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.

Showing posts with label Twilight Zone. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Twilight Zone. Show all posts

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Time and Politics 10: Police State Futures

"Monuments to Kiev's founders burn as anti-government protesters clash with riot police in Kiev's Independence Square, the epicenter of the country's current unrest in Kiev, Ukraine" on 18 February 2014. Image Source: PzFeed.

According to Plato, the régime that inevitably follows democracy is tyranny (the cycle is: Aristocracy, Timocracy, Oligarchy, Democracy, and Tyranny.). Wiki:
The Kyklos (Ancient Greek: κύκλος, IPA: [kýklos], "cycle") is a term used by some classical Greek authors to describe what they saw as the political cycle of governments in a society. It was roughly based on the history of Greek city-states in the same period. The concept of "The Kyklos" is first elaborated in Plato's Republic, chapters VIII and IX. Polybius calls it the anakyklosis or "anacyclosis". According to Polybius, who has the most fully developed version of the cycle, it rotates through the three basic forms of government, democracy, aristocracy, and monarchy and the three degenerate forms of each of these governments ochlocracy, oligarchy, and tyranny.
Aristotle defined the cycle as: "the rule of One, the second as rule of the Few, the third as the rule of the Many. It keeps repeating."

Tyranny. It would be so nice if we could just skip that stage. I don't relish the notion of some future Gen Z technocrat perusing this post in 2033, deciding that it violates the latest advisories, and concluding that something needs to be done about future me at three in the morning because of my early 2010s' blog. And so, in light of a day I hope never arrives, today's post concerns how to avoid the establishment of 21st century police states.

Kiev on 18 February 2014. Image Source: PzFeed.

A father and son confront a police officer. Kiev on 18 February 2014. Image Source: Anonymous.

The explosion of the Internet in 2000s gave birth to two great, competing behemoths: statism and anti-statism. On the one hand, there is the potential rise of totalitarian super-states, which will mobilize data-gathering to control their citizens. This is the subject of today's post. On the other, the Internet has fueled a fascination with anarchy and giddy infatuation with libertarianism. Many users on the Web are mesmerized by the lure of stateless chaos and total, Net-driven freedoms; they rejoice in a complete sweeping away of the moribund establishment and the creation of unregulated interactions, whether in communications or trade. That will be the subject of an upcoming post.

You don't need to visit an oracle to understand that everything is in flux, and in this period speeding toward the 2020s, "it's all up for grabs, it really is."

Everything is up for grabs. It's like watching an animated chess board; all the pieces are moving and we don't know where they will land. Reactionary attempts to control, regulate, monitor, misinform, obfuscate around emerging trends are well under way. So are radical counter-efforts. It is impossible to gauge how things will appear when the movement stops. Borders will shift. Struggles erupt between those in power and those seeking power. Everywhere, there are protests and crackdowns. Expect resurgences of radical nationalism, irredentism in places like Crimea, Taiwan, bits of the Middle East  and Africa - and separatism in previously placid places, like Scotland and Quebec. Far-sighted agents rush to anticipate and seize the position of final control after this period of upheaval.

Kiev on 18 February 2014. Image Source: HuffPo.

Monday, May 6, 2013

Time Lapses: Noah, Updated

Image Source: Noah Kalina via Fairspot.

Some of you will remember this post, about people who photograph themselves every day over several years and turn their efforts into Youtube videos chronicling facial and environmental changes. The pioneer in this respect was Gen Y photographer, Noah Kalina, who made the viral video, Everyday, cataloguing his life, starting in 2000 when he was 19 years old: see it here. You can see some of his other photographs here and here. Kalina is one of the first Internet celebrities: "VH1 named Noah #14 on their list of the Top 40 Internet Superstars of all time." As a result, he was asked to pose with some MSM celebrities, below. The photoshoot revealed something stubbornly unsettling and placid about the everyman who achieves Web microfame against the glitzy super-media figures who dominate our ads and movies. Kalina is engaging but he's disengaged. He's not paid to court the viewer, to sell something, to make you believe something. His mere existence is the media statement. That is a hard message for some to absorb.

