Damon Shulenberger: Pardon my poor French, allez vous... (coughs into napkin and takes out another Licorrette). I like to think of myself of a liver of life as it could be lived by many, if we truly took advantage of digital capacities and got beyond this hangup of private property.
A common misconception is that I am against technology. True, I am not a cheerleader on a personal level...I got rid of my iPhone in 2016 (or should I say it liberated itself as part of the Malasimbo Revolution).
Try not to use technology much, but I'll be the first to admit it is working for me even when I am not online. It is definitely doing things to promote fabric concept without my being aware. Hard to keep track of 350,000 sleeper bots, which is what $1.5 million in cold hard cash buys you.
As I see it, technology is inherent in fabric and must be leveraged, if it is to change how monetary resources are allocated, in a way most people around the globe benefit from. Not the 8 families who control half of the world's wealth. The quandary is how to unleash this money without accelerating the pace of consumption, construction, fossil fuel use, environmental destruction. Even the most well-intentioned will go out and buy a car the first time they see real money. Imagine 4 billion people going out and doing this... Beijing on a mass scale.
Jaguaradi: So fabric is a way of...
DS: Taking the algorithm back and using for purposes that promote sustainability, with the teeth of real transactional flow. Fabric is a map-based travel app that enables transactions, with the money distributed as best as possible to local regions in ways that get around the corrupt government phenomenon so prevalent... everywhere.
Jaguaradi: 80 percent of profits returned to the "fabric," with a 20 year plan in place to make that 100 percent is certainly ambitious....
DS: The point as I see it is that there are numerous ways in which the Net can be misused and we are succumbing to those uses. The advertisement for the Mesothelioma Center that appeared in my Facebook feed an hour after I researched the topic on Google for a client is one small example. At the beginning of the day I had not even been aware that such a thing as mesothelioma existed and now... voila!
No doubt, mass data collocation in ways that drives real world decisions can have unfortunate consequences. Given that this is a nuclear era, safeguards must exist that no candidate is in anyone's pocket. But it goes beyond this into the surveillance realm, data is ripe for misuse with no driver apparently awake on the bus.
There seems to be a blind faith in algorithms among the elite, as a decision... if not maker... enhancer. Algorithms dumb things down, even as they make them simpler. They facilitate the acceleration of forces within Capitalism that are unsustainable from a GNH and climate change perspective.
Jaguaradi: So you are really down on technology, in its uses as an instrument of...
If not evil, destruction... (dry laugh). Actually I am, and always have been, a glass-is-half-full kind of guy––and progress, properly formulated, always has been a very difficult point to find.
Everyone hopes some rebel genius will break through, call him Jesus or Neo... Frieda Kahlo... the outlier (as Malcom Gladwell termed it) has always been present in society and its manifestation is tied to having knowledge that is not shared immediately. Two years in the wilderness is good for that, if you do not drift too far afield.
At some point in the near future, people with a combination of high EQ and superior experiential memory will be particularly sought after, because the skull as a knowledge repository is pretty much impenetrable. If algorithm generators and AI purveyors are the gatekeepers, they haven't got down to the chemical-level neurological processes that drive human thought.
Jaguaradi: They haven't figured out a way to suck out our thoughts yet, upload them into a huge AI server?
DS: No, they haven't .. not without frying the grey matter at least. And the manifestations they can capture and collate––our art, photography, writing, speech, and movements, are expressed in a tip-of-the-iceberg way. They do not accurately capture the complexity that lies beneath. To draw an analogy, if icebergs breaking off of Antartica were all we were concerned about with global warming, life would be pretty simple. There is a lot going on under the surface and evolution is all about finding niches, weak links. Binary systems are binary systems––even if they can beat a grand master at Go or Chess, they are operating within a defined system of possibility. No matter how complex it gets, the basis is binary.
Jaguaradi: Neo reading three dimensional movement within number flows....
DS: Right. Even with Silicon Valley set bent to extract the last possible dollar out of each human interaction, they haven't found a way to disrupt this neuro-chemical phenomenon. We can tell when something offered to us seems too perfect, non-random. And we inject a little randomness into the mix, to counteract. The mutability of logic is what keeps us alive.
I call those who apply this concept "endwriters." They outpace the Internet in words or images–– their unique fingerprint hasn't been exactly replicated by anything in the digital sphere. They dance around the algorithm and control how information manifests in the NOW (neurologically original world). I'll expand on this phenomenon in my planned novel EVEN. Some algos have already taken what I have published and run with it in directions of mere profit.
But they cannot see into my soul, read things that have not manifested in my subconscious––the germ is intact. Endwriter is incorruptible because it is not revealed until the exact right moment and in the correct order––that aspect is algorithmically determined, because the mode of dissemination must match the technological medium.
Jaguaradi: You are not really an entrepreneur, despite fabric potentially having a huge financial impact within the capitalist system.
DS: My aim is a bit different, I see no reason not to spread the vision, unconcerned about taking credit beyond several hundred readers who got here, somehow. Despite the bots.
Jaguaradi: Despite the "endwriter" monicker, you say that your approach applies to music, visual art––as much as to writing per se.
DS: It even applies to the act of living in an original way. The practice of outpacing the bots and crawlers in a way that preserves privacy, because the algorithm hasn't cracked the code yet. And never can if endwriting is properly practiced. As Leonard Cohen put it, realizing that the only inherent limitations lay within, "I have tried in my way to be free."
Jaguaradi: So if there was an endwriter who created content of such originality that the content could not be codified, replicated?
DS: He would be Jesus. (They both laugh for a second, draw silent). He would be very sought after, because he gets in there at the end of the digital conversation. He is surfing the tip of the wave so to speak.
Jaguaradi: And the other content is....
DS: A vast well of meaning wanting to get out but unable to at the exact moment of the NOW, when it has maximum effect. Because these creators inhabit the end of the conversation––the point at which content is shared––they are called endwriters.
Slight confession though... this was all thought up after the fact. It really comes from endurancewriter, a pre-EVEN breakthrough I had. Something that took root at around the 36th hour of a really crazy poker tournament, the equivalent of trench warfare with cards.
Jaguaradi: Can you give me a concrete example of this digital-outlier-sic-endwriter concept?
DS: You remember Cameron Harris, who wrote all that fake news that got seen at exactly the right time for Donald Trump to get a major boost against Hillary Clinton? That is a very crude, early stage manifestation of the phenomenon. Harris had enough inside knowledge of something not true to get it out the the public as "news" before familiar media outlets and vetters––the traditional gatekeepers if you will––outed it as not true.
Harris was an endwriter in the sense of knowing the current digital cusp and being able to write his pieces with enough credibility and conviction such that it was spread organically through shares among gullible people. Algorithmically spread at first, it took root among humans as intended––it was perhaps designed to influence those for whom English is not a first language and do not read much... and thus sway social network communities that drive our shared concept of the truth.
Jaguaradi: Moving on to your tangible breakthrough moment, the limerick that got you noticed. The one about Rick Perry's aha! moment realizing he was tasked with handling nuclear codes....
DS: Yeah, that.