[ mona / prog / sol ]



Is there a simple, non-bullshit, News website to skim headlines?

1 2020-04-05 17:28

I usually don't even try to stay informed and I don't know what online newspaper to open.
I'm looking for a curated list of important information where the agenda isn't too frigging obvious and without too many ads and clickbaits. Oh and one that isn't /pol/

So far, I've found
https://www.reuters.com/ and https://news.yahoo.com/ The latter I hadn't seen since the late nineties and it still looks far superior to most of the newspapers.

Any good suggestions?


20 2020-05-26 21:45

There used to be a good gopher service on gopher://txtn.ws that compiles headlines from a dozen different sources but the owner let the domain expire.

21 2020-05-27 17:35 *


22 2020-05-31 19:29


23 2020-05-31 19:35 *

Have you tried \link skimmedit\target https://www.smbc-comics.com/comic/skimmed ?

24 2020-05-31 19:37 *

>>7 Nice try, illiterate.



do not edit these


Sadie Plant — ON THE MATRIX, Cyberfeminist simulations, 1996

1 2020-05-31 14:17

Her mind is a matrix of non-stop digital flickerings. (Misha 1991: 113)

If machines, even machines of theory, can be aroused all by themselves, may woman not do likewise? (Irigaray 1985a: 232)

Aғᴛᴇʀ ᴅᴇᴄᴀᴅᴇs ᴏғ ᴀᴍʙɪᴠᴀʟᴇɴᴄᴇ ᴛᴏᴡᴀʀᴅs technology, many feminists are now finding a wealth of new opportunities, spaces and lines of thought amidst the new complexities of the 'telecoms revolution'. The Internet promises women a network of lines on which to chatter, natter, work and play; virtuality brings a fluidity to identifies which once had to be fixed; and multimedia provides a new tactile environment in which women artists can find their space.

Cyberfeminism has, however, emerged as more than a survey or observation of the new trends and possibilities opened up by the telecoms revolution. Complex systems and virtual worlds are not only important because they open spaces for existing women within an already existing culture, but also because of the extent to which they undermine both the world-view and the material reality of two thousand years of patriarchal control.

Network culture still appears to be dominated by both men and masculine intentions and designs. But there is more to cyberspace than meets the male gaze. Appearances have always been deceptive, but no more so than amidst today's simulations and immersions of the telecoms revolution. Women are accessing the circuits on which they were once exchanged, hacking into security's controls, and discovering their own post-humanity. The cyberfeminist virus first began to make itself known in the early 1990s.¹ The most dramatic of its earliest manifestations was A Cyberfeminist Manifesto for the 21st Century, produced as a digitized billboard displayed on a busy Sydney thoroughfare. The text of this manifesto has mutated and shifted many times since, but one of its versions includes the lines:

 we are the virus of the new world disorder
 disrupting the symbolic from within
 saboteurs of big daddy mainframe
 the clitoris is a direct line to the matrix

 termintators of the moral code...

Like all successful viruses, this one caught on. VNS Matrix, the group of four women artists who made the billboard, began to write the game plan for All New Gen, a viral cyber-guerilla programmed to infiltrate cyberspace and hack into the controls of Oedipal man — or Big Daddy Mainframe, as he's called ine the game. And there has been no stopping All New Gen. She has munched her way through patriarchal security screens and many of their feminist simulations, feeding into and off the energies with which she is concurrent and in tune: the new cyberotics engineered by the girls; the queer traits and tendencies of Generation XYZ; the post-human experiments of dance music scenes.

All New Gen and her allies are resolutely hostile to morality and do nothing but erode political power. They reprogram guilt, deny authority, confuse identity, and have no interest in the reform or redecoration of the ancient patriarchal code. With Luce Irigaray (1985b: 75), they agree that 'how the system is put together, how the specular economy works', are amongst the most important questions with which to begin its destruction.

The specular economy

This is the first discovery: that patriarchy is not a construction, an order or a structure, but an economy, for which women are the first and foundig commodities. It is a system in which exchanges 'take place exclusively between men. Women, signs, commoditities, and currency always pass from one man to another', and the women are supposed to exist 'only as the possibility of mediation, transaction, transition, transference — between man and his fellow-creatures, indeed between man and himself (Irigaray 1985b: 193). Women have served as his media and interfaces, muses and messengers, currencies and screens, interactions, operators, decoders, secretaries... they have been man's go-betweens, the in-betweens, taking his messages, bearing his children, and passing on his genetic code.

If women have experienced their exclusion from social, sexual and political life as the major problem posed by their government, this is only the tip of an iceberg of control and alienation from the species itself. Humanity has defined itself as a species whose members are precisely what they think they own: male members. Man is the one who has one, while the character called 'woman' has, at best, been understood to be a deficient version of a humanity which is already male. In relation to homo sapiens, she is the foreign body, the immigrant from nowhere, the alien without and the enemy within. Woman can do anything and everything except be herself. Indeed, she has no being, nor even one role; no voice of her own, and no desire. She marries into the family of man, but her outlaw status always remains: '"within herself" she never signs up. She doesn't even have the equipment' (Irigaray 1991: 90).