Image Source: Noah Kalina via Fairspot.

In late 2012, Kalina updated his Everyday video to cover twelve and a half years of his life. As this (still ongoing) video piece gets longer, it is takes on an eerie quality (also evident in the music Kalina chose for the longer video). This new feel is at odds with the initial 6-year time lapse video which reflected an optimism about computers' impact on our lives. The longer video has inspired plenty of Youtube comments, because right around the half way point, Noah's face begins to change dramatically in his mid-late twenties.

Some people, true to Netizens' disbelief in reality, believe that Kalina manufactured the video with Photoshop. Others find Kalina's tech-captured ageing process to be frightening and depressing, since it so obviously contradicts the seamless, glossy, Photoshopped, marketing-driven imagery of models, celebrities and politicians which they are used to seeing. This shows how divorced we are becoming from accepting ageing as essential to, and acceptable in, life. Kalina shows that technology is a two-edged sword. Tech Reality versus Tech Perfection!

That said, Kalina's surroundings do appear to get darker and darker, as does his aspect. There was a lot of interest from Youtubers in the girl who peeks over his shoulder, somewhere between 6:00 and 6:09, although you can't find her in the screen-by-screen stop motion. The dark atmosphere, obscure lighting and dramatically altering contexts make it look like Kalina's life took a Lynchian turn over the past six years. Someone has even sped up the video, condensing it from seven minutes to one, which intensifies the effect.

