Posts Tagged ‘Jamais Cascio’

Astana: Bad Impressions

June 6, 2012

I think you should go read Jamais Casio’s post Astana: Impressions, then I think you should go read Casio’s live tweets from the final round table of politicians, Nobel laureates, CEOs and media figures.

“The most notable part of the event was the roundtable discussion on the final night, bringing together political leaders (current and former Prime Ministers and Presidents), a half-dozen Nobel Prize laureates in economics, a couple of executives and a couple of media figures to talk about the world’s economic situation. About a quarter of the way in, I started “live tweeting” the event — I simply couldn’t believe what was being said, and I knew that others would have the same kind of aghast reaction.” – Jamais Casio

“Again, a single telling example: in the 90 minutes of the discussion, unemployment was mentioned once (about 45 minutes in), and briefly, while inequality or similar concepts never came up. What received the most attention was the need for even more austerity (and how to handle the annoying groups of citizens who don’t like it), alongside casual discussions of tossing Greece out of the EU.

Here’s the problem: AEF is a prime example of how the global conversation about development and economics takes place without much regard for anything beyond the interests of the most wealthy and powerful. This is hardly a surprise; what was surprising was the utter lack of subtlety about it. Nobody bats an eye at the obsequiousness of Nobel laureates and global media executives towards the President-for-Life of an up-and-coming petrokleptocracy. Jokes are made about how democracy is ruined by having to rely on voters. The fate of the planet gets decided over bad (and infrequent) coffee and semi-functional translation.” – Jamais Casio

This post and series of tweets is of interest to me not for the content and portrayal of figures of institutional power and authority. I could read about far worse elsewhere. For me it’s about the author. Jamais Casio is what I might call unrelentingly reasonable. He is not a conspiracy theorist, or even that cynical. He is progressive and practical. When he sees this type of misanthropic and anti-human policy projected openly and without artifice of concealment then I think that something has changed in the world. Maybe not an avalanche, but a slow, burbling creep that’s starting to lap at the base of the collective neo-cortex.

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The Rule of Monsters

September 15, 2011

Check out Jamais Casio’s Teratocracy Rises.

I try to follow the currents that flow under the skin of the world. That’s what part of my triptych series is about. Trying to crystallize hidden currents that I feel flowing together. One of those currents that has been resurgent over the past decade is of control over human life.

Casio is talking about what he calls a weak signal, or a “distant early warning” stirring at the edge of awareness that something is wrong.

“I’ve been following indications for awhile that democracy as practiced in the post-industrial world is increasingly under threat; in February of this year, I wrote a piece (“Fear of Teratocracy”) that explored the increasing attacks not just on the policies of leaders, but the on very legitimacy of leaders. In this world, it’s not enough to say that your opponent is wrong, you have to say that your opponent simply has no right to lead. As democracy depends on the losers stepping aside gracefully as much as the winners ruling fairly, I tried to be clear in saying that attacks on the legitimacy of opponents were implicit attacks on democracy itself.

Apparently, I just needed to be patient; what was implicit has become explicit.

Over the last week, I have encountered three separate (and seemingly unrelated) attacks on democracy, written by residents of the US and Europe from highly-visible spots in the political-economic media system.”

This is the kind of thing I don’t want to believe is real because it fits my preconceptions too well. I feel this down in my bones. I feel the energy of the world changing. Democracy isn’t inviolate anymore because it doesn’t fit into the struggle we are going through between authority and life itself.

Systems Thinking, Souls and Health Care

August 28, 2009

Jamais Cascio has linked to and written about two articles on the US “health-care debate.” The quotes illustrate the lack evidence that what is occurring is actually debate, or that it has anything to do with providing effective health care to the citizens of that nation. Jamais has also written about this issue in terms of his own medical needs and self employed (read: no benefits) existence.

The first article is by design guru and author Adam Greenfield. It takes a systems thinking approach to examining what is actually happening in this “debate,” as opposed to what is being said. At the same time it deals with the spirit of the situation very well. Find it at Speedbird.

The second is by the renowned SF author Charles Stross and takes a more humanistic approach to the topic, reducing it to the essence that is the absence of mercy in the political body and soul of America today. It can be found on Charlie’s Diary.

All three articles are worth your time and consideration.

Techs to Politics (3rd to 5th chakra)

August 8, 2009

This is a perfect (edit: intellectual) description of how 3rd chakra states of consciousness relate to 5th chakra states of conscioussness.

Technology is Political, by Jamais Cascio

3rd chakra consciousness (technological) is all about a personal, individual experience of reality, the choices that derive from it, and the energy to enact those choices. There is only one vision, yours. What you can see and touch is reality. 3rd chakra has great power in terms of understanding and manipulating the world within a single vision, or reality tunnel. 3rd chakra consciousness fails when it mistakes it’s vision for the only vision.

5th chakra consciousness (politics) is all about the direct experience of your culture, its past and future, the choices that can be made within its context and the energy to organize them. 5th chakra has great power in terms of aligning and optimizing the interaction many visions for the evolution of a society, or the achievement of a goal. 5th chakra consciousness fails when it mistakes control of these many visions for the goal itself.

Edit: The description I’ve given here is a very 3rd chakra way of describing chakras, which are generally perceived in 6th chakra state of consciousness where higher dimensional, seemingly metaphorical realities become tangibly real. An example of this would be that the 3rd chakra is also directly linked to the energy of the sun

To Heal the Past and Guard the Future: 2

August 2, 2009

Human societies in general don’t seem to me to have a great record of actively and consciously creating their own futures. Two particularly dominating influences on how the future has been grown/made/designed/happened seem to be the paradigms of tradition and progress. I’m using tradition as a blanket term for steering by looking in the rear view mirror. I’m using progress as a blanket term for viewing the future as a linear journey toward a shining, homogeneous pinnacle, technological or otherwise. Tradition says the past was better. Progress says the future is better.

