The Legacy of horse_ebooks and the Creation of Thought

Simply put, a human, like a crude machine, receives inputs and creates outputs. A writer is like an adding machine, if you’re into that kind of thing.Burroughs3

One may remove certain inputs—like conscious control, intention, etc.—for purposefully unexpected outputs, and add inputs—like drugs, sleepiness, etc.—for similar happy accidents. This is automatic writing. It takes out the bullshit that a human being has being convinced matters, and the way this human might manipulate words to express that bullshit, and instead creates something else. This is because the inputs are all immediate—every writer composes an account of the sum of every conscious and subconscious perception to ever register in the ol’ mainframe every time that human sets down to the task of output making. This writer is delusional to think the sum of indoctrination is excluded from this process, no matter how much junk is intended to jam to machine or how much free jazz is driving the beat of the composition.

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A literary critic considers an unknown author’s output

Let’s look at a simplification of the process of writing: a human being reads a book, drinks a coffee, and then looks out the window—inputs—then fills a piece of paper with ink marks, and maybe another, possibly even a third—outputs. Of course this human has a history of learning how to read which is based upon other texts—more inputs—a history of coffee drinking impacting caffeine tolerance, flavor preference—more inputs—and a very real history of interacting with the reality beyond the window—a constant saga of social, personal, and actual action and perception—neverending inputs!—rendering any output a basically meaningless excresence on an otherwise fluid and beautiful process of being, such as the bulging of urine in the bladder. In this analogy the input is still coffee—or rather the water that composes it, and hints of the aroma that linger with it—and the output is piss. The process of writing is peeing. There are various similar analogies that I could make that are equally low-falutin’, and I will leave your imaginations to sluice those off the veritable human body.

Considering that life is now endlessly mediated, the extent to which inputs are beyond our control is not simply a matter of having to learn the pledge of allegiance in kindergarten—we are moment-to-moment having whatever we choose to take in be infiltrated by the words and images chosen by people that make more money than us—say 50 of us—in a given period of time. Roads once filled only with trees are now dominated by billboards just as the youtube videos we once clicked are now obnoxiously preambled with car commercials.

Most of us have yearbook-photo avatars that exist in an eternal high school reunion that, depending upon our use of it, develops an algorithm to give us a stream of interesting articles, videos of people or cats falling down, pictures of the babies of girls you went to elementary school with, or status updates of people who are either bored or overworked. Your avatar receives an endless stream of images (moving and static), words, and links, and your behavior in relation to these stimuli influences which are presented to you in the future, based on some Palo Alto-based algorithm with which we are unfamiliar. It is clear to a certain extent that this algorithm is created in order to make people in Palo Alto incredibly wealthy. Whether this is limited just to the advertisements introduced subtly with the all important tag this person you know and 4 others like this product, or whether instead the entire platform is a means of changing the way human beings process reality and behave in response—that is uncertain. What is known is [end of part 1]

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