Author Topic: What is The Machine™  (Read 40849 times)

LMNO, PhD (life continues)

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What is The Machine™
« on: July 19, 2006, 11:56:06 am »
The Machine™ is what makes people send other people to diee for abstractions.

The Machine™ is what drives people to spend 40 hours a week doing tasks they dislike.

The Machine™ is what encourages people to want things they don't need, and makes them feel guilty for not having.

The Machine™ wants you to be in debt to a corporation.

The Machine™ is a punishing father figure.

The Machine™ beats you up for your lunch money.

The Machine™ knows what is RIGHT, and what is WRONG.





What is The Machine™ for you?
« Last Edit: December 30, 2007, 02:34:40 am by Faust »
LMNO
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What is The Machine‚Ѣ?
« Reply #1 on: July 19, 2006, 12:06:32 pm »
We are The Machine.
Truly, though our element is time,
We are not suited to the long perspectives
Open at each instant of our lives.
They link us to our losses: worse,
They show us what we have as it once was,
Blindingly undiminished, just as though
By acting differently, we could have kept it so.

-Reference Back, Phillip Larkin

LMNO, PhD (life continues)

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What is The Machine‚Ѣ?
« Reply #2 on: July 19, 2006, 12:08:02 pm »
Ok, I'm gonna be nice.



Yes, we are The Machine‚Ѣ, or at least parts of our mind contribute to The Machine‚Ѣ.



So, wise guy, which parts?
LMNO
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Buy the Chao te Ching, or be doomed forever.

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What is The Machine‚Ѣ?
« Reply #3 on: July 19, 2006, 12:13:20 pm »
The part of us that wants to fit in, of course. The part that judges other people, and yourself, in freudian terms the super-ego would be The Machine.

Quote
The super-ego is a symbolic internalization of the father figure and cultural regulations. The super-ego tends to stand in opposition to the desires of the id because of their conflicting objectives, and is aggressive towards the ego. The super-ego acts as the conscience, maintaining our sense of morality and the prohibition of taboos.
Truly, though our element is time,
We are not suited to the long perspectives
Open at each instant of our lives.
They link us to our losses: worse,
They show us what we have as it once was,
Blindingly undiminished, just as though
By acting differently, we could have kept it so.

-Reference Back, Phillip Larkin

LHX

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What is The Machine‚Ѣ?
« Reply #4 on: July 19, 2006, 12:41:55 pm »
i cant answer this without jumping deep into language and alternate views of history
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What is The Machine‚Ѣ?
« Reply #5 on: July 19, 2006, 12:45:00 pm »
wooops sorry i think it's obvious that the post from the other thread should definitely be in this one, right?

--- of to do some surgery!

** PASTE!! **

LHX wrote:
> as far as tactics to make a Big Hollywood-Style Impact™ that WON'T end you up at b) [dead], c) [hospital], or d) [jail], i do not know

yes, that will be very hard indeed
if it's "Big Hollywood Style", Machine's gonna know it's you.
if you make a big impact trying to destroy it, Machine will not be happy.

and

it's not that Machine-not-being-happy *causes* b,c or d.
it's that Machine-not-being-happy is *expressed* in b,c or d.

because truly, if you think of Machine as "just" a machine, you will get mangled. it's an organism. large and powerful. if it's intelligent or smart, i think not, but this is open for debate. but one thing we do know about organisms is that they will fight for their survival.

ok i will now have a stab at LMNO's question.

i tried to touch this subject before, in my democracy-post, but it didn't really get off the ground.
Machine is an organism, in the sense that the earth is an organism (like Lovelock's Gaia theory.
The complexity of life occurs on a lot of different levels. A very low level is for example a human cell (below this level are possibly mitochondria but never mind that). Go a level up and you encounter organs and the human organism. Now these levels are, like nothing ever is, of course not discrete numberable levels, they are all entangled and shit. That's what you get for biology. Anyway you go up more levels and you enter stuff like family, tribe, society, country, corporation, nation, conspiracy, etc.
They are all made up of people.
Some of these are just loose groupings of people, but others are rather more complex and transcend the notion of "group of people", just like a person or a brain transcends the notion of "group of cells".

damn, did anyone here read "Goedel Escher Bach"??? in his preface to the 20th anniversary edition Hofstadter writes it down so clearly: Intelligence/Life/Consciousness is not in the medium but in the patterns. .. can't find it on google i'll copy a bit here:
Quote from: douglas hofstadter
Something very strange thus emerges from the Goedelian loop [the "strange loop" phenomenon Goedel uses in his mathematical proof - 000]: the revelation of the causal power of meaning in a rule-bound but meaning-free universe. And this is where my analogy to brains and selves comes back in, suggesting that the twisted loop of selfhood trapped inside an inanimate bulb called a "brain" also has causal power - or, put it another way, that a mere pattern called "I" can shove around inanimate particles in the brain no less than inanimate particles in the brain can shove around patterns. In short, an "I" comes about - in my view, at least - via a kind of vortex whereby patterns in a brain mirror the brain's mirroring of the world, and eventually mirror themselves, whereupon the vortex of "I" becomes a real, causal entity.
(...)
When and only when such a loop arises in a brain or in any other substrate, is a person - a unique new "I" - brought into being. Moreover, the more self-referentially rich such a loop is, the more conscious is the self to which it gives rise. Yes, shocking though this might sound, consciousness is not an on/off phenomenon, but admits of degrees, grades, shades.

