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James Bridle The New Dark Age

author
David Lawrence
• Wednesday, 20 October, 2021
• 15 min read

Windows Phone I've been waiting for a philosophical take on the internet age (the Neil Postman of the era) to tell us how the medium has changed the message and structure of modern life.

age dark bridle james aikikenkyukaibogor
(Source: aikikenkyukaibogor.com)

Contents

I've been waiting for a philosophical take on the internet age (the Neil Postman of the era) to tell us how the medium has changed the message and structure of modern life. This book is on the pessimistic side, but each chapter just catalogs a bunch of problems of new tech without a coherent theory.

I cannot sing the praises of this book enough, it is the kind of thing I have long wanted to read, and here it is, better thought out than I could have hoped. The book covers, in readable and clear prose, the various ways' technology not only works, but encourages us to think.

I cannot sing the praises of this book enough, it is the kind of thing I have long wanted to read, and here it is, better thought out than I could have hoped. The book covers, in readable and clear prose, the various ways' technology not only works, but encourages us to think.

The theories don't work, conspiracies run rampant, and we all see a different world from the selfsame sky. We cannot ban the world, spool the optical fibers, or grasp buildings and force them back into the ground.

We must re-enchant our tools, if we see them not as natural, colossal inevitablities, but as things made for one purpose, which can be utilized for others. Based on the title NEWDARKAGE alone, we might well go in expecting author JamesBridle to take on the roll of canary in the coalmine.

(Source: www.tveuropa.pt)

It is less a mattered on the title NEWDARKAGE alone, we might well go in expecting author JamesBridle to take on the roll of canary in the coalmine. Things will get worse, naturally, environmental calamity especially so, but our dark world is already here and has been forged by runaway computation, technological opacity, and the overflow of information (productive as this is of a multiplicity of contradictory, divisive, and over-simplified master narratives).

Data, rather than taking us to some future point where all will be revealed, finds us in a world we can only faintly know; our perplexity and incapacity will only grow. All of our prejudices and liabilities have been brought to bear from the very inception of the apparatus, and as technologies with a military origin become increasingly woven into the fabric of everyday life, we become more exploited, more frustrated, and our societies more fractious.

The network that spans the earth and conditions the world (as an ongoing culmination of human endeavor) is both virtual and all too actual. Viewers of Adam Curtis's HYPERNORMALIZATION will be familiar with the temper of revelations here: the Russians are less interested in cherry-picking Western leaders or pushing measures like Brexit through than they are in producing mass confusion and animus upon which they can capitalize.

NEWDARKAGE ends by suggesting that the onus is upon us to become provisional guardians of our world, too complex to fully fathom and wholly impossible to steer though it is. Full disclosure: like all readers I bring my own horizon to bear in my encounters with texts.

I appreciate the reminder that one can live in these times, contrary to the leanings of the species at large, in a state of emotional sobriety and connection. I started JamesBridle's NewDarkAge thinking it was another entry in the recent spate of “tech lash” books.

(Source: www.chbeck.de)

The digital world threatens privacy and institutions, reproducing racial inequalities and exacerbating economic ones, spreading poor information habits and content, while adding to climate change. Bridle offers some new ways into these issues, such as tracing the history of computing from British meteorology.

A chess legend has made this case, but I'm charmed by the term given to a Google AI protocol: the Optometrist Algorithm (“a stochastic perturbation method combined with human choice”) (99, 160). Michael Greer tweeted that the book is “less dark than the title might imply”, and this is evidence for that view.

To erode the physical infrastructure of the digital world, gnawing at cables and data centers (58). The book sees the digital world making climate change worse, but doesn't blame the planetary crisis solely on bitcoin mining.

Similarly, Bridle spends time updating us on the crisis afflicting scientific research, noting that the pace of discovery has slowed down in some fields. The replication crisis, the shocking inability of researchers to reproduce some key discoveries, is sowing doubt across some fields.

