Author Topic: What Season is this?  (Read 4208 times)

Bebek Sincap Ratatosk

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Re: What Season is this?
« Reply #15 on: March 10, 2008, 07:55:01 pm »
I think the seasonal metaphor is restrictive.  I think that when events are patterned like this, it is only recognizable on "white paper" analysis.

I on the other hand think the seasonal model works really well... as long as you recognize it as a model and not Truth. We can model the US overall as I did a few threads ago. We can model 20th century social America in its own seasons... That doesn't mean the former is wrong... just that they are modeling different data.
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Requia ☣

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Re: What Season is this?
« Reply #16 on: March 10, 2008, 07:59:18 pm »
I think it depends on which system you look at.  If you look at the US, probably late bueracracy with a couple different cycles.  The one with the length of the country mentioned earlier, but another can be seen with chaos and discord following the aftermath of the 50s bueracracy, confusion as nixon stamped out what he saw as the undesirables, and now a long period of bueracracy again (which always, sadly, seems to be the longest season).  I do think aftermath is near, if only because the voters (some of them) seem to finally be looking for something different.

If you look at the internet, I think we're in the first cycle, at the beginning of confusion as corporations and governments and suburban housewifes try to tame it (though there is a small tiny peice of hope that maybe they'll fail this time), with the old usenet days being chaos, and the 90s and the dot com bubble being discord.
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Re: What Season is this?
« Reply #17 on: March 10, 2008, 08:26:01 pm »
I think it depends on which system you look at.  If you look at the US, probably late bueracracy with a couple different cycles.  The one with the length of the country mentioned earlier, but another can be seen with chaos and discord following the aftermath of the 50s bueracracy, confusion as nixon stamped out what he saw as the undesirables, and now a long period of bueracracy again (which always, sadly, seems to be the longest season).  I do think aftermath is near, if only because the voters (some of them) seem to finally be looking for something different.

If you look at the internet, I think we're in the first cycle, at the beginning of confusion as corporations and governments and suburban housewifes try to tame it (though there is a small tiny peice of hope that maybe they'll fail this time), with the old usenet days being chaos, and the 90s and the dot com bubble being discord.

I hadn't considered any of this, and I agree.
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Bebek Sincap Ratatosk

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Re: What Season is this?
« Reply #18 on: March 10, 2008, 08:38:53 pm »

If you look at the internet, I think we're in the first cycle, at the beginning of confusion as corporations and governments and suburban housewifes try to tame it (though there is a small tiny peice of hope that maybe they'll fail this time), with the old usenet days being chaos, and the 90s and the dot com bubble being discord.

Perhaps, though I would say that we're probably much closer to Bureaucracy. When I first started on the net around 88-89, Chaos was ending and Discord began in 1991 when Tim Berners-Lee began pushing the idea of Hypertext Markup and directly viewable content. This started a huge discordant mess between the people that wanted low bandwidth access to lots of data, and other people that wanted access to pretty data that took more bandwidth. The AOL/Compuserve/Local ISP  years after 93 and through 96-97 fit with the concept of confusion as companies were trying to figure out if they should have a web presence, if it would be of any value and people were trying to decipher why they wanted the Internet in their house.

With the advent and growing popularity of Broadband, access to the Internet is quickly fading into the hands of a few major corporations, post-911 the government is now actively involved in Internet snooping and things like debates over Net Neutrality threaten to turn the whole thing in to Pay to Play. Thus I would argue that we find the internet in a Bureaucratic  slump right now.

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Requia ☣

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Re: What Season is this?
« Reply #19 on: March 10, 2008, 09:16:57 pm »


With the advent and growing popularity of Broadband, access to the Internet is quickly fading into the hands of a few major corporations, post-911 the government is now actively involved in Internet snooping and things like debates over Net Neutrality threaten to turn the whole thing in to Pay to Play. Thus I would argue that we find the internet in a Bureaucratic  slump right now.





Bureaucraticy is stagnant, or close to it, there's too much change, too much uncertainty on where it'll be in two years for it to be a bureaucracy.  The state of confusion, now, is them creating it.  (defaulting to definition in OP)
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Verbal Mike

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Re: What Season is this?
« Reply #20 on: March 10, 2008, 09:28:31 pm »
I think I agree. The Internet already smells of Bureaucracy, but we haven't hit that point of stagnation yet.
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Re: What Season is this?
« Reply #21 on: March 10, 2008, 09:43:51 pm »
I think it really depends on 1) where you're looking and 2) how closely you're looking.

Take the internet example a little further.  With regards to file sharing we're definitely somewhere in between Confusion and Bureaucracy.  The blagosphere and Webcomics are in Discord.  Wikipedia is solidly into Bureaucracy, although there are enough intelligent people on there for it not to stagnate completely - yet.


