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    Aesthetic Management As The Future Of Joy (or a Foray in InfoBeauty)
    Project: Polytopia
    “To think what thought is not prepared to think is that which alone deserves the name of thinking.”


    This is part 9 in the series: "The Rise of the Cyber Unified Civilization"

    1. Agon and Paragon are dead

    Agon, the original competition is dead, not because we do not compete anymore, we do and we will, but differently, so different in fact is our future than our past, that for all practical considerations, it will be fair to claim Agon is dead.
    Agon is dead because: the competition yields no prizes and because there is no more chorus sitting in the orchestra judging the effort of the debate and debaters.
    The competition defined in the Greek Drama term Agon, is being replaced as we speak, it is being replaced for the simple reason that there cannot be a Paragon anymore.
    Paragon, the human with preeminent qualities is no more, for the simple reason that no modern human can and will ever claim again to know all there is to know, the last human to do so died on the 10th of May 1829.
    Don’t be surprised if you’ve never heard of Thomas Young the scientist and all round polymath,few did; for an interesting review read ‘the reluctant polymath’ , and listen to Ockham's razor podcast on the life of Thomas Young.

    "In the first half of 1802 a physician and scientist called Thomas Young gave a series of 50 lectures at London’s new Royal Institution, arranged into subjects like “Mechanics” and “Hydro­dynamics”. By the end, says Young’s biographer Andrew Robinson, he had pretty much laid out the sum of scientific knowledge. Robinson called his book “The Last Man Who Knew Everything”. (extracted from 'The last Days of the Polymath' - More Intelligent Life)

    I mention T.Young only because our habits of thought still regard the exceptional minds of the past as paragons of thought and extraordinary beings and in a very practical sense we still collectively refer to and revere their grand attainments, we also forget that theirs was a limited kind of knowledge, grand as it may appear to our humble eyes.

    Each and every one of us has at present more knowledge available at our fingertips, a click away as they say, than all the great masters of old combined, the significance of this simple reality cannot be overestimated.

    "“To be wise is not to know particular facts but to know without excessive confidence or excessive cautiousness. Wisdom is thus not a belief, a value, a set of facts, a corpus of knowledge or information in some specialized area, or a set of special abilities or skills. Wisdom is an attitude taken by persons toward the beliefs, values, knowledge, information, abilities, and skills that are held, a tendency to doubt that these are necessarily true or valid and to doubt that they are an exhaustive set of those things that could be known.”

    John A. Meacham in his essay, "The Loss of Wisdom": (quoted in: The Wise Men (and Women!)Can we understand wisdom?By Jessa Crispin)

    2. Interest as a directional attitude of meaning

    Unlike the anorexic boredom of commonality, the newly emerging Knowmad in an infocology, supervening upon the infosphere we cohabit memetically and mimetically, creates interest as a directional attitude of meaning.

    The particular form of directionality that should prove relevant here is the form of directionality that has no inherent basis in old ontology and semantics but finds the freshness of the moment in the motion itself. Put differently, the understanding of directionality as an attitude of interest relegates to history that which has brought us here, and delegates itself as an agency of meaning creation.

    From a different perspective it could be said that Knowmads do not in any fashion accept (and in fact are weary of) prepackaged lifestyles, this simple fact combined with the idea that Agon and Paragon are dead, requires of us a re-description of our meaning creation abstracting capabilities.

    This activity of beingness implies upon the unique and temporary meaningfulness of the momentary, liberating our past into undefinability.

    “It’s no use going back to yesterday, because I was a different person then.”

    Lewis Carroll, “Alice in Wonderland”

    However if there are no more Paragons and Agon (the very essence of competition) has been dismantled and reterritorialized (and thus also mapped) into and unto the modern infocology, how are we to revitalize the progress of and into new thought?

    The revitalization we need consider here concerns of course the concepts of collective intelligence and unique performers within a given infocology. More importantly perhaps is the walking of the fine line, the borderline, between the acceptance and rejection, willingness and denial, allowance and discrimination, all terms defining in fact the path of the wise Knowmad.

    3.The wise Knowmad: a re-conceptualization of hyperconnectivity

    When Deleuze proposed and explicated that the new metaphysics replaces substance with multiplicity, events replace essences, and virtualities replaces possibility, he provided for us a new ground upon which to engage in the act of revitalizing the mind of old thought.

    It is my view that Deleuze gave us a hint what to look for in our efforts to construct a new kind of mind happening. A mind happening that finds its poetry in the future of hyperconnectivity and not in the past of accepted dogma.

    The wise Knowmad in actuality is an aesthetic curator as presented in the previous paper: Knowmads as Aesthetic Curators of information and a critical relevancy as presented here: Knowmads as critical relevancies , however at this junction in the evolution of the Polytopia thought event, I think we need venture into the fuzzy realm of the joy and pleasure fostered by those activities of curation and highlighting, hyper texting and info-notations.
    The Deleuzian hint I mentioned above is a pointer to the understanding that when multiplicity replaces substance, the very act of interest directionality becomes the act of meaning creation, when such is the case a new kind of joy erupts in our minds.
    The joy I refer to here, is a new kind of mind happening, it does not extend from our Neolithic desires, nor from our biological urges. It is not a replacement for instincts or an escapist virtualization of basic unfulfilled needs, it is something altogether different, it is a new state of affairs of mind, in which our infovoraciousness becomes the stabilizing factor of motion.