Comments from Youtube:
  • The original viral video. I remember it was on the news because it got 1 million hits in less than 24 hours...
  • it is one of the gold of youtube videos.
  • he started taking photos before I was born, and here I am now, watching his project develop. This is crazy man. crazy.
  • How old is this guy?
  • He's 32. Born July 4, 1980.
  • l['ll] go with your answer. Some guy told me he was 56, but he doesn't look THAT old. :/
  • At a certain point you start to realize you're just watching a man die...
  • Or watching a man live?
  • genius noah. to me it says, life goes by fast, so do something with it. freaking, love this.
  • this vid just shows how fast time flys
  • This gets pretty frightening and powerful in the second half. I think I need to take some time think about how I'm spending my life...
  • yes it's impressive and scary watching this, realizing how quickly our time flies. BUT we can't change that, so don't count the days, make the days count! :P
  • Dude 12.5 years i feel like i have known you for so long were like best friends now
  • 12.5 years in 8 minutes :) Nice
  • 4,563 Bad Hair days
  • It takes a long time to become Zach Galifiankis
  • Weird how everything moves but his face is always in same position
  • he loves that yellow jumper
  • 12.5 years- 1 facial expression
  • this is AWESOME! but can he smile?
  • Someday, Noah. Someday you'll smile.
  • if i were him i would have 1 smile out of all those photos just so we can try to find it
  • 3:38 onwards, the things in the background looks friggin' awesome!
  • I don't know if anyone noticed but starting at around 3:40 Noah start gathering the bitches yo!
  • interesting to watch the furniture behind as well when you get a few minutes in....
  • No[a]h, what happend in your life after 5th minute of video? I think from 5:16 you changed a lot, your eyes changed really a lot, was something happen[e]d at that time?
  • 5:20 he stopped shaving,must've had a serious break up
  • You could tell when the economy started to fall, LOL...
  • A lot of things have changad over this 13 years but this guy is one of the best representations.
  • The music makes this video incredibly morbid and horrifying. Well done
  • the music is going to give me nightmares.
  • I never realized how creepy this was until I saw it without the Carly Comando piano in the background.
  • The music got scary when he got freckles
  • He got freckles... then they left!
  • ha yea, I noticed that, he must have taken up jogging outside as a hobby or something then got lazy and quit, lol.
  • go through the numbers 1 to 9, he gets sadder and sadder
  • Pause it and press 1 and 9 a few times to get the scope of this thing
  • holy fuck the beard bit makes you trip
  • It looks like you became an outdoors type of guy for some time. Flannel shirts and a full beard finally. If you continue this, please smile once in a while.
  • i like watching his beard grow then boop then its back 4 pics later
  • not gonna lie your hair was hilarious moving like it was in the wind constantly haha.. i love how you kept growing your beard then cutting the hair off a few days later like NOPE NOT GOOD ENOUGH - then you grow a gross homeless beard. Come on dude. The photos are the proof.
  • Slightly addicted to watching his beard grow and disappear
  • I like the 20-30 false starts on the beard before the final commitment. I wonder what was going on there. Was he thinking about the video, or were the external forces at play.
  • Lol at the end I just started waiting to see how long his beard would get before he finally shaved it off
  • I like how when you started, you'd shave like once a week, just to get that tiny stub of hair under your lip, then you grew it out and shaved it as soon as it was full for like a year and a half, until finally "Fuck it I'll keep it." When you first grew it out it looks like you neglected to trim it. Stop trimming for 1 year.
  • 6:09 - Creepy face behind him?
  • There's a girl at 6.09 !!
  • Neat video... I've always wondered what it would be like to watch someone turn into a serial killer... I'm just kidding... But the music did get pretty intense....
  • The original was inspirational. This is serial killer documenting his days.
  • oh no, im sad, hes getting old :'(
  • He aged quite a bit!
  • OMG doesnt he get old??!!
  • this is pretty sad and scary
  • this was kinda depressing... o_o
  • saddest video on youtoo
  • :( this is sad
  • For some reason after watching this i feel upset ;'( ...
  • he reminded me how life suck
  • Really creepy.
  • What's incredible when you think about it is that the human body cells are completely replaced in about the space of 10 years... Meaning the Noah we saw at the start of the video no longer was the same Noah we saw at the end...
  • Noah, thanks for this vid & sharing your soulful eyes. This vid is a reminder of how our soul never changes. -- You know how it feels when you look in the mirror and you still feel like you're still at a younger age? THIS feeling is real - its the unaging, timeless soul within us all. :)
  • Anyone else feel like he's starting into your soul
  • This man now owns over 4 million souls...
  • Dude...you've changed (shake of the head)
  • wow you look totally different, how old were you when you started? And how many places did you live? just curious.
  • i feel like i just stepped out of the twilight zone
  • he has nice eyes though.
  • Those eyes...I just...it's like as I'm watching this...and he's staring into my soul, saying, "Who am I? Help me...help me...help me...who am I?" and he just won't stop. I feel like I'm almost going insane. Like, I seriously need to take a break right now, I'm legitimately freaked out. And the music didn't help either.
  • that is really scary had a staring contest for 12.5 years and he won! XP
  • Hey man, I remember watching when you put this up back in 2006. Good job on keeping it going :)
  • Love it.thats devotion
  • I tried to start something like this but just didn't find I had the dedication. Really appreciate that someone has that ability. It's fascinating watching the changes. Well done.
  • congratulations Noah,it takes a lot of patience and will to produce something as awesome as this video,keep up the good work
  • Nobody should criticize this because this kind of video requires many years of patience to do and the result is, I must say, very hypnotic. What we see is the "cycle of life". What if this man has courage to go on this video till the end of his life ?
  • wow.. what a great video... its... better than a the most movies. i'm speechless. Well done.
  • Prob[ab]ly the coolest video on the Internet
  • this tells a better story than most modern books or movies
  • nice photoshop, 100% unreal. look at this eyes and mouth
  • I like how Noah has only two videos on his channel yet youtube prompts you to subscribe... new content every 6 - 6.5 years? Yeah I'll just check back in 2018.
  • See you on 2018 ?
  • se[e] you in 2020? ;P happy years Noah see your new video in 2019 or 2020.
  • El inexorable paso del tiempo que marchita nuestra existencia...
See the video below the jump.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Hallowe'en Countdown 24: Haunted Roads

Clinton Road, NJ, USA.  Image Source: Weird Worm.