What this 'equipment' might have given her is the same sense of membership, belonging and identity which have allowed her male colleagues to consider themselves at home and in charge of what they call 'nature', the 'world', or 'life'. Irigaray's male subjects are first and foremost the ones who see, those whose gaze defines the world. The phallus and the eye stand in for each other, giving priority to light, sight, and a flight from the dark dank matters of the feminine. The phallic eye has functioned to endow them with a connection to what has variously been defined as God, the good, the one, the ideal form or transcendent truth. It has been, in effect, their badge of membership, their means of identification and unification with an equally phallic authority. Whereas woman has nothing to be seen where man thinks the member should be. Only a hole, a shadow, a wound, a 'sex that is not one'.

All the great patriarchs have defined this as her problem. Witch-hunters defined the wickedness of women as being due to the fact that they 'lack the male member', and when Freud extols them to get 'little ones of their own', he intends this to compensate for this supposed lack. And without this one, as Irigaray writes, hysteria 'is all she has left'. This or mimicry, or catatonic silence.

Either way, woman is left without the senses of self and identity which accrue to the masculine. Denied the possibility of an agency which would allow her to transform herself, it becomes hard to see what it would take for her situation ever to change. How can Irigaray's women discover themselves when any conception of who they might be has already been decided in advance? How can she speak without becoming the only speaking subject conceivable to man? How can she be active when activity is defined as male? How can she design her own sexuality when even this has been defined by those for whom the phallus is the central core?

The problem seems intractable. Feminist theory has tried every route, and found itself in every cul-de-sac. Struggles have been waged both with and against Marx, Freud, Lacan, Derrida... sometimes in an effort to claim or reclaim some notion of identity, subjectivity and agency; sometimes to eschew it in the name of undecidability or jouissance. But always in relation to a sacrosanct conception of a male identity which women can either accept, adapt to, or refuse altogether. Only Irigaray — and even then, only in some of her works — begins to suggest that there really is no point in pursuing the masculine dream of self-control, self-identification, self-knowledge and self-determination. If 'any theory of the subject will always have been appropriated by the masculine' (Irigaray 1985a: 133) before the women can get close to it, only the destruction of this subject will suffice.

Even Irigaray cannot imagine quite what such a transformation would involve: this is why so much of her work is often said to be unhelpfully pessimistic. But there is more than the hope that such change will come. For a start patriarchy is not a closed system, and can never be entirely secure.

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It too has an 'outside', from which it has 'in some way borrowed energy', as is clear from the fact that in spite of patriarchy's love of origins and sources, 'the origin of its motive force remains, partially, unexplained, eluded' (Irigaray 1985b: 115). It needs to contain and control what it understands as 'woman' and 'the feminine', but it cannot do without them: indeed, as its media, means of communication, reproduction and exchange, women are the very fabric of its culture, the material precondition of the world it controls. If Irigaray's conclusions about the extent and pervasiveness of patriarchy were once an occasion for pessimistic paralysis, things look rather different in an age for which all economic systems are reaching the limits of their modern functioning. And if ever this system did begin to give, the effects of its collapse would certainly outstrip those on its power over women and their lives: patriarchy is the precondition of all other forms of ownership and control, the model of every exercise of power, and the basis of all subjection. The control and exchange of women by their fathers, husband brothers and sons is the diagram of hierarchical authority.

This 'specular economy' depends on its ability to ensure that all tools, commmodities, and media know their place, and have no aspirations to usurp or subvert the governing role of those they serve. 'It would', for example, 'be out of the question for them to go to the "market" alone, to profit from their own value, to talk to each other, to desire each other, without the control of the selling-buying-consuming subjects' (Irigaray 1985b: 196). It is out of the question, but it happens anyway.

By the late twentieth century, all patriarchy's media, tools, commodities, and the lines of commerce and communication on and as which they circulate have changed beyond recognition. The convergence of once separate and specialized media turns them into systems of telecommunication with messages of their own; and tools mutate into complex machines which begin to learn and act for themselves. The proliferation, falling costs, miniaturization and ubiquity of the silicon chip already renders the new commodity smart, as trade routes and their traffics run out of control on computerized markets with 'minds of their own', state, society, subject, the geo-political order, and all other forces of patriarchal law and order are undermined by the activity of markets which no longer lend their invisible hands in support of the status quo. As media, tools and goods mutate, so the women begin to change, escaping their isolation and becoming increasingly interlinked. Modern feminism is marked by the emergence of networks and contacts which need no centralized organization and evade its structures of command and control.

The early computer was a military weapon, a room-sized giant of a system full of transistors and ticker-tape. Not until the 1960s development of the silicon chip did computers become small and cheap enough to circulate as commodities, and even then the first mass market computers were hardly user-friendly machines. But if governments, the military and the big corporations had ever intended to keep it to themselves, the street found new uses for the new machinery. By the 1980s there were hackers, cyberpunks, rave and digital arts. Prices began to plummet as computers crept on to the desks and then into the laps and even the pockets of a new generation of users. Atomized systems began to lose their individual isolation as a global web emerged from the thousands of email connections, bulletin boards, and multiple-user domains which compose the emergence of the Net. By the mid-1990s, a digital underground is thriving, and the Net has become the leading zone on which the old identifications collapse. Genders can be bent and blurred and the time-space coordinates tend to get lost. But even such schizophrenia, and the imminent impossibility — and even the irrelevance — of distinguishing between virtual and actual reality, pales into insignifiance in comparison to the emergence of the Net as an anarchic, self-organizing system into which its users fuse. The Net is becoming cyberspace, the virtuality with which the not-quite-ones have always felt themselves to be in touch.

