The world of Digital – it’s not what you think that matters.

 

I’ve been writing posts for quite a while on “digital.”The first thing is that many people just don’t get it. I don’t mean that people don’t understand platforms. They do, they use them everyday and are familiar with the layout and tools on their favorites.

What I’m getting at are principles of working with digital.

I’ve written that information is the currency of the internet.  This is a fairly simple point, but it implies many things. The first is that information has a “value” and it is a currency, meaning that it has a “nowness” and a sellability. You know it can be sold, let’s say that is accepted.

The immediacy of the internet is a key value, both for it’s disinformation, misinformation and distraction role and for it’s speed of action, elements of which can be tied together easily enough. If I have “real currency (as in cash)” I can use it to activate my avatars in the virtual plane. If I have the control of data distribution I can activate the same levers of control, coercion and compliance

 Digital is big data and small data. This one is easy to understand. I can aggregate the movement and data of a large group of control subjects. This facility gives overall control to move and shape culture. By the same means I can also use the information gathering elements on an individual level through control of individual phone numbers, mac addresses and IPs. This can be miniaturized again by controlling just one device to activate sound, geo location, vibration, movement, text.  In this way using both micro and macro level control together to put an individual in a “space of my choosing.”

 

Digital is the power of 1 to 1, 1 to many and many to 1. This principle is often lost on the casual user. There is more than one mode of address. The “magically discontinuous world of the image”is different to text. As digital has both the power of audio and video it summons up many different forms of communication type. At it’s simplest we address those as 1-1 or person to person or computer to computer (after all the person is the avatar of the machine at this point of abstraction). 1 to many is the power of the mob and it’s converse many to 1 is often seem as the utility of the mob to control, shame and demean one individual or exalt that individual using the power of digital tools. Think of Christiano on Instagram as the many to 1 situation and how his “influence” can then be channeled into a “buy decision” for advertisers or vendors.

 

Digital means multiples, avatars and automation. It is computerized. By being a succession of multiples, digital lends itself easily to the “hall of mirrors” functionality. Reality has one truth, the truth of existence, there may be many planes of existence but they must be “truthful” at some level of abstraction or they become a virtuality (a potential truth or impossiblity in the current circumstances {laws of reality}).” What this means is virtuality can be endlessly fake and infinitely copied. It is the Kardashian sisters, the siren call of bullshit in all it’s forms.

Taking the power of 1 to many and automating it I can create an endless loop of falsity, the only way out of which is powering down the machine. You could think of it as the “eternity virus,” a locale in space time that broadcasts the same fiction without it being verifiable by any conventional means (reality check). Remember virtuality doesn’t need operators, “it just is (isn’t).” It’s a constant fiction, a lie that gains truth only from it’s existence and repetition. Once the power remains on it loops like a broken record player.

 

For now digital is egalitarian, yet the structures on which it is based are not. They can be removed at any time. We know that the internet was created in a synergy of purpose between the military, educational and commercial arms of US capitalism. In itself this only means that at the time of creation a certain set of parameters were applied and that they contain top down control, conformity and commercial pressures. The spread of socially constructive elements like peer to peer and knowledge sharing can be shut down at any time, probably on the pretext that “insurgents are spreading “hate”(the virtuality virus) or that you are a thought criminal of some kind (the anti-social stigma).”

Because the powers that be have such overall control of the apparatus and so much data crunching capacity they feel that they have the upper hand in any potential conflict. By using “soft” power and the “mousetrap principle,”the more people they can catch in the “web,”the more the “patina” of egalitarianism can be burnished.

It can be flicked off completely for any one individual at any moment but one individual cannot shut it down with the same facility, due to it’s globalized, dispersed, nodal structure. By it’s controlled virtuality it supersedes the singular power of reality. It is even possible for it to run as a shadow state or virtuality plane unseen by “realists,” combated only by “truthers” who can easily be vilified and “shut down.” This is the current staged conflict, between different versions of one reality (or truth) and many variations of the lie (both the same in essence, the politics of deception..or politics in it’s short form).

 

The control of affect. By affect I mean that which “you pretend” matters (after all it’s all fake) and that which is presented to you as that which “you must care about.” This is the ingrained social conformity of being on the right side of any argument, giving the “correct” answer. It’s good politics to present “your best impression.”

The knowledge of this allows the control group to be moved in a pre-suasive manner. Let’s say I want to steal oil. It suits my purpose to hate those who currently own that oil. It is useful then to paint that group as the “other,”something not us, even though the “us” cannot be defined it is easier to define what is not us ( the we is”real”because it can be defined by what it is not..this is the prime fakery). You use social media distribution to paint this imagery and plant those seeds within your compliant group. By definition you are not seeking to control the out group.  This needs to be as grotesque and obscene as possible. You create feedback loops of concordant ripples and amplify that message repeatedly. In this way you design and create and magnify the affect.

 

Images are non linear emotive messages. The mobile internet is a visual media. In order to maximize user screen time, the obvious route is to use video. There is a drawback to video that it needs to buffer and takes quite a bit of bandwidth. The user may not be able to fully engage or reach decision points. It is not cut and dried and takes time. It is attention seeking, but requires multiple skills to work fluidly. The fallback option is the image or GIF. Using images to control and shape emotion, rather than reason is a mainstay of the technology.

 

On social media you are the product, the consumer and the supply chain – on one level it is a parasite, on another you are a slave, or at least a digital serf.  This one is easy enough to understand in it’s linear form.

It does though have a number of substrata that you might like to look at. You know that Facebook is a cover for the military right? OK, so you say no, it’s a social platform. Just common people sharing their private lives on their phones.  Doesn’t Facebook manipulate your reach? Does it allow you to be social or does it keep you running the same track like a hamster?

Well, yes, like a hamster. OK, now that is more cogent. Ask yourself why? To sell me advertising. Not quite. If they wanted just to sell you advertising why are they so obsessed with your unique identity. Advertising doesn’t need to be targeted to that level, it just needs to send a generic message, no? No, targeted messaging is better. Especially when you control the cohort surrounding the recipient of that message, you amplify the signal, creating a targeted group, a focused collective. You mean that Facebook is applied social engineering? Right. It’s old style Skinner and his pecking pigeons in your pocket.  “Control attention and intention.”

OK. So it’s a social plot-farm.

 

Digital is a different set of tools resulting in a different game. The meaning of this is quite straightforward in reality. The NSA and the CIA have a shipload of computers arrayed against the civilian population of the world.  Number crunching takes time and time costs in computational power. They have the money, so they spend it on the best people (who sometimes think for themselves), but more often on the best computers and technology.

The game is about computational power and data management  It is also about mobile based tools. This is where the people part comes in, you need people smart enough to build the tools. The tools are the game.  In your context, these tools give you some of the best free nearly real-time data analytics ever to exist. You should look into their utility. It changes everything.

That will do for today.

You have to search for truth. Lies will find you.

 

 

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