2020-05-08 | Journal | Pronoia Stretch
Two days ago I moved on from codrust to mudhut. Codrust marks a period from last August until this week. I used to do this in my journal/blog with sections named after food (hawg burger, electric fried hot dogs, etc.). I don't generally know why I'm shifting, but I can tell when it is time. Sure, if pressed, I can come up with a reason, but usually it is wrong, as I find out later. For instance, I shifted last August, and was laid off a month later.
Things don't really happen as we are consciously aware of them. This is one of the core deals with the journal and dreams. Dreams live in the unconscious mind by definition, but applying words and sentences coaxes out the strangest things. Weird puns show up years later, as do previously unnoticed correlations with colors, places, and people. It is natural to miss this during the average day, but it is important for me to at least try and remember that my psyche is generally aware of more than my conscious mind. Sometimes things pop out.
I wrote a giant article this week, where I focused on using the analysis tools I've developed during the last year. I decided to use an example of supply chains. I thought that what I was doing was finally coming up with a kind of analysis that was rich, but everybody could relate to. It was also the first time that I morphed data flow into something different. Instead of data, I used parts of cups. As I mapped it out, when I finished extending to the more complex supply chains like diodes and transistors, I realized just how deep the relations went. It was kind of shocking, even though I knew all of this at an abstract level. It also fit well with what is happening, particularly with oil, as we are experiencing a drop-off due to the friction on the supply chain, as well as outright breakage.
My supply chain example ended on a somewhat dystopian note, as we are all part of the supply chain. I thought of how the stay-at-home orders were pushing us further into the Matrix, and the social distancing reinforced this. Were we being controlled? Was this purposeful? I'm not sure where I picked up the tendency to first jump to paranoia... well, probably the way I was raised... but I often fall back to conflict theory and paranoia on most things. This isn't to say there isn't a decent amount of valid conflict theory out there. This is one thing I remember learning in college. Pick any complicated topic in sociology, and the deepest research is usually done by conflict theorists. One of my favorites, and very related to my own interests is Harry Braverman and his book Labor and Monopoly Capital.
Almost immediately coinciding with finishing the article, and with synchronistic progress on the job front, I knew it was time for another perspective. I needed to close this particular blog out. The Where Does Stuff Come From article served as a conclusion. I needed to pause. Perhaps I needed to just focus on the operational aspects of Cruft Buster using SysAdminTools and LogIntegrity. Perhaps I needed to just read more and write occasional journal entries. Perhaps none of the above.
At first I thought I would just stick to the operational sites, but it has been almost two years that I have had a steady availability of my public journal in some form, and I know I will miss that outlet. Regardless, Codrust was done. I happened to have a relatively bare blog open already, mudhut, that I had originally planned to do a model with old tech and/or map the Domesday book under King William. I never got there, though, so the blog lay with one entry. I started the new blog by replacing the single small entry with another introduction, and let it rest.
After I found my new resting place for my journal at MudHut, I felt empty. Nothing was happening. I had exhausted all threads. It is a strange feeling for me. When I get in this state, I have a hard time figuring out if I'm depressed or not. There is likely a negative side to these efforts, in that I pull myself forward in motion as a coping mechanism of some kind, but I don't really feel like picking at that too much. Good comes from these cycles... I suspect... at least I suspect enough to continue, and my tangible goals like getting Bobo through high school seem to fit, so all is good.
This morning I was thinking about the idea of pronoia. It accompanied some thoughts about how the really smart people behind modern supply chains all knew what I had discovered. I generally don't think that anything I learn is really new. I can find research and writings about almost everything. My challenge has always been to get anybody in the middle of their career to think differently about anything. I may know for a fact that what I'm talking about is an order of magnitude more efficient, but people are generally happy with what they have and know, and don't have the time or energy to change.
