The Soft Language: Human and Machine Interface

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Just a few words to balance out my recent “anger” post. Although the campaign is moving very slowly, which causes some inevitable frustration, and although it’s my nature to vent such feelings at the first opportunity (and a blogger creates his own opportunities), overall the process is proving to be a rich and rewarding one for me. I see this campaign as an opportunity, not just to better observe my own inner workings (always the case!), but to learn about the interactive, interdependent nature of the Internet.

The Net, of course, is a model for the collective human consciousness system. And the challenge that I have always faced as a multimedia communicator is, What is effective, what works, how can I reach an audience and evoke the responses, the interest and support, which I am seeking? What I’ve begun to suspect is that it is far more nuanced and mysterious than simply figuring out how to reach individuals. It is also a question of learning to communicate with, and not just through, the medium itself.

I am currently reading an interesting (if somewhat dubious) work called Metaman: The Merging of Humans and Machines into a Global Super Organism. In it, the author writes about how the technology-based collective entity, which he calls Metaman, is using individuals to gather information for its own increased awareness and functioning. I have often had the feeling that the Internet, a living interface between humans and technology, is the means by which artificial intelligence will come into form. (The line between natural and artificial being a somewhat arbitrary one, since everything by definition comes from Nature.) This feeling is partly why I left Facebook. Although I love some forms of technology and what they can be used for, I remain something of a Luddite at heart (which is why Joe’s experience and lifestyle appeals to me).

Trying to raise money on the internet (or simply to find an audience) is a very grueling process for me, but it is also a way to really engage with the technology and start to see the warp and woof of things in the soft world. Learning to use tags, search engines, check daily stats, see which key words and which sites are bringing traffic, and so on, obliges me to get to know the inner workings of the Net and begin to understand how it is all interconnected. That in turn leads to a more intimate “dialogue” with the technology. As we begin to learn the language of the Other, it allows for a more symbiotic relationship between man and machine.

What the internet “desires,” and thrives on, is connection. The same applies to us as humans. The difference is that as humans we have specific connections which we want to make, in order to achieve particular benefits. The machine, on the other hand, is much more pure in its approach. Like an infant learning about the world, it just wants to connect to everything. For the machine, any and all connections are beneficial, because they will increase its knowledge of the world, its function and scope, and eventually its “intelligence.” Technology will support whatever we do, but only to the extent that we understand that “the medium is the message.” It matters little what we consciously communicate, so long as communication, true communication, occurs. Whatever connects us as individuals, in other words, has meaning, because it is connection itself that is meaningful.

This is probably why I have tended towards personal expression on the net, even to my own detriment as a “salesman” or disseminator of information. Even though such expressions (some might say venting) can add emotional noise to the signal, it feels more real to me, there is more energy behind it, and so it’s more likely to “reach” people (or so I have believed).

With all that in mind, I’d like to thank those of you who have contributed financially to the project, and to emphasize that the support which I am trying to get is not primarily monetary. It is simply that financial contributions are the most tangible, obvious, and easy to recognize expressions of support. Added to that is the simple fact that this project does require funding: I need an editing program, possibly some better equipment, and some prospecting tools if I am going to go out in the field and film it. Indian Joe needs help getting his own operation running. And it’s a fact that you can help this to happen, in a very real and meaningful way, for no greater sacrifice than the price of a tub of ice cream or an extra-large Starbucks coffee. How awesome is that?!

If you are averse to donating (many people are), there’s another way you can help which, though harder to recognize, may be even more vital. Simply by engaging in what is happening here, at the blog and the campaign site, if you feel an authentic response, then spread the word about it to your friends and colleagues on Facebook or wherever else you hang out and connect to others. The ultimate goal with any project on the Net, of course, is to “go viral”—to experience the satisfaction of seeing something we’ve created assume a life of its own. I realize that’s a bit similar to Baron von Frankenstein shouting, “It’s alive!” But what the hell, life is a dangerous game, however we choose to play it.

If the Matrix accepts our offering, that could also mean we have infiltrated the program. (Ssshhh) The symbiosis of humans and technology is inevitable, for now at least; the only question, as always, is how consciously are we engaged in that process?

I’ll continue to post updates here and I hope more and more people will start to follow this blog. Once again, I encourage all of you who haven’t yet to check out the campaign, here: read it all the way through and watch the video! Then tell me what you think. Participate in the creative process!

Your attention and interest is like water to a plant, and the more our individual gardens can be made to grow, through shared support and loving attention, the sooner the wilderness will take us home again.

After which, we won’t need anything besides our petals and our roots.

Blessings,

Jason

3 thoughts on “The Soft Language: Human and Machine Interface

  1. “Trying to raise money on the internet (or simply to find an audience) is a very grueling process for me, but it is also a way to really engage with the technology and start to see the warp and woof of things in the soft world. Learning to use tags, search engines, check daily stats, see which key words and which sites are bringing traffic, and so on, obliges me to get to know the inner workings of the Net and begin to understand how it is all interconnected. That in turn leads to a more intimate “dialogue” with the technology. As we begin to learn the language of the Other, it allows for a more symbiotic relationship between man and machine.”

    This is the same as a prospector learning about dirt, with (potentially) the same result: Intimate knowledge of, dialogue with, and symbiosis with “The Land.”

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