As far as the US, I don't think we're anywhere close to Aftermath.  Sure, people are grumbling, but they always have been.  Our government has been very good at telling everyone that all this security is an inconvenience that just has to be dealt with, and that all the due process and search warrants flying out the window only apply to the Bad Guys.  Are there subversives?  Yeah, always have been and always will be.  But they're confused, and most of them are actually Sheep who just found a more interesting sheperd to follow.  The people are too good at pointing to stuff as the work of 'lone nutters' and 'evil.'  It's going to to get a LOT worse before there is a critical mass of people willing risk everything for change.  Voting for the Change Candidate isn't going to cut it - unless Obama really is as awesome as he sounds.  Hopeful, but not counting on it; I've been hearing too many whispers of a Chicago Politician.
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Bebek Sincap Ratatosk

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Re: What Season is this?
« Reply #22 on: March 10, 2008, 09:54:01 pm »


With the advent and growing popularity of Broadband, access to the Internet is quickly fading into the hands of a few major corporations, post-911 the government is now actively involved in Internet snooping and things like debates over Net Neutrality threaten to turn the whole thing in to Pay to Play. Thus I would argue that we find the internet in a Bureaucratic  slump right now.





Bureaucraticy is stagnant, or close to it, there's too much change, too much uncertainty on where it'll be in two years for it to be a bureaucracy.  The state of confusion, now, is them creating it.  (defaulting to definition in OP)

I think it may depend on one's perspective then... we may be on the cusp of change and to those of us that have been on since 88 and before, the beuracratic imposition is simply more obvious... hrmmm.  Things like Webcomics and Wikipedia (imo) don't tell us what state the Internet is in, they tell us what state those particular projects/communities are in. When I speak of the Internet falling to bureaucracy, I'm referencing the Internet, as opposed to the various projects connected to the net. The Internet as a system has stagnated. IP V4 still sticks around while v6 languishes in College labs. Decisions about what tools to use no longer are based on "What tool is best?" but rather "What tool is the Standard?" On top of that, more and more of the decisions being made about the Net are no longer happening among engineers or even the companies that developed it, but by fiat, by judicial decree and by legislation from the feds.

From the perspective of Shiny New toys, the net hasn't stagnated yet (though that argument would also hold for television and the rise of Reality TV... ick!), but from the perspective of the Net as a system... I think Bureaucracy has at least made a pretty decent showing.
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Verbal Mike

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Re: What Season is this?
« Reply #23 on: March 10, 2008, 09:59:24 pm »
Could it be this metaphor is so fractal as to be nearly useless? It's like you could point at any random thing and, if you try, place it in any of the five seasons somehow.
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Bebek Sincap Ratatosk

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Re: What Season is this?
« Reply #24 on: March 10, 2008, 10:05:33 pm »
Could it be this metaphor is so fractal as to be nearly useless? It's like you could point at any random thing and, if you try, place it in any of the five seasons somehow.

Yes, just like any other model... which is why its true in some sense, false in some sense and meaningless in some sense. The metaphor appears useful in a limited way. Just like the BiP, the LAWOFFIVES, the 23 Enigma or pretty much any other model humans put together.
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Verbal Mike

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Re: What Season is this?
« Reply #25 on: March 10, 2008, 10:29:00 pm »
And that assertion is itself an abstraction that is true in some sense, false in some sense, and meaningless in some sense (etc). But my point is, could the seasons metaphor be so fractal that its /only/ real use is symbolic -- like when calling out that "times of Aftermath be upon us"?
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Re: What Season is this?
« Reply #26 on: March 10, 2008, 10:29:12 pm »
I think I agree. The Internet already smells of Bureaucracy, but we haven't hit that point of stagnation yet.

It's just not so, I'm afraid.  To one who is adept with computers, the internet is Chaos or even Aftermath.  To your dear old grandmum on AOL, it probably is a lot more Bureaucracy-scented.

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Re: What Season is this?
« Reply #27 on: March 10, 2008, 10:32:33 pm »
(continuing the post above:)
That is to say, is this model really any good for understand things? Superficially it explains a great deal of things, but once you start to apply it to actual events you end up with so many fractal manifestations of the metaphor that you end up left with the abstraction you started with.
Or maybe, that's precisely what makes this metaphor useful as a model.

@Felix:
How is the Internet in Aftermath?
And AOL etc are at most just islands of Bureaucracy, themselves still changing to adapt to the flow of rapid change around them.
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Re: What Season is this?
« Reply #28 on: March 11, 2008, 12:40:47 am »


holy crap this looks so much like my own handwriting, it's scary.

Also, i just want to point out the symbology of the word "Aftermath", in the Illuminatus Trilogy, the German translations of the five seasons are given, and "Aftermath" was translated as "Grummet" (or Grummit, i forgot).

Since I know German reasonably well and I had never heard of this word, i looked it up in an old German dictionary.

Turns out it is an old agrarian/farming term, that indeed translates to "Aftermath", but not in the sense that "Aftermath" is generally interpreted in current day english, as in "the aftermath of [some big disaster]", or "that which comes after something big".
the meaning of the word Grummet is related to this, but has the specific farming-related meaning of "second reaping" or "second harvest", i suppose relating to some sort of crop that you can plant twice a year, or perhaps even just harvest twice, i dunno.

so it is like the second, (smaller ?), benefit you get from planting your seeds.

and of course the aftermath happens somewhere in the end of the year, so yes it marks the beginning of a new cycle, but you still need to get through the winter.

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Verbal Mike

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Re: What Season is this?
« Reply #29 on: March 11, 2008, 12:43:52 am »
Whoa, thanks 000, I was wondering about that. I like the symbolism.
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