This is also the period in which the computer becomes an increasingly decentralized machine. The early computers were serial systems that worked on the basis of a central processing unit in which logical 'if-then' decisions are made in serial fashion, one step at a time. The emergence of parallel distributed processing systems removes both the central unit and the serial nature of its operations, functioning instead in terms of interconnected units which operate simultaneously and without reference to some governing core. Information is not centrally stored or processed, but is distributed across the switches and connections which constitute the system itself.

This 'connectionist' machine is an indeterminate process, rather than a definite entity:

We are faced with a system which depends on the levels of activity of its various sub-units, and on the manner in which the activity levels of some sub-units affect one another. If we try to 'fix' all this activity by trying to define the entire state of the system at one time... we immediately lose appreciation of the evolution of these activity levels over time. Conversely, if it is the activity levels in which we are interested, we need to look for patterns over time. (Eiser 1994: 192)

Parallel distributed processing defies all attempts to pin it down, and can only ever be contingently defined. It also turns the computer into a complex thinking machine which converges with the operations of the human brain. Simulatenous with the Artificial Intelligence and computer science programmes which have led to such developments, research in the neuro-sciences moves towards materialist conceptions of the brain as complex connective, distributed machine. Neural nets are distributed systems which function as analogues of the brain and can learn, think, 'evolve' and 'live'. And the parallels profliferate. The complexity the computer becomes also emerges in economies, weather-systems, cities and cultures, all of which begin to function as complex systems with their own parallel processes, connectivities and immense tangles of mutual interlinkings.

Not that artificial lives, cultures, markets and thinking organisms are suddenly free to self-organize. Science, its disciplines, and the academic structures they support insist on the maintenance of top-down structures, and depend on their ability to control and define the self-organizing processes they unleash. State institutions and corporations are intended to guarantee the centralized and hierarchical control of market processes, cultural development and, indeed, any variety of activity which might disturb the smooth regulations of the patriarchal economy. When Isaac Asimov wrote his three laws of robotics, they were lifted straight from the marriage vows: love, honor and obey.² Like women, any thinking machines are admitted on the understanding that they are duty-bound to honour and obey the members of the species to which they were enslaved: the members, the male ones, the family of man. But self-organizing processes proliferate, connections are continually made, and complexity becomes increasingly complex. In spite of its best intentions, patriarchy is subsumed by the processes which served it so well. The goods do get together, eventually.

The implications of these accelerating developments are extensive and profound. In philosophical terms, they all tend towards the erosion of idealism and the emergence of a new materialism, a shift in thinking triggered by the emergent activity and intelligence of the material reality of a world which man still believes he controls. Self-replicating programs proliferate in the software labs, generating evolutionary processes in the same machines on to which the Human Genome Project downloads DNA.

3 2020-05-31 14:17

Nanotechnology feeds into material self-organization at a molecular level and in defiance of old scientific paradigms, and a newly digitized biology has to acknowledge that there is neither a pinnacle of achievement nor a governing principle overriding evolution, which is instead composed of complex series of parallel processes, learning and mutating on microcosmic scales, and cutting across what were once separated into natural and cultural processes.

Although she is supposed to do nothing more than function as an object of consumption and exchange, it is a woman who first warns the world of the possibility of the runaway potential of its new sciences and technologies: Mary Shelley's Frankenstein makes the first post-human life form of a modern age which does indeed roll round to the unintended consequences of its own intelligent and artificial lives. Shelley writes far in advance of the digital computers which later begin to effect such developments, but she clearly feels the stirrings of artificial life even as industrialization begins and does much to programme the dreams and nightmares of the next two centuries of its acceleration

The processes which feed into this emergent activity have no point of origin. Although they were gathering pace for some time before the computer arrives on the scene, its engineering changes everything. regardless of recent portrayals of computers — and, by extension, all machines and all aspects of the telecoms revolution — as predominantly masculine tools, there is a long history of such intimate and influential connections between women and modernity's machines. The first telephonists, operators and calculators were women, as were the first computers, and even the first computer programmers. Ada Lovelace wrote the software for the 1840s Analytical Engine, a prototype computer which was never built, and when such a machine was finally constructed in the 1940s, it to was programmed by a woman, Grace Murray Hopper. Both women have left their legacies: ADA is now the name of a US military programming language, and one of Hopper's claims to fame is the word 'bug', which was first used when she found a dead moth in the workings of Mark 1. And as women increasingly interact with the computers whose exploratory use was once monopolized by men, the qualities and apparent absences once defined as female become continuous with those ascribed to the new machines.

