Rotating Inward

The website has shifted. The theme is changed. New lines of CSS code dictate the spatial rules and limits of thoughts expressed in this corner of the internet. Perhaps I feel one step closer towards achieving that “it” factor, that goal of a perfect representation of self somehow encompassed in static, community-less collections of bits that may have APIs to “social” features but still run cold. How do I effectively communicate to a small set of regular viewers this quaint little music I sometimes write? Does this font really reflect who I am and what I represent? How many people even care that “typeface” is the proper word to use in that instance? If I redesign my website enough times, will my life make sense? Will I make sense? Will an identity emerge from the waves of energy propagating through the air from one carbon footprint to another?

I ponder all these things as I code, yet again, a set of links to Twitter and Facebook and Tumblr and all those other companies we call our social life.

Is the problem that I have yet to find the right IKEA collection of prefab WordPress themes that truly present my personal brand? Or is there something deeper? Is there a brokenness to this pursuit that attempts wholeness but instead endlessly circles a point both massive and full of empty space, a particle that cannot overcome nuclear forces in order to make the jump to the core? Identity is formed through reflection; that’s nothing new to a psych major. How do I take those reflections and make them a part of me? When men ten times my size violently tore my self psychological-limb from psychological-limb, how many Rubies and how many Rails does it take to become human in the eyes of the machine that dictates my personal safety?

post_resignedtoacynicaldeathwishThe personal computer was more personal when it wasn’t social. The global village was so much more promising when it wasn’t banking oligarchs running trade algorithms at millisecond rates. What around me has been touched by a human hand? This art on my walls is machine printed. This nightstand pushed through a wood mill. My website theme created by somebody I will never know, fit to purpose for a business front I feel the need to emulate.

It was so much easier when all I did was download first-generation GIF porn through dial-up BBSes and pretend to be an adult in chat. But then you grow up, sort of, and the world expects something of you. Most importantly, it expects you to empty yourself out enough to be presentable. Hirable. Payable. For less than your labor is worth. For labor whose material value is questionable.

The house is an object that starts in the mind. It did not exist before a human imagined it. Everything within it is also the product of imagination: light sockets, cables, lamps, walls, doors, windows, shutters, AC units, carpet. All created by human minds. This means the house isn’t a real place. It is a psychological place. The house was the first fictional universe made real. The house is proto-cyberspace. It is a product of mind, it represents mind, and it affects the mind of the person who lives within it. Parts become neglected, dusty, forgotten. Other parts are overused but thoughtlessly, carelessly, habitually. Worn pathways of creaky wooden hallways echo the neurons of the person pacing back and forth, trying to find a solution. A solution to a problem on a computer, a device even further of the mind, used within a wooden construct of the mind. Around and around we go.

No wonder I love running away as fast I can to places I’ve never been. Places whose 90-degree angles have yet to leave imprints on my soft skin. Perhaps we overvalue the mind, overvalue the house, undervalue shelter, undervalue the people who can live within such a place. The mechanics replace the heart, like an empty AI sidekick that can’t pathfind around corners. Siri is a servant of the mind within a metal construct of the mind within a traveling box of metal created by the mind that allows for brief glimpses of things such as trees, entities once separate from humanity but now shaped into its brain patterns, beliefs, and wasteful irrigation systems mid-drought.

DARPA wanted to create remote-controlled bees for spying purposes. We’re trying to make bacteria that produce gasoline.

Soon everything will be the human mind. At least, the mind of humans who value control and rigidity.

Is there an alternate path? Another strategy to the future that is neither a technocratic meritocratic dysutopia manifest via presupposed destiny, nor a Luddite escapist fantasy where we return to a past that never was, defined by an arbitrary stopping point for “technology”? Is there a way to advance without becoming trapped within the human mind? Can technology grow, separately, unguided by human touch? Can we let go of the Cartesian obsession with control and dominance by one half of a flawed model of mind?

I don’t know how well this WordPress theme handles SEO. Fuck it. Maybe tomorrow at noon I’ll sleep on the floor in the hallway. Right where pacer wants to walk.

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3 thoughts on “Rotating Inward

  1. This was a beautiful article. Amy, you have got to read Val Plumwood’s “Feminism and the Mastery of Nature”. Val tackles “Is there an alternate path?” head-on.

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