    The seeking is no more central to the Knowmad than is the actual info-curation, the relevancy of information is no more located than it is hyper intuited. What replaces the search and the pattern recognition is the joy of aesthetic management.

    Aesthetic management is a manner of describing the change in the relation between conscious awareness and action, this change is primarily based on the factual change in the concept of action.
    If action in the past was seen as a process in time, the new kind of action can be seen as an atemporal foray in the virtual and quite mythical kingdom of info-beauty.

    Put differently, an atemporal foray in infobeauty is a foundational attitude describing a simultaneity of experience that is inherently associated as the world and not in the world.
    By virtue of being the world, the foray in infobeauty can be seen as casting a new light on the event of self reflectivity in the age of hyperconnectivity.

    4. Meaning: re-assessed, re-appraised and re-evaluated in hyperconnectivity.

    The new form of evolution we are partaking in at present, a form of evolution engaged enhanced and distributed by science, technology and convergence presents us with a new state of affairs in which the redefinition of the importance of aesthetics is crucial.
    Moment by moment we are becoming posthumans, fragile threads in transit.

    These threads, bubbling, tumbling and pressing forward exist as extensions of embodiments into virtualities, looping upon themselves as hyperconnected events, re-appearing to us as us, as the world.
    However the world that re-appears to our unbridled eyes is not the same as the one we have engendered, it has changed in the process of hyperconnectivity.
    The very infocology into which we our pouring ourselves as threads rewires both the form and the meaning we have started with.
    Under these conditions, the kind of interest each Knowmad has initiated as (apparently) one’s own reverses itself when reappearing to our eyes and presents itself as different, different enough (yet similar enough to be recognized) to be a fresh and novel kind of description of the same existence (us as the world).

    This is a new form of evolution, it is the evolution of meaning, re-assessed, re-appraised and re-evaluated in hyperconnectivity.

    Why this is important:

    In the fashion that we have described above, meaning has been rejuvenated, denied its repeatability by the powers of hyperconnectivity played as and in the dynamics of infocologies.
    Moreover, the re-assessed meaning reported back to us as the world, impinges on our original directionality and allows a new interest to emerge; this process destabilizes the original supposed stability of our Thought processes, relocating the home base of pleasure and joy.
    This is important, because in this new state of affairs boredom has been eliminated (since the very infocological activity denies repeatability) and thought has been rejuvenated as joy of beingness in hyperconnectivity (since the pleasure now resides in the very instability of motion).

    There is a rich musical note rising from the instability of motion, a wealth of newness and re-arrangements, a beauty undefined by identity, infocologically hyperconnected and totally restless.
    The organizing principle of this unstable flow has been called here aesthetic management, forays in Infobeauty.

    Recap : The Joy of unfathomable complexity of movement

    Starting with the example of Thomas Young the last human to know everything,I have tried to show that though the gods of competition (Agon) and individual superiority (Paragon) are still amongst us, in a very real sense these are walking zombies. These old dogmatic systems and worldviews are no more relevant for our futures as say is the combustion engine (though still among us). What has become clear is that the very walk on the borderline of the infosphere is rewiring our meaning creation apparatus into a new state of affairs.
    Defined as aesthetic management or foray in infobeauty, the new state of affairs engendered by science, technology and ultimately convergence fosters a new congruency.
    Aesthetic management allows the fiercely independent and highly unique perspective to rejuvenate itself via hyperconnectivity, this in turn allows a new form of joy to emerge.

    It can be called a fascinating chaos, or congruent pleasure, I call it joy.

    shortly to be continued..


    # The term management in ‘aesthetic management’ has nothing to do with the term management as commonly used. I have used this term mainly because of the connotations of ordering within a flow, a manner of describing a coherent perspective that finds its state as the world, as a foray in infobeauty. Furthermore and for elucidating possible misrepresentations the term management does not imply a willful craft but more a receptivity to intersubjective mutuality in hyperconnected infocologies, curating and weeding the reciprocal descriptions of interest.

    # images in text:
    1-Keep Growing poster art by joeseppi on Etsy.
    2- Rowan Mersh

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    mgusek555     Sun, Jun 27, 2010  Permanent link
    In this shift, we must use this wisdom to be sure that we do not abandon all virtues of the age passing. To do so would just be another extreme polar shift in a time when balance should be lauded. This is a most delicate time.
    Wildcat     Tue, Jun 29, 2010  Permanent link
    we are on agreement on this, it goes without saying that if collectively we agree on a virtue it should be taken forward. the problem however has always been a difficulty in agreement on common virtues.
    there are surface agreements, especially as relating to terms to which definition it is quasi impossible to get to, and hence though we might agree on the term, we collectively probably will not agree on significance and implementation.

    there is no doubt that we are in a fragile position as relates to our futures as a race and as a civ, however we need be clear what need be weeded out, otherwise our futures will be bleak indeed.

    In this, the polytopia project aims to become the ground of engagement upon which such meta concurrences can be reached