Monday, November 26, 2012

Deep Logistics

Logistics deals with the procurement, maintenance, and transportation of materials, facilities, and personnel (or their telepresented talents and skills). Although traditionally a military activity, logistics is the now way of the future. College degrees are now offered in logistics. Even in the digital age, where designs and information are piped via wires and airwaves, materials are still used. If materials are used, materials will need to be moved from places of plenty to places of scarcity. My suspicion is, since I agree with Landauer's Principle that Information is Physical, even if we ever become some type of Star Trek pure energy beings, logistics will still be with us. After all, even the consciousness of a pure energy being will need to be housed in pure energy, a kugelblitz of some kind, or more likely, a zusammenbindenkugelblitz.

In any case, what with the developed world's obsession with modularity resulting in commodification being turned into a value-added process resulting in plug'nplay factories for the developed world, logistics will be with us for basically forever. Couple this with the notion of a consumption cycle equivalent to the hydrological cycle, and you can see how the movement of materials, facilities, and personnel (or their telepresented talents and skills) is the way of the future.

Logistics, obviously, is ancient, known to go back to the title of "logistickas" for military officers in the Greek and Roman empires, but an activity far older, as old as for however long men have mimicked ants. Only recently has the empirical art taken on some aspects of science, back to perhaps the 19th century methods of time and motion studies, forward to when models using linear equations were domesticated, now advanced to virtual worlds of contingency planning on supercomputers, used by both industry and government, and manifested in such processes as just-in-time manufacturing.

These attempts to produce hyper-efficient - yet exceedingly brittle - networks of instrumentalities I would neologize as "shallow logisitics". And in today's plutonomy, our current flavor of capitalism based upon the Anglo-American metastasizing tumor method of capitalization, where the economic goals are as short-sighted as the end of a fat plutocrat's short dick, shallow works quite well - until things go boom (which apparently happens every five to seven years and you should just fucking get used to it).

Actually, I think we've moved into fire-ant capitalism - evidenced, for example, by Naomi Klein's book The Shock Doctrine, or Chrystia Freeland's book on Plutocrats - of moving beyond mere creative destruction into the realm of deeply disturbed environmental rapine and slaughter.

So, it is time to use those supposedly well-developed frontal lobes, and start looking a bit further ahead. It's time to develop Deep Logistics. Deep logistics is really no different from the shallow kind, the same methods and processes are used, but instead it is more of an attitude. A Deep Time attitude. Deep Logistics is the adoption of adult self-restraint, the pursuit of the "long-term greed" that characterized the behavior at Goldman Sachs from, say, 1969 through 1976, under Gus Levy.

Fact is, we are rapidly becoming a welfare planet. By this I mean, the Anthropocene is here, has been here at least since the extinction of the megafauna some 40-50,000 years go, certainly since the advent of pastoral and agricultural practices some 12-15,000 years, most definitely from the accelerating mass extinction events with the arrival of industrial manufacturing and agriculture. Like it or not, because of our meddling, any pristine unpeopled area of Earth no longer exists, and in fact, any so-called "natural" area, such as Yellowstone, is even more artificial and carefully managed than the Exclusion Zone around Chernobyl. (I happen to agree with Paul Wapner in his book Living Through the End of Nature, in which he comes to essentially the same conclusion - like it or not, as the apex predator in the natural world, mankind is now kind of stuck with the world as it is, and the best we can hope for is to at least arrive at a state of minimal impact).

People seem to think that, when it comes to economics, an either-or fallacy exits of either Capitalism or Communism, either anarcho-marketing illogic and inefficiencies or the static and dead crystallization of  central planning. I'm pretty sure there are at least 33 flavors of either system, and quite a bit of blending as well (indeed, few people seem to realized just how much central planning is involved in capitalism, and how much competition can occur in a communal environment). But the historical sticking point in either system has been the frontier mentality espoused by the main players - Russia and the United States. Both were presented with a bizarre and anomalous condition, resulting in abnormal and aberrant psychotic mass behaviors, of free land and labor, or exceedingly cheap land and labor. As such, like the little fire ant graced the present of a depopulated landscape, both systems entered the lowest-common-denominator regime of easy rewards, microscopic attention spans, juvenile behavior, and that curious criminality known as the tyranny of the infant.

The problem is not the behaviors per se. After all, biological life is exploitative, punishment averse and reward seeking. The problem is the time span. If we can somehow modify our behaviors before circumstances dictate our responses, we stand a small chance of not just surviving, but surviving in a livable environment. And the only sliver lining in what seems to be the inevitable crash is the delight in knowing that the Wall Street plutocrats and their minions (their delusional self-image not withstanding) will be the most ill-equipped to live in a dystopian Road Warrior future - first to whine, first to be smacked in the mouth and told to shut the fuck up, first to starve, first to be eaten, first to be made into lampshades. I say this with great confidence when, considering they can barely handle holding their bladder when they "don't get up to take a pee while holding a position", they are at a severe disadvantage to people in Guiyu, the People's Republic of China, who willing to expose their children to widespread lead poisoning in order to recycle circuit boards for the gold they contain. Or to Mexican line workers in chicken flensing factories in the Southeast- where they have vending machines filled with painkillers. Or even, a blue-collar working girl I know who had her fingers pinched off, sewn back on, and returned to work the next day. Quite simply, you pussified, short-sighted Wall Street trader asshole, you're name in China, or Indonesia, or Africa, or Brazil, or roughneck North America is "Breakfast". The only way to change things is to start including the welfare of other people in your seriously fucked-up solipsist's nightmare of a world. Because, so far, there's no reason for them to think charitably about you.

(I'm not really sure how this ended up being a diatribe against some silly little puffed up cocksucking Wall Street rooster boy dickshit, but this is a random walk, so...)


  1. I agree that morality always contains a time element or it is meaningless. But which time element is the just, righteous one?
    10 years? 100? 10,000? 10,000,000?

    It's a genuinely interesting question. Even if you are solidly human-centic (as opposed to pro-mammal or pro-biosphere) you come up with a radically different moral structure based on your timeframe.

    So, assuming we are all pro-human, and in favor of a meritocracy, what timeframe do we couch that within?

    1. You got it, man! So, right, what's a proper duration to engage a righteous wrath? A million years? Too long? Too generous given our nature? Certainly at least a thousand, wouldn't you think? A hundred? Bah! Far too trivial a pursuit. And ten, twenty, a human generation? I'd say quit wasting my fucking time to that kind of shit!

    2. Multiple time frames, synced to the processes occurring naturally around us. Start with the shortest cycles, the ones we can potentially best grasp and then extend to longer cycles. Consider the logistics of forward knowledge transfer since long cycles extend past any individual's comprehension.