Thus, in the light of Faraday’s candle Coleridge channels Leuwenhoek and Whalen (I was thinking) as ‘Ah more eh … oh oh’, shakes the frayed carpet of culture and, as a fearless Duprat caddis fly larva, makes jewels from the motes, even the bits of themselves make interesting shadows, Nigh-No-Place as free network, mostly, the dog, the horse and the cat, creature-creative, I coddle it like a crystal ball, hellbent the realistic mysteries reinvented as rockpool, the rockpool discovered at daed-traa is the nigh-no-place, for it has ‘ventricles, just like us’, is a closed theatre, a Little Shop of tiny monsters, it has holy hiccup, the flood of the tide is a water-god, the parodic acid thrown on the Old Time lyric, dissolving its creepy sentimentality and releasing arcane Spinozan-abstract energies of the part of the trunk between neck and abdomen by which the flight of a bird, bat, insect, angel etc. is effected, one who attends, or person employed to carry messages, and so on, is caused to come in the course of events (beats of 4, 2, 4, 2, 2, 3+1, 4), (‘abdomen’ and ‘attends’ crossing over ‘effected’ and ‘events’), a keeper of snails, gluing the eye to the goldfish tank walls, watching the mucal copulations, the tentacles, tubular siphons and toothèd shells, small piece of Rhynie chert has a druse-like void or vug branching like a trachea and lined with white silica a quarter of an inch wide, the surface covered in tiny warts which I’d like to think were surface features of a plant stem but are probably quartz crystals. The song summons the babe into supernatural life,
And his dance was a scare-crow dance, and his feet
Clashed loud on the streets of glass
And his bones shone red and were sticky with his blood
While he signed for the ships to pass.
And the ships of brick and the ships of stone
And the charcoal ships lurched by
While his footsteps clashed on the frozen waves
That shone to the scarlet sky
the war dead child as Burning Babe Terminator, scratches marks bruises lesions freckles moles how it slips licking paint thighs like kneaded bread dough corpuscle cell (so) pinpin cakes and cherries orchis tubers slab seed cake bird silver fire extinguishers shadows taxis ringtones of others [cf: the videoclip Steyerl uses from the Angelina Jolie film in which Jolie’s character bends the path of bullets with her mind &c]. A more condensed description would be the ethics of intelligence: “Approximately one billion years ago, the first rudimentary forms of neuronal information processing began to develop, during the Cambrian period, the evolution of a more complex nervous system combined with advanced visual tracking systems set off the perception catastrophe leading to the organization of the nervous system as an “organ of alienation” capable of generating a designated mental discontinuity. Through this highly regulated mental discontinuity, the organism became able to differentiate regions of space, optimally distinguishing itself from its food and predators. By simultaneously gaining traction on the spatiotemporal continuity of the organism – in reality, a rupture in the continuity of space-time – and the spatio-temporal connectivity, the nervous system enabled the organism to recognize things other than itself, orienting it toward the problem of exploring and making sense of its environment. With the beginning of neurulation and cephalization processes in the vertebrates, basic computational barriers such as control of combinatorial explosion, construction of models of choice, predictive calculations, simulation of movement and proactive adaptation at the level of the organism were one by one overcome. Eventually the neotenous brain brought the complexity of the nervous system to a new stage. Marked by maximal functional entrenchment, the magnitude of evolutionary diversification – in this case, the addition of extensive structural change – significantly diminished. Maximization of functional entrenchment and reduction in structural diversification of the neotenous brain yet did not constrain the amplification of cognitive processes, but rather forced them (particularly abstraction and simulation) to a new functional vista which is that of the social domain. The development of social cognitive technologies such as tool-use and language solved two of the most significant problems of computation, namely, qualitative compression and stabilization of information necessary for the communal establishment of knowledge and further augmentation and coordination of understanding and action. Qualitative organization and stabilization of information through the formation of concepts as communal components of knowledge transformed the cognitive possibility of knowledge into a social reality, and thus facilitated the acquisition and exploitation of higher levels of cognition otherwise inaccessible from a purely bio-evolutionary standpoint. However, only less than five hundred years ago, we noticed that we are not living at the center of the universe, slightly more than three hundred years ago we discovered that the fabric of the universe obeys and is held together by physical laws. Only a century and a half ago, we learned we are not children of God and began to investigate its implications – even though to this date, still the religious view on the origin of species is widespread and is vehemently defended. However, just more than a century ago we began to “open up a new continent, that of History, to scientific knowledge”, realizing that not only history can be navigated as a continent of knowledge but also it is an integrating field in which all other forms of knowledge, theoretical and practical, can be fused and reinforce one another. What Althusser hails as Marx’s monumental discovery in the history of human knowledge marks a new stage in the evolution of intelligence, which is that of social intelligence. It is a form of intelligence that liberates new demands and opportunities of ‘what to think’ and ‘what to do’ by sufficiently linking epistemic mediation and socio-political intervention, consolidating both as a functional organization necessary for the social realization of augmented cognition. By theoretically and practically engaging with the question of what it means to have a history, what it means to reorient, reconstitute and repurpose that history through the social’s present normative attitudes toward the past and the future, social intelligence turns into a force for which cognition registers as social re-engineering of the existing reality. It is the possibility of fusion and implementation of all knowledge within the integrating field of history – spanning from the primitive forms of Spirit to its advanced social forms – that augurs a new form of intelligence for which knowledge