A good passage describing the quiet interweaving of data networks through poor neighborhoods doesn't see this as an effect of sinister silicon, but as high-powered finance capital at work (106ff). Chapter 7 in particular dwells on military and intelligence agencies as using digital tools to cloak their operations, while expanding their ability to unjustly probe our own.

technology age dark end
(Source: vimeo.com)

Bridle's charge that computation thinking helps us confuse the map for the territory is one that applies to other, also influential fields, such as macroeconomics (dinged for precisely this point in 2008) or the modern state, in James Scott's analysis. * A criticism of finance networks working through spaces occupied by underfunded hospitals doesn't quite land as a tech problem (110-111).

The description of Amazon's workers being strictly controlled by software somehow misses a century of “scientific management. “** Criticisms of Amazon and Volkswagen focus on tech and leave business, or neoliberalism, off the hook (119-120).

(88) One page complains that new taxi drivers in London can get up to speed on that city's road system more quickly than they did in the past, and it's not clear that this is a bad thing. There's also a contradiction in the information discussion, as at certain points the book argues that the digital world has shattered consensus, while at others claiming computation thinking forces us into single, too simple thoughts (44).

An early chapter makes good use of an 1884 Ruskin lecture, but then mistakenly sees it describing, not anticipating, World War I's battlefields, a generation later (195). *In one margin I jotted down a note about the Donner Party, misled by Hastings' Emigrants' Guide to Oregon and California, because that's how I think.

**In Aviation's great dystopia We the doomed denizens must conform many physical activities to Taylorism strictures. I can't say it's a good book, but NewDarkAge raises questions so important, and I enjoyed it so much that I feel necessary to rate it highly.

tentacular bridle james
(Source: tentacular.es)

‘Tech stuff’, actually not my cup of tea which is probably a very stupid thing to say in 2018 where every aspect of our lives is in one way or another influenced by ‘the internet’ and ‘technology’ and ‘artificial intelligence’. The underlying ‘Tech stuff’, actually not my cup of tea which is probably a very stupid thing to say in 2018 where every aspect of our lives is in one way or another influenced by ‘the internet’ and ‘technology’ and ‘artificial intelligence’.

Since the beginning of history, humans have been inclined to spin complex events into simple stories to make sense of the world. In order to live with meaning in a newdarkage, we need to abandon computational optimism and embrace complexity.

British mathematician and architect Clive Humbly was hinting at the drawbacks of computation when he coined the phrase “data is the new oil” in 2006. While new technologies of the digital age allow us to connect, collect and share information, they’re ushering us into a newdarkage, where the world seems more complex and confusing than ever before.

If the Talking Cricket would write a book about information technology, this would be it. Divided in thematic chapters, each one on a specific view/topic on how information systems is transforming the world and ourselves, the author presents a critical reflection on the dangers of the optimistic view of technology as the panacea for all problems. From climate change to biased AI or Twitter automatic account bots driving discussions and results on Brexit and US elections, the book presents a world If the Talking Cricket would write a book about information technology, this would be it. Divided in thematic chapters, each one on a specific view/topic on how information systems is transforming the world and ourselves, the author presents a critical reflection on the dangers of the optimistic view of technology as the panacea for all problems. From climate change to biased AI or Twitter automatic account bots driving discussions and results on Brexit and US elections, the book presents a world of fast changes, driven by opaque technology whose motivations are not clear, and the need to rethink technology itself. This is not a book for anyone looking for answers, there aren’t easy ones for these topics. Some kind of information age necronomicon which has left me checking flight scanners and searching for the monolithic, unmarked data centers of Slough.

The book examines the simultaneous unwieldiness and accountability of information technologies as they grow ever into our lives: the duality of their invisibility and daunting physicality, their opacity and transparency. Some kind of information age necronomicon which has left me checking flight scanners and searching for the monolithic, unmarked data centers of Slough.

jahrhundert deutsche eifert
(Source: www.chbeck.de)

The book examines the simultaneous unwieldiness and accountability of information technologies as they grow ever into our lives: the duality of their invisibility and daunting physicality, their opacity and transparency. Spanning (among others) climate change, finance-capitalism and the military industrial complex, Bridle stares into the abyss of crisis while at each stage unearthing flashes of radical, even Utopian, potential.

This is to my knowledge the best critical analysis of the internet age and a wildly necessary addendum to a data poisoned world. Following JamesBridle's work for years the book is a compelling residue of his thinking and visions.