This is where the interruption happens, the surprise. Something has changed in the world. The way the world reacted to the virus was a surprise. For those that have spent much time with toddlers, I am sure you have had the experience walking along with a toddler on the sidewalk. The toddler is keeping up, looking back and forth in interest. Then, all of a sudden, with no warning BAM, the child runs exactly tangential to your path. The kid knows your path and has an innate sense of run-tangential.
Our response to c~19 has seemed irrational to me in the face of the supply chain. How will this work? My understanding is that this is what keeps the world treading water. It is everything. It is our food, our medicine, our roads, our plastic. If there is much friction, there is death, much more death than the threat of the virus deaths. The answer is it doesn't work, though. Here is the thing. I know that the global supply chain is the problem. It is burning up all good things on the planet. It is destroying our Eden. I can't have both things. I can't both understand how entrenched civilization is with the global supply chain, and be worried about the friction by staying at home and the associated disruption. The kids, the world, are doing a run-tangential. We are going to cause a global economic depression.
I finally got it. The people in charge that are running the economies of the world are doing a run-tangential. Perhaps run-tangential is exactly right. Perhaps we need to bring this all to a halt. From a global supply chain, true, it doesn't make sense. Consciously people will say, oh, we are just doing such and such because we have no choice, of course, it is just the right thing to do. Sure... sure... that is the story. But then I remembered unconscious mind and toddlers. This is how two things can happen. We mouth the words, the story, but the real reason is deeper. It is like our dreams are seeping through.
This is where pronoia comes in. My immediate reaction is the dystopia stuff, which is true. We are falling into many versions of dystopia. It is so true that it is a bit boring, even banal to reflect on dystopia at this point. The thing to consider, though, is intent and authority. Intent and authority is where dystopia is evil. Individual people are rarely evil on their own. Individual people are generally good in their own world. If I just make a wee jump and add a little bit of faith in pronoia, though, it can shake me through to vision past 1/x. Perhaps this is all part of the universe conspiring to make things better for humans.
I did a bit of searching around key figures, leaders, companies and the keywords "supply chain" and right there in the search is the basic ideas of what this might mean from a pronoia perspective. You have to read between the lines of the PDF [Alternate Source] to see how it affects your livelihood, but this is a fairly complete report that matches where we are at (from my understanding, anyway). As you read, unfocus your eyes on the immediate, the tie-rod ends bouncing the pickup, and look 100 years down the road. There is a lot of whitewashing in the article. Pay attention to particular words like "direct control span". It might also help you to read the codrust article, as my history of supply chains is more readable (I think... YMMV).
The pronoia bit is that this is needed. That doesn't mean that small companies or individuals won't need the tech for free. Cruft Buster provides this kind of tech based on free and open software; however, the idea that anybody but the largest companies could actually pull off the logistics and supply chain stuff that is 99.9999% of the effort and problem is silly. This stuff is hard. Providing the tech in a neutral, open way, even if it is still hard, might prevent the scenario where only one company controls the global supply chain. Could happen... The main point, though, is that we may need supply chain collapse, and this gives us an excuse to make changes under the guise of something else.
We have too many people on this planet, sure, but it is also unclear how much we are really off. If we just stopped eating meat, for instance, we could likely survive in a sustainable way with larger numbers. But here is the more interesting bit: we all live as part of this giant supply chain. This is how we make our livelihoods. It is the supply chain itself, the global supply chain in all of its layers, that is strangling the planet. Further, we have become the product from the supply side, and even the last ten miles for delivery on the demand side.
Society, the world, decided to just abandon the supply chain and just stay home. So, yes, the stay-at-home approach means intense economic suffering. Yes, it means collapsing the supply chain even more into AI engines that manage end-to-end. And, yes, the typical feel-good entertainment version of this will likely be a part of any change. By that, I mean "Look! wearing a mouth covering! I'm in!" and getting support and a feeling of rightness. I am also wary of the social media culture of gathering virtue. To be clear, I wear a mask these days, as it is polite to business owners, other people who are worried about my breath, and my lover, who doesn't want me to get sick. I still bristle at the culture around this, from both sides.