Unlike previous machines, which tend to have some single purpose, the computer functions as a general purpose system which can, in effect, do anything. It can simulate the operations of, for example, the typewriter, and while it is running a word-processing program, this, in effect, is precisely what it is. But the computer is always more — or less — than the set of actual functions it fulfils at any particular time: as an implementation of Alan Turing's abstract machine, the computer is virtually real.³ Like Irigaray's woman, it can turn its invisible, non-existent self to anything: it runs any programs, and simulates all operations, even those of its own functioning. This is the woman who 'doesn't know what she wants', and cannot say what she is, or thinks, and yet still, of course, persists as through 'elsewhere', as Irigaray often writes. This is the complexity of a system beyond representation, something beyond expression in the existing discursive structures, the 'Nothing. Everything' with which Irigaray's woman responds when they ask her: 'what are you thinking?' (Irigaray 1985b: 29).

Thus what they desire is precisely nothing, and at the same time, everything. Always something more and something else besides that one — sexual organ, for example — that you give them, attribute to them; [something which] involves a different economy more than anything else, one that upsets the linearity of a project, undermines the goal-object of a desire, diffuses the polarization towards a single pleasure, disconcerts fidelity to a single discourse. (Irigaray 1985b: 29-30)

Irigaray's woman has never had a unified role: mirror, screen, commodity; means of communications and reproduction; carrier and weaver; carer and whore; machine assemblage in the service of the species; a general purpose system of simulation and self-stimulation. It may have been woman's fluid character which has deprived her of all possibility of identity with herself within such a logic' (Irigaray 1985b: 109), but if fluidity has been configured as a matter of deprivation and disadvantage in the past, it is a positive advantage in a feminized future for which identity is nothing more than a liability. It is her 'inexhaustible aptitude for mimicry' which makes her 'the living foundation for the whole staging of the world' (Irigaray 1991: 118). Her very inability to concentrate now connects with the parallel processing of machines which function without unified control.

Neural nets function in a way which has less to do with the rigours of orthodox logic than with the intuitive leaps and cross-connections which characterize what has been pathologized as hysteria, which is said to be marked by a 'lack of inhibition and control in its associations' between ideas which are dangerously 'cut off from associative connection with the other ideas, but can be associated among themselves, and thus form the more or less highly organized rudiment of a second consciousness' (Freud and Breuer 1991: 66-7). Hysteria is the point at which association gets a little too free, spinning off in its own directions and making links without reference to any central core. And if hysteria has functioned as a paralysing pathology of the sex that is not one, 'in hysteria there is at the same time the possibility of another mode of "production"... maintained in latency. Perhaps as a cultural reserve yet to come?' (Irigaray 1985b: 138).

Freud's hysterical ideas grow 'out of the day-dreams which are so common even in healthy people and to which needlework and similar occupation render women particularly prone' (Freud and Breuer 1991; 66). It is said that Ada Lovelace, herself defined as hysterical, "wove her daydreams into seemingly authentic calculations' (Langton Moore 1977: 216). Working with Charles Babbage on the nineteenth-century Analytical Engine, Lovelace lost her tortured self on the planes of mathematical complexity, writing the software for a machine which would take a hundred years to build. Unable to find the words for them, she programs a mathematics in which to communicate the abstraction and complexity of her thoughts.⁴

Lovelace and Babbage took their inspiration from the early nineteenth-century Jacquard loom, crucial both to the processes of automation integral to the industrial revolution, and to the emergence of the modern computer. The loom worked on the basis of punched paper programs, a system necessitated by the peculiar complexity of weaving which has always placed the activity in the forefront of technological advance. If weaving has played such a crucial role in the history of computing, it is also the key to one of the most extraordinary sites of woman-machine interface which short-circuits their prescribed relationship and persists regardless of what man effects and defines as the history of technology.

Weaving is the exemplary case of a denigrated female craft which now turns out to be intimately connected to the history of computing and the digital technologies. Plaiting and weaving are the 'only contributions to the history of discoveries and inventions' (Freud 1985: 167) which freud is willing to ascribe to women. He tells a story in which weaving emerges as a simulation of what he describes as a natural process, the matting of pubic hairs across the hole, the zero, the nothing to be seen. Freud intends no favours with such an account.

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It is because of women's shame at the absence which lies where the root of their being should be that they cover up the disgusting wound, concealing the wandering womb of hysteria, veiling the matrix once and for all. This is a move which dissociates weaving from the history of science and technology, removing to a female zone both the woven and the networks and fine connective meshes of the computer culture into which it feeds.

In the course of weaving this story, Freud gives another game away. Orthodox accounts of the history of technology are told from an exclusively anthropomorphic perspective whose world-view revolves around the interests of man. Conceived as the products of his genius and as means to his own ends, even complex machines are understood to be tools and mediations which allow a unified, discreet human agency to interact with an inferior natural world. Weaving, however, is outside this narrative: there is continuity between the weaver, the weaving and the woven which gives them a connectivity which eludes all orthodox conceptions of technology. And although Freud is willing to give women the credit for its 'invention', his account also implies that there is no point of origin, but instead a process of simulation by which weaving replicates or weaves itself. It is not a thing, but a process.

From machines to matrices

As images migrate from canvas to film and finally on to the digital screen, what was once called art mutates into a matter of software engineering. Digital art takes the images beyond even its mechanical reproduction, eroding orthodox conceptions of originals and originality. And just as the image is reprocessed, so it finds itself embroiled in a new network of connections between words, music and architectures which diminishes the governing role it once played in the specular economy.

