Power

At the centre of what I have enjoyed for most of my life is as a creative, a teacher and the mixed and decadent world of the artist, the aesthete. When I see things, hear things, smell things, touch things I gain memory from the experience, not simply a reaction as some might without memory. Those experiences I’ve conveniently always thought of as attributes forming my own ‘self’, my own personality, not operating alone though rather individual as a member of a community and part of a greater society. 

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1984

In 1984 whilst attending secondary school I read and was deeply affected by George Orwells ‘Nineteen Eighty Four” written in 1948 and published 1949 forecasting much of what we are now experiencing in a contemporaneous society. 

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The PhD Research Journey

For those who exist in the lockstep, sleepwalking world of consumerist society the research journey seems only a fast way to another ticket, another accreditation. That reality though is an experiential mission, through moments of critical reflection, the hovering self, the form that is part of the physical body on the ground but the spiritual capacity to see oneself out of body so to speak. Without that capacity to reflect on our actions, take responsibility for our behaviours and change our course in life regularly all we become are ground level dwellers, basement jacks with a lack of connection, tiptoeing around the real issues in life and making others life hell in the moral meantime.

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Justice

In society we are grown from a young person to believe that if we are harmed or even threatened that there is a natural recourse for this action under the premise of justice, that 'Law' will ensure retribution, order and balance will be retained.

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Connecting With Place

Connecting with place means living with one eye on the present moment and the other hovering around looking back and trying to avoid making new mistakes. It means that the world can be our ‘place’, that our birthplace never changes nor does the tie to moral culture restrict us to enacting, living out the expectation of others to conform to their own control structure. 

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Dreaming Our Reality

I have just watched Aboriginal Nyikina Elder, Paddy Roe speaking with Frans Hoogland in the short film which was directed by David Maybury Lewis in 1992 called ‘Millennium: Tribal Wisdom and the Modern World’.

It’s in a grainy 4:3 format as it was produced for Canadian television with a long list of co-distributors including Biniman Productions Ltd; Adrian Malone Productions Ltd; KCET; BBC TV; The Global Television Network; Rogers Telefund; Telefilm Canada.

Maybury-Lewis, D., 1992. Millennium: Tribal Wisdom and the Modern World, Canada: Adrian Malone Productions Ltd; KCET; BBC TV; The Global Television Network; Rogers Telefund; Telefilm Canada.

{ Millenium Series - Paddy Roe > quote that segment from Paddy talking with Franz }

You must understand it this way, as Paddy and Frans are not in any way a natural fit. 

The conversation between Paddy Roe and Frans Hoogland opens up the most cogent examples of how we can connect the loss of human spirit as a result of the abstraction of living amongst computational intervention. In other words, location is about land, Country speaking into people, not location as computational place marker, rather an instinctual relatedness with the geomorphology and biosphere in which humans exist.

Frans speaks of the holistic expansion of the universe from a physics analogy, an “awareness"  that despite all that western society has tried in abstraction, it is already, always has been, in totality the dreaming that Aboriginal Australians speak of. For example, instead of a boundary marker denoting what is ‘their’ land and what is ‘our’ land as is customary in Western society Aboriginal communities ‘know’ the boundary through an awareness in fluidity as to where those boundaries exist, an instinctual relationship with Country.

The concept of Native Title as it is known in Australia is therefore “white" man speak and is just acts of parliament that force first nations into compromise and with no right of veto for what will occur to themselves and the Country on which they live. The only outcome that Native Title provides is income for a minority who separate themselves from all others who reinforce they are entitled to live on their Country undisturbed, yet in reality mining and rampant destruction of their culture, communities and country continues unabated. 

 In this short film Paddy Roe speaks of how Frans "gets it" or has the capability of being and carrying story forward, as a element of transmergy, like a virus. This whole story Paddy emphasises needs to be spoken of by those who are in ‘essence’ that carry that ‘liyan’ which is a term that most intercultural understandings relate as our ‘instinct’, our own individual moral compass.

The Aboriginal dreaming Paddy explains is the relatedness between people, law and land and that Frans Hoogland became a carrier. The manner in which this knowledge is transposed is that Paddy spoke that into Frans, the past, present and future as spatio-temporal fusion.

