The Coming Authoritarianism.

suspendedreason

Well-known member
this is kind of disturbing... made me think of thirdform's protestations about the like button and yyaldrin's concerns over the roundness of new dissensus theme. all the different reacts we've got now, it kind of is about retaining interest and facilitating addiction. what's weird for me is that in my work we are now using 'Teams' and it has all the same stuff - quick emoji reacts, and you can see when someone's typing etc. it's all coming together, we need to be permanently glued to the screen in work and leisure
I think there's a lot of egoism in this stuff tho; it's a whole media genre at this point—retired social media exec comes out against his tech as "too powerful"

The truth is, real dopaminergic manipulation is still a psychologist's wet dream, and other than A/B-testing engagement we're still very far from serious ability to manipulate
 

catalog

Well-known member
Yeah I agree that's an annoying trend, how theres a trend of people whove made their millions coming forward with their guilt trips.

But the very minor innovations we've seen in the last few years, the varied emoji reacts, the ability to see, to a degree, who's doing what, those are meaningful things that we're not going back from. They're embedded as normal. Optional of course but that's the rub isn't it, the tools are there, so you use em, otherwise you are left behind. And if those tools have been designed to boost engagement, or as this guy has it, make you constantly think about the system, there's an opportunity for misuse . And now work systems are basically the same.

But true, its also a sort of boring tut tutting I suppose.
 

suspendedreason

Well-known member
What do we think of an alternate framing, that these things are "restoring" the "compelling" (rather than "addictive") power of real face-to-face interaction? That text is a slim medium and this is "beefing" it out with social cues in a way that makes it more engaging/compelling because it's more "social."

Don't necessarily buy this, but wanna propose it
 

version

Who loves ya, baby?
It does beef it out, but it introduces a new compulsion in that you can go back and look at a record of people responding to you in a way that just isn't possible with actual conversation.
 

catalog

Well-known member
There is something compelling about the emoji. I think it's interesting how the love heart is employed by people. You would never write 'love' as much as you employed the heart emoji. Writing is so complex, both in terms of generation and parsing. We need icons sometimes, cos they also have some ambiguity, and they're easier.

So it allows for that. There's that praying hands one that people use on WhatsApp. That's an interesting one, a 'please' I suppose, but the whole point in emojis is they are easier to type/select and they potentially can have more meaning? Or are more elastic?

So yeah, augmenting the largely text based system so that it contains more non verbal stuff definitely allows for a wider range of experience, and we obviously love that, but it's all the other stuff as well, activity logs, the chart tables which allow for comparison. And the simplicity of the emoji stuff, the quick react nature of it, forces a shallower engagement I would say. The heart loses power over time.
 

vimothy

yurp
Right, media portrayals basically show AI as human-like, which is crazy. Human intelligence, and all known animal intelligence, is like this tiny pin-prick in the space of all possible intelligences. Films like ExMachina portray it like, “Well, you know, we’ll build AIs, and the AIs will, of course, want some resources for themselves, but if we’re nice to them, they’ll probably be nice to us. And on the other hand, if we’re cruel to them, and we try to enslave them, then they’ll resent that, and they’ll feel rebellious, and they’ll try to break free.” But of course, that kind of thinking may have a lot to do with human normative biases and not with how intelligence works broadly. I like the idea of intelligence as a natural kind, that it's purely instrumental, one's ability to achieve goals, completely separate from goals themselves. That allows ethics and intelligence to be completely, cleanly uncoupled.
but it doesnt decouple from the idea of _having goals_. a computer which can play go still isnt intelligent in any meaningful sense, it's just a function that given an input can find a loss minimising output. describing it as intelligent is like describing a regression function as intelligent, or a thermostat
 

thirdform

Well-known member
The Internet is an interesting one, cos its an instrument of control and I don't think they could ever conceivably get rid of it, and yet its also to an extent uncontrollable.

Which is to say that the Powers that Be must love it but also hate it.
yes, but people would rather use facebook than IRC, to give a really banal example. People want to be sold control, its a fetish. It makes them feel like they are worth something. someone's looking over you. harmony. don't need to get my hands dirty and fiddle about with old protocols which can't be monitored.
 

thirdform

Well-known member
authoritarianism and social control would not work if its subjects didn't, deep down, in some way want to produce it. here I think Adorno is valuable.
 

version

Who loves ya, baby?
“Fascism is a tyranny which enshrines the values of the lower middle class, even though the lower middle class doesn’t get to rule. It just gets to feel satisfied that the world is well-run. It likes symbols of authority and it likes to dress up. It likes patriotic parades.”
 

suspendedreason

Well-known member
but it doesnt decouple from the idea of _having goals_. a computer which can play go still isnt intelligent in any meaningful sense, it's just a function that given an input can find a loss minimising output. describing it as intelligent is like describing a regression function as intelligent, or a thermostat
Wait what's the separation in your mind between thermostats and regression functions and human beings?
 

IdleRich

IdleRich
So it allows for that. There's that praying hands one that people use on WhatsApp. That's an interesting one, a 'please' I suppose
Is it praying hands or a high-five? Seen people going "why are you hi-fiving over my dying grandmother?" and they say "nah mate it's prayers".
Also what's that new emjoi supposed to mean which looks like a circle tinged with blood or something?
 

vimothy

yurp
if you make this function more complicated, in the way that alpha go is more complicated than a regression function, it doesnt, at some level of complexity, magically become intelligent. it's still ultimately just a function
 

constant escape

winter withered, warm
What if the product/creation of our techne is already started making a simulacra of each of us, individually? The whole set of would would be pitted against one another, and the system that will emerge from the interplay will be the simulacrum of us collectively. Until its simulacrum passes for us, we are able to steer it, no?
 

constant escape

winter withered, warm
Any number of threads this could've gone in, I suppose.

Do we think neoliberalism can encompass genuinely enlightening psychic transformations - or perhaps that neoliberalism can convincing repaint the edifice of genuine enlightenment projects? That some sort of enlightenment, or mirage thereof, functions as the horizon neoliberalism approaches? We've talked about mindfulness as a neoliberal expression of basic psychic hygiene, but have we moved past that, past basic hygiene and toward olympian greatness?

To be clear, I mean neoliberalism as the broad ideology that is the wardrobe of capital and capitalism. A psychological internalization of economic liberalism. The self is no longer an island in the sea of economy, but has been submerged, subject to its currents. A sort of politico-economic ideology that seems to be hegemonically monopolizing the psychosphere, tempting us to call it the closest-to-optimal of its given pool of contender ideologies. Theres always a bigger pool, though.

So whether or not you are on board with neoliberalism-all-the-way-baby, do you think there could be a way to harness such momentum, to impregnate the momentum with the seeds of some future expression? Well, I mean, there is - the question is whether or not we cognize it.
 

constant escape

winter withered, warm
Just imagine what it'll be like when we are able to administer micro shocks to some portion of the nervous system to condition us not to spend past x minutes daily on this or that app. That is how the attention of the consumer-subject could be partitioned out and maximized, finessed, rather than just letting their attention wander. We would be tightening the technical reins we steer ourselves with.

You could micro-shock yourself into becoming a more organized and regimented personality, a more optimal neoliberal subject. A deeper subordination of nature, of base instinct. A, perhaps, perennial trauma. But its either that or you lose the race.

edit: a sort of economic modulation and regulation of libido, measured as attention, the techne taking us farther than we would be able to reach just with our will.
 
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