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, December 10, 2019

Our Father, Who Art in Silicon: Censorship of Social Media and the War over the Virtual World

A livecam (here) constantly broadcasts footage of the Centennial Light, a light bulb which has been burning since 1901. The bulb, located in a fire station in Livermore, California, USA, is taken as a proof of planned obsolescence in industry. Image Source: mnn.

Do you know who you are? One can define oneself in terms of the past, present, or future. Tech companies are currently censoring social media to produce a toxic, Orwellian 'now,' in which past content is being erased on the grounds that it is not authoritative. In Nineteen Eighty-Four, the main character, Winston Smith, is a 'historian' in that nightmare world. Or rather, he is what historians will become: a censor. Winston Smith erases history and creates new versions of it, from one hundred years ago, right down to yesterday.

In anticipation of the American 2020 election, among other agendas, tech corporations are becoming Orwellian censors. In the past month on Youtube, Google has begun weirdly removing date stamps from videos. Today, Youtube will begin erasing past content of which they disapprove.

Before censorship, technology was already a destabilizing influence because it accelerates the human experience. Crises of Millennial identities and identity politics are rooted in tech's planned obsolescence. The trend to replace gadgets on ever-shorter timescales has led to a throwaway state in the present, in which objects, people, and ideas become continually devalued and outdated. Netizens are encouraged to get tech's latest build, and to define themselves in terms of a present that is desperately pushing into the future and constantly discarding the past. We must own the newest gadget in order to be successful, connected, and in touch with valid reality. History and the past, much less deep familial memories, are considered suspect, tribal, and not viable sources of identification.

But one cannot define oneself in terms of the future without knowing one's past. The future is, and will continue to be, defined by the past. As tech corporations try to use their industrial production schedules to define the Zeitgeist, they will find themselves challenged by far older sources of human development.

Our Father, Who Art in London

The present is dominated by sensory experiences in the material world. The past influences the present because it defines how the immaterial connects to the material world. We are shaped by legacies, traditions, memories, secrets, and countless voiceless ancestors. While professional historians devote themselves to picking through the wreckage of material sources from this past, our whole history actually includes a vast realm of silenced and lost impressions. Most of the past goes unrecorded, or is censored, but it remains no less powerful.

Last week, I found a piece of material wreckage from my past. My father died this year, and on cleaning out the house, I discovered a book published by my great-great-great grandfather, Conrad Van Dusen, a minister whose father - also named Conrad - arrived in Canada in 1783, during the American Revolution.

When I feel I can't go on because of the obstacles I confront, I think about my past, being partly descended from the Van Dusens, a founding family of the United States and Canada. The Loyalist Conrad was the great-great-great grandson of Abraham Pietersen van Deusen, one of the original Dutch settlers of New York City. The Van Dusens arrived in New Amsterdam around 1626, and their patriarch Abraham was a member of the Council of Twelve Men, the first representative body in America.

Every long-lived family has one cardinal characteristic by which it survives. The Van Dusens are related to other Dutch imperial families like the Roosevelts and the Van Burens. The New York Times did a profile on the Van Dusens in 2011 (here and here), as one of Manhattan's oldest families; the NYT maintains an online genealogy of them, here.

Unlike their more prominent cousins, the Van Dusens were less interested in power and more interested in understanding and accomplishing the impossible, which they equated with God. From what I know of them through my own family's lore, they were people for whom the unreal was more tangible than the possible and the real. They revered limitlessness as an expression of God and opportunity. Their family tradition, stubbornly preserved, was an endless anti-tradition, a continual expansion of possibility as part of a divine and moral order. It was their concrete approach toward the infinite, the unknown, and the unknowable which made them so resilient in the New World.

The book I found in the house last week was an 1867 edition of Practical Theology; you can read it online, here. It was published on Paternoster Row in London. Seeing this, a family friend (-K.) joked, "Our Father, Who Art in London." Conrad's sermons explain how one reconciles the divine with the mundane in daily life, as on page 330:

At first glance, this sentiment might resemble breaking in martial arts, or firewalking. But in fact, the principle here places more emphasis on the concreteness of the ethereal and unreal. This is not an enjoinder to overcome a sensory challenge by smashing through a stack of bricks or walking on burning coals.

In other words, this is not a question of the material world being a primary, dominant and daunting concern, which one attempts to confront with secondary celestial or mental concepts. Rather, the idea that Conrad Van Dusen was attempting to explain was that the material world is an illusion and the immaterial world reigns supreme. In 1878, he published a book entitled, The Doctrine of the Human Soul, which you can read, here. The Van Dusens helped to shape American and Canadian history because they upheld this idea, generation after generation.

This is a common religious theme, as is evident from the Sanskrit song below, which dramatizes the The Mārkaṇḍeya Purāṇa, one of the oldest Puranas in the Hindu tradition. This version was commissioned in 2017 by the School of Practical Philosophy in Australia. It states the same sentiment: the Princess Madālasā teaches her son that the material world is the grand illusion, while the immaterial world is the grand truth.

SANSKRIT SONG from The Mārkaṇḍeya Purāṇa (21 April 2018). Video Source: Youtube.

Our Father, Who Art in Silicon

After looking at Conrad Van Dusen's Practical Theology, I began to understand how families pass down proclivities and interests. I understood why I was attracted as a blogger to cyberethics, because the immaterial world is the location of our largest history.

In the era of our forefathers, the metaphor for intangibility would have been strictly religious. But the intangible now rests in virtual reality. Even if you don’t believe in otherworldly, spiritual, and astral concepts, the virtual world is now an analogous area up for grabs. The Internet was conceived as a negative simulacrum of the spiritual world, but strangely evolved into something more than that. It is a source of past legacies and instincts, an immaterial realm where we decide between right and wrong.

