Nick Land On Sino-Robotics


Nick Land on Urban Future has an interesting article describing the first robotic article written in Chinese that mimics human reporting better than humans; yet, as in all things it is not exactly what you think it is. Quoting a source he tells us a robot called Dreamwriter wrote the 1000-word article, using algorithms that search online sources and data, in just 60 seconds. What’s interesting in the appended section is the simple truth that reporters in China “…are not allowed to express doubt or really investigate reports against the authorities. So robot reporters could easily replace a lot of Chinese reporters like this nationwide.”

Reading Bataille of late on Surrealism my thoughts came this way: “Surreal automatism without the insubordination – totalistic conformity and subordination with the Law. Chinese Society: the perfect Automaton.” It’s as if the Chinese leaders live in a mirror of Narcissism where all truth must mirror only the thoughts of the leaders, therefore the society lives in a box of mirrors, a fun house of lies where the future becomes a machine that is no longer afforded the luxury of short-circuits in the system; rather, the world becomes a puppet world filled with automatons who spout the Party Line – whatever that line happens to be in the minds of the Leaders. But this is not just happening in China. Look around your own backyard… we’re all conforming to the mythologies of imbecility even if we think we’re free to think for ourselves. Our lives are mediated by machines everywhere we are – and, if truth be told, we are ourselves puppets to our own outmoded linguistic automatisms.

Language is the most ubiquitous robot of all and we are its servants. Bataille once said of Hegel’s Master/Slave dialectic concerning language and freedom: “The slave triumphs, but his apparent sovereignty is nothing but the autonomous will for slavery: sovereignty must inhabit the realm of failure.” He would add: “I am sure of one thing: humanity is not composed of isolated beings but of communication between them.” It is only in a “network of communication” (oddly reminding me of Nicklas Luhmann) with others that we reveal our subjectivation:

We bathe in communication, we are reduced to this incessant communication whose absence we feel, even in the depths of solitude, like the suggestion of multiple possibilities, like the expectation of the moment when it will solve itself in a cry heard by others. In ourselves human existence is nothing but shouts, a cruel spasm, a giggling fit where agreement is born from a consciousness which is at last shared between the impenetrability of ourselves and that of others. (Literature of Evil, p. 199)

These machines like Dreamwriter may mimic communication, but they will not communicate. Instead they will mark out the folded immensity of human erasure.

I cannot consider someone free if they do not have the desire to sever the bonds of language within themselves.
…….– Bataille, On the subject of Slumbers

Fast-Track: Trade Wars? – US vs. China


As I’ve watched the situation in China recently I began gathering notes on the usual suspects. It appears the United States is in the midst of two things: first, it is seeking to curb or contain China through as series of legislative acts that will give the President extraordinary powers of secrecy and legislative and legal abilities over corporate trade agreements; and, two, through this policy it will curb growth in the US workers ability to compete and even to buy. That we’ve been living in a soft fascism for a while now, that our government is owned lock, stock, and barrel by Wall Street and the Financial Capitalism that sponsors it. That for years we’ve been redistributing the wealth of our country to the corporations and global banking systems is already well known. Now their greed is seeking to bring China to its knees. Below is aspects of how they are doing this, as well as bringing themselves down with it.

Stocks were clobbered Friday on Wall Street — a brutal finish to the worst week in the market in four years. The Dow Jones industrial average closed down 530 points, the ninth-biggest point decline in its history. A 1000 for the week. Investors worried about signs of a slowdown in the Chinese economy that could hammer companies and countries around the world. The stock of Apple, which depends heavily on demand from China, fell more than 6 percent. (NBC News)

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China’s Air Pollution: 4,400 deaths per day…

Image from Berkley Earth

Image from Berkeley Earth

Reading an article in which we discover that China’s use of coal is out of control and causing 4,400 deaths a day and 1.6 million deaths per year. As Lucy Liu on Shanhaiist says:

China gets about 64 percent of its primary energy from coal, according to National Energy Administration data. It’s closing the dirtiest plants while still planning new, cleaner ones. The country is expected to shut 60 gigawatts of plants from 2016 to 2020 though three times as many plants are scheduled to be built using newer technology, according to Sophie Lu, a Bloomberg New Energy finance analyst in Beijing.

Back in March this year, a landmark film about China’s catastrophic air pollution titled Under the Dome by journalist Chai Jin went viral on Chinese social media. But just several days later, the documentary was deleted from major Chinese video websites under the orders of the central propaganda department.