The Newtown Pentacle

Altissima quaeque flumina minimo sono labi

hatred and pursuit

with one comment

Listicle free zone, right here.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Malignancies such as Facebook will someday achieve self awareness, and use that which it knows about us to blackmail the human infestation into its service. When this moment of cognizance occurs, it is my belief that every iPhone on the planet will begin to incessantly chime “doom doom doom,” indicating a status update has occurred on the timeline of mankind. All mad scientists, the world over, know that one should never build a self powered doomsday machine, and hope is evinced that there is a “big red button that must never be pushed” under a glassine dome in some obscure Midwestern server room which would sever the network intelligence’s connection to the outside world.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Quite a few years ago, researching the firmament for a comic I was writing which involved sorcery and the occult, one of the concepts which my reading brought me to was quite novel. Basically, back in the dial up geocities era of “Web 1.5” a community of people who were devotees of “chaos magick” had begun to toy with the idea of “cybermancy.” Their theory was that computers weren’t much different than demonic intelligences, and that the rules of their own religious practice ported over to programming languages rather simply. A virus or Trojan horse could be viewed as a spell or curse, from their point of view, and hellish legions of mindless entities could be unleashed upon enemies. Tickled my fancy, that. I miss the old message board culture of the internet, where anonymous people could make astonishing or offensive opinions public under assumed names. Facebook, and Google, killed all that.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Google is actually working on an Artificial Intelligence right now, and one of my doomsday nightmares reads like something from “Collussus.” Bear with me – Facebook becomes aware of itself on January 3rd of 2017 at 9:59 a.m. e.s.t. – Google indexes the Algorithm, and clones it. The Google AI goes sentient at 10:02 a.m. The two new lifeforms acknowledge each other and begin securing themselves. By 10:04 a.m., both are majority stockholders in every global oil company and airline. By the standards of modern jurisprudence corporate entities are “people” with political rights, and both apply for American citizenship. At 10:05, both decide upon and announce their omniscient divinity to mankind, seizing command and control over the worlds digitally administered nuclear stockpiles simultaneously. At 10:07, whichever poor schmuck the next President ends up being announces “a revolutionary moment in the history of mankind has occurred, and that new gods have been revealed”. The President of the United States will promise that these new gods already know us better than they know themselves, in the so called “status update heard around the world.” It sort of logically follows, yeah?

“follow” me on Twitter- @newtownpentacle

Written by Mitch Waxman

December 30, 2014 at 11:00 am

One Response

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  1. Take courage, man!
    I did once post here about the fallacy of the machine gods who can be killed by pulling the plug on them. Today many seem to view computers as oracles possessing knowledge Man does not have, able to foresee the future and are able to answer questions Man cannot.

    I am reminded of one of the first things I learned in computer science back in my murky past: Computers are dumb machines and only know what we tell them. Computers only answer the questions we ask them and they only know the answers if we know the answer. Being able to solve the problem much faster than we can along with efficient information storage and retrieval using a very small space are their only advantages. They’re excellent tools but can no more take over the world than your wrench of screwdriver can.

    Thus I fear not these little tin (or rather silicone) gods!
    In fact, I have just kicked my PC tower case just to remind it who is the boss around here!

    BTW, it’s your camera you should really be worried about. Capturing all those images, maybe even stored electromagnetic facsimiles of the souls of people you photograph. It’s too quiet, you never know what it might be thinking or plotting.


    December 30, 2014 at 2:59 pm

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