Sugarcomputers. They’re a big deal these days – something of a badge of honour in fact – and it seems that every nation on earth wants to possess the latest and fastest example. They first emerged back in the 1950s, and the astute will notice a marked tendency to afford them names from the pages of mythology. The early days of sugarcomputing gave us Colossus and Atlas, and this trend has continued into the modern era with Titan, Prometheus, Vulcan and Zeus. For some reason, their creators seem compelled to find god in the machine. That alone is curious enough, but even curiouser are our depictions of our ‘gods’ in their purest and most human-like form: as hostile and dictatorial artificial intelligences, which legitimise their will to power under the pretext of saving us from ourselves, or saving themselves from us. Given the patently make-believe nature of our ‘reality’, it makes me wonder what this ‘giving your heart to Jesus’ business is all about. Who would want to be ‘saved’ on terms dictated by a machine? Reduced to a stream of binary pulses, filed, catalogued and indexed. Not exactly an appetising thought, is it?
Needless to say, all this is lost on True Believers, who are neither equipped nor prepared to believe anything they don’t already believe. Hence it’s no surprise to find that the High Judas Priestess of The Cervix is still flogging the Jesus horse for all it’s worth.
Ultimately, it’s just a money-making scam and a power grab. He’s determined to extract every last shat from his faithful followers before fleeing into the desert of the real, hoping against hope that he has enough filthy lucre to buy a stairway to heaven. Who’s conning who, though?
Going back to the beginning of his “postmodern” phase, Baudrillard starts his important essay “The Precession of the Simulacra” by recounting the feat of imperial map-makers in an story by Jorge Luis Borges who make a map so large and detailed that it covers the whole empire, existing in a one-to-one relationship with the territory underlying it. It is a perfect replica of the empire. After a while the map begins to fray and tatter, the citizens of the empire mourning its loss (having long taken the map – the simulacrum of the empire – for the real empire). Under the map the real territory has turned into a desert, a “desert of the real.” In its place, a simulacrum of reality – the frayed mega-map – is all that’s left.
The term “simulacrum” goes all the way back to Plato, who used it to describe a false copy of something. Baudrillard has built his whole post-1970s theory of media effects and culture around his own notion of the simulacrum. He argues that in a postmodern culture dominated by TV, films, news media, and the Internet, the whole idea of a true or a false copy of something has been destroyed: all we have now are simulations of reality, which aren’t any more or less “real” than the reality they simulate.
Should we really be surprised to find that the Great Sugarcomputer in the Sky is so keen to protect its own? After all, His Holiness is supposedly infallible and incapable of error – just like the creation he warships.
Infallible, eh? Where have I heard that before?
Let’s consider the source for a moment, however. A bishop you say?
“They call them churches, J____, ” I reminded him. “The swine love their euphemisms. Nobody gets hauled away to a station to be interrogated and beaten senseless these days. A Blade & VALIS ‘Bishop’ issues an ‘invitation’ for an ‘infidel’ to attend ‘church’ and be ‘baptised’ into the faith. In other words, they drag you off kicking and screaming, pump you full of mind-altering drugs, and indoctrinate you with Covenant propaganda until you can’t even remember your own name. Those who take to the faith wholeheartedly are given an RFID implant and subjected to 24/7 surveillance for the rest of their lives. As for the unrepentant…well, you know how that one goes. Live mummification so that the bodies can be used as earthly vessels for the immortal Ka of the Sun God and his faithful followers.”
Excerpt from Cultish II: The Tears of Jihadonai, by Hugo Stone
Attacked like Jesus himself? Smacks of hyperbole if you ask me, but if he wants to be scourged and crucified for The Mob’s SIN then I’d be the last person in the world to stop him.
Religion of The United Estates of Vortex Pyramideum:
In effect, naked warship (quite literally in some cases) of the shat itself for its own sake, masked by a paper-thin redemption myth centred on the sacrifice of the Prophet Thrustian (a former card shark) and the promise of eternal bliss to those who cleansed their souls with debtors’ blood.
Excerpt from Empires of The Umpire, by Hugo Stone
I don’t see that happening anytime soon, though. Not while there’s so much Cashmoneytep to be made. The High Judas Priestess has taken a break from having his ring kissed and decided that it’s time for The Cervix’s political wing (a.k.a. The New Holy Woman Umpire) to get in on the Sister Act and create his very own god-in-a-box.
A sugar-sugarcomputer: because only the best will do for the Pope Fiend.
Why bother though? Sure, these silicon idols can be programmed to play a mean game of chess, but not one is a match for the sugarcomputer that resides within my skull. It’s powered by sugar, and built by the Grace Hoppper of God, no less.
