Comments on a cultural reality between past and future.

This blog describes Metatime in the Posthuman experience, drawn from Sir Isaac Newton's secret work on the future end of times, a tract in which he described Histories of Things to Come. His hidden papers on the occult were auctioned to two private buyers in 1936 at Sotheby's, but were not available for public research until the 1990s.

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Hallowe'en Countdown 2015: Ashley Madison's Fembot Mirrors

Image Source: Ashley Madison via All the Hits 107.3.

The Ashley Madison adultery site hack was a surreal lesson in cyberethics. The weirdest fact to emerge was that most of the women on the site were not real. To sign up for these online "guaranteed affairs," many male users were deluded enough to romance Matrix-like illusions driven by computer programs. That meant that they were really only engaging with themselves. These men may not have had real affairs. That does not make the situation better, because what they did was worse. They lost their grip on reality in exchange for a fantasy about their erotic selves. They paid to make love to bots constructed to reflect their own fantasies back at them, while they created the potential to ruin their reputations, their morality, their families and their marriages. In this regard, this site is and was an elaborate machine for erotic-ego-auto-response. Ashley Madison is and was a big, horrible mirror which has allowed its deceived male users to use fembots in an act of self-annihilation. The hackers, Impact Team, had this to say:
Avid Life Media has failed to take down Ashley Madison and Established Men. We have explained the fraud, deceit, and stupidity of ALM and their members. Now everyone gets to see their data. Find someone you know in here? Keep in mind the site is a scam with thousands of fake female profiles. See ashley madison fake profile lawsuit; 90-95% of actual users are male. Chances are your man signed up on the world's biggest affair site, but never had one. He just tried to. If that distinction matters. Find yourself in here? It was ALM that failed you and lied to you. Prosecute them and claim damages. Then move on with your life. Learn your lesson and make amends. Embarrassing now, but you'll get over it.
Image Source: Motherboard.

According to this report from Bustle, Impact Team seemed to target Ashley Madison vengefully, as though the hackers had a private reason to attack the company. A BBC report quoted the former Avid Life Media CEO, Noel Biderman, who speculated that at least one of the hackers had had some connection with the company. The hack may have been a vendetta, since the hackers remarked that they would target any company or politician making "100s of millions profiting off pain of others." They told Motherboard that they started the hack a long time ago, and they regarded the site's customers as addicts:
We were in Avid Life Media a long time to understand and get everything. Finally we watched Ashley Madison signups growing and human trafficking on the sites. Everyone is saying 37 million! Blackmail users! We didn't blackmail users. Avid Life Media blackmailed them. But any hacking team could have. We did it to stop the next 60 million. Avid Life Media is like a drug dealer abusing addicts.
It looks like the hackers were not dealing out abstract hacktivist justice but had personal reasons to bring down this Website. At least the Impact Team could rely on a public backlash against Ashley Madison. Adultery with bots is still shocking, so this example tells us where we are at the moment in terms of cyber-ethics and cyber-consciousness.

Ashley Madison was planning a new app called, 'What's Your Wife Worth?' Image Source: Boing Boing.

Monday, October 12, 2015

Hallowe'en Countdown 2015: The Tunnel

The Pont de l'Alma tunnel in Paris, where Princess Diana died in 1997. Image Source (2009) © shirley77 at flickr.

Tunnels symbolize death, near death experiences, ascension to heaven, time travel, or a sealed fate. As Princess Diana lay dying in the Pont de l'Alma tunnel in Paris in 1997, police arrested seven photographers at the accident. A commenter under a video about the paparazzi who chased her car into the tunnel wrote:
"I can't imagine what it would be like breathing your last and all you can see is flash bulbs going off and knowing that people will make a mint out of your death. There's something eerily pornographic about the photographers standing there taking pictures and not helping."
Tunnels represent travel forward to a new or final destiny. In the French film Irréversible, Monica Bellucci's character Alex is raped in a pedestrian passage in Paris. The film's scenes run in reverse chronological order to connect her grim end to time travel:
In An Experiment with Time, which Alex is reading during the last (i.e. chronologically first) sequence in the film, J. W. Dunne postulates the existence of a "time-travelling observer", which in dreams can move backwards or forwards in time to actually observe events which may not have yet happened. These are the 'premonitory dreams' which Alex mentions to Marcus and Pierre. Alex earlier describes such a dream to Marcus, where she is in a 'red tunnel' which breaks in two.
You can read An Experiment with Time (1922), here. The theory of the book is that all points in time coexist simultaneously; due to human perception, we are only conscious of one forward stream of time. But the other events are there, including potentials. To indicate this, Alex discovers she is pregnant shortly before her rape in the tunnel. Those who claim to have had psychic or precognitive experiences would, in Dunne's terms, be people who tap the unconscious parts of their brains to see past, present and future. This is how Dunne would have explained precognitive experiences of fictional characters (or in Diana's case, of a real person), whose destinies end in a tunnel.

The subheading of the film title is 'Le Temps Detruit Tout' - 'Time Destroys Everything.' In the film, the tunnel Alex enters is analogous to the course of normal human perception, which rams forward to cut off all possibilities, except the one set of events we finally perceive as 'what happened.' The vicious creation of one path of consciously-seen outcomes, i.e. 'time,' is akin to a brutal rape and destruction of all other potential alternate futures.