[NetBehaviour] Our long global nightmare is over

Max Herman maxnmherman at hotmail.com
Fri Sep 27 18:01:14 CEST 2019

Hi Garrett,

I definitely agree about the technological bias in the study and practice of networks.  Humans always seem to be biased in favor of new technology for many reasons.

Cybernetics is interesting I think because it applies to nature too in some ways:  https://www.quantamagazine.org/math-reveals-the-secrets-of-cells-feedback-circuitry-20190918/

Sometimes maybe we dwell a bit much on the flaws and failings of Artificial Intelligence, or overhype its value, each being to the detriment of the development and resilience of natural intelligence(s).  Olaf Sporns' Networks of the Brain (2011) is very interesting on these topics I think.  And humans are definitely not the only beings with brains!  🙂

William Janeway notes that we may be at an economic plateau-stage for the high-tech boom, so that venture capital is rather irrationally focused on digital-tech unicorns.  This is partly caused by an absence of basic R&D in green infrastructure.  He characterizes this situation as a network being out of sync.  Other "basic R&D" could well be missing or overlooked as well by our distracted gaze.

Can you provide more details about your thesis?



From: NetBehaviour <netbehaviour-bounces at lists.netbehaviour.org> on behalf of Garrett Lynch <lists at asquare.org>
Sent: Thursday, September 26, 2019 11:08 PM
To: netbehaviour at lists.netbehaviour.org <netbehaviour at lists.netbehaviour.org>
Subject: Re: [NetBehaviour] Our long global nightmare is over

I also enjoyed reading this. It's reassuring to hear echoed back the same ideas I've been working on and expressing for almost ten years now. My thesis was essentially about this just within the context of art "Networks [in art] are not about technology".

I share, however, Gretta's skepticism that we have all woken up or to extend that metaphor a little further that we have realised we are asleep but we have chosen to not wake up because the dream is preferable, more profitable, to reality. Generally, networks have become integral to systems of power/control/money and now, just like with climate change, there is a willful denial that they are or ever were more than technology by those that wield the technologies. Unlike many artists who turned away from Cybernetics in the 60s because of these issues we don't have this option we must work through these problems.

On Thu, Sep 26, 2019 at 3:30 PM <netbehaviour-request at lists.netbehaviour.org<mailto:netbehaviour-request at lists.netbehaviour.org>> wrote:

Date: Wed, 25 Sep 2019 20:52:57 +0000
From: Max Herman <maxnmherman at hotmail.com<mailto:maxnmherman at hotmail.com>>

History is indeed a nightmare, but fortunately we have now all woken up!

Networks are not about technology.  They are about living things, first and foremost.  Plants, people, coral reefs, polar bears.  These are the real networks of value.

The purpose of the technology networks is to serve and support the life-networks, not to be ends in themselves and certainly not vice-versa.  Life-networks are both individuals and groups.

Now that the nightmare is over we can focus on individual wellness via mindfulness, natural-intelligence-positive neuroplasticity, and a new birth of genius across all nations to save the planet and ourselves.

It's a great time to be a living intelligence!

Date: Thu, 26 Sep 2019 09:55:23 +0200
From: Gretta Louw <gretta.elise.louw at gmail.com<mailto:gretta.elise.louw at gmail.com>>

I enjoyed reading this / hoping for this, though a big part of me is not buying the idea that we?ve woken up nor that the nightmare is over.

I meditate myself (mostly starting out as a coping mechanism that helped me deal with anxiety-insomnia), but also see a lot of truth in criticisms that the mindfulness obsession of today is very much about relocating angst about the state of the world and legitimate discontent with political, environmental, and social injustices to tensions going on within the mind of the individual. i.e. the system is not broken -> you?re broken. Here?s one article I dredged up on short notice but I think not the best one: https://theconversation.com/mcmindfulness-buddhism-as-sold-to-you-by-neoliberals-88338 <https://theconversation.com/mcmindfulness-buddhism-as-sold-to-you-by-neoliberals-88338>

I think often about a talk I happened to hear by a buddhist meditation teacher who explained that he first got into meditation - in the 60s - as a way of dealing with his fear of dying while he was protesting the Vietnam War. He went on to talk about how people often consider meditating an apolitical act, or wonder how ?just sitting? can affect change in the world. He said meditating is just sitting, but it matters *where* you sit.

Some morning thoughts?

take care all,

Garrett Lynch (IRL)
Garrett at asquare.org<mailto:Garrett at asquare.org>
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