Archive

The Spawn of Frankenstein: Unintended Consequences

Victor’s sin wasn’t in being too ambi­tious, not nec­es­sar­i­ly in play­ing God. It was in fail­ing to care for the being he cre­at­ed, fail­ing to take respon­si­bil­i­ty and to pro­vide the crea­ture what it need­ed to thrive, to reach its poten­tial, to be a pos­i­tive devel­op­ment for soci­ety instead of a dis­as­ter.

The Internet of Damned Things

We have to be aware that when you cre­ate mag­ic or occult things, when they go wrong they become hor­ror. Because we cre­ate tech­nolo­gies to soothe our cul­tur­al and social anx­i­eties, in a way. We cre­ate these things because we’re wor­ried about secu­ri­ty, we’re wor­ried about cli­mate change, we’re wor­ried about threat of ter­ror­ism. Whatever it is. And these devices pro­vide a kind of stop­gap for help­ing us feel safe or pro­tect­ed or what­ev­er.

Mindful Cyborgs #55 — Magick & the Occult with­in the Internet and Corporations with Damien Williams

We can see the hid­den, occult oper­a­tions of pro­gram­mers, of peo­ple who are seek­ing to get very spe­cif­ic out­comes by oper­at­ing on very par­tic­u­lar com­po­nents, rit­u­al­ly oper­at­ing with­in very par­tic­u­lar sym­bol­ic frame­works. People who are using par­tic­u­lar cod­ing lan­guages, peo­ple who are using par­tic­u­lar setups of hard­ware because for their pur­pos­es, for their end goals, these are the things that get the job done. These are the things that have the res­o­nance and the capa­bil­i­ty, the pow­er, the effi­ca­cy, to do the work. 

Haunted Machines Afternoon Panel

The whole point of myth is that it’s just the kind of ambi­ent stuff of cul­ture that you can reach out and do what­ev­er you need to do with. Yes, it means things, sort of, it has dis­po­si­tions, it has ten­den­cies, but you could rewrite all of that.

Crafting Visions

It’s the expec­ta­tions them­selves that start to change the mate­r­i­al qual­i­ties of our world, the mate­r­i­al qual­i­ties around sci­ence and tech­nol­o­gy, around our polit­i­cal activ­i­ties. That it’s not just that the entrails have been read, but the fact that you now have to make a deci­sion whether you’re going to [ward?] that warn­ing or not.

Wizards, Mystics, Gods & Monsters

As any work­ing mage knows, the first thing that hap­pens when you bring up a lot of pow­er is that you have to fig­ure out how you’re going to chan­nel it. Now ide­al­ly, if you’re not an idiot, you fig­ure that out before you bring the pow­er up. Unfortunately this is Silicon Valley we’re talk­ing about, so that’s real­ly not on the table.

Ingrid Burrington at Haunted Machines

I think there’s some­thing inter­est­ing about a dis­ci­pline that his­tor­i­cal­ly is tied to polit­i­cal intrigue, to secre­cy, being linked into this debate over what is good mag­ic or true divine mag­ic, and what is the work of demons. And I think there is some­thing inter­est­ing to be said about the moment we are in right now and how states them­selves kind of iden­ti­fy and invent exis­ten­tial threats to jus­ti­fy their own behav­ior.

Haunted Machines Morning Panel

Pretty much any­thing that Lucifer says in Paradise Lost, you could prob­a­bly imag­ine the CEO of Uber say­ing. They’re just dis­rupt­ing the Heavenly orders, you know. They real­ly need­ed it.

The Neil Gaiman 2008 Julius Schwartz Lecture at MIT

What is genre? I think it’s prob­a­bly a set of assump­tions, and it’s a loose con­tract between a cre­ator and an audi­ence. But for most of you, genre is some­thing that tells you where to look in a book shop or a video store.

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