Axon Discussion

In a discussion with a colleague who wishes to remain anonymous I asked a question regarding that persons recent communications with Axon, a law enforcement focussed body worn camera developer and supplier.

The response was;

“…Quite interesting. The person I spoke to explained how the data is actually ingested into the storage and how it is categorised and filed, so that was very useful to get my head around that. 

Asides from that, the responses were what I expected in relation to data security, saying that they have staff dedicated to monitor security breaches, they use Microsoft Azure cloud that has government security standards, and haven't had any breaches to date. 

And the guy was adamant that Axon doesn't have any access whatsoever to the data, and that it is controlled completely by the customer/agency who records the data. He said that Axon is simply the facilitator of the storage. So overall it was interesting.”

Thoughts On Place

Email to Professor Katina Michael

23rd September, 2018 - 5:27 PM

Place being that 'sense of place' - belonging to and grounded in and on Country. The disambiguation and separation between the human and place occurs first in language when ‘Country’ is referred to as ‘THE country’.

Location is a simple term, inanimate and only effective but not affective. The term is derivative of and informed by GPS and GIS in a digital context, as it relates to networks, connections and 'things' yet I would argue humans are not 'things'. The concept of 'things' as artefacts connected to a grid 'reveal' but largely, I would argue, misinform humanity.

It is like the friend of ours who still drives around Canberra using her TomTom GPS that barks orders at her. She says she is too frightened to turn it off as she would not know where to go, would not understand where she was. I argued with her that she never did and hadn't yet arrived in Australia :)

The whole 'method of loci' and the concepts of 'memory palace' bring humans to eternalising these concepts as memory. I think that's what the 'virtual' is...a means to escape the physical reality, the dirty and ethics devoid ways in which we have let placeless corporations take over our terra firma.

Corporations as placeless, largely ethics averse entities that exist in 'placelessness'. 

Roger That

me

For as long as I recall I've pushed this body, this container that I was born into to its known limits and beyond that too. I am writing the following in the hope that this will perhaps help anyone else reading this with their own lives in their own way.

Some people will accuse me of fishing for sympathy but as I've discovered the sharing of this type of information in some case will save a life or at best help others who are in similar situations fighting in life rather than living a life worth living.

At age 14 I attended a consultation with a rheumatologist in Rockdale, Sydney after presenting with sacroiliac pain [ https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sacroiliac_joint ] to a doctor repeatedly over months before. I was informed that the blood tests that had been taken the week before confirmed I was Human Leukocyte Antigen (HLA) B27 positive [ https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HLA-B27 ]

The stats run this way:

"...The prevalence of HLA-B27 varies markedly in the general population. For example, about 8% of Caucasians, 4% of North Africans, 2-9% of Chinese, and 0.1-0.5% of persons of Japanese descent possess the gene that codes for this antigen.[1] In northern Scandinavia (Lapland), 24% of people are HLA-B27 positive, while 1.8% have associated ankylosing spondylitis."

So you can see by those statistics that the condition that is genetically transmitted and transmuted, is also much higher per population average for caucasians and that is me of course. Another interesting factor that speaks to the rarity or likelihood of ever exhibiting traits of Ankylosing Spondilytis is as follows:

"...For example, while 90% of people with ankylosing spondylitis (AS) are HLA-B27 positive, only a small fraction of people with HLA-B27 ever develop AS. People who are HLA-B27 positive are more likely to experience early onset AS than HLA-B27 negative individuals."

Well as fate would have it I am one of the few people who exhibits and endures the painful effects of the degenerative condition. I am also of the few people who also exhibit other associated pathological conditions as a result of being HLA-B27 positive.

