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<nettime> oh New Orleans...
brian carroll on Mon, 19 Sep 2005 10:21:21 +0200 (CEST)

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<nettime> oh New Orleans...

  [i am sending this to nettime to pose a question about the
  role of the .US constitution as code, and how it may relate
  to hurricane Katrina, before, and reconstruction efforts after.
  it is based on a series of posts relating people to transistors
  which is linked at the end, based on some previous writings.
  this is more of a rant than anything else, yet i send it out in
  case others have comments or ideas about this aspect... it
  is part of the electronetwork site electronetwork.org and a
  list http://groups-beta.google.com/group/electronetwork-l
  which was were this post originated, forwarded here. brian]

  i've been wanting to write something hopeful about the
  most recent cataclysmic disaster in New Orleans, yet it
  has been hard to sustain hope, the deluge is complete.
  it would seem that there are so many problems of such
  a scale, and in my opinion - no one - in government or
  public life who is capable of handling any one of these,
  less the dozens that concurrently are going on at once.

  they all relate to policy, in one way or another, decision-
  making and ideas of planning. excepting that 'planning'
  is considered rather retrograde for the current managers
  of the machinery of state, the political 'managerial' class
  has a different philosophy about how things really work,
  which may be split from a reality others may share, live.
  in other words, ideologies do not match issues we face.

  [**correction: the following is a misstatement/mistaken way
  of trying to say: that energy policy (in the .US) is unrelated
  to economic policy, is unrelated to transportation policy,
  is unrelated to housing policy,... national security,... etc.]

  for instance, in policy many are compartmentalized into
  industrial methodologies, which are unconnected with
  other areas in which these same things interact: such as
  with energy policy and its role in inflation or raising costs
  of living, in turn, bankruptcy of industries not adapting to
  changing patterns (airlines), else raising of fees (UPS),
  else the cost of some smoked almonds at a grocery store
  and running machinery, materials, packaging, shipping.

  there is so much that could be approached through this
  situation and yet words are almost too difficult a way to
  frame ideas which are so vast. i was going to draw the
  bubble diagrams in an attempt to enter into aspects of
  perception, reality, media, representation, cyberspace,
  and then issues of race, logic, language, psychology-
  and to reference why, when this is happening in New
  Orleans it is perceived as different from elsewhere in
  the world, such as Africa, which have been in states
  of despair for decades. what is going on with issues
  of representation? why is the crisis and responsibility
  perceived one way in one instance, and another in
  another instance? i believe it is another indication of
  the role of a conceptualization of how we are trained
  to think about things (perceiving, judging reality, even)
  that goes to the core of 'the constitution' of the self, in
  the sense previously written about on list, with regard
  to the individual as a state and a state of individuals.

  if one looks at the 'source code' which in the .US has
  been programming relations between individuals in
  this state, it was composed by minds which were, in
  the time of its writing, slave owning white americans
  who, as a public group of men, decided to declare a
  common public which could be open to evolving of
  the principles beyond their limitations, including the
  ideas of equality, rights, justice, liberty, privacy, etc.
  the .US constitution created a framework with bugs,
  which are evident in any .US city and which has often
  been ignored or disregarded as a structural necessity
  to keep and maintain the current system working as is.
  that has been an accepted 'moral' and 'ethical' lapse of
  a utopic vision, which if only everyone followed ideas
  of certain political managers, all would be redeemed
  and it is the people who are imperfect, not the ideas.

  no need to demythologize issues of race or class in
  relation to the issues New Orleans, in relation to the
  issues of policy - programming of how individuals are
  interacting in making the larger state function, how and
  why, where and who-for. it is only limited by imagination
  how things could work, for what purpose, by reasoning.
  thus why after 200 years of a constitution could there be
  such a difference between what is said to be real, and
  what actually exists? how can there be multiple views
  of what is going on, and yet no agreed upon 'reality'?

  the news media  (at least this once) brought multiple
  perspectives to bear upon a situation in which aspects
  of the panoptic prison of media representations finally
  had to square with views outside agreed-upon constructs.
  it is one of the few times when having multiple television
  news organizations descending on a single event is in
  order to gain more information, as the scale of events
  went so far beyond a single viewpoint or perspective,
  it was through a multiplicity of views that it could be
  sensed, the enormity, the flood both of the falsity of
  what was going on, and also about the myths of .US
  society with regard to its bugs - where equality as a
  concept does not translate, for some reason, equally
  and it may be something to do with the machinery of
  the coding which constitutes the state, people, rather
  than an intention, it may be both sublime and inherited.
  some underlying inequality that when built-out becomes
  visible in other patterns, such as city planning and jobs.