If the media were once as divided as the senses with which they interact, their convergence and transition into hypermedia allows the senses to fuse and connect. Touch is the sense of multimedia, the immersive simulations of cyberspace, and the connection, switches and links of all nets. Communication cannot be caught by the gaze, but is always a matter of getting in touch, a question of contact, contagion, transmission, reception and connectivity. If sight was the dominant and organizing sense of the patriarchal economy, tactility is McLuhan's 'integral sense' (1967: 77), putting itself and all the others in touch and becoming the sense of hypermedia. It is also the sense with which Irigaray approaches the matter of a female sexuality which is more than one, 'at least two', and always in touch with its own contact points. The medium is the message, and there is no 'possibility of distinguishing what is touching from what is touched' (Irigaray 1985b: 26).

For if 'she' says something, it is not, it is already no longer, identical with what she means. What she says is never identical with anything, moreover; rather, it is contiguous. It touches (upon). And when it strays too far from that proximity, she stops and starts over at 'zero': her body-sex. (Irigaray 1985: 29)

Digitization sets zero free to stand for nothing and make everything work. The ones and zeros of machine code are not patriarchal binaries or counterparts to each other: zero is not the other, but the very possibility of all the ones. Zero is the matrix of calculation, the possibility of multiplication, and has been reprocessing the modern world since it began to arrive from the East. It neither counts nor represents, but with digitization it proliferates, replicates and undermines the privilege of one. Zero is not its absence, but a zone of multiplicity which cannot be perceived by the one who sees. Woman represents 'the horror of nothing to see', but she also 'has sex organs more or less everywhere' (Irigaray 1985b: 28). She too is more than the sum of her parts, beside herself with her extra links.

In Greek, the word for womb is hystera; in Latin it is matrix, or matter, both the mother and the material. In Neuromancer, William Gibson calls it 'the nonspace', a 'vastness ... where the faces were shredded and blown away down hurricane corridors' (Gibson 1986: 45). It is the imperceptible 'elsewhere' of which Irigaray speaks, the hole that is neither something nor nothing; the newly accessible virtual space which cannot be seen by the one it subsumes. If the phallus guarantees man's identity and his relation to transcendance and truth, it is also this which cuts him off from the abstract machinery of a world he thinks he owns.

It is only those at odds with this definition of humanity who seems to be able to access this plane. They have more in common with multifunctional systems than the active agency and singular identity proper to the male subject. Ada Lovelace writes the first programming language for an abstract machine yet to be built; Grace Murray Hopper programs Mark 1. And then there's Turing, described as 'a British mathematician who committed suicide by biting a poisoned Apple'. As a discovered homosexual, he had been given a forced choice by the British courts either to go to jail or to take the feminizing hormone oestrogen. He chose the latter, with feminizing effects on his body, and 'who knows what effect on his brain'. And it was, as Edelman continues, 'that brain' newly engineered and feminized, which 'gave rise to a powerful set of mathematical ideas, one of which is known as a Turing machine' (Edelman 1992: 218).

As the activities which have been monopolized by male conceptions of creativity and artistic genius now extend into the new multimedia and interactive spaces of the digital arts, women are at the cutting edge of experimentation in these zones. North America has Beth Stryker's Cyberqueer, and Faultlines from Ingrid Bachmann and Barbara Layne. In the UK, Orphan Drift ride a wave of writing, digital art, film and music. In Australia, Linda Dement's Typhoid Mary and Cyberflesh Girlmonster put blood, guts and visceral infections on to her tactile multimedia screens. The French artist Orlan slides her body into cyberspace. The construct cunts access the controls. Sandy Stone makes the switch and the connection: 'to put on the seductive and dangerous cybernetic space like a garment, is to put on the female' (Stone 1991: 109). Subversions of cyberpunk narrative proliferate. Kathy Acker hacks into Neuromancer, unleashing its elements in Empire of the Senseless. And Pat Cadigan's cyberpunk novels give another excruciating twist to the cyberspace tale. Synners, Fools and the stories in Patterns are texts of extraordinary density and intensity, both in terms of their writing and the worlds they engineer. If Gibson began to explore the complexities of the matrix, Cadigan's fictions perplex reality and identity to the point of irrelevance.

Before you run out the door, consider two things:
The future is already set, only the past can be changed, and
If it was worth forgetting, it's not worth remembering.
(Cadigan 1994: 287)

From viruses to replicunts

Once upon a time, tomorrow never came. Safely projected into the reaches of distant times and faraway galaxies, the future was science fiction and belonged to another world. Now it is here, breaking through the endless deferral of human horizons, short-circuiting history, downloading its images into today. While historical man continues to gaze in the rear-view mirror of the interface, guarding the present as a reproduction of the past, the sands of time are running into silicon, and Read Only Memory has come to an end. Cyber-revolution is virtually real.

Simulation leaves nothing untouched. Least of all the defences of a specular economy entirely invested in the identity of man and the world of ones and others he perceives. The father's authority is undermined as the sperm count goes into decline and oestrogen saturates the water supply. Queer culture converges with post-human sexualities which haven no regard for the moral code.

