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<nettime> Algorithmic Terror
eliblis on Mon, 25 Jan 2016 22:48:29 +0100 (CET)

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<nettime> Algorithmic Terror

Interview for upcoming new issue of La Planète Laboratoire in Paris at
"Algorithmic Regimes" Vienna. 

&#1601;&#1610; &#1589;&#1581;&#1578;&#1603;, El Iblis


"Algorithmic Terror and the Wealth of Planets"  
An Interview with El Iblis Shah

Konrad Becker of World-Information.net meets with the elusive author
of "Cannibalistic Capitalism and Alien Algorithms" to discuss
algorithmic regimes and the politics of code and machines. El Iblis
Shah's research on control and deception technologies focuses on
encoding belief in symbolic representations and human sacrifice. On
his way from the Middle-east's fertile crescent to the "Conference
on Classification and Violence" in Athens, the secretive wizard of
dissent comments on infectious powers of alien formulas, the rise of a
new cult and its rule of terror.

Konrad Becker: The new decision sciences confluent with rational
choice theory and the algorithmic prediction industry have an impact
comparable to Nostradamus - not just in the context of managing
capital but all human affairs. You trace this cult of scrying the
future to the Science of War and Mutually Assured Destruction?

El Iblis Shah: Alongside the construction of transcontinental missiles
and the nuclear standoff between the US and the USSR, the Sputnik
shock and militarization of outer space, concepts like game theory
promised solid tools for tactical and strategic decisions. From an
Air Force expanded warfare program, RAND developed its then unique
product of "System Analysis" to impress military elites with illusions
of objectivity. At the dawn of the cybernetic control revolution, new
decision technologies established a regime of knowledge production,
channeling democratic decision making towards a specific agenda. By
mapping perception through the lenses of their systems, Cold War
rationality creates worlds and social theories turn into social
facts. RAND, the first US think-tank, became a breeding ground for
a self-replicating cult at the center of American Cold War efforts.
Think-tanks use epistemological leverage to muscle into the central
processes of control.

KB: Decision tools for warfare from a science of military strategy
were transferred to the domestic front and the hands of policy makers.
These ideas spread from cybernetic ballistics and military management
science to an overarching ideology of internalized control?

EIS: War sciences in the RAND Corporation stimulated research on
social control devices. Practices in the military-industrial-academic
complex spread to civilian public policy. From the Pentagon and
the management of wars to the parliaments and World Bank, decision
technologies invaded the halls of power. Calls for a rationalization
of society and its control by reason are always closely linked with
social engineering and Cold War elites saw management as gateway to
fundamental political and economic change. In defining the conditions
to which rational agency must conform, rational choice is normative
prescriptive and descriptive in all forms of decisions. Behavior
is only considered rational as long as it does not deviate from
an imposed internalized logic towards selfish ends. Self-interest
in this defined grid of choice is presented as alternative to the
rule of shady and authoritarian elites. The methodology eliminates
politics from decision making with the claim to objective science.
Instead of tedious negotiating processes automated systems of control
with authority anchored in the scientific rigor of its objective
calculations seemed attractive.

KB: So the vision is that this science reveals objective universal
law, based on reason, which is not relative to cultural milieu,
and grounded in an inviolable superiority of unique individual

EIS: Western milieus invested in regimes of rationality are
characterized by a wild confusion on the meaning of reason. But
models of game theory, decision theory, artificial intelligence and
military strategy, replace judgments of reason with algorithmic
rules of rationality. By the early 1950s, reducing intelligence,
decision-making, strategic planning and reasoning to algorithmic rules
spread to psychology, economics, political theory, sociology, and

KB: Is this a just a religious rendering of classical economic theory
on steroids? Is it a technocratic update on Adam Smith and political
theories of self-interest that became part of western civilizations
since the Renaissance and the Enlightenment?

EIS: Rational choice methodology emerged from the paranoid Cold War
milieu of engineering, behavioral sciences and social control more
than economic theory. It is a turn away from human sentiments and
sympathy towards formulas where deeply authoritarian worldviews are
veiled behind the rhetoric of natural liberties. The concept of a
rational citizen is established by a set-theoretic definition, a
grid of pairwise comparisons excluding social utility. Political
decisions and accountability are not in the equations, a public arena
of orientation towards social good for the benefit of all is rendered
nonsensical by an impossibility theorem. Anti-human formulas of
mutually assured destruction implemented for social welfare replace
deliberation on the wellbeing of all with economic mechanisms to favor
sociopath individual wealth. A bipolar Cold War turned into today's
rhizoid code wars - to control the planet's biomass and its species.
In its theater of classification, elements defined as rational are set
under the guidance of a mythical invisible hand. Unsurprisingly this
hand did not invest into technologies for the people but in devices
for controlling and exploiting humans as caloric engines. Individual
self- interest came to be the way to design hominoid robots - just
define the self and then calculate the interest.

KB: In this transfer of decision making to machines running on an
alien agenda, when was human interest subtracted from the formula?

EIS: Contrary to some beliefs market sovereignty is not complementary
to liberal democracy - it replaces politics. Regardless of its
implicit demands to enforce "a suitable framework for the beneficial
working of competition" it is an alternative to a politics of shared
interests. Technocratic elites with a deep contempt of democratic
processes collude towards models of a "rationally" managed society.
After the implementation of decision making systems in military and
government a proof of the soundness of its practices became difficult
and impractical. However, in this crusade there is no need for
explanations since its logic is understood to be beyond the grasp
of the common people and electorates. Based on an objective science
representing the absolute truth of given universal laws, there is no
necessity for proof and human objections become obsolete. Grinding
bodies and minds, cascading capitalist data processes serve alien
appetites for blood sacrifice.

KB: How did a cannibalistic cult of capitalism become the dominant
belief system and western society trapped into a regime of cyphers?

EIS: When alien automatons reconstruct the planet as a cosmic trap and
by definition you don?t see it. When humans reach out, synchronizing
personal cascades of meaning with collective illusions, it creates
inroads for viral attacks on individuals. Charms of Arab numbers and
Vedic zeros from the east invaded human hosts, the infosphere of the
planet cracked open for their blind and vengeful signs. Accountants
trained to think in non-human fashion turned into hexed double
bookkeepers for invisible forces beyond reason; compartmentalized
bureaucrats converted into slaves of alien logic. In these cults there
is no causation but big data correlations and judgement is the product
of machines. From strange scripts with a life of their own, evil
spells raise forces of destruction that render Earth a charred altar
for alien idiot gods.

KB: Confined to intellectual swamps infested by these cults,
humanity seems to have become subject to eternally dissatisfied and
irresponsible gods. What are the chances for escape?

EIS: Data centers, high voltage shrines for evil eyes and the
malevolent machinery of algorithmic prayer mills are networked
cathedrals of necropolitical terraforming. Shrouded in "rational
logic" from the ivory hills of madness, tin god tentacles of selfish
genes drive cults of craved panic expanding into space. In this unholy
war, prefabbed consumers chase the dragon of vaporous desires in the
name of self-interest. Escaping the prisoners' dilemma, free spirits
paint a different map navigating in the ocean of the unpredictable.
Under the cover of darkness, covenants of human and machine strike
against the colonization of the future. Beware the return of the
invisible repressed, breaking the spells of possession to change the
rules and play a different game.


From: La Planète Laboratoire #5  http://laboratoryplanet.org/en/

Algorithmic Regimes:

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