Step out of time: There is no past. There is no future. All these things exist together. There is change, but no end toward which it always will, or should, move. There are choices, limited and defined by a context, but free within it.

If you’re more comfortable hearing that the future has gone out of fashion, among other things, in terms of high-technology and speculative fiction (and you can get the video to load and play correctly) take it from Futurist and SF author Bruce Sterling, via Jamais Cascio’s site, Open the Future: http://www.openthefuture.com/2009/07/life_lessons_from_the_next_dec.html

My point is that life is a choice. If you don’t make it, actively and with awareness, someone else will make it for you. One of the reasons I’m here is to make this clear.

I deal with the energies of potential futures less often than those of the past. I perceive that this is primarily because there are many more potential futures than there are versions of the past that we are connected to. Another reason is that there are very few future events which would be in wellness for me to manipulate. Meddling in the choices of others is not why I am here.

My perception of the future is that of a probability-scape, that is, a landscape describing the probability that this present moment will manifest any given future out of an infinite potential range of futures. The probability-scape appears to me as a system of clouds of light, varying densities and forms. Greater densities represent higher probabilities of that future being the one that our consciousnesses will enter. These futures are not distinct, but continua.

My description is complicated by my perception that all these potential futures exist simultaneously, as well as all potential futures from the beginning of linear time. What defines our future is which of these paths our consciousnesses have and will follow. Going any deeper into how it works gets even more complicated, so I’ll focus on how to work with probability-scapes, not on fully understanding what they represent.

In essence, the probability-scape represents the “context” of choices that I mentioned previously. I will not argue about free will. This is just what I perceive. The easiest things to manipulate through alteration of probability-scapes are outcomes based on high complexity situations, interactions and random chance. As with almost all energy techniques, this works by resonance. This means that the more influencing variables there are, and the easier it is to shift each of those variables by chance, the more influence the resonance has. If you know how and have the energy to do so, you can alter probability-scapes. My advice is “don’t,” and for exactly the same reasons that I ask people not to use sympathetic magic lightly. They tend to manipulate and close of, rather than inform and open up, and have unpredictable consequences. The caveat to this advice is that if you feel you have to use these techniques, create an open future, for your choices and those of others. I never try to manipulate scapes with my own energies. I always ask for an a positive force without a sense of self or ego, such as the universal healing energy to do the optimization. In this way individual interest is removed from the picture.

Common Ground

May 8, 2009

From the recent “Art Center Talk– Future: to go” post on openthefuture.com

“I want you to think through these three scenarios as lenses, to understand the choices you’ll be making in your own designs, in your own businesses, in your own communities over the course of the next decade or so. Understand how the choices and the actions that you take fit with the choices and actions of others.
Because one of the critical things I want you to walk away with is the recognition that the future is not a destination, it’s not some place we go to, it’s a process, and we enter the future minute by minute. The worst thing you can do is to give up your power to create that future, to leave it to somebody else and say, “well, it’s out of my hands.” When you give up that kind of agency, when you give up your capacity to shape and recreate and transform your own future, you’ve really given up your role in civilization.

This is ultimately the most important thing you can do: to think through what you want to do, what you can do, to create the future you want.” – Jamais Casio

It gets a little tougher when you realize that a good chunk of your entire perceptual experience is out of sink with that civilization, but I still resonate with this.

Western Magick

April 22, 2009

I have very limited experiences with the practice of Western Magick. I’m much more familiar with modern energy medicine, shamanic and neo-shamanic practices. Having said that, I’ve very much enjoyed reading the work of Jason Louv, author of Generation Hex, editor of the journal Ultraculture and head of the Jason Louv Company, specializing in green advertising.

I found his Ultraculture article “A Grammary” particularly insightful. It recounted his journey into magickal practice, his experiences with many different systems and methodologies and his thoughts and opinions on a number of related topics. Out of the whole whole article I think the following passage is the one my mind returns to most. This is only a short excerpt of the whole section, but conveys the experience:
“In the structure of the game, each student in the class took on the role of some form of wizard, sorcerer or spell-caster, which were represented on a giant map of a fantasy landscape with small Velcro figures. Each week we would have various adventures and encounters with monsters which were meant to help teach us grammar and spelling (Get it? Spelling? If you don’t, then you don’t yet understand one of the critical secrets
of “real magick” either…). Every week we would take a class spelling test, and whoever passed the test was raised a grade. There were ten grades to Wizardry in the game, and each time you advanced a grade your wizard became more powerful. Everybody in the class was in a fierce race to see who could make it to the end. By the time the game finished, only two people had made it to the supreme tenth grade, and I was one
of them. Mr. White (of the Great White Brotherhood?) then informed me that the other person who had achieved the tenth grade wasn’t as naturally gifted at spelling as me, so my achievement actually mattered less than his. Hah hah, take that! But then, after achieving the top grade, he allowed me to progress to making up new rules for the game and adding my own personality to it. Take that story for what you will, if anything at all.”

Ultraculture One can be downloaded in PDF format from
The Grey Lodge Occult Review:
http://www.greylodge.org/occultreview/glor_018/ultraculture.html

PS I recently learned that Jason Louv did an interview with Jamais Cascio, another of my favorite bloggers at openthefuture.com and one that I found through Mac Tonnies’ Posthuman Blues. It’s an interesting, if tenuous, connection to me.

PPS I should also say that as of the time the article was written Louv had ceased practicing Western magick and was recording his experiences for posterity and so he felt he could let go and move on in his new endeavors.