"....In addition to its association with ankylosing spondylitis, HLA-B27 is implicated in other types of seronegative spondyloarthropathy[7] as well, such as reactive arthritis (formerly known as Reiter's Syndrome), certain eye disorders such as acute anterior uveitis and iritispsoriatic arthritis and ulcerative colitis associated spondyloarthritis. The shared association with HLA-B27 leads to increased clustering of these diseases.[8] "

So, in summary here is how my Ankylosing Spondylitis (AS) condition has manifested itself in me over the years progressing from teenager to adulthood using a Wong-Baker Faces Pain Rating Scale [ https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wong-Baker_Faces_Pain_Rating_Scale ] and also noting how many times I've presented at hospitals for assessment, pain relief or admission for treatment for that pain specific or combined:

  • Sacroiliac pain - is the joint between the sacrum and the  bones of the pelvis - chronic and debilitating ( 6-8 out of 10) - 2 hospitalisations;
  • Uveitis - is the inflammation of the uvea, the pigmented layer that lies between the inner retina and the outer fibrous layer composed of the sclera and cornea -  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Uveitis (8 -10 out of 10) - 5 hospitalisations with two of those as ophthalmic emergency;
  • Pericarditis - which is an inflammation of the pericardium, heart tissue sac - full black out with two ambulance admissions to emergency - (10 out of 10) - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pericarditis 
  • Knee Effusionsswelling of the knee (colloquially known as water on the knee) occurs when excess synovial fluid accumulates in or around the knee joint - (8 - 10 out of 10) three hospitalisations with two knee debridements - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Debridement

As per another post [ https://www.alexanderhayes.com/journal/at-the-heart-of-the-issue ] earlier I am now waiting here in the Fiona Stanley Hospital in Perth having been flown down last week by the Royal Flying Doctors service of Australia. So far they have ruled out a heart attack yet have run countless ECG's and cardiovascular tests including an angiogram and talk of installing an Implantable Loop Recorder (ILR) or cardiac monitor which is inserted in the chest cavity under the skin.

There maybe some correlation also with some Vagal Syncopy of which I've fainted a zillion times as a teenager and that of my hypertension and arrhythmia, low BPMs and all the other manifestations which are putting everyone's career spikes on alert.

Discussions are underway about the possibility that there maybe some correlation between my early days of treatments using high doses of prednisone which is a corticosteroid, the drug Sulfasalazine, the anti-inflammatory Meloxicam (Mobic), copius quantities of Oxycodones (Endone) and Morphine, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAIDs) Ibuforen, acetaminophen or APAPs (Panadol), opioids like Tramadol and probably another ten which I cant think of at this very minute, with that of my present condition. Oh, thats right, add every known inhalation medication such as Intal ( Cromolyn sodium), countless Ventolin puffers Salbutamol, also known as albuterol and marketed as Ventolin) and preventers like Fluticasone propionate (Flixotide or Becotide)  which are hormones that predominantly affect the metabolism of carbohydrates all which did havoc to my teeth and my lungs.

It's obvious to anyone that western medicines have failed me over and over and none more so that now although I must admit the hypertension medication Valsartan which is an angiotensin II receptor antagonist (commonly called an ARB, or angiotensin receptor blocker) that I am on now has probably saved my life on more than one occasion.

Of most likely correlation though between all this drug overdose above and my current (pending) prognosis is the tie between those steroidal and opioid drugs which have lowered and most likely damaged my adrenal functioning to produce the natural corticosteroid known as cortisol.

According to Wikipedia:

"...Cortisol is a steroid hormone, in the glucocorticoid class of hormones. When used as a medication, it is known as hydrocortisone. It is produced in humans by the zona fasciculata of the adrenal cortex within the adrenal gland.[1] It is released in response to stress and low blood-glucose concentration. It functions to increase blood sugar through gluconeogenesis, to suppress the immune system, and to aid in the metabolism of fatprotein, and carbohydrates.[2] It also decreases bone formation.[3] "

It makes logical sense that if you slam your body with drugs that replace the natural functionings of the human body with those of the pharmaceuticals duopoly then the fallout is going to happen through the very functions and organs such as the eyes, heart and liver as a result. I'm also reflecting on how many times I've been hospitalised with things like deep vein thrombosis (DVT) and then been pumped full of Heparin or Warfarin with are anticoagulants to treat and prevent deep vein thrombosispulmonary embolism, and arterial thromboembolism of which in my case I'd had a clot prevented from reaching the brain via my jugular vein.