Following JamesBridle's work for years the book is a compelling residue of his thinking and visions. I wanted to find out what Bridle had to say because I've been calling the rifting Draconian control backwards trends in the US the Newark Ages” for years now.

Bridle opens with ‘If only technology could invent some way of getting in touch with you in an emergency,’ said my computer, repeatedly. Following the 2016 US election result, along with several other people I know and perhaps prompted by the hive mind of social media, I started re-watching The West Wing: an exercise in hopeless nostalgia. After reading the latest apocalyptic research papers on climate change, total surveillance, and the uncertainties of the global political situation, a little neoliberal chamber play from the naughtier wasn’t the worst thing to sink into.

The genie's bottle is opened, Pandora's box has let loose the demons, and maybe Bridle isn't exaggerating. Bridle's chapter titles alliterate with the letter “C”: Chasm, Computation, Climate, Calculation, Complexity, Cognition, Complicity, Conspiracy, Concurrency, Cloud.

burlington
(Source: contemporary.burlington.org.uk)

Absorbed into the cloud are many of the previously weighty edifices of the civic sphere: the places where we shop, bank, socialize, borrow books, and vote. The abundance of information and the plurality of worldviews now accessible to us through the internet are not producing a coherent consensus reality, but one riven by fundamentalist insistence on simplistic narratives, conspiracy theories, and post-factual politics.

You don’t really need to know or understand anything about what you’re studying; you can simply place all of your faith in the emergent truth of digital information.” He observes Since the 1950s, economists have believed that in advanced economies, economic growth reduces the income disparity between rich and poor.

Known as the Kuznets curve, after its Nobel Prize–winning inventor, this doctrine claims that economic inequality first increases as societies industrialize, but then decreases as mass education levels the playing field and results in wider political participation. But we are no longer in the industrial age, and, according to Pretty, any belief that technological progress will lead to ‘the triumph of human capital over financial capital and real estate, capable managers over fat cat stockholders, and skill over nepotism’ is ‘largely illusory’ True sense there...we are no longer “industrial” and the models don't play right anymore.

Amazon's brutal employee relationships are hidden to the public because we want the benefits of technology: on my doorstep tomorrow? This theme was taken up by Fredric Jameson, when he wrote that conspiracy ‘is the poor person’s cognitive mapping in the postmodern age ; it is the degraded figure of the total logic of late capital, a desperate attempt to represent the latter’s system, whose failure is marked by its slippage into sheer theme and content’.

As one Russian activist described it, ‘The point is to spoil it, to create the atmosphere of hate, to make it so stinky that normal people won’t want to touch it.’ Overload the data. The dystopia of Ghost in the Machine, Blade Runner / Electric Sheep, Gibson's Necromancer are closer than we think.

(Source: www.chbeck.de)

Sometimes the c-word seems to have no connection with the chapter at all: Concurrency was largely about the doleful effects of abandoning toddlers in front of YouTube (perhaps something the busy parent and writer is occasionally forced to do). Sometimes the c-word seems to have no connection with the chapter at all: Concurrency was largely about the doleful effects of abandoning toddlers in front of YouTube (perhaps something the busy parent and writer is occasionally forced to do).

It is a compendium of tech related 'horror' stories, techtrasophes, instances where technology facilitates human folly and cruelty. In this compendium you will find nothing positive for human life that is a consequence of the integration of computation and communications technology.

However, all the instances of IT horror here are interesting, diversely sourced, well presented, and occasionally lit with dark humor. Later he seems to settle down to the more reasonable notion that the ill effects are the unintended consequences of unguarded deployment of these technologies.

It's never been easier for me to put together media and information rich lessons which engage and are responsive to my students. I appreciate that for example, this technology may have been exploited to undermine the debate over Brexit, an outcome which is very negative for me as an EU resident User.

This refers to the fact that when many scientific studies are conducted a second time by a different group of researchers, they cannot reproduce the original results. In 2006, at Zeitgeist conference, Google’s CEO Eric Schmidt made a startling claim.

(Source: www.chbeck.de)

However, new technologies of the digital age allow us to connect, collect and share information, they’re ushering us into a newdarkage, where the world seems more complex and confusing than ever before. This is because, as examples from early computing, history, and science demonstrate, more data doesn’t always produce better results.