I first encountered the idea of pronoia in this interview. I forgot how much Robert Anton Wilson talked about Alfred Korzybski, who could easily be called the originator of modern machine learning. Korzybski is famous for "the map is not the territory". The existing ontologies are mostly maps. This feeds machine learning rules based on ontologies. This is different than measuring flows. For instance, I may be able to map a supply chain without accounting for somewhat chaotic flows.
This same mapping can show us how to short-circuit the supply chain so it is more direct. We actually have the tech to do that. It is heavily tech by necessity. We need to remove large swaths. We need to pause stuff in the meantime. That is the idea, anyway. This is only "day three" on mudhut, so there is a huge, wide-open world, but I'm open and ummm... hopeful. Seriously... I mean that word... hope is an odd word for me. I know that I've cycled through the pronoia bit a few times during this article. Part of this is that I am not sure how to express it deductively. It is more an idea coming through, a feeling. The correlation with the video seems like a match, particularly with Korzybski and the other conversations.c~19 bobo
Articles tagged with bobo on Aggie Codrust:
Articles tagged with bobo on O.R.N.G.:
2019-05-19: Bobo and Coffee
2019-04-12: Bobo Alum
2019-02-14: Fish Sticks
2018-12-10: Bobo Pies
2018-10-20: What is O.R.N.G.?
2018-07-27: Toy Rambler
2018-06-21: Cookie Crush
2018-06-16: Outraged Southern Grandma
2018-06-15: Best Two Beers
2017-09-09: Own Mind
2017-06-05: No Man's Land
2017-03-08: Turtle Soup
2017-01-24: slow dance
2017-01-08: card tournament
2015-10-16: Thanks, I guess
2015-09-27: Diamond Hoe
2015-05-20: I feel happy
2015-05-19: Wild Horses
2014-12-04: Bobo's Dream Loch Ness
2014-10-25: What Bobo Read at Funeral
2014-03-30: Bobo Hug
2013-03-13: Rebuilding Grandpa's Chainsaw - Revisit
2012-09-24: Vacation and Crying
2012-03-22: No Compromise
2011-11-01: Rebuilding Grandpa's Chainsaw - Part 4
2011-10-31: Rebuilding Grandpa's Chainsaw - Part 3
2011-10-30: Rebuilding Grandpa's Chainsaw - Part 2
2011-10-29: Rebuilding Grandpa's Chainsaw - Part 1
2011-08-01: Out and In Burger
2010-08-30: Bobo Nightmares and Sleepovers
2010-08-30: Imagining Without Wine
2010-03-17: Carved Scorecard and Hotdogs
2010-03-08: Trout Sauce
2010-03-02: Time and Climbing
2010-01-25: The Terminator Kitty is Not your Friend
2009-09-22: Google That for Me
2009-09-21: Three Minds and IT Rootball
2009-09-18: Steep Mountain
2009-07-31: Bobo Nightmares and Peaceful Visions
2009-07-31: Hands and Lemon Sun
2009-03-16: Creature Create
2009-01-02: Shepherd's Pie
2008-08-09: Old House and Fire Pit Dream
2008-05-31: MCJ Road Trip
2008-04-22: Hot Rods, Earth Day, Nash Ramblers, and Timothy Leary
2008-04-04: Bobo's TV Device
2007-03-06: Bobo Dream Safeway and Robots
2006-12-31: Shed Cleanup
2006-04-20: No more school for Bobo
2006-04-13: The Cost of Eating Pandas
2006-04-06: Bobo's First day of School
2006-03-28: Car Pit Dream
2006-03-25: Big Boy Bed Lessons
2006-03-05: Engine All Installed
2006-02-17: Ugliest Dinner Ever!
2006-02-08: Cabbage and Pork
2006-01-19: Goldfish Diversion
2006-01-16: Whole Wheat Kids Cookies
2005-11-16: Tofu and Hamburger Meatloaf
2005-09-15: Cowboy Coffee
2005-09-05: Project Gutenberg - Surprising Stories