The Internet was invented by intelligence agencies as a foundational project for surveillance, behaviour modification, and psychological imprisonment. Google's parent company is named Alphabet, in a sly nod to its source agencies, the C-I-A and the N-S-A. The leading thinkers at tech corporations, along with their deep state and intelligence connections, were and are arch-materialists. They are literalists, preoccupied with reinforcing the notion that illusions, habits, and drugs can be used to control the brain. They don't understand that the virtual world is bigger than they are and it cannot be controlled.

Why You Can't Stop Clicking (1 December 2019). Video Source: Youtube. Mirrored at BitChute, here.

From the beginning, the Internet was intended to be an immaterial prison, firstly for the disaffected and marginalized, and later, for the mainstream masses. The platforms for content creation and presentation were designed to appeal to dopamine centres in the brain, so that we would become addicted to virtual reality and interact with Websites and gadgets on blind instinct.

On that basis, the virtual world quickly got out of control and instead became a global reflection of Carl Jung's collective unconscious. This was why social media began to host to such visceral content.

That was partly a good thing. The Internet is driven by the core archetypes which make up the architecture of the human psyche, regardless of culture. This is its key to freedom. Jung (1875-1961) described the archetypal points at which the internal mentalities and emotions of the individual intersected with the external, objective, anti-materialistic dimension of every human collective. He also assumed that archetypes were instinctive recollections of the long, unwritten history of our species. The collective unconscious is the seat of atavism, regression, unused DNA, brain junk, and our ancient impulses. In The Archetypes and the Collective Unconscious (1969), Jung confirmed that the animus and anima - the archetypes of the masculine and feminine - hailed from the deep past:
"They evidently live and function in the deeper layers of the unconscious, especially in that phylogenetic substratum which I have called the collective unconscious. This localization explains a good deal of their strangeness: they bring into our ephemeral consciousness an unknown psychic life belonging to a remote past. It is the mind of our unknown ancestors, their way of thinking and feeling, their way of experiencing life and the world, gods and men. The existence of these archaic strata is presumably the source of man's belief in reincarnations and in memories of 'previous experiences'. Just as the human body is a museum, so to speak, of its phylogenetic history, so too is the psyche."
Jung explained how to avoid imprisonment by basest instincts which are expressed within his micro-macro matrix. In the realm of the unknown, the secret, and the impossible, he stated that the key to liberation was to expose, confront, and accept taboos. He proposed that we bear witness to an externalized consciousness and conscience, without relinquishing our own, individual responsibility.

Image Source: AZ Quotes.

The retainment of individual responsibility implies preservation of moral rectitude and judgement. In Jung's system, we can see the greatest extent of light and darkness in ourselves and others; we understand that spectrum, even if it frightens us. We are then not enslaved by urges and emotions, because they are no longer suppressed by individuals or groups.

Spiel Macht Frei

Image Source: Reddit.

That does not mean we should indulge taboo behaviour in the material world, and bring these fantasies into daily reality to blow off steam. To do so is a misapplication of Jung's ideas, which was unfortunately actively implemented in the 20th and early 21st centuries, through the mass marketing of gross and petty vices.

The encouragement of mass vices became a form of social control. In the 1960s, turn-on, tune-in, and drop-out mantras glorified ego-based vices, while falsely claiming that these indulgences were liberating forms of spirituality. This was an ironic formula for mass oppression, because it handed all responsibility off to the collective over that of the individual. Individuals were no longer responsible for the ills of the world, and could blame the larger collective. I have blogged about this policy, here.

By contrast, Jung would insist that the positive evolution of the collective unconscious depends upon individual responsibility preserved in relation to it.

Even as the Internet embodied Jung's collective unconscious, the tech moguls adhered to the notion that individuals cannot be allowed to decide for themselves how to deal with it. Tech companies are rolling out new forms of social control. Under the pretext of protecting free speech, they are quashing free speech, with shadow bans, memory-holing, and outright deletion of creators' accounts and content. Netizens are losing individual responsibility over content engagement. Companies like Google are controlling how we see Jungian archetypes. This is a change from the 1960s' approach, when access to negative Jungian archetypes was promoted. Be it 1970 or 2020, the endgame, however, is the same: the erasure of individualistic, moral interaction with the system.

We should not hand off individual responsibility over our taboo and secret drives to tech corporations, nor permit them to become our externalized consciences. Censorship and suppression of forbidden elements (such as racism) will actually strengthen these elements, while allowing tech moguls to use those strengthened elements as excuses to consolidate totalitarian control under the deceptive guise of liberal slogans. Do we really want our innermost desires and most complex moral decisions to be policed by an algorithm, developed by Google's artificial intelligence?

This Place Is Broken (9 December 2019). Video Source: Youtube. Mirrored at BitChute, here.

Today, 10 December 2019, the terms of use on Youtube changed, and several channels which are deemed not commercially viable are being erased. This is code for censorship, because alt-creators of questionable content have already been demonetized.

The Internet is not just a place of commerce and convenience. It is a sacred space. If the censorship bid fails, virtual reality will become a messy, organic, decentralized undertaking, where we can finally confront our angels and demons. If tech moguls have it their way, that space will become an artificial simulacrum of permissibility, a place of fake liberty surrounded by guard towers, a hellscape pretending to be heaven. It won't have the sign 'Work Makes You Free' displayed at the entrance. This time, the sign will say: 'Play Makes You Free.'

Image Source: Segabits.

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