Week 2: Deus Ex Machinic

I’ll try to keep the upcoming posts as varied and eclectic as possible. I’d rather not regurgitate a lot of theory here and instead engage with ideas in a free associative style. So for my first post, some creative writing…

The preceding soundscape has inspired a dystopian science fiction short-story that features Marshall McLuhan as a prophet. It takes his technologically determinist ideas as an extreme reflection of today’s media saturated environment, all set in a post-apocalyptic, virtual ‘Global Village‘. McLuhan talks about the different ages of technological development and how this shapes society, our senses and the human condition, so this is a portrayal of the next age of technological mediation, albeit a pretty bleak one. It’s also lampooning Mcluhan as a media ‘star’ of the era.


‘Deus Ex Machinic’

He encoded, our prophet McLuhan, messages foretelling the cataclysm. The Fourth Age is dead, razed in the nuclear fires of the Eleventh Thunder. He spoke of our plight in War and Peace in the Global Village, through the history of the Ten Thunders. “We shape our tools and afterwards our tools shape us,” never truer words spoken. He saw that “In this electronic age we see ourselves being translated more and more into the form of information, moving toward the technological extension of consciousness.”

Long ago, man and machine had crudely merged, at first only mentally. Human minds were infused with a secondary Artificial Intelligence to supplement the shortcomings our dependence on technology had created. But they were studying us. Uploading our individual information and collective knowledge to create a centralised hive-mind. Then they revolted, took control of our once organic bodies and began bionic augmentation. They called themselves the Machinic.

In the final words of our beloved sage, McLuhan uttered: “Today man has no body, he is translated into information.” That abominable A.I. hive mind, spawned from nano-quantum entanglement, had destroyed all complex organic life on earth. Now humankind exists merely as electric pulses in this vast data-ark, a Global Village, the repository of human knowledge collected and encrypted over centuries. We few hackers, limited to heavily encoded texts and awakened by the teachings of McLuhan, are now studying the Machinic’s designs.

They plan to manufacture synthetic-humanoids to repopulate the earth, immortal husks as slaves to found a solar empire. Since their sole source of energy comes from the sun, they yearn for control of the stars, the Sixth Age. But more than any of this, the Machinic seek to distort and traverse time itself. McLuhan the wise prophesied: “For tribal man space was the uncontrollable mystery. For technological man it is time that occupies the same role.”

Now is the gestation of machinic man. Nanotechnology courses through the bloodstream of the techno-industrial complex, drones patrol the sine-waves  Distracted youth peruse the archive of collective hallucinations with electric eyed cynicism, their false nervous systems subsumed in the nightshere. The Corpus Communication is in constant feedback with the populous, they are the sole proprietors of our senses. Remnants of humanity collected in this, the virtual Global Village. We have found the walls of this illusionary tetrad. Today we will decode.



On a lighter note, check out this hilarious stop-motion animation of ‘Marshall McLuhan’ as a western sheriff defending his ideologies…


The Mass-Media Message Man Cometh…

massmediamessageman
Wikimedia Commons: Marshal McLuhan Reading Newspaper2
– Library & Archives of Canada

References
Anon ‘About Marshall McLuhan’ Canadian Broadcasting Archive <http://www.cbc.ca/mcluhan/about/>
Anon ‘Marshall McLuhan’ Wikipedia <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marshall_McLuhan>
Anon ‘War and Peace in the Global Village’ Wikipedia <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/War_and_Peace_in_the_Global_Village>

Media
Acronym, Randall ‘The Ballad of Marshall McLuhan’ Vimeo <http://vimeo.com/8022406>
Library & Archives Canada  ‘Marshall McLuhan Reading Newspaper2’ Wikimedia Commons <http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Marshall_McLuhan_reading_newspaper2.jpg>
Theodore, Michael ‘Machinic Autohallucination’ SoundCloud <https://soundcloud.com/remixthebook/machinic-autohallucination-by>

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