It's that frightening hour again, when we see whether investigative experts can take on the paranormal unknown.  In this case, haunted roads are a staple of ghost lore.  There're such old standbys that it seems nothing could drag the haunted road narrative kicking and screaming into the post-Postmodern Millennial era.  In the end, it was the Brits who managed it in 2010.  But first off, we need some good, solid, scary haunted road accounts as 'controls,' as points of comparison.  The best classic haunted road story currently floating around has got to be Clinton Road, New Jersey, USA.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Millennial Mysteries: Strange English-Speaking Boy Walks out of the German Forest

Image Source: Fallen Scoop.

The Guardian is reporting on a mysterious, 17-year old boy who has been living rough in the German woods with his father, whom he buried in a shallow grave in the forest two weeks ago. The boy told authorities that his father had taken him into the woods when his mother died five years ago. He claims he can't remember anything of his life before that.  He doesn't know who he is, or where he comes from.  (Hat tip: Ghost Theory.)

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Midsummer's Simmering Collective Unconscious

Naked Russian diver tames Beluga whales in Arctic waters.  Um ... what?  Image Source: Viktor Lyagushkin/KNS/I09.

Some days, the news headlines give a straightforward snapshot of what is going on in the world.  Some days, the mainstream media stories are curiously uninformative, strangely empty of content and meaning.  On days like that, I appreciate Fox Mulder and Twilight Zone a little more.  Offbeat Websites capture the current mood, if not the facts.  And frankly, the mood's uneasy.  Even more than usual, the Internet is positively humming with weirdness right now.

Weimar blog focusses on twins this week. Image Source: Andrej Glusgold via Weimar.

Midsummer. It should be a dreamy, beautiful time.  But we're half way through a troubling year.  The year began with flocks of birds falling from the sky and fish dying in their millions (bizarre occurences are still happening).   Then Japan had one of the worst earthquakes in her history; and the worst nuclear accident in global history resulted, about which the news is not improving.  The death of Osama Bin Laden prompted an upswing in threats and conspiracy theories.  Economists remain pessimistic about global economies.  An Indian prophet died amid expectations of his resurrection.  An Italian prophet predicted a terrible European earthquake.  A California prophet proclaimed the end of the world now, no, this autumn - and then suffered a stroke.  The Middle East has churned through its 'Arab Spring' to a violent stalemate.  Astrologers are proclaiming that the heavens have turned upside down in a month intensified by three eclipses.  A Chilean volcano exploded.  And so on.

Image Source: Rodney Smith via Weimar.

Here's the collective unconscious, at a glance:
Image Source: David Byun via Weimar.

True to the impulse toward Milliennial dualism, it feels like the ghostly mirror image of the second half of the year is manifesting opposite the first six months that have already transpired. The stage has been set, we're ready for Act II.  Or is it Act III?  An eerie expectation arises that there's a ethereal third dimension to this mirrored configuration.

Image Source: Karl Hubbuch (1927) via Weimar.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Fountain of Youth 1: Why is Noir the Style of the Future and Immortality?

Blade Runner (1982).

Why are there so many films about the future that depend upon a resuscitation of film noir style? Neo-noir has been a revived favourite standard for thrillers from the 1980s to the 2000s, but why is science fiction a flourishing noir sub-genre? Is it just the huge impact of cyberpunk, related to the Tech Revolution? Perhaps science fiction from the 1950s to 1970s, like Philip K. Dick’s neo-gnostic and post-apocalyptic works fed readily into neo-noir styled films based on his work, like 1982’s Blade Runner? Or is there something about noir style specifically that speaks to how we think of the future and Blade Runner's concepts of mortality and conflicted humanity?