Jason Silva, a photogenic Gen Y guru, who is a one-man meme generator and Singularity freestyle philosophical poet. He is compelling and makes good points, but there is something weird about the way he takes the Tech Revolution so literally and with such breathless utopian fervour. His clever rants reach height after height against IMAX effects. His videos are fantastic, if you like the Singularity Themepark Channel. His Youtube commentaries are part of the TestTube Network, which shares an unreflective undergraduate confidence that its contributors can fix the world, or at least understand it, if they edit it and add a soundtrack to it.

Silva's enthusiasm reminds me of the glassy-eyed idealism around the founding of America, or the Revolution in France. He joyously accepts the demolition of temporal boundaries and celebrates breaches of physical and cognitive limitations. He lacks a sense of Techno-Irony about the separate virtual lives enjoyed by his Online Language and Online Ego. To illustrate how Silva can be pithy yet simultaneously hollow, compare his Existential Bummer (the last video below) about death and a life beyond with another writer on similar topics. See Kate Sherrod's Story Sonnets: Infected (24 February 2015) and Who's the Real Crook Here? (23 February 2015).

Here are some of Silva's buzzmemes :
Silva quotes James Gleick, who provides a neo-gnostic view of the multiverse, with the memespace's abstract kingdom of ideas hovering beyond the visible, mundane biosphere:
"Just as the biosphere stands above the world of nonliving matter, so an 'abstract kingdom' rises above the biosphere. The denizens of this kingdom? Ideas."
In this deluge of contagious Millennial Enlightenment language, we will soon need someone to invent a Chomskybot for our times, if only to point out that the profound language of breakthrough change can bewitch us and become a powerful end in itself. We need to get a little more post-Postmodern here. How about the Singularity Memespeak TEDx Talk Generator?

Jason Silva began his project, Shots of Awe, in May 2013, featuring "shots of philosophical espresso ... inspired nuggets of techno-rapture." Video Source: Youtube.

Jason Silva welcomes us to Oz: "A cyclone of unorthodox ideas capable of lifting almost any brain out of its cognitive Kansas." Video Source: Youtube.

Jason Silva: The singularity (pant, pant), will actualize the human imagination. Video Source: Youtube.

Silva quotes neo-gnostic Erik Davis: "We are beset with a thirst for meaning and connection that centuries of skeptical philosophy, hardheaded materialism cannot eliminate... today we turn to 'the cosmic awe conjured by science fiction, or the outer-space snapshots of the Hubble telescope as it calls forth our ever-deeper, ever-brighter possible selves.'" Video Source: Youtube.

Silva's Existential Bummer hints that putting yourself out there in the exciting merger between organic and mechanic might transcend one's limited existence, quoting Ernest Becker: "Man is literally split in two: he has an awareness of his own splendid uniqueness in that he sticks out of nature with a towering majesty, and yet he goes back into the ground a few feet in order blindly and dumbly to rot and disappear forever." Video Source: Youtube.

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