I noticed in the paper that Silk Road has been raided and the proprietor busted. Eh, well, it might all have been a government honeypot, but if not, then the guy, brilliant as we are told, was an idiot, and a seriously compartmentalized retarded idiot to boot. I'm seeing a lot more of this behavior lately. It might be anecdotal, or it might the cumulative effects of radioactive fallout or hormone-mimicking toxic chemicals, but it sure seems like this behavior is reaching endemic proportions. One symptom (or cause) is an embrace of Rothbardian libertarianism or Austrian economic pseudo-philosophy. But, that's not new, many people can do truly awful things if they can rationalize it with a higher calling. So, I guess that justifies all the Breaking Bad behavior. Honestly, can you show me a better example of compartmentalized retardation?
But that's not what I want to talk about.
Dig this Ross William Ulbricht question on Stack Overflow:
"How can I connect to a Tor hidden service using curl in php?"Now, when I read that, I'm not ashamed to say I felt a little thrill of fear course through me. Not because of the import of the question, or the knowledge that these computerized innertubie things have hidden agents of every stripe and flavor spying on me, or that I am reliant on something with zero knowledge of how it works. None of that scares me, since I don't know how half of the modern web of technology works, or that privacy is an illusory modern concept, which, through the use of all the cultural and social tools I tacitly accept said loss of illusion, or that I am basically reliant on people I don't even know or would trust if I did. No, what scared me was that I kind of knew what the question was about. But only kind of.
If you have knowledge of something, if you understand it, it ain't scary. On the other end, if you have no knowledge, how can you be scared of it? It's only that partial knowledge, the half-understanding, the... twilight zone... of partial comprehension and recognized clues, that delicious area that writers and storytellers have used for generations, that is scary.
But again, that's not what I want to talk about, but we're getting closer.
I considered, at the suggestion of a colleague, pursuing an MFA. Looking at the various entrance requirements at various institutions of higher learning, all had some form of request for a statement of purpose, usually in the 1000 word range. Basically, they want an fuller explanation and expansion of an artist's statement.
Oh, well, fuck that.
Here's my latest artist statement:
"There really isn't any profound or meaningful thing I am trying to say through my art. Any associations or implications are mostly post hoc justifications. Honestly, I'm just trying to make cool-looking stuff."A cop out? ...maybe. Actually, though, a 1000 word essay of what it is I'm trying to do would be an interesting exercise, and maybe I'll try it. But before I can do that, I suppose I have to do some introspection as to the purpose and direction of my work. And I think it is working on recreating some permutation of that thrill of fear I mentioned earlier that drives my work. In other words, as I told nephew, who aspires to be an artist, "Work on stuff that makes you uncomfortable". Solid advice for any field, don't you think?
|So, what are they working around that requires this stuff?|
They're all the things that make speculative fiction and illustration worthwhile, and the stories and pictures you can tell and draw about them is a modern alchemy, a modern arcanum, and people would be wise to wear appropriate protective gear when working around them, not only with the cyber critters, but the... zookeepers and livestock managers that tend to them... and thus my fascination.
It's all fantasy, but taken from real life. And wouldn't you know, did you really think I'd write 1,000 word essay without getting lost along the way?