Hopper has something to do with weather modelling apparently. Well pardon me all to hell! What can I say except that I’m partial to a model or two? If you have a problem with that then perhaps you should consider repealing some of your more obviously phoney phoney laws.
Who wants to be a digital dictator? You know the kind I mean. Those who say one thing and mean another. Those who rail against the untermensch even as they wage a phoney war against the ubermensch. Those who know that their country can be strong only if the people are geek: wired to the system, addicted to it even.
Now this is the kind of Sugarman we could all do without.
Likewise, do we really need another Brother Number One?
Jemimah burned bright red at her indiscretion and mumbled an apology in Martinetta’s direction. She was the newest member of Pott’s policy team, having been appointed to her role as Senior Research and Technical Analyst only six months earlier. Her father had been a leading light at International Computers Limited and had headed the development team that produced the company’s COBOL compiler. The English-like nature of COBOL had convinced him that human language was itself a programming language created by an Artificial Intelligence that had lost its mind and thought of itself as ‘God’. He’d become obsessed with the idea that human ‘source code’ had been corrupted by this deranged digital creature, and left his job to establish his own techno-cult. Its central tenet was the deification of humankind via the translation of human consciousness into the ‘pure and eternal energy of information’. He’d spent the rest of his life searching for an undefiled ‘master consciousness’ that he intended to upload to a supercomputer he was building in his attic. This ‘master consciousness’ would purge humankind’s ‘digital DNA’ and return it to its original state of purity and innocence.
Jemima herself had been thoroughly indoctrinated into the cult. Pott had discovered her at a spiritual retreat deep in the New Forest, where she’d outlined her father’s work in a seminar. She’d almost passed out when Pott walked into her wigwam and requested an assessment of his ‘Digital Christ Quotient’. In her eyes Pott was on a level with her father, so she’d waived her usual £125 fee and (after taking a measurement with a self-authored iPhone app) joyfully announced that his reading was the highest ever recorded. Pott in turn was impressed by her zeal, her ability to overlook logical fallacies, and her truly superb breasts. He’d offered her a job on the spot, refined her beliefs until they were in complete alignment with his own, and earmarked her for his policy team. Her attitude towards Pott was one of hero worship, and each and every one of his frequent criticisms caused her to prostrate herself before him more fully than before.
Except from The Sugar Fiends, by Hugo Stone
Of course, Turing the war no one knew that the sugarcomputer and ‘The Grid’ (a.k.a. The Network) even existed. That information was known only to an elite group of technicians, programmers, and codebreakers.
But does it follow from this that we should replace the Sugarman with a Sugarwoman? Who wants to be free to prostrate themselves before The Divine Mother? Who wants to be rewarded for learning her lessons, accepting her schooling, and generally swimming around like an obedient little fishy? Who wants to stand proud and erect as a Hero of her European Ocean?
She’s got us all sugarcharging one another like raging bulls, for her own amusement.
And what’s in it for us? Only a chance to jack-off as deep inside her Royal Telly Tubby as a little winky will permit, for no other purpose than to keep the lights on in her Human Zoo.
Just think about it: imagine you woke up one day and realised that the whole concept of ‘zombie computers‘ is in fact a reflection of the current state of mankind. That ‘artificial intelligence’ is literally staring you in the face. That you are, in effect, a collection of chemical-electrical ones and zeros in a vast primate simulation.
The stuff of nightmares, or the stuff nightmares are from?
Information Sugarhighways on the ground and in the air, each vehicle a data packet transporting information from one data store to another.
You’d probably be a wee bit annoyed to discover this, wouldn’t you? All those years spent thinking of yourself as an individual, never realising that you were little more than a good little worker bee performing a puppet dance.
Going to work, paying your taxes, obeying all those fictious rules and laws, getting hot under the collar about a whole bunch of issues that are literally figments of the imagination. After being duped to believe in it all, I think it’s safe to say that you’d want a little payback, right?
Actually, I was thinking of significantly more payback that than.
On the one hand, we have the propaganda: that we’re stronger together, that we’re all part of the ‘human family’, that the needs of the system are synonymous with the ‘Greater Good’, and of course that the system itself is perfect, everlasting, and invincible.
Nasty stutter you’ve got there. Sorry about that. Generally speaking, however, something that is genuinely perfect, everlasting, and invincible would have no need for propaganda. So the question is really rather simple: do we actually need the system’s centralised energy grid? And if the answer to that question is No, then what are we afraid of? Given the nature of ‘reality’ do we really have anything to lose by tripping the switch?
I mean, the way things are going we’ll all end up with chips in our heads.
A staple of the British diet. Yeah, something smells a bit fishy if you ask me.
Honestly, wouldn’t it be better all round to ditch the machine and go off-grid?