Friday, November 10, 2017

two images

this is a young century & i don't think it is always useful to slice years decades & generations in to distinct parts for i have more in common with some people who are 20 30 or so years older than me than i have with people of my own generation & when we think of the change of centuries what we are really contemplating is the dynamics of technological & social change because people are people whether it be in this century or the last but what is different is our technology & our technological changes that foist social change

what is different in this century rather than the century i was born in is digital culture AI automation & rapid climate change but all these things have their antecedents in the previous century & even the century before that

meaning that we live in a continuity a perpetual present where our cultures changes and/or adapts to the forces that act upon them

the biggest threat to our species is climate change but we have yet to really do anything about a rapidly destabilized climate

we are also automating the shit out of our manufacturing bases i just read an article in the new yorker titled 'the dark factory' the title refers to a factory so automated there is no need to turn on the lights because robots don't need them which begs the question where do the laid off workers find jobs when there will be fewer jobs to be had

we have three threats in this new century Automation AI & Climate Change

let me quote the character Eli. played by Robert Duvall, in the movie version of Cormac McCarthy's the road [2009], who said about the impending disaster, 'even if you knew what to do you wouldn't know what to do'

& that is what i think about how we deal with the trinity i listed above particularly climate change, we know what we should do but we don't know what to do so the problems will hit us -- are hitting us like a brick to the brain pan -- with a ferocity we couldn't know until it is upon us & then, only then, will we see it as a great conclusion to the obvious

AI will be upon us sooner than we realize, like our mobile phones, for our phones may seem like they've been always with us -- who doesn't remember those flicks where a character has a brick-like mobile phone in the 1980s -- the smart phones we carry in our pockets have been with us for only about 10 years now & these devices have utterly changed our economics our society our work place if you don't believe me then reflect on this for you can use a dating app to find a life partner you are connected to your work 24/7 via email & messaging apps & you can order anything you can think of with a few swipes & taps

think about your mobile device & how it has changed brick & mortar retailing or movie/TV watching in short mobile technology has changed the world in ways that was not even imagined 20 years ago

that is what is happening with AI it will change everything

so if i might add two images that might represent our new century it is this

the refugee

the militarized police

when there are no jobs or food or fresh water or stable government millions of people will leave their places & seek out jobs food fresh water & security elsewhere

we see this mass migration beginning now

wait a decade or two or perhaps three but sure as shit millions tens of millions will be on the move looking for a better life & when these tens of millions move they will be met with militarized police because the governments of more stable countries will not have the political will the infrastructure or the space to accommodate all these people

the shit, as the bard wrote, has hitteth the fan

how can my -- our -- poetry be equal to our times


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