pfff i wish i could write my thoughts like that :) anyway, i hope i kind of have given here a good indication of my reasonings why i think Machine can be called an organism of some kind. (and i draw this conclusion not only from GEB, it just happened that i read the above passage yesterday when i started re-reading the book).

i also think it's incorrect to speak about one Machine. i think it makes more sense to view them as multiple Machines, nations, corporations and societies, all competing for their place in the economic/social ecosystem that is humanity. some are good some are bad. some get destroyed by others, some get absorbed by others, some work together in order to destroy a third, etc. all this just "happens" in a "hey i just work here" kind of way, from the perspective of humans. these organisms are not smart, in my opinion, just very powerful in their ways, and they're made of humans, but just battle for their own survival. they don't care about humans, because it is not in their interest to do so. just like i could care less about the few cells in my body that die every time i sit down on my arse.

Machine(s) are made of humans, and nothing else. ?

no, wait it is even different. the pattern of life can occur in any medium. we don't mind the lifeform, what we mind is the medium! it's not that these machines are there, it's the fact that they are made of humans and treat humans like expendable body-cells that pretty much pissed us off and made us concentrate here on this board.

i dunno, so far i can see a few ideas to remedy the situation
- destroy the machines. discordian chaos/OM is a good attempt. like malfunctioning organs and uninhibited mutated cells (cancer) kills a lifeform.
- get ourselves a "good" machine, like kai wren said. it may be possible, but you have to make sure it is 1) able to defeat the other machines and 2) is intrinsically concerned with the well-being of the humans it is made of. who knows, perhaps discordianism can become such a machine some day.
- a bit far-fetched and esoteric, but since it is the medium on which these machines are operating that bugs us, if we can just slowly transfer their patterns to another medium, nobody'd notice and we're rid of them. kind of like the machines did to the humans in the matrix, actually :)

LMNO, sorry this might have turned out a bit more pseudo-zen than i intended, please don't bite my lips off cause i have more to say but this post is getting so long and nobody likes to read long posts, really.
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LMNO, PhD (life continues)

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What is The Machine‚Ѣ?
« Reply #6 on: July 19, 2006, 12:59:52 pm »
No, 000, that's the kind of answer I was looking for.

The lip-ripping stuff is crap like:

Quote from: Some idiot, eventually
The Machine, IS.




I'll try & digest some of your post & respond in kind.  Good insights.


LHX, jump deep into language and alternate views of history, please.

Kai, Freud has largely been discounted, but that's a good metaphor.
LMNO
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What is The Machine‚Ѣ?
« Reply #7 on: July 19, 2006, 01:07:06 pm »
i guess its good to pull everything together once every couple of months

i will try to post the latest version of whatever it is some time this morning
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What is The Machine‚Ѣ?
« Reply #8 on: July 19, 2006, 01:30:53 pm »
Quote from: LMNO
The lip-ripping stuff is crap like:
Quote from: Some idiot, eventually
The Machine, IS.

 :lol:

but in case you didn't notice
Quote from: This idiot, in another thread
The Machine is that which rips my lips off

 :twisted:

oh and i'm sure LHX won't mind if i quote a few little bits from our MSN conversation just now
Quote from: MSN
000: it's just my opinion that once something gets a certain level of complexity and starts trying to protect its own existence, but in a self-referential way (that's important, otherwise a sturdy safe would be an organism as well), you can judge it as an organism.
actually the most important bit is that it protects itself in a self-referential (semi-conscious) way, no matter what you call it

LHX: i agree, but like i say, if it relies upon (or is a part of) humans, an argument could be made that it is the inverse of these things - it benefits directly from our lack of being self-referential; its 'semi-consciousness' is allowed by our 'semi-unconsciousness' or 'semi-ignorance'
when two things are this closely tied together
it is hard to separate one from the other and call it its own entity entirely

000: hm that is an interesting view
it kind of works, also with the other analogy. as single-cellular organisms joined to create multi-cellular organisms they lost part of their consciousness/identity, just like humans do when they form large faceless corporations
yet another crazy feedback loop
i can already hear the white bloodcells calling out "hey i just work here" as they kill off yet another innocent bacterium :)
(...)
the thing is, as conscious (and even the semi-conscious/ignorant) humans we are in a pretty unique position to say "i don't want to be part of this" .. while for ex. the white bloodcells aren't.