Anyway, after all of that I sat with a super sexy young doctor here the other night who has an interest in Ankylosing Spondylitis who believes there is a direct correlation between diet, exercise and medical functioning. In some ways through the years I've known all of this through various and many hospitalisations

More specifically her advice is as follows:

  • Low glycemic index diet - low sugar or no sugar forever;
  • Yoga - high level (Asana) low impact flexor;
  • Zero alcohol - ever, never, ever.
  • Zero tobacco - ever, never, ever.
  • Fatty foods - limited, salt free 
  • NSAIDS for pain - Diclofenac (Voltaren) or Ibuforen at most

In essence it would appear that I've used up the 6th life of the nine I've been assigned in a lifetime. I've been told I've narrowly avoided having a stroke.... 

It seems obvious that the link between hypertension and anger results in the body shutting down as an immune response. The same could be said of that with the emotion of anger and the numerous ways it associates our emotional selves to reach out for poisons to mask that anger-slash-fear association.

I've written much about the love-trust relationship with the world and its my greatest challenge yet having largely been subjected to the worst of the worst from those who had been charged with being the best of the best.

 

At The Heart Of The Issue

IMG_6522.jpg

Tonight I am writing this with the intent of sharing for those who follow my life journey is some way a more considered account of what has occurred in the last week complete with photos.

Last Thursday I was parked outside a clients home and was checking my paperwork prior to entering the property. The day prior had been frantic showering, dressing, feeding and minding another client as part of my very part-time role as a Disability Support Care Worker. I'd taken the role on to bring some extra well needed money into the household.

My phone clock said 2:32PM when I noted a sharp metallic taste in my mouth and looking out through the windscreen noting my vision was blurred and I was photophobic. I picked up some paperwork and  blacked out. A minute or so later I became conscious of the steering wheel that my head had collapsed forward into. I immediately picked up the mobile phone and in a haze of lightheadeness and nausea I typed in ".....have just head butted the steering wheel." Pressed send and received a reply back from Magali asking what I meant.

I informed her I'd blacked out in the car. We conversed about not going to the client and going home which was a short distance away. Feeling steadily more nauseated I headed instead to Broome Regional Hospital and presented at casualty - emergency services. Within a minute I was triaged and in a bed being attended to by two amazing doctors who had quickly pulled my file, figured out this was similar to my full blown myocarditis attack in 2016.

A few hours later and I was in the high dependency unit (HDU) with recurrent blood pressure readings of 190/100 and a heart rate of 38 BPM. I had two canulas put in and had long diagnostic consultations with a whole crew of cardio trained doctors and medics. The decision was made quickly to send me to Fiona Stanley Hospital in Perth via the Royal Flying Doctors plane service. A day later and via ambulance I was loaded into the plane by stretcher and 6 hours later with one quick stop at Meekatharra I had landed at Jandakot Airport in Perth.

I've been seen by no less than eight world class doctors now and this is four days later as I await to be seen by the senior cardiologist and team. Tomorrow I am informed I am to undertake a stress echo-cardiagram, then I will be given a drug which will be tracked and scanned via an MRI in my bloodstream. If no discernible effects to the heart are noted then they will consider conducting an angiogram and if that fails to show any results then I will be taken to surgery.

I may have to have an Implantable Loop Recorder (ILR) with a three year battery life which will not only record my heart rates and fluctuations but also provide shock treatment for the heart if it should crash into arrhythmia. So that is the plan and here I now sit waiting for the next chapter of my life to open forward and for my partner Magali and those who have supported us to get better news of an imminent recovery.  I am grateful for the care, empathy and compassion that Magali consistently demonstrates despite my often irrational PTSD rants, neither am I complacent nor expectant for anything more than her amazing company, partnership, perfunctory prose keeping my soul alive.

Magali McDuffie

At the heart of the issue is love.

I fully believe that this can be resolved through a focus on love and trust, rather than repeat discussions and arguments that descend into fear and anger. I know I am the cause of many of the arguments and hostile situations people find themselves in around me and I can only act with love to ensure these do not occur. Fear and anger only results in a collapse of all we know around us and ultimately fear and anger is a self destructive force of no use at all to anyone.

There must be a better way to live a healthier and more fulfilling life than one where every move and mode is mediated through fear and anger.

Love is at the heart of the issue.