At times repetitive but overall well written. When I bought this book, I thought it would be more of an outlook on the future and how information technology would lead to a newdarkage of misinformation and ignorance. At times repetitive but overall well written. When I bought this book, I thought it would be more of an outlook on the future and how information technology would lead to a newdarkage of misinformation and ignorance.

A little too heavy on the metaphor sometimes, with examples that felt a little stretched, but an overwhelmingly clear message that technology and an explosion of data aren't moving us forward as a society by default. A little too heavy on the metaphor sometimes, with examples that felt a little stretched, but an overwhelmingly clear message that technology and an explosion of data aren't moving us forward as a society by default.

While the author (mostly) does an adequate job of pointing out subjects worth thinking about, every conclusion he reaches is wrong. What he calls computational thinking is at the basis of every evil that plagues human society, no matter how much he has to squeeze and mutilate the facts.

While the author (mostly) does an adequate job of pointing out subjects worth thinking about, every conclusion he reaches is wrong. What he calls computational thinking is at the basis of every evil that plagues human society, no matter how much he has to squeeze and mutilate the facts.

bridle james age dark liberia unearthing regarding writes deliberation lesser thoroughly depth issues known internet read
(Source: www.libreria-subscribe.com)

Timely, cautionary, work analyzing the influence of unprecedented access to information, in an increasingly networked world. Attempts to answer mind-boggling questions of today such as why there is collapse of consensus and an epidemic of conspiracies, globally.

It highlights our inability to sensible or fairly use the incredible tech we have around us, drawing parallels between data and oil: we keep on using it, to the advantage of a few but to the disadvantage of most. Gathering lots of data should have allowed us to see the world more clearly, so we could overcome our dark side but instead it can be used to blind us, manipulate us, dehumanize our environment.

JamesBridle draws damning parallels between seemingly very unrelated things like surprise egg videos on YouTube and the proliferation of fake news. He makes fascinating points, like that oppressive imperialist policies are encoded in the physical framework of data structures.

He explores highly intriguing shit like weather manipulation and secret deportation flights. Provides a framework to properly place all the confused feelings and thoughts I’ve had about our bad, uncanny future.

In Greek mythology it was Epimetheus’s job to assign unique qualities to all the creatures; it was he who gave the gazelle its speed, and compensated by giving strength to the lion. But Epimetheus, being forgetful, runs out of positive traits before he gets to humans, and it is left to Prometheus to steal fire and art from the gods in order to give them something to get by with.

(Source: bauen-lachen.icu)

In Greek mythology it was Epimetheus’s job to assign unique qualities to all the creatures; it was he who gave the gazelle its speed, and compensated by giving strength to the lion. But Epimetheus, being forgetful, runs out of positive traits before he gets to humans, and it is left to Prometheus to steal fire and art from the gods in order to give them something to get by with.

Epimetheus, through his forgetfulness, puts humanity into a position in which it must constantly struggle to exceed its abilities in order to survive. It’s the white heat of scientific and technological discovery, and that desire for the oncoming rush of the future, the head-down drive of forward movement.

The illusion of knowledge and the anticipation of mastery combine to impel the timeline of progress, but they obfuscate the absence of understanding at its articulation point: the zero mark, the dark present, where we see and comprehend nothing beyond movement and efficiency, where our only possible act is to accelerate the existing order.

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3 pasttenses.com - https://pasttenses.com/bite-past-tense
4 ell.stackexchange.com - https://ell.stackexchange.com/questions/32940/bit-or-bitten-which-is-correct-usage
5 conjugator.reverso.net - https://conjugator.reverso.net/conjugation-english-verb-bite.html
6 simple.wiktionary.org - https://simple.wiktionary.org/wiki/bit
7 grammarist.com - https://grammarist.com/usage/bit-bitten/
8 www.merriam-webster.com - https://www.merriam-webster.com/words-at-play/keeping-up-with-passed-and-past
9 answers.yahoo.com - https://answers.yahoo.com/question/index
10 christinarebuffet.com - https://christinarebuffet.com/blog/past-tenses-in-english/
11 www.usingenglish.com - https://www.usingenglish.com/quizzes/31.html