LHX: we are in a unique position to say it, but some might argue that we are not in a position to actually do it

(there's some more, but i don't want to be a bore about this)
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vexaph0d

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What is The Machine‚Ѣ?
« Reply #9 on: July 19, 2006, 04:16:10 pm »
It Seems to Me™...

That the Machine™ is, like TZ said, an 'organism' that exists as an extension of our collectivity.  It's the mindless beast that will always exist, in some form or another, any time 2 or more humans get together to achieve individual goals through collective effort.  It is the macro-human-nature we try to harness, tap into, or restrain, through governments.

In modern times I think the Machine™ is more centralized and visible than it has been historically.  Our society isn't just a bunch of people gathering for a purpose anymore.  Our society has become an entity unto itself, it is deliberately designed these days, and it works like clockwork.  It's been apparent to me for some time that the metaphors describing the Machine™ are less and less actually metaphors, and more actual description.

But I also think that limiting it to a function of human society, however 'macro' it is, is incorrect.  The Machine™ seems to transcend cultures and borders, political landscapes, and history itself.  Ultimately, even the world's largest societies and most gradiose conspiracies are only pieces of the Machine™.  So what the fuck IS it?  I guess that's what the OP was asking...

You could go on forever into larger and higher levels of organization to eek out a mediocre description of the Machine™'s behavior, but a definitive statement about the nature of the Machine™ is what we need.  And for me it comes down to a simple one.

The Machine™ is the large-scale perversion of human society into a self-interested Con, whose Effect (if not its entire Purpose), is the blinding of people into pouring themselves into it doing things they hate and things that kill them prematurely, and fooling them into thinking that there is nothing but The Machine™.

The Machine™ is an enormous and probably brainless Uberconspiracy with no purpose other than to exist.

SubQuestion : is there a Perpetrator of the Machine?
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AFK

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What is The Machine‚Ѣ?
« Reply #10 on: July 19, 2006, 04:50:32 pm »
The Machine(tm) is the collection of human failings that have evolved, copulated, and given birth to this ever-growing, ever-existing, ever-churning, non-entity entity that saturates the world that we humans live in.  

It's like in the theory of evolution where a bunch of amino acids and enzymes and other collections of molecules just kind of started smooshing into each other and dancing and turning into an ancient amoeba that eventually smooshed and danced with other ameobas and turned into a microscopic slug, so and and so forth.  

The Machine(tm) started as civilizations of humans started.  There probably was no Machine(tm) when it was every caveman for himself.  Because he could only be corrupted by his own mind, but, worrying only about food and mating with the first female he saw he probably didn't worry about corrupting himself or even understand or acknowledge the existence of such a concept.  Hell, the idea of a concept probably would have been foreign to him.  

As cavemen settled with other cavemen societies formed and interactions withing these societies commenced.  And this would be when the "amino acids" and "enzymes" of human failings and inadequacies started to mingle with each other.  In the beginning they formed harmless amoebas.  However, hundreds and thousands of years later as more people lived with more people these "amoebas" coalesced and evolved.  They became Greed and Powerlust and Manipulation and Corruption and they became bigger like trees and rooted themselves deep into the topsoil of human sociology.  

Eventually it just became itself.  Always there but not seen by those who spawned it long ago.  However, always, ceaselessly imparting its affects upon its unwitting creators.  But we do see it.  We do feel it.  And as its been said before, we cannot kill it.  We can only hope to create our own "amino acids" and "ensymes" to create our own amoebas that perhaps can start to replace some of the old ones.  And perhaps, just maybe, we can at least turn a limb of The Machine(tm) and give humanity a small glimmer of hope of evolving The Machine(tm) into something else.  

Or not........
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What is The Machine‚Ѣ?
« Reply #11 on: July 19, 2006, 04:57:59 pm »
I'm starting to think this might turn into a new pamphlet...
LMNO
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What is The Machine‚Ѣ?
« Reply #12 on: July 19, 2006, 05:30:37 pm »
wane cough)|(
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LMNO, PhD (life continues)

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What is The Machine‚Ѣ?
« Reply #13 on: July 19, 2006, 05:32:10 pm »
::reconsiders::
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Buy the Chao te Ching, or be doomed forever.

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What is The Machine‚Ѣ?
« Reply #14 on: July 19, 2006, 05:32:15 pm »
To refer back to Rev. WHN's last point, if the machine part of the Machine‚Ѣ metaphor holds true, it can be turned to a better purpose. In the same way that a knife is not inherently evil: it's evil if it's sticking in your kidneys, but not if it's helping you eat your food.

But it depends on the view of the Machine‚Ѣ - is it the entirety of this corrupted social system, stagnating under its own gargantuan size and existing as a parasite rather than in commensal or mutual symbiosis, or is it all our follies and therefore an unsalvagable and monolithic evil (creating an easy to grasp black-and-white situation)?

Will I ever learn how to break up my run-on sentences?