Fearlessness

'Lovers' : Photo by Alexander Hayes, Canberra, Australia

'Lovers' : Photo by Alexander Hayes, Canberra, Australia

Interstate travels  provide me with a time to reflect deeper on life and I find myself often quite emotional as these trips are often filled with facing fears of change, new connections which require absolute honesty and sometimes letting go of places where I've lived for considerable periods of time.

These trips require a certain fearlessness.

Given that life is filled with many of these journeys the same foundation for learning can be applied holistically to all of life, so, in my ruminating state the other day I composed a short list of what I believe form the foundation for that state of fearlessness.

  1. Love and trust are at the core of living a powerful and fulfilling life.
  2. Love must guide our communications with everyone.
  3. Anger, fear, guilt and shame that we externalise in our behaviours only produce self destruction and resentment in others, especially our soulful partners.
  4. With courage we can literally replace fear with love and with fearlessness connect with anyone in a loving relatedness.
  5. Our connections and communications with others are fulfilling when we 'face, feel and let our fears go' in effect 'letting go' in order to grow.

In summary, I've learned that love, trust and courage all actioned through an embodied fearlessness are the answer to many of the challenges that arise in a dynamic life worth living. Please pass this post onto those you feel might benefit from the above list and I would love to listen to your feedback. 

Love, Fear and PTSD

Pambula Beach, NSW, Australia - Photograph: Alexander Hayes

Pambula Beach, NSW, Australia - Photograph: Alexander Hayes

Last night after a flurry of messages backwards and forwards on the mobile phone it became apparent to me that my own responses to my partners plea for rational discussion had ceased.

Not only wasn't I making any sense but I was also (and obviously) distressed so we transferred to a direct phone call. Again, the conversation descended into a desperate bid for me to seperate my fears regarding our relationship. The crux of the conversation and the solution is as follows.

From the moment of birth (even that was a struggle) I was taught to fear everything - fear God, fear death, fear everyone....fear even my own ability to make meaning of the world as a 'stupid fucking git'. By the age of 11 I feared any middle aged man given the sexual abuse I suffered till I was 15 years old at the hands of a number of them.

The consequence of sexual abuse is that apart from the scrambled kid code, a deep and resonating fear of intimacy carries forward long after the abject and protracted horror of being violated repeatedly has ceased. Let me explain how that happens and how it comes to be embodied as PTSD in me.

When teenagers start showing an interest in each other by passing notes and going out, fumbling a kiss and finally managing to have sex they are generally in their mid to late teen years at secondary school. In my case  due to the abuse I couldn't understand why ANYONE would want to have sex let alone kiss and hug anyone.

I was attractive by all accounts but a smoulderingly angry young man and certainly not a nice catch for anyone. I hurt many many people in my smug and rejectionist 'me'.

I feared everything about girls and was constantly in fights with boys. I feared my home space and spent a long time avoiding its religious confines. To put it frankly my first relationships with girls were all about protection and I never ever explored with boys or younger men sexually.  When I should have been free and experimenting with others and discovering my sexuality I was imprisoned by a confused and tragic mind.

Effectively the abuse at the hands of a few had killed my passion and compassion, my empathy for much other than self abuse in which I excelled,

Sadly that continued through my twenties and thirties with "failed" relationship after fling after relationship. Marriage I was promised solved all of that as it bound two people as one in a monogamous twist and tlll death do you part. So I tested that theory three times and each time I found myself attacking my partner feeling trapped, confined, controlled and in some cases catatonically sad. That was only exacerbated by children who brought the very best in me out and the very worst in their Mothers around me.

Each time I kept looking for a soulmate loaded with affection only to find myself arguing with a lactating psychopath. Then there was the women I married or partnered with who knew my intimacy weakness and attacked me with it, either restraining it or twisting it so I'd beg to be spooned or beaten for supposed pleasure.

PTSD has strange and wide range of symptoms which manifest themselves over the years and given what I've gone through in my life "it's any wonder you haven't suicided yet" as stated famously by my own birth Mother. For me that societally and familial indoctrination of fear though is the most insidious, most viperous mechanism by which to generate guilt, fear and self loathing. In fact as I've stated somewhere myself, I am the single most effective person at hurting myself, both in the mind and the body.

