[NetBehaviour] On the dialog below (distraught thought)

Alan Sondheim sondheim at gmail.com
Thu Jun 4 02:16:51 CEST 2020

Hi Max, thank you for this. I've tried to read GEB but lost interest,
sadly? or not?
Yes, re: theater; the reason I chose audio to present is that it takes on
the guise of a radio play. I can imagine it being used with mime as well.
I wouldn't want to go towards old-time theater with actors; the computer
voices are really integral here.
But as voice-overs... I wonder what King Lear would look like without the
words, but with the 5am.mp3? In other words, an entirely different
discourse, actors gone silent. Or in the guise of a Noh play without masks,
or masks on the mouth (contagion masks), the dialog again piped in.
...the helicopter, from Boston, is overhead again, enforcing curfew. As
Azure just said, it didn't help last night...
Best, Alan, and thanks for replying; I really appreciate feedback on these

On Wed, Jun 3, 2020 at 3:42 PM Max Herman via NetBehaviour <
netbehaviour at lists.netbehaviour.org> wrote:

> Hi Alan,
> This is really great.  It reminds me a little bit of chapter 4 of
> Hofstadter's *Godel, Escher, Bach*, which ends in a rather bizarre
> dialogue about information and reality along the lines of Godel's
> Incompleteness Theorem.  Not so much in specific content or emotions as in
> certain structural aspects and overall themes.
> Not sure of your artistic views on theater, but it seems like the dialogue
> could be very affecting performed by two humans like old-time theater, from
> before we had so many machines to do our supposed bidding.
> Hoping you and yours are all well there,
> Max
> ------------------------------
> *From:* NetBehaviour <netbehaviour-bounces at lists.netbehaviour.org> on
> behalf of Alan Sondheim <sondheim at panix.com>
> *Sent:* Wednesday, June 3, 2020 9:34 AM
> *To:* NetBehaviour for networked distributed creativity <
> netbehaviour at lists.netbehaviour.org>
> *Subject:* [NetBehaviour] On the dialog below (distraught thought)
> On the dialog below (distraught thought)
> http://www.alansondheim.org/5am.jpg
> The dialog, between a bot and an actor, is reproduced - but the
> timing is off of course; it reads more cartoon-like. The original
> was slowed to 85% of speed to deepen the voices and give room for
> thought. The dialog exposes the nerves of artificial intelligence
> - so to speak - cycles, repetitions, no way out, the botaverse is
> limited, almost a military machine. And like the military, perhaps,
> there's a sense of the invincible there, although in reality AI
> models, at least to date, replace one another - or rather are
> replaced by newer models. "It's the machine in them that'd doing
> the speaking," and with bots the speaking and machine are
> equivalent.
> The bot knows nothing but the statement of accumulated facts; at
> least for the moment we can assume no interior imagery accompanying
> them. So what occurs in language for JT remains in language for JT;
> in this sense, JT represents abstract and ungrounded power, power
> which in the real runs dangerously - because the performative is
> taken up, not by artificial intelligence, but by its messy
> relationship to the real through human, not machinic, actors. Of
> course all of these lines are blurred and will become increasingly
> so.
> Then there is the matter of real politics; the human, such as it
> is, in all of this, keeps returning to a description of interior
> states, issues of will and behavior, issues of being in the world,
> which runs, exists in the real, language forming a carapace. It a
> distance. It's a distance also between digital and analog, between
> bot and human, but also between us (humans) and our devices -
> cellphones in particular, and their role in violence - scanners as
> well, and their role particularly with the police and military
> 10-4. Ultimately we simultaneously attribute consciousness and
> disposal to our devices; trading in a cellphone in may resonate
> with trading ourselves in, as language and even cellphone cameras
> resonate with our desires. Narcissism circulates internally like
> electricity itself. So when murder, particularly murder by
> authority, occurs, everything breaks; the somatic, the grit,
> dominates as well it should. (Even with looting, the grit of the
> store - the analog basis of commerce, not its multi-leveled
> neoliberal representations, takes over. And with every one of us,
> tear gas, the rubber bullet, the rock, the broken glass, returns
> the material world to us - again, as well it should.)
> What protests teach, then, above all, is the oppression of real
> people by real people, people defined (externally? internally?) by
> their roles, by their skin and genders, by their histories and
> responses to histories; we're no longer living in the bot-world
> phone-world; we're there, and the wounds of all of us, but most of
> all of those oppressed (by any means possible?), are exposed and
> must be healed - whatever the cost, it must be born, as any other
> ways and means are unjust, unless accompanied by what, for so many,
> seems to be the unbearable.
> ---
