Technology vs. Reductionism

Reductionism is a series of related ideas yet pertaining to a distinct philosophical theory. That is "reducing" one to another, usually considered "simpler" or more "basic" in all things living or non-living in the universe. The three major fields of Reductionism cover theory, objects and meanings when applied. We attempt to apply Reductionism to the current state of mass culture and social media.
Recently Ray Kurzwiel, visionary, scientist and ex-synthesizer pioneer stated in a lecture that "technology, as we see it now, doubles it's processing power every year - and will continue to multiply (not add) at an exponential rate : forever, making it impossible to map or even rationally quantify the nature of this digital universe. Which seems forever growing like a self replicating virus, in terms of speed, size, memory and span of life i.e. information. All the information shared between the people of the earth. Via trillions of feedback loops - mirroring like neural networks inside our brains. Yet we are not virus nor a set of predictable neurons. All this information - be it personal, erratic, superficial, critical, cultural, economic, religious, political etc. etc. is finally blowing holes into the archaic theories of Sigmund Freud : A gutted philosophy, that human beings are untrustworthy - The internet has castigated the pan-american game-theories of of John Nash. The online 'world' is witness to thousands of hordes, digital juntas, shifting tribes and people connecting & confronting over what is popularly agreed as 'cyberspace. At the turn of the millennium, it was evident that the internet was the best place for those seeking interpersonal and often anarchistic independent desires and content. But that changed fast. The disturbing visions of Ayn Rand manifested itself quickly into a near totalitarian web : A virtual world yet mostly targeted at replicating every possible aspect of reality : available for every person on earth via a phone or computer. George Orwell's [1984] political nightmare steps into real life and TV - as many leading states begin to spy on their citizens - en mass they violate/exploit people's lives, rights and personal information. Alvin Tofler's prediction of reducing job satisfaction and a technology dependent society, too has unfolded globally. The archetype cyber-punks inside Nueromancer by William Gibson, have become reality : As individuals can and do attempt to bend or destroy existing systems of control & authority : repeatedly allover the world. The information revolution has gradually destroyed all theoretical differences of capitalism and communism : it has bombed talent out of the picture replacing it with hype and mediocrity - It has categorized billions of people regardless of race, language, orientation or color or region as binary forms, as data, as accounts. The internet has also been the single most significant reason for the rise of culture as a global favorite. Culture in it's myriad forms has become a tool to define identity or to destroy the opponent. Be it political, artistic or business. Online propaganda has practically busted the old value systems and even threatened verified facts & information - the order of merit has been vanquished by digits. Binary assessment would replace organic craft by sheer volume and speed of change. Millions of voiceless unsung personas across the world, would step into an arena where anything is possible yet nothing seems to make much sense after a while. A constant state of hyper-normalization. Approx. 21 million songs are sold on every day and this staggering volume is not even 15% of all the music available online. The number of songs uploaded by pirates, labels, artists, musicians, producers, DJs, fans, bloggers and people in general is now near-impossible to track. Why Bother ? As the same numeric logic applies for visual, cinematic, photographic and written media being posted online. Number systems control and define us as an individual or group or corporations and even regions or nations. Software makes sure we follow the protocol day in & out.

Film-maker Adam Curtis points out, with mass evidence, that "the algorithms are very strong inside the networks of social media .. rapidly we are trapped inside an echo-chamber of alike culture and ethics". Globalization and information technology would become the bane and the boon of 21st century humanoids, searching the answers to questions which may mostly be irrelevant if not utterly diabolic in nature. On social media, you or I or the distant Icelander or Kenyan is a value inside a giant system. The same value-system applied to the greek celebrity Kim Kardashian or the super-jock DJ Hardwell or Pope Francis or the president of America or ISIS Inc. The numbers 'next' to us begin to matter way more than what we are or what we can be. Millions abide and fool each other online every day by numbers and serving the system - feeding the horrendously powerful hype machine - and the proof is everywhere, on every major social media network. 90% people using social-networking are deemed persona non-grata. The heap of global consumers. Devalued upon a continuos treadmill of hyper-normality. Be it a twitter celebrity kissing open the season's best festivals for $1000 a tweet - or a crowd-funding guru raising a million dollars for a breast-replacement tragedy album - or Mark Zuckerberg peddling fake political news on facebook - all adds upto numbers which exposes the desire to notch a million hits for another fistful of dollars. The chances of this article being read completely, are 1 : 9610, as per Google Analytics : Also telling me to monetize my blog. Why ? because the website [or me] reached approx. 905,000 hits. A point of merit ? Yet.

Approx. 1.2 Billion people might use facebook at least once a week or Google would host roughly 1 billion active users in 2016 or YouTube would reach to 7 out 10 people on earth : Approx. 210 million 'personal 'photographs were posted on tumblr, instagram and pinterest in 2016 alone. Below these oceanic patterns would be millions self styled porn-stars, celebrity magnets, pop-icons, politicians, sports stars, DJs, cat fetishists, major brands, social and scientific zealots, religious crooks and spiritual hoodwinks and a few million semi-naked women [showing ass] Dropping further fathoms down, the mass majority of internet users comprise of hundreds of millions of shopkeepers - Vendors of what-you-may-never-need products, services, ideas bombarding away at the continuum of propaganda. Yet what overshadows all, from above, is the presence of Google, Apple, Microsoft, Verizon, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, I-Tunes, Spotify and a few other viciously competitive monoliths. Like lofty skyscrapers and hovering zeppelins of the current online landscape : As gigantic icons of unquestionable innovation, success and profit. Yet beyond the hype and hoopla, eventually the internet is a system. Churning endless amounts of data, predictions and numbers into vast amounts of money for a few epic monopolists. Fact, that the iphone is a 'perfect product' made of taxpayers money and perpetuating economic slavery. The Iphone contains several key components, previous developed by the US Military, using american tax-payers money. The phone also contains metals such as cerium, europium and neodymium which is mined by africans under the most miserable conditions - exploited in Congo by Belgian and American cartels. Eventually assembled by Foxcon, a industrial monopoly from Taiwan which employes 600,000 people of which many commit suicide every month] Little do most people care about the suffering and instead haggle over software updates for a faster life.