  why this is relevant to electromagnetism is, as a concept,
  it ties together what is conceived of and perceived in the
  mind, and what happens in the larger scales of the state
  when many minds are put to work on a shared problem.
  or, on the inability to bring reasoning of many minds into
  a larger framework, and the resulting "public" disasters.
  it is as if people are walking around with venn diagram
  bubbles around their heads, as consciousness, and are
  mediating the world in 18th century views of the present,
  and the resultant distortions and biases inherent in that.
  it is not unlike those who say that Islamic fundamentalists
  are living in the 7th century in their heads, and trying to
  recreate that on earth. My question is why this can be the
  case, as the common reality, when there are poor and sick
  people in Africa and New Orleans and yet one is considered
  more real and urgent than others. to me it is evidence of the
  privatized representations, where by way of making private
  mankind/individuals the public realm, those who are or can
  be more readily connected can be included in the group.
  thus a poor person is our person, if they of our nationality.
  versus, a poor person who is human and a rich person who
  is human, humans are both rich and poor, and why is that,
  what reasoning can justify one who has so much and one
  who has so little, not enough to survive, and what common
  morality and ethics can justify this as a status-quo condition?

  it gets back to the ideas of cultural operating systems or the
  way things work, at present, in terms of ideas and ideologies
  which continue these (mindless) patterns, as if on auto-pilot.

  what can be done about New Orleans (or Iraq for that matter,
  or the War of Terror) if the 'thinking' is that of maintaining the
  machinery of state, not questioning the underlying code, the
  core principles by which this inequality is churned out through
  other actions, from mental states to bodies, if "reason" cannot
  exist in which to question the assumptions driving movements?
  that is, the core philosophy which predates the recent disaster
  of New Orleans -- not only did the levees (flood barrier) break,
  the levees of the constitution broke long ago in the logic, in
  the language, in the identities of people which has created
  such conditions in the first place: the flood exposed another
  ideological flood, a reality hidden by media representations
  of events, yet which matches other experiences which have
  yet to find reasonable presentation on the whole, prior to this,
  enough to change the underlying conditions so opposite of
  the idealism of the .US constitution - even an indictment of it,
  if in terms of morality, ethics, justice, reason, representation.
  this is an indication that the core concepts are full of bugs,
  that what is believed is not being perceived, it is not real to
  the situation, to the complexity, the model is not yet accurate
  enough to bring universal principles into this new/old context
  (think again: slave owning private self-starters and their state).
  who can readily deny this is a legacy of the constitution itself?

  if something is going to happen in New Orleans, to change
  the basic situation for the people of New Orleans, and the .US,
  it would need to happen with the .US Constitution, and revisiting
  the "private" principles of the 18th century enlightenment and
  how this private 'reason' has betrayed a larger public reason of
  people defined beyond their race, income, educational status.
  that is, today, to-date, the constitution has been privatized by
  a view embalmed by the courts, by justices, by lawyers, which
  is distorted, and any look at the .US prison population versus
  rich white kids doing similar things (with drugs, etc) will show
  bias exists, always, all the time, and thus the constitution is,
  itself, unconstitutional to its core principles. it betrays the truth.
  that is, it is broken code, broken logic, broken language, making
  justice into language games for those who can afford to pay to play.

  at times rogue software directing at times, a violation of principles.
  it is mindless, it is automatic, it is embedded processing of reality.
  and yet it is not true to the situation if viewed from other vantages.
  and yet it is beyond reason, there is no one who can be petitioned
  to address such grievances, as like a 'megamachine' the state is
  beyond human agency is how it is organized and how it behaves.*1

  it is a question of processing of reality, at some level, in some way.
  how people perceive, the logic they use to consider things, and of
  what is possible based on their thinking, what can be acted upon.
  many have felt and feel helpless, as do i, evermoreso, that there is
  little hope to be had in others who exist in this machinery, as the
  ideological view of individual heroes and heroism and celebrity
  has become such that Americans act as if global aristocrats, and
  beyond democracy and representation of a much larger public.
  that is, instead of citizens and citizenry, there are heroism who
  are considered more special and honored members of society,
  when every citizen, if a citizen, would have an obligation to do
  something as their duty to help the citizenry, in times of need.
  it is not a realm of superheroes but of people helping people.
  this helplessness, of allowing a public to even exist, pervades.