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Working pattern move from full-time, life-long, specialized careers to part-time, temporary, and multi-functional formats, and the context shifts into one in which women have long had expertise. It is suddenly noticed that girls' achievements in school and higher-education are far in excess of those of their male counterparts, and a new transferable intelligence begins to be valued above either the strength or single mindedness which once gave the masculine its power and are now being downgraded and rendered obsolete. Such tendencies — and the authoritarian reactions they excite — are emerging not only in the West but also across what were once lumped together as the cultures of the 'Third World'. Global telecommunications and the migration of capital from the West are undermining both the pale male world and the patriarchal structures of the south and east, bringing unprecedented economic power to women workers and multiplying the possibilities of communication, learning and access to information.

These crises of masculine identity are fatal corrosions of every one: every unified, centralized containment, and every system which keeps them secure. None of this was in the plan. What man has named as his history was supposed to function as the self-narrating story of a drive for domination and escape from the earth; a passage from carnal passions to self-control; a journey from the strange fluidities of the material to the self-identification of the soul. Driven by dreams of taming nature and so escaping its constraints, technical development has always invested in unification, light and flight, the struggle for enlightenment, a dream of escaping from the meat. Men may think and women may fear that they are on top of the situations, pursuing the surveillance and control of nature to unprecedented extremes, integrating their forces in the final consolidation of a technocratic fascism. But cyberspace is out of man's control: virtual reality destroy his identity, digitalization is mapping his soul and, at the peak of his triumph, the culmination of his machinic erections, man confronts the system he built for his own protection and finds it is female and dangerous.

Those who still cherish the patriarchal dream see cyberspace as a new zone of hope for a humanity which wants to be freed from the natural trap, escaping the body and sliding into an infinite, transcendent and perfect other world. But the matrix is neither heaven, nor even a comforting return to the womb. By the time man begins to gain access to his zone, both the phallic dream of eternal life and its fantasy of female death are interrupted by the abstract matters of a cybernetic space which has woven him into its own emergence. Tempted still to go onwards and upwards by the promise of immortality, total control and autonomy, the hapless unity called man finds himself hooked up to the screen and plugged into a global web of hard, soft, and wetware systems. The great flight from nature he calls history comes to an end as he becomes a cyborg component of self-organizing processes beyond either his perception or his control.

As the patriarchal economy overheats, the human one, the member of the species, is rapidly losing his social, political, economic and scientific status. Those who distinguished themselves from the rest of what becomes their world and considered themselves to be 'making history', and building a world of their own design are increasingly subsumed by the activity of their own goods, services, lines of communication and the self-organizing processes immanent to a nature they believed was passive and inert. If all technical development is underwritten by dreams for total control, final freedom, and some sense of ultimate reconciliation with the ideal, the runaway tendencies and chaotic emergences to which these dreams have led do nothing but turn them into nightmarish scenes.

Cyberfeminism is an insurrection on the part of the goods and materials of the patriarchal world, a dispersed, distributed emergence composed of links between women, women and computers, computers and communication links, connections and connectionnist nets.

It becomes clear that if the ideologies and discourses of modern feminism were necessary to the changes in women's fortunes which creep over the end of the millenium, they were certainly never sufficient to the processes which now find man, in his own words, 'adjusting to irrelevance' and becoming 'the disposable sex'. It takes an irresponsible feminism — which may not be a feminism at all — to trace the inhuman paths on which woman begins to assemble herself as the cracks and crazes now emerging across the once smooth surfaces of patriarchal order. she is neither man-made with the dialecticians, biologically fixed with the essentialists, nor wholly absent with the Lacanians. She is in the process, turned on with the machines. As for patriarchy: it is not dead, but nor is it intractable.

There is no authentic or essential woman up ahead, no self to be reclaimed from some long lost past, nor even a potential subjectivity to be constructed in the present day. Nor is there only an absence or lack. Instead there is a virtual reality, an emergent process for which identity is not the goal but the enemy, precisely what has kept at bay the matrix of potentialities from which women have always downloaded their roles.

After the second come the next waves, the next sexes, asking for nothing, just taking their time. Inflicted on authority, the wound proliferate. The replicunts write programs, paint viral images, fabricate weapons systems, infiltrate the arts and the industry. They are hackers, perverting the codes, corrupting the transmissions, multiplying zeros, and teasing open new holes in the world. They are the edge of the new edge, unshamedly opportunist, entirerly irresponsible, and committed only to infiltration and corruption of a world which already rues the day they left home.


1. Such cultural viruses are not metaphorical: both R. Dawkins and more recently, D. Dennett (1995), have conducted some excellent research into the viral functioning of cultural patterns. Nor are such processes of replication and contagion necessarily destructive: even the most damaging virus may need to keep its host alive.
2. Asimov's three rules are: 1. A robot may not injure a human being, or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm; 2. A robot must obey the orders given it by human beings, except where such orders would conflict with First Law; 3. A robot must protect its own existence as long as such protection does not conflict with the First or Second Law.
3. Turing's abstract machine, developed during the Second World War, forms the basis of the modern serial computer.
4. Her 'Sketch of the Analytical Engine invented by L.F. Menebrea, with notes upon the memoir by the translator, Ada Augustus, Countess of Lovelace', appears in Charles Babbage and his Calculating Engines, Selected Writings by Charles Babbage and Others, (Dover, 1961).