must be translated into socio-historical intervention, and intervention as re-engineering the socio-historical reality must deepen the exploration of history, that is the recognition of the past and the integration toward the future. The discovery of history as a new continent of knowledge where techno-scientific advancement, economy, politics, ethics and social struggle can integrate and reinforce one another is in effect the deepening of the reality of history both in terms of its recollective-retrospective and integrative-prospective dimensions.” The most succinct version of this is the treatment of laser targeting as ‘the eye of God’. In fact, Predator View is remarkably narrow. First, and most directly, a common complaint is that the view provided by its Full Motion Video is literally too narrow – ‘like looking through a soda straw’. It’s for this reason that pilots and sensor operators also use FalconView, a Windows-based mapping tool that is supposed to provide them with situational awareness. There have been several later releases of FalconView, and a version is now even open source, so it’s probably not surprising that the US military also uses Google Earth. In fact, in two of the air strikes I consider in detail it was, in part, juggling these different views that contributed to wrong targeting decisions. (There are projects that provide a wider field of view – the nine-camera suite of Gorgon Stare – and others that integrate imagery from multiple sources, like Raytheon’s Zeus, which is intended to supplant FalconView as the ‘primary mission execution tool’). But in the air strikes that I consider those involved in these networked operations are also busy communicating via radio and – crucially – via the typed messages displayed in mIRC’sonline chat windows. In the case of the ‘friendly fire’ incident in the Sangin Valley in 2011, the pilot and sensor operator were unaware of crucial entries made by image analysts in mIRC and of private (or ‘whisper’) chats to the Mission Intelligence Coordinator. That’s not entirely surprising. Once permission has been given to engage a target, ‘KILL CHAIN” is typed into the room to minimise extraneous chatter that might otherwise visually distract and so ‘degrade’ the strike. According to the Mission Intelligence Controller for the Sangin incident: ‘When we got a standby for a 9-line [strike briefing] we put [KILLCHAIN] in the mIRC room to shut down chatter so we can be heads down supporting the pilot and the sensor … as they are getting ready for a possible Hellfire shot our whatever action … That’s our job, to be their third set of eyes …’ That third set of eyes is vital, though of little use if its responses are shut down. In this case the pilot was paying no attention to mIRC because he was fully occupied: ‘I did not see the chat in the main mission room after seeing muzzle flashes. From that point on, my focus was clear concise communications with the [Joint Terminal Attack Controller] and ensuing [Close Air Support] comms, 9 line etc. At this point I was also focused on keeping the aircraft in position to maintain FMV on the individuals. I was also getting the aircraft into the [Weapons Engagement Zone]. Winds were 30 knots out of the west so I had to make sure I kept the aircraft position and direction in cross check.’ All of this suggests that it is unduly narrow to focus the analytical gaze on the Full Motion Video feeds. But there’s more.
It is always risky to rub sand
In real time
Over a diminishing plot
But when we’re alone we revert
To love, and why not?
And to this day more people live in countries than in cities
Where they know the names and habits of both visible and hidden birds
Being familiar with their practices
Crowded together like gossip
With its transitional and terminal motifs
And then dispersed
And I can see that in these narrative distortions false inevitabilities appear
Ordinary motifs, like patterns in linoleum which we discern and know to have no meaning, but which seem nonetheless to assert themselves as if they were determinate, necessitated, and harbingers of moral significance
Design (perhaps by definition) seems to guarantee outcome
Each outcome is intermediary – the very purpose of pattern is to be reassuring
It’s like playing music on a glass floor
The floor cracks
And the musicians wearing pants to protect their soft tissue keep squealing that they are innocent
And there is ambiguity
By playing perhaps placing was meant – the concept of placement may be important
Freud says ‘neurotic men’ can’t find the female genitals
Like “In the beginning there were torrential rains, and the world dissolved in puddles, even though we were well into the nuclear age and speedier methods. Constant precipitation drenched the dry point of the present till it leaked a wash of color all the way up to the roots of our hair. I wanted to see mysteries at the bottom of the puddles, the honest account of the passion of whoever, fashioning from this trance in mental colours a stilt to trip on, taking the time that keep your eyes out. This is the justification, inflexibly worded, of the screen test of anyone, leaping on strings up the escalator but going backwards, crutches in knots, hallucinating you say jump or better scream it, The void is grounded in the free. But what does it mean? This is where you come in, your left ear flat to the right wall and your right to the left, and what you are doing is, NAME 8 split up retool CIPHER 3 just fuck and run what BOX-SPRING 5 t get out BLANK 1 this is the game on, including the following text incidents: “NG 6 fla”; “he m”; “the cryptic plot against / the earlobe”; “I’m freezing”; “?”; “clear”; “d rac”; “VVV”; “làm con búp”; “Esso”; “TH 5”; “yes”; “Taha Bidaywi /”; “shi”; “think this”; “ ”; “garbage / burger continuity editing”; “...”; “ckfl”; “I don't want to hear it” and “now for the product placement.” [Actual incidents may vary according to brain].
[Note: Sources: JBR; Tom Raworth, blurb for Peter Manson, Cup and Lip, at Sancho Panza Press; Adam Piette, Jen Hadfield, Nigh-No-Place, Peter Manson, Between Cup and Lip, Mervyn Peake, Collected Poems (ed. R W Maslen), quoted in Piette’s review of Hadfield, Manson, Peake, at Blackbox Manifold 1; Seekers Of Lice, ENCYCLOPS., at if p then q; mutts, “Hito Steyrel [sic]: Revolutionary Spam”, at Blandiloquent, 19 Oct 014; Reza Negarestani, “Intelligence and Spirit”, at Deracinating Effect, 18 Oct 014; Derek Gregory, “Predator View”, at Geographical Imaginations, 19 Oct 014; Lyn Hejinian, “from A Border Comedy”, at EPC; JBR; Rosmarie Waldrop, “The Perplexing Habit of Falling”, in Lawn of Excluded Middle, at Duration Press; Keston Sutherland, Stress Position, at Barque Press; blurb for Keston Sutherland, Stress Position, at Barque Press]