Average americans were listening to 7 minutes of music on a given website in 2004 - which now has plummeted to give or take 55 seconds. The chances of you hearing new music has exponentially risen to approximately 1 million tunes being uploaded every-week, yet the chances of you actually remembering or even liking a new piece of music is down to 1 in 4810 attempts. Standing as quantic equations of success - Over time, it has become evident that a clear devaluing effect is in place, inside the mechanics of the internet. Like every new economic manifesto and free-market game-plan since WW2, the benefits of online success favor a select few, and that too for short periods of time. Post 2007, there would be no real democracy online. Young visionaries like Aron Swartz would be driven to commit suicide because of State and Corporate bullying - As Tom, your default 'first friend' on, would rake +14 million dollars a year. The age of start-ups [2003-12] would promise millions of people a chance to exploit the digital vista like never before, and in reality would favor just a handful to quickly industrialize all information technology. Just like the outcome of capitalism and communism, witness the last 100 years.

Yet, technology is not to blame. Nor are the exploitative corporations and silicon valley kids who rake in billions every year with our content, our actions, thoughts, images, music, words, art, propaganda, rants, business and selfies. 95% of the information [out there] is a result of Us. Our existence. Our creation. [and not google, soundcloud, whatsapp or facebook or your favorite app or website] Yet it's a reductionist's game versus an alchemist's fantasy : after all the hype and individual hope has been sequestered via inhuman number systems. Billions of investment dollars dunked into cyberspace has eventually created domination, devaluation and dependence. We literally created (and paid) for the internet and the opposite of what was expected happened. Facebook in co-horts with the FBI, NSA and various powerful information systems is currently selling private userdata in order to manufacter consent as well spy on individuals labelled as "dangerous" by the state. Founder, owner Mark Zuckerburg is a glaring example of how a powerful tech-capitalist who believes that technocracy can outrun democracy.

The internet has a peculiar yet complete seductive effect across users, telling us that the value our efforts online, will yield profits or benefits over time. To an outsider the internet is like a giant snake eating or feeding itself continuously : Growing massively. As we feed this schema and live off it via constant visibility, propaganda, information, views, love, hate, secrets, contempt or even controversy - we seem to actually achieve less and less in terms of personal growth or even satisfaction. 15 years ago the much celebrated possibility of individuality and living utopian personalities online has been crushed by uniformity : by pixel sizes, word limits, templates and by constant monitoring and increasing tariffs. You must pay to play. The dream is (almost) over. The final frontier never arrived as them technocrats had predicted. A terrible hoax or a flaw in the system which failed to deliver the promise of digital democracy and freedom of the self. What the internet ordains us to believe is actually the opposite of what is served to it's invisible masters. The hits, the likes, the hearts, dislikes, hash-tags, the embeds, the shout-outs and every social media protocol we indulge in : accrues even more profits/control for the involved corporations : and so will be this paradigm, forever, superior than the individual. The bubble of buying the audience, listeners and followers is bust. The loudest and most mediocre of humanity have now become the Online Champions. A truly diabolic spell of fame and suspicion caste upon human culture(s) and identity. The idea of personal information and space, has been depleted by our browsers and the digital mining corporation behind it. Repetition effects innovation in a converse way. Be it the 17th century or 2016. Be it potatoes or FM radio sets or .mp3'. Be it political or cultural propaganda. Be it bit-coins or EDM. The same logic would apply for a large group of people or the average individual. Exceptional moments and continuos hype would guarantee the rat-race within the internet to exponentially rise every year. Quasi cultures and demagoguery thrives, yet only as tools to serve profit and propaganda.

The internet and information highway is a part of human evolution. Not a biological part, yet a cultural one, visible in the daily and practical consciousness of human beings, across the planet. Unlike any religion or political or cultural epoch, the internet is omnipotent now. This is evolution : or as some theorists say 'de-volution' An on-going Reductionism of human aspirations and innate values, colliding with technology.

** The article does not concur with many existing success models on the internet. Further, it does not praise the unilateral and democratic effect of the internet felt by millions of users, across the world for the last fifteen years. It critically scans social-media systems and the future routes of human culture. Outside existing propaganda based mass culture, the internet and social media is public property and should be open to change, to chance and even challenge. Like nations, like societies, like culture, art and ideas, the people own the internet and the space within. Not the corporations nor the State. Consumerism and current social media networks stand against such principles and ideas. We search a new paradigm : for individuals outside the maze of reductionism. A critical revision.

Dedicated to Aron Swartz :
Aaron Hillel Swartz (November 8, 1986–January 11, 2013) He was an American computer programmer, entrepreneur, writer, political organizer and Internet 'hacktivist'

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