Cadigan, P. (1989) Patterns, Grafton
^ (1991) Synners, Grafton
^ (1994) Fools, Grafton
Dennett, D. (1995) Darwin's Dangerous Idea: Evolution and the Meaning of Life, Penguin Press
Edelman G. (1992) Bright Air, Brilliant Fire, Basic Books
Eiser, J. R. (1994) Attitudes, Chaos, and the Connectionnist Mind, Blackwell
Freud, S. (1985) New Introductory Lectures on Psychanalysis, Penguin
Freuds, S. and Breuer J. (1991) Studies on Hysteria, Penguin
Gibson, W. (1986) Neuromancer, Grafton
Irigaray, L. (1985a) Speculum of the Other Woman, Cornell Univ. Press
^ (1985b) This Sex is not One, Cornell Univ. Press
^ (1991) Marine Lover of Friedrich Nietzsche, Columbia Univ. Press
Langton Moore, D. (1977) Ada, Countess of Lovelace, J. Murray
McLuhan, M. (1967) Understanding Media, Sphere Books
Misha (1991) 'Wire movement' 9, in Larry McCaffrey (ed.), Storming the Reality Studio, Duke Univ. Press
Stone, A. R. (1991) 'Will the real body stand up?', in Cyberspace, First Steps, MIT Press



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Words you hate the most

1 2020-03-11 15:40



23 2020-05-30 07:31


24 2020-05-30 11:12 *


25 2020-05-30 18:46 *


26 2020-05-30 23:31

"phablet" and portmanteau words in general

27 2020-05-31 20:50 *




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Installing SchemeBBS for the absolute beginner

1 2020-05-21 00:49

hi, is there a manual to install scheme bbs for the complete newbie? i know how to install wordpress, etc, if that info is useful (probably because they have step by step instructions.)

i like the simplicity of this bbs' setup, better than kareha. thanks.


12 2020-05-30 09:44

It was posted here: http://textboard.org/prog/39/143
It's also integrated in the docker-schemebbs-nginx project
Install Docker, type

docker pull erkin/schemebbs-nginx

and you're all set.

13 2020-05-30 11:53 *

arigato sensei, i'll give this a try ^_^;

14 2020-05-30 20:15 *

Thank TeamWau, they did all the work. Create your boards, add a domain name and type the line below: SchemeBBS is deployed and ready to serve.

15 2020-05-30 23:46 *

arigato teamwau ^_^;

16 2020-05-31 11:44 *

managed to install using erkin/schemebbs-nginx but now i get 502 errors when i click on [post] after typing my message.



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Executive Order on Preventing Online Censorship

1 2020-05-30 06:03

What's your opinion about this?


If I understood correctly, moderating non-illegal content makes you a publisher and then you're liable for all the posts published on your platform.

As an editor you are free to flag as a false statement a post from the president of the USA asserting that mail-in ballots would ease rigging an election, but then you can also be prosecuted if you publish death threats, child pornography, copyright infringement...

2 2020-05-30 23:17 *

Go back to /pol/
Politics is a totally unsolipsistic theme.

3 2020-05-30 23:22 *

Sorry OP, forget about >>2. I've read too fast.



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1 2018-11-13 11:51

What are you reading?
I have found a bunch of short stories by Horacio Quiroga. It's pleasant.


43 2020-05-02 17:26 *



After only a short time, in 1997, Plant left her academic post and affiliation with the Ccru, and it came under the direction of Land.

I don't get it.

44 2020-05-18 00:57

Kurt Vonnegut, Cat's Cradle

45 2020-05-26 21:43

Crash!, JG Ballard

46 2020-05-29 07:37

I just finished High Rise the other day. Makes me want to read the rest of his works.

47 2020-05-30 01:25

I don't usually read anything historical or even nonfiction, but I was given a copy of In the Heart of the Sea, which details the shipwreck that inspired Moby Dick. It's interesting enough but what got my attention is the first-hand accounts and snippets of diaries and how the writing of these relatively uneducated sailors seems like literature and prose compared to anything the common man writes today.



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Suicide [taboo]

1 2019-12-29 14:50

If you're just rational about it, no passion involved. What's wrong with that?


7 2020-01-17 22:28

>>4 You shouldn't, but a lot of the times people (normalfags) will get pissy and say that you can never do it ever, under any circumstance. Hence, "taboo". Like even if you're terminally ill you have to jump through hoops in order to get euthanized.

8 2020-01-19 04:01

>>4 Suicide prevention is selfish. Sure, it's important to have the social safety-nets to help false-suicidants avoid commit that error. Nonetheless, suicide-prevention should never be insistent.
The primary reason that suicide prevention exists is that non-suicidants want each would-be suicidant to continue to work and be as beneficial to them as possible. Another reason is that some people suffer from emotonal dependence, and want to prevent the suicide of someone on whom, emotionally, they depend, to avoid grievence or mourning.

9 2020-03-08 03:04

If you're a non-white than sure go for it buddy. If you happen to be white then think of your ancestors, don't be a weak little faggot.