This awareness of living and connecting, knowing and being on Country, is together in one ever present reality, not segments of knowledge. So, location is shown here to be critical, in the most accessible way with no satellites, no tracking, no GPS, no GIS, no devices, no networks……

Aboriginal people have for tens of thousands of years by listening and observing known exactly what was happening around themselves, by looking at patterns and shift in patterns across nature. We could get lost on the mythological language barriers however the lines and the story that Paddy draws into the sand to describe how Frans was allowed to hear story is about parallels, not homogeny and a way of being a human existing without colonisation.

The end of the film depicts the two men walking together in their Dreaming as Paddy relates, walking in that dream and that the Dreaming manifests itself in what we put out before ourselves as a humanity. Frans goes to great lengths in the film to reinforce that instead of following the road as we commonly relate in life that it is there already and that we are sending that out ahead of ourselves.

In summary, in western culture humans are obliged to follow a certain path whereas Paddy is relating that humans dream their own lifeworld path forward and it becomes reality. That will be the centre and fullest message that my PhD could ever hope to realise, that we have a freedom to dream our way forward and that all of these western ways of paths to follow are nothing more than illusions.

Sleepwalking through society by contrast comes with a loss of instinct and those who choose to ignore that loss do so at their own peril.

As it is all about location, time and circumstance it is that there is a massive gap here in the social and ethical listening to story....different law....different altogether as Paddy states. With emphasis that point is laboured and by doing so Paddy points to difference as the way out, not homogeneity as the way forward.

As I relate what Paddy Roe has to say in this film with my own research I equate the concepts that Paddy speaks of with deep listening. The converse position will be disastrous for humanity if engineers don’t listen to any more than a western science fiction. As Paddy and Frans relate in listening to Country and being connected fully with our own liyan, humans will come to the realisation that the technology is US, not separate to us. In essence, - humans are responsible for ensuring that humans listen to more than an empty western dream as the way forward.

As humans we can learn from the wisdom of those who have a deep connection to Country, who recognise that we manifest what we dream. In dreaming we bring to creation, not just lockstep in following technology that takes us away from reality, knowing that loss of reality denies us of the opportunity of dreaming that reality.

Implantable Technology

“... On the eve of my flight out in a few hours time to Broome, Western Australia from my home in Canberra, Australian Capital Territory as a Researcher I now reflect on recent news regarding the proliferation of implantable technology sweeping across medical, banking & finance, insurance and social services sectors in the world.”  

On Singularity

If Singularity was a supposed benefit to humanity then why are we all losing our ability to see, hear and feel our way forward as human beings?

I suspect that it is far more insidious than the Singularity nirvana we are being told is technology led and determined. How about we work away from that idea and actually focus on humanity rather rather another brand and corporation mantra?

I’m thinking that this utopia of corporation led upgrades, super-size-me's is all a farce and that the dichotomy between the haves and have-nots is wider than ever…that those alienated from digital connection as oppressed further by virtue of a need to eliminate this not technology corporation controlled.

So from these observances I posit that technology is at fault in many of the ways in which we now attempt to relate (as different to connection).

It is apparent to me I’m also aware of digital technology skepticism as a treated like a chronic medical condition, so, as a Researcher I have to somehow straddle the fence and say everything is a mosaic of greys, not a billion pixel black nor white. 

To acknowledge something new in our lives we must it seems resist, put the camera phone down, be conscious to breathing, to patterns in nature, to detox and feed our brains with stillness. Quite unlike what our would be Gods of the fake spiritual club would be telling us. Both previous sentences would suggest I have a position of this topic and others would claim an outright and abject bias.

I didn’t pick the fight, simply have a personal opinion which seems it places me on a specific side.

The position of technology at fault, that of eradicating humanity and replacing ourselves in the midst of that which we are not suggests we may have to give up trying to make a change and yet as I know all it takes is in listening in on our own feelings when we scroll through Facebook posts, Twitter messages and countless emails only to feel empty and sad thereafter. 

A Singularity of mapped nodes in a network of quantified nothing seems as far from what humans need right now as we strip, rape and pillage the very environment of which sustains us and for how long? Computational zillions of zeros and ones all stacked up to extinguish the Anthropocene and thats a good thing?

I think there is a lot to be said here about the way traditional members of the Australian Aboriginal community disregard digital connections in preference for country led thinking and learning “on country” as it is described. Paddy Roe, Nyikina elder and Traditional Custodian posits that to survive we can’t live a life where we abandon dreaming our way forward that is country connected.

Not a hypothetical rather a manifestation of what exists in absolute reality.

