It’s said that you can’t consider yourself a true petrolhead until you’ve owned an Alfa. Whether you’ve owned one or not, the Amiga is standard equipment these days, inasmuch as every ka comes with a computer. The Ancient Encryptions regarded the ka as a person’s double, the life force that separated from the body at the point of death. The elaborate process of mummification was performed to ensure that the ka continued to have a home. So what exactly does it mean to ‘own a ka’? It’s an interesting concept, no? With that in mind, let’s move swiftly on…
Language is programming.
COBOL (an acronym for “common business-oriented language”) is a compiled English-like computer programming language designed for business use. It is imperative, procedural and, since 2002, object-oriented. COBOL is primarily used in business, finance, and administrative systems for companies and governments.
Pictures are variables.
In COBOL, a variable declaration consists of a line in the DATA DIVISION that contains the following items:
A level number.
A data-name or identifier.
A Picture clause.
To create the required ‘picture’ the programmer uses a set of symbols.
Understand what your eyes are and you’ll realise that everything is a picture.
Pictures can be edited.
Most users of the data produced by COBOL programs are not content with the simple raw data. They often want it presented in a particular way. Some people like to have the thousands, in numeric values, separated by commas, others may want leading zeros suppressed while still others may require that the currency symbol “floats” up against the first non-zero digit. In COBOL these things can be achieved using Edited Pictures.
In the digital age there is no difference whatsoever between a picture and a picture. All that’s required is a picture definition big enough to store the picture. Is ‘reality’ merely the photoshop of the Great System Analyst in the Sky?
Thanks to COBOL, information can be moved to a picture…
01 THE-MESSAGE PICTURE X(26).
MOVE "THE MEDIUM IS THE MESSAGE." TO THE-MESSAGE.
…giving us the motion picture…
…the streaming-dreaming video…
…the concept of the moving picture frame rate…
…and the associated phenomenon known as ‘frame rate stutter’, when things slow down or even grind to a halt altogether. Very often, it’s the result of a glitch.
Pictures come in different shapes and sizes: bytes, words, double words. They also have different scope: local, global, public and private. So what happens if someone attempts to use a private picture for public purposes? Eventually, it dawns on them that they do not own their words.
If language is programming then what is this stuff?
Perhaps the spiralling double helix of GACT…
…is merely a…
…a kind of chemical-electrical suspension coil, absorbing and absolving all the bumps in the Information Superhighway?
Or perhaps it’s exactly what we call it: a genetic code? Here’s an interesting question: why is a computer program encoded on a punch card…
…so strangely similar to a DNA fingerprint?
Is it because DNA is a program that tells the story of your life?
The grand tale of life is long and complicated. Storylines intertwine and many subplots twist and turn unexpectedly. Amazingly, this billion-year-spanning story is written in an alphabet that contains only four letters, the alphabet of DNA. A for adenine, C for cytosine, G for guanine, and T for thymine. That’s it. That’s all that’s needed to compose the paragraphs and chapters in the book of life.
If so, should others be permitted to treat the genome as their own private property?
Property to be edited and sold for their own amusement and prophet?
Take a look around you: 1984 was flipped around to give us the concept of ‘hate speech’. Have we already got discrimination down to a science?
What actually happens when you publish a story? You may not think you’re an author, but if you subscribe to Mark Fuckerborg’s production (or any other form of social media for that matter) then you are in fact a journalist-cum-novelist serving up information (in the form of news and stories) about yourself.
Volunteer this information and you reduce your life to information: bits, bytes and words, variables that make up a profile, a complete picture.
Here’s an interesting line from a 1990s B-movie about Mars that caught my ear last week.
They’re using us like a TV commercial for their products.
Think about that in relation to Facebook’s business model. Has social media made a walkie-talkie mobile phoney out of you?
Or are these ‘social networks’ merely reflections of pre-existing interconnections? As McLuhan said, the medium is the message. The Truman Race is the ‘social media’, so social that billions are prepared to upload the story of their lives to corporate giants that view your ‘information’ as a commodity to be exploited. What if that, too, is merely a reflection of the operating principle or ‘business model’ of the ‘Primate Change Simulation’, a.k.a. The Truman Zoo?
The android David: a mirror image of the Truman Race, made by a corporation to sell for a prophet.
A friend recently asked why anyone would want to create a simulated reality. Probably for the same reason we create simulated realities: entertainment, education and the pursuit of prophet.
Open-source intelligence? Would you buy a second-hand ka from the Wizard of Zardoz?
How about open source intel-licence? Are your drivers up-to-date?
Open source? Free love on the free love information superhighway?
The DNA code is arranged in sequences of nucleotide triplets called codons. Free love is one of those things that sounds terrific until you forget to lay down some rubber…
…and find yourself suffering from a nasty case of trojan horse syndrome.
It may be counter-intuitive, but paying for the comfort of…ahem…professional software…
…actually seems to increase the risk of infection. Let’s be clear about this though: it’s a two-way street, yeah? I mean, he can be as much a transmission vector as she, right? I don’t know about you but if I were the driver of that Ka then I’d rev my
vagina engine, get my pistons pumping, and lay down serious amounts of rubber.