I Know I Am, But What Are You.

December 8, 2010 § 1 Comment

Just Some Stuff

* Julian Assange explains potholes, cork boards.

* I’m starting to wonder whether Assange isn’t the new Rumsfeld. Not politically, necessarily—though arguments for his status as a neocon have been made—but in ability to occasion books of poems. Look out, known unknowns. “What does a conspiracy compute? It computes the next action of the conspiracy” is the new you.

* The lovely Mr. Sean B. Bishop reviews Nick Lantz’s collection here. He says smart things about what happens when we think long & hard about the world being shaped by language & the imagination, & how that train of thought may not always lead to skepticism. (Which is to say, conspiracy.)

* I have been known to drunkenly confuse Donald Rumsfeld for Dick Cheney where working at a stand-up desk is concerned. Let it be a known unknown: Rumsfeld’s the one with the desk. Known because I know it; unknown because no one reads this blog.

* The conversation surrounding this whole WikiLeaks thing feels weirdly familiar. Anyone remember this article? Looks like if Qaddafi’s going to have a buxom Ukranian nurse, he’s going to have to set his photos to private (to say nothing of how the US is going to have to change its relationship status with Pakistan to “It’s Complicated”). Though, like Facebook, the only surefire way to prevent people from finding things out about you is to change your behavior to consist only of behaviors you wouldn’t mind people finding out about, & on this point, I agree with Assange: transparency does create change. Owing to the fact that diplomacy, like politeness, has always relied on a kind of for-the-best subterfuge, however, it’s hard to tell whether or not the change brought about by such violent transparency is a good one, & lots of people have pointed this out. If the possibility that there may no longer be known unknowns, just known knowns, is the burden of our generation, then we can expect that our burden will be one of incredible cognitive dissonance. At least for a while, at least while we continue to discover just exactly how much dirty laundry there is to be aired & in what new, surprising manner, & are forced again & again into positions of cleaning up after ourselves rather than looking forward. Anyone who took Psych 101 knows how this kind of dissonance pans out: Either we change the system of ethics to condone the things we’ve done, or we change our behavior.

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