Likewise Nyikina elder and Traditional Custodian Dr. Anne Poelina also suggests that these very technologies we pinned such great hopes on pulling communities out of poverty as nothing more that an edifice, an archetype and remnant of tools so insidious as to be irrelevant to culture, merely a distraction. 

"...Technologies cause us to be automatic, not realistic, They cause us to stop knowing our liyan, our instinct. They stop us knowing ourselves." 

Dr. Anne Poelina, Nyikina Elder, Fitzroy River, Kimberley Region, Australia - Balkinjirr Community - 18 April, 2016

Bringing into focus technology that is for humanity means acknowledging the social and ethical implications these BWC technologies have upon humanity, not simply a slogan that posits a determinism defined by the technology created by a few to rule and lord over many.

The Liminal Self

The following is what I'd originally written in defense of using the term 'I' or first person in my thesis. This decision was soon changed as I learned of the myriad of issues writing in first person causes for examiners and supervisors alike.

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Reluctance Of Interviewees

I’ve now compiled a detailed list of the interviewees (confirmed participants) and the general setup, tools, backups and so on.

To do’s;

  • Write about the ‘reluctance’ of interviewees including [ removed ] who declined to be interviewed;

  • [ removed ] was repeatedly not contactable despite immediate response for all IASTAS’13 preparations through his PR team;

  • Those who didn't wish to be identified for cultural, privacy and personal security reasons;

  • Those who didn't wish to be recorded ie. Professor Teemu Leinonen;

  • Those who wanted everything to be transmitted live rather than a written transcript!

As per my conversation as Researcher with [ removed ] about those who don’t wish to be identified, well it isn’t ideal at all !!

This creates an awareness for the Researcher that will be written into the Interview chapter, that of the reluctance of people to engage in formal discourse where they could be seen to be speaking "away" from their own socio-technocratic indulgent selves. It often happens with those people under constraint of their employer, their position in government and their own personal lives which hinge on them having a technology permeated existence on an hour by hour basis.

The Researcher gets them aside to have a conversation and ask them the drilling questions that I have and what does it reveal? It reveals that they have in fact great reservations about technology and its impact on their own lives and yet they contradict themselves and trip over their own position when it comes to standing by what they said in a probing interview.

Fair Game For The Same

I am sitting here in Broome, Western Australia next to a young Aboriginal Nyikina man who is wearing a GPS anklet bracelet which confines him to the city limits of this small and isolated city in the far north west of the Kimberley region of Western Australia.

I question myself, “…where are the papers written about the Aboriginal Australian’s in the context of colonisation of “body” by technological intervention (ie. the trajectory of ankle bracelets to the implantable) ?”

The room is bare except for a few mattresses and a huge television from which an Xbox gaming console is attached. An old woman lives in the same house and there is nothing to end in the fridge except a three quarter empty plastic container of Black & Gold margarine. To buy anything more means visiting the local service station that charges fifty percent more for every item other than cigarettes and Coca-Cola.   

The only way to purchase anything is with cash of the welfare ID card. I sit and listen outside with the old people on the front balcony to stories of hope and resilience despite the absolute carnage these human people suffer through on a daily basis.  

It occurs to me to ask myself as a researcher, in observance of human people simply struggling to cope with technologically facilitated genocide, to what degree does the State, the Government and more importantly the corporations who mine this country intend using these technologies against these very people? In observations of those humans in other parts of the world who wish to use this technology as a convenience by which to expediently and efficiently navigate and identify by in their lives, I sweat in the topics wondering how long it will be before all humans are subject to even the most “dumb” implantable to track, trace and trigger intervention in their lives.

To me it seems that the next level of intervention is not just of the lands that a community lives on, not the the possession of assets or control of movement of individuals but a colonisation of their own human transdermal state ie. implantable technology.

My partner points me to a book upon my return home, Joe Nangan’s Dreaming, and I turn to page 8 which contains a quote, “…because it was not tilled or harvested or grazed in European agricultural style it was considered ‘empty’ and available. The Government of the time recognised no Aboriginal land rights and encouraged the taking up of land for pastoral use.” 

It now begs the question whether what I am observing as a Researcher is now tied to the same concept where the ‘land’ is now the human body, that if the body is not being used productively then it is ‘fair game for the same’ and exploited by corporations and Government.  

Compersion

I've avoided writing on this topic until now mainly out of respect for my amazing partner but also that its taken me almost two years to actually grasp....actually  understand fully what the act of 'compersion' means.

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