  instead of a question about the health of the larger state (say,
  the .US) in relation to the state of an individual (say a citizen),
  there is a bizarre trade-off which indicates the bias in which
  people are serving the machinery, i.e. the pyramid of power,
  rather than having these bureaucracies serving the citizenry.
  i.e., people serving humanity, rather than machinery, firstly.

  how else could this question of 'processing' of information,
  of ideas, of what is supposed to be considered 'reason' be
  so controversial as to what is actually real, from the mental
  thoughts to the physically felt, than to have approximately
  40-50% of Americans who are considered mentally ill and
  who need to take such medications, just to exist in society?
  this situation would seem to indicate, (regardless of easing
  of countercultural efficacy of revolutionary drugstate) soma,
  that instead of something being fundamentally wrong in the
  core concepts by which the societal reality is organized, that
  instead each one of these individual processors, up to half
  of the processors (say transistors) are malfunctioning with
  processing of situations and need to be tweaked/adapted,
  so to continue their partial or most-capable functioning in
  such a system which is to remain beyond any reproach or
  any substantial or -fundamental- questioning of core ideas,
  and how they are believed, interacted with, and justified.

  is it possible that the core code is actually what is insane?
  and that the people are effects of the malfunctioning, which
  is a choice between falling outside the system (which hurts,
  the fall) of organization, or adapting by numbing emotions,
  senses, idiosyncracies, such that one can conform to the
  existing model, to adapt to what is effectively 'unhealthy'
  patterns of development: where being unhappy with the
  situations as with New Orleans, one instead can turn off
  those switches and just continue in the system as it exists.
  maybe all those people actually feel and have consciences
  and it is unbearable to exist in such a unreal state of affairs,
  and yet one has to survive, and must submit to this view of
  reality, with companies, jobs, coworkers, educators, etc.
  as the price is well-too-high to do otherwise, as one then
  would have to cast their lot with the unrepresented, as in
  New Orleans or elsewhere, who evidence things are not
  as rosy and ideal and utopic as they are believed to be.
  by political managers. by economists. by private citizens.
  it is to be placed into opposition, and told one must like it.

  instead, maybe the state that has been constituted needs
  to be upgraded, its core code may be malfunctioning at a
  level of scale that is beyond the older views, and which is
  required to include previously unforeseen points of view,
  including the common humanity, and human individuals.
  both at a local, state, national, and the international scale.
  then 'reasoning' would be much different in tone, outcome.
  it would not be the besting of one privatization over another.
  it would be to use common facts and define a shared truth.

  the consensus of shared truth and what is believed real,
  by today's political managers, in no way matches what is
  actually existing in situations beyond bureaucratic views.

  even the .UN cannot handle is mission, nor is .US policy
  engaging the issues it must address, short and long-term,
  in a way that can give hope to furthering existing methods,
  of development, of running these processes ad infinitum or
  even tweaking the old system to evolve - as it is bounded,
  and the utopia of Clinton's Global Initiative, while helpful
  and necessary in one way, is one of thousands of such
  approaches needed to work in unison on major issues,
  frameworks in which to begin building a more just and
  peaceful world, based on prosperity, and knowledge.
  I'd say that the .US populace is down and out for the
  count. knocked out, cerebrally:  the state is insane.
  and it will only become moreso, and less and less
  effective at dealing with reality, rather than recover,
  because its core logic is wrong, faulty, crude, false.
  it cannot accurately represent what is most real as
  it is of another paradigm, era, perception of truths.

  we are pointed in the wrong direction, every one of us.
  until we are all pointed in the same direction, together.
  sharing truthes, sharing realities, and sharing reason.
  sharing a public identity, language, and a vital logic.*4