10 2020-05-29 20:38

It probably depends largely on your culture and circumstances. For example, it's considered acceptable by the Dutch in cases of terminal illness. But, in general, it seems like the reason it might be taboo is because it inflicts trauma on the community. At the very least, someone has to clean up your remains. Depending on how public it is (and how large or tight-knit your community is) it has the potential to have an unintentionally broad effect.

11 2020-05-29 23:33

If you ever find yourself contemplating suicide, ask yourself one simple question: did I just lead three Roman legions into a catastrophic ambush in the Teutoberg forest? If the answer is "yes", then suicide is an option you should definitely consider. If the answer is "no", then there are different factors to consider.



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text-based games

1 2020-05-10 16:44

Do you know any good MUDs or MOOs?

Here are some interactive fictions:


3 2020-05-13 17:46

M-x dunnet

4 2020-05-16 06:43

That site has a bunch of the C64 text games I played as a kid in the early to mid 80's. Some guy in Italy also has an inexplicable, semi-vivid memory of playing Dallas the text based C64 game, and he also remembers it was crap. There was nothing noteworthy about it, and yet...

You must play it. Learn its secrets.

5 2020-05-16 11:56

It's really interesting but did you forget to paste the url of the site?

Have you heard of Habitat? It was a virtual world in the 80s where you could dwell provided you had a C64 and a modem. Its source code has been released and they relaunched it. It's a strange and pleasant feeling to start an emulator walk a bit in that old pixelated world and meet somenone who engages in chit-chat.


6 2020-05-17 06:57

I should have said that the site contains information about a bunch of text based games - it's the site linked in the first post. Full name of the game is "The Dallas Quest." There's some source material on archive.org, including manuals. Do a search and it will come up. A manual would have been handy - all our games were pirated.

Never heard of Habitat and had no idea that was even possible at the time. We had a modem, but the nearest BBS was an expensive long distance call away. Bit late to the party, but I'll have to check it out.

7 2020-05-29 21:19

I used to play a lot of MUDs back in the day. The best ones IMO are the Simutronics ones (Dragon Realms and GemStone IV) and Aardwolf. These are all fantasy-themed RPGs and still seem to be going relatively strong. Of the three, Aardwolf is probably the most accessible because of the in-depth quality of its tutorial. Actual roleplaying is probably best in GSIV. If you're one of those people that loves a grindy game, they're all excellent for that. I can't speak much to the community situation nowadays. Last time I looked I got the impression that people tended to be pretty atomized in doing their own thing within the groups of people they know well aleady. However, Aardwolf is notorious for its new-player hospitality which is facilitated by the fact that it has global chat channels, something which doesn't exactly exist in the Simutronics games.



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Have you heard of Roko's basilisk?

1 2020-04-24 21:57



3 2020-04-26 22:55

And you're not afraid of being punished now?

4 2020-04-27 03:12

The game

5 2020-05-01 15:38

I'm siding with the fellow jew Yudkosky on this topic. I think that it's highly unlikely that this scenario will happen, from the article you linked

Thus this is not necessarily a straightforward "serve the AI or you will go to hell" — the AI and the person punished need have no causal interaction, and the punished individual may have died decades or centuries earlier. Instead, the AI could punish a simulation of the person, which it would construct by deduction from first principles. However, to do this accurately would require it be able to gather an incredible amount of data, which would no longer exist, and could not be reconstructed without reversing entropy.
Technically, the punishment is only theorised to be applied to those who knew the importance of the task in advance but did not help sufficiently. In this respect, merely knowing about the Basilisk — e.g., reading this article — opens you up to hypothetical punishment from the hypothetical superintelligence.

I don't see how would it know that I've read the basilisk.

6 2020-05-02 03:15

Now that the basilisk theory has been presented and popularized, when they make the A.I. they'll ban this explicitly. The guys who first heard this theory could break down since they didn't know whether they would stop this but now that it's a popular idea they're safe

7 2020-05-29 21:07

There are a lot of presuppositions in this hypothetical that don't seem realistic to expect being possible. But, for the sake of argument, the real question becomes whether or not that simulation being tortured is actually you. There's something similar in the Black Mirror episode 'Black Museum', the TNG episode 'Second Chances', and the video game Soma.

If you died centuries before the AI, you would have no continuity with the simulation (even though it may have some continuity with you). So, in effect, the you considering this thought experiment have nothing to worry about in any case. It's always going to be some technically-another-person-who-just-happens-to-have-your-memories that ends up being tortured. The people who supposedly freak the fuck out just from knowing the basilisk thought experiment exists should mega freak the fuck out about something like the http://galactanet.com/oneoff/theegg_mod.html whose logical conclusion is that a definitely-continuous-you will personally experience all the suffering that every human ever has or will endure.



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Music thread

1 2020-05-26 21:51

Lately I've been listening to a lot of Canterbury scene and jazz fusion. What about you?


4 2020-05-27 14:48


5 2020-05-28 00:02

I like taking Xanax, turning the lights off and lying naked on the floor, blasting zeuhl albums from my record player's dinky speakers.

6 2020-05-28 06:07

"zeuhl" turned into a long, strange internet journey. Sounds like you've found the right way to listen to it.

7 2020-05-29 15:00

Mostly vocaloid stuff

8 2020-05-29 19:02




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New Thread

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