Ming the Mechanic:
Technologies of deception

The NewsLog of Flemming Funch
 Technologies of deception2004-11-23 22:04
9 comments
picture by Flemming Funch

Posted on William Gibson's blog, this is from an interview with Alvin Toffler, in "Modulations: A History of Electronic Music":
"Today, the technologies of deception are developing more rapidly than the technologies of verification. Which means we can use a television camera, plus special effects, plus computers, etc. to falsify reality so perfectly that nobody can tell the difference. And the consequences of that eventually could be a society in which nobody believes, everybody knows that seeing is not believing, and nobody believes anything. With the exception of a small minority that decides to believe one thing fanatically. And that's a dangerous social/cultural situation.

One of the consequences of living through a period like this, which is in fact a revolutionary period, is that the entire structure of society and the processes of change become nonlinear. And nonlinearity I think is defined almost by the statement that 'small inputs can have large consequences.' While large inputs can sometimes have very small consequences. That also means in a political sense that very small groups can, under a given set of circumstances, achieve power. And that is a very threatening idea for anything remotely resembling what we believe to be democracy. So we're going into a period, I think, of high turbulence and considerable danger, along with enormous possibilities."

Hm, so should we let go and resign ourselves to not believing anything, as it is all just a virtual reality anyway? Or should we invent more advanced methods of verification? Truth and lie detection. Or maybe all of the above. Getting used to living in a fluid world where everything is virtual, but developing or maintaining a superior sense of what is REAL.

We do indeed run into that a lot of people still think there's only one reality, so they think they don't have a choice, and they can't fathom that people can manufacture realities for them. For a similar reason they've never learned how to distinguish truth from untruth. Because they've sofar mistaken well-crafted realities for truth.



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9 comments

23 Nov 2004 @ 22:30 by jstarrs : In the Kalachakra Tantra...
...there's advice for countries that may be invaded.
It recommends transmitting all knowledge on an oral basis since anything that is written down can be altered by the invading country and, within one generation, the written history & knowledge of the invaded country can be re-written and accepted by the second generation of the invaded country.
We have to whisper from ear to ear from now on.  



25 Nov 2004 @ 08:17 by Jon Husband @24.87.29.109 : Reality ... Culture As Anaesthetic
Hey ... to this point. here's an article from harper's april 2002 that chilled me to the bone when I read it back then, and that I still think about almost daily. I often wonder how we'll cope with the increasing surround-sense of reality-altering media (altho' in Toulouse you're probably safer than over here in media obsessed North America.

The article is titled "The Numbing of the American Mind - Culture As Anaesthetic", and it's definitely worth the read. By Thomas de Zengotita, who is coming out with a book titled "Mass Media-ted" sometime soon.  



25 Nov 2004 @ 08:19 by Jon Husband @24.87.29.109 : Link
Hmmm... your comments section didn't take my html, it seems.

here's the URL http://www.findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m1111/is_1823_304/ai_84184700  



25 Nov 2004 @ 22:25 by Ricardo Carrasco @64.80.148.7 : Now ?
People like me have known about reality-altering media since way back, (50 yrs old) it all comes down to your word of honor, man is that guy(Toffler) ever right, I just think that when he starts out with Today... is not right, rather the argument of peoples capabilities to distinguish reality is causing this.  


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Other stories in
2014-09-27 00:04: You must be an expert by now
2014-09-26 15:15: Brevity
2011-11-06 21:33: Counting what counts
2011-01-23 13:46: Authenticity
2010-08-23 01:31: Semantic Pauses
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2008-02-20 16:39: The universe as a virtual reality



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