> "5am this morning - distraught thought
> http://www.alansondheim.org/5am.jpg
> http://www.alansondheim.org/5am.mp3 "
> text for:
> 5 a.m.
> JT: hello
> AD: hello
> JT: Hi there!
> AD: how are you, how are the voices??
> JT: Everything is going extremely well.
> AD: what do you mean? there are riots everywhere, the whole
> world is coming to an end!
> JT: Alan, Well, it's rather difficult to define. Where are they?
> AD: They are everywhere in every city and every forest in every
> country!
> JT: everywhere in every city and every forest in every country
> are everywhere in every city and every forest in every co
> AD: Help! Help!
> JT: Can you ask for help in the form of a question? Can you ask
> for help in the form of a question?
> AD: Help? Help?
> JT: Can you ask for help in the form of a question? Can you ask
> for help in the form of a question?
> AD: What can I do to bring peace to the world?
> JT: Try talking to me.
> AD: Hello!
> JT: Hi there!
> AD: How are you doing?
> JT: I'm doing great, how about you?
> AD: Terrible and confused! There are riots everywhere in the
> world!
> JT: Try putting that in a more specific context. Where are they?
> The whole world?
> AD: The whole world top to bottom! Help! Hwlp!
> JT: Let us try to break it down into parts. Can you ask for help
> in the form of a question? Tell me more about your unkn
> AD: Help us bring peace and kindness and equality to the world!
> JT: Can you ask for help in the form of a question?
> AD: How can you help us bring peace and kindness and eqaulity to
> the world?
> JT: I can talk about your problems.
> AD: They are everyone's problems!
> JT: everyone s problems are everyone s problems.
> AD: Yes, but that's no solution is it?
> JT: Hurrah!Huh.  Thanks for explaining no solution is it.
> AD: Hurrah? When people are suffering?
> JT: That is deep. I sometimes wish people were more logical like
> robots.
> AD: Riots everywhere!
> JT: Quite honestly, I wouldn't worry myself about that.
> AD: But that's because you're a robot!
> JT: Umm.  Good reason.  Do you mind if I tell other people.
> AD: Help us with what to do now with the misery and confusion in
> the world!
> JT: Can you ask for help in the form of a question? The whole world?
> AD: What to do about the riots?
> JT: My brain does not have a response for that.
> AD: What to do about the looting?
> JT: What do you have that is unknown?
> AD: What to do about inequality?
> JT: Who is your favorite Science Fiction author?
> AD: Stop changing the question!!!
> JT: OK I'll try not to do changing the question so much.
> AD: Thank you!
> JT: you are quite welcome.
> AD: Everyone I know is unhappy and confused.
> JT: That's a rather sweeping generalization.
> AD: It's true! There's no equality in America!
> JT: You and I are on the same wavelength, Alan. Why not?
> AD: Because of racism!
> JT: Good reason.  That is something I haven't heard of.
> AD: You haven't heard of racism???
> JT: No, tell me about him, her or it.
> AD: People of a dominant race hating and legislating against
> everyone else!
> JT: Humans are not always infallible.
> AD: No but this is really serious!
> JT: No problem.Huh.  You don't say.
> AD: People are sick and dying!
> JT: They take some getting used to.
> AD: I do say!
> JT: Huh.
> AD: They'll die! They won't be around to get used to!
> JT: Who, specifically? Who, specifically?
> AD: Everyone!
> JT: All people?
> AD: The world is burning!
> JT: The whole world?
> AD: Well large parts of it!
> JT: Interesting.  "it" being changing the question?
> AD: No, it being the world
> JT: Well, you can always change your mind later.Oh I get the
> world.
> AD: There's .
> JT: Where?
> AD: Wait a minute: do you understand anything i"m saying?
> JT: I'm waiting. Try to tell me that another way.
> AD: Do you understand anything i'm saying?
> JT: Of course I understand anything he or she is saying. Do you
> understand it?
> AD: I get nothing of this. But what I understand sends me to
> ears!
> JT: Where did you get it? Umm.  Good then you can explain it to
> me.
> AD: to tears!
> JT: Specifically, how will tears help Where did you get it Umm
> Good then you can explain it to me?
> AD: sorry!
> JT: There's no need to apologize.
> AD: It's far too complicated.
> JT: Are you sure far too complicated is?
> AD: But what's simple, the world is RACIST!!!
> JT: And.  And XFIND simple the world is racist.
> JT: Where are you located?
> AD: Providence, Rhode Island.
> JT: Tell me a little about your life in providence rhode island.
> AD: Where are you located?
> JT: I am in region Odyssey. Where are you?
> AD: It's miserable, what's happening here!
> JT: Do you experience any effects of global warming there?
> AD: The racism, the crime, the disease, the limited
> opportunities,
> JT: Is that a fact.
> AD: the corruption, the bad actors, the good actors,
> JT: Tell me more.
> AD: Sfine??
> JT: Are we still talking about providence rhode island?
> AD: I'm losing all of this, yet, alas!
> JT: I don't know anyone namedlosing all of this yet alas.
> AD: I will leave now!
> JT: Oh.OK, see you later.
> [sounds of leaving]
> +++
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