  I do not believe anything can happen to change the
  outcome of a rebuilt New Orleans, short of changing
  the .US constitution to address the structural inequalities
  built into the original document, which is itself now acting
  against 'the will of the people' to determine their futures.
  one can put $1 trillion .US dollars (as will likely happen)
  towards such reconstruction and simply repeat patterns,
  even if changing the physical and built environment, it
  is not enough, the mental environment is what is also
  keeping things in the 18th century, where the limits of
  private reason were later realized, yet adjustments to
  core patriarchy and bias has not yet been addressed.

  suggestions for rebuilding have been sketched out to
  give examples of how the base housing stock could be
  examples of the new standards for energy efficiency,
  and other dimensions. yet without the truth and logic
  of a genuine and authentic human .US constitution by
  which these motivations could be realized, it is beyond
  possibility for this to evolve out of the present bounded
  system of operation and by those in the management.*2
  a trillion .US dollars could be wasted in service to an
  ideological approach which will do nothing to change
  the core problems, it is entirely predictable. and it is an-
  other indication of the failure to respect a balance book
  of nature in the equations for cultural programs, as to
  ignore such facts as outside the purview of one in an-
  other endless streams of private points of view, can so
  easily choose to omit the irregular, as with citizens who
  do not fit the model, and continue the pre-judgmental
  design, repeating the models of the past, and calling it
  once again liberation for all, while only building prisons.

  the core code has got to change. there is no other way,
  in the realm of public reasoning, besides that of war...

  interrelated and integrated policy is the area for such
  public reasoning, where the ecological aspects of ideas
  write-out a new way of reality, based in a sharing of facts.
  managerial organization and representation based on this.
  (that is, climate change relates to housing and energy policy,
  telecom, mass transit, jobs and home schooling relate, etc.)

  trying to not accept total despair. yet how can one believe in
  any change if a state of 'unreality' is where a populace exists?
  un-responsible as citizens, even, in a human state, and instead
  tied-into the destiny of the machinery, which is hollowed of its
  values and morals and ethics so to further pursue its materialism
  to the ends of the earth, what hope can be had without 'reason'?
  it becomes impossible to share ideas if one cannot believe, if
  only for a moment, they are in fact possible in some basic way.
  for changing patterns, for facing challenges, and not turning-
  off remaining sensors and going dark into that strange night.
  there must be a way, beyond "government", to make changes.
  and, it is as if, with bad-actors, the machinery works against it.
  against humanity, human civilization, and a human citizenry.

  i don't know. i'm only trying to keep a flicker of hope alive. and
  write this because this is all i can write, given the givens, as it
  is so complicated and purposeless in many cases to even try
  to address, given how things exist, and yet needing to testify
  to the fact that this is a condition far beyond what is reported
  by those who are supposed to represent, or even to 'lead' us.
  in the .US, though also this effect in the larger world circuitry.

  this was to be a preface to writing about 'the flood' as a concept
  for the aether, ocean of consciousness, and other ideas related
  to heaven and cyberspace, though it is not specifically religious.
  i don't know if i'll be able to do it though, as my belief is waning
  that there is any hope in pursuing ideas in such a way, and it is
  rather difficult to make linear such a perspective at this time, as
  i would much prefer to talk and have a whiteboard for diagrams.
  it may not happen then, though the idea was related to issues
  of virtual representations in minds and machines and how that
  goes from ancient times to today, from myths to realities, and of
  how misrepresentations can act as if floods of unconsciousness
  or which drown people in views beneath what may actually exist.
  and then, ideas in the mental realm as types of 'cyberspaces,' in
  which myths and models operate, and how metaphysical ideas
  of heaven and hell, or the inferno and the flood, could be made
  real within a certain experience, where maps in the mind match
  those embodied in the environments, and what it might mean...
  that is, if electromagnetism is fundamentally consciousness and
  these events are unfolding as virtual representations in a global
  electromagnetic infrastructure (of hardware and softwares) what
  might the reasoning be, how might reality be processed, and if
  it is processed by the 2-value, it would be as it is predictably to
  continue the same patterns, and would be approached as such,
  in policy, in language, in private reasoning... it is now occurring...
  and what can be done, i don't know. so an attempt to write it out...

*1-  States 'not run by people's will'

*2- New Orleans masterplan (policy)

[why not massively test new planning/development in Sim City, by the  

*3- SimCity: Katrina vs. New Orleans

*4- circuitry and logic

  brian thomas carroll: research-design-development
  architecture, education, electromagnetism

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