My self destruction has remarkably left me alive but most of my peers dead. Suicide was always the soft option as live a life a of hell here on earth the hardest path of all.

My fears manifest themselves mainly as others will attest as self destruction. I blame my early experiences of abuse as the single most destructive factors that generated that self hate and subsequent behaviours in my relationships have been about testing that persons trust, about whipping them to the point of rejection to see whether they will leave or not. I fugure if things got tricky I'd just tell them to fuck off and move on. They did and my life has been a living hell as a result.

My principal fear that manifests itself takes shape in a few forms. The fear of abandonment is resolved quickly by whether my partner gets jacked off enough and leaves me. The fear of intimacy leads me to bury my affections in those who are most likely to harm me with it. The fear of loss and grief manifests it and I find myself burying my best friends and watching thousands of others do their best to kill themselves with drugs and alcohol.

I have learned from one single person direct and a multitude of conversations with others that all of it is a lie. My partner Magali McDuffie has taught me that despite my attractions and multiple sexual connections with others, the core to a relationship is built on trust and communication.

Magali has taught me that a soulmate travels the journey through the hard times, but there are limits to that too as self destruction must be resolved by that person and that person alone. The continued self destruction conversation goes nowhere, is destructive and wilfully self indulgent.

If fear is replaced with love then a way forward appears, fear dissolves and new happiness begins.

One facet of that communication is in knowing when fear is permeating my discourse and damaging those around me. I'm very adept at digging rabbit holes in relatedness and making mountains out of molehills especially in areas that are now for me or threaten my current life experience, especially if it involves exploring beyond the confines of a traditional relationship.

So after much discussion and responding well (it will take years of practice to get perfection) to the 'STOP, express the fear, resolve it and exit' prompt I decided to hang up the phone and write an email that explained my fear to Magali indirect first then returned to a spoken conversation.

I wrote a tragic email firstly riddled with insecurities and nasty trite which I then promptly deleted. Truth be told I re-read it and cried deeply, quiet sobs of letting go. I then returned to the keyboard and typed another.

"...Magali,

I fear nothing as I am a courageous person and willing to face each fear myself, alone until it no longer exits. Thank you for encouraging me to be courageous and to trust."

I feel that I can ride on that simplicity for a while until another easier avenue emerges to deal with my fears that surface in bouts and episodes of PTSD. I know I'll never fully rid myself of the trauma and pain of life prior but I'll sure have a stronger way to live an open and honest life and relationships will need to also be the same in order for me to grow well.

No more fear. Love my way forward.

Embrace everything as an opportunity to express love. Get intimate, vulnerable and most importantly love myself as that courageous man who has inspired so many others to love themselves despite their own fears.

Lead the way with love.

Libre Detre

Alexander Hayes & Magali McDuffie - February 2015

Alexander Hayes & Magali McDuffie - February 2015

This is not junk mail and I have not directed you here as part of a marketing campaign. Most importantly this is MY point of view composed and listening to my partner.

This post begins with a caveat - for you the reader. 

Your life choices are not wrong, nor are ours nor is this an exercise in comparison. We are not judging you or anyone else for the choices you make in your life, nor are we asking for you to judge us anymore than you enjoy being judged yourself.

I wrote this post and Magali contributed to it in a bid to be OPEN about who we are and respect you may be offended by who we are but frankly we don't care if you judge us, particularly those with locked belief systems.

This is a steep learning curve for us both and all we have done different is write about our personal experiences PUBLICLY rather than secretly pretending to be that which we are not.

-----------

So....Magali and I both have chosen 'freedom' as the core living truth in our life which we discussed at length at the very beginning of our connection and continue to discuss.

Freedom as in free to be, as we define it, not what others tell us to be. Freedom within constraint of law but always pushing up against societal norms, status quo - Libre D'etre.

We both recognise that we had never (ever) have considered that our life experience and our relatedness as perhaps the greatest legacy or giving back to the world, different to our career aspirations. That realisation that your life story is the inspiration for others.

So it is I write tonight reflecting deeply on something that has happened recently, something so deeply fundamental and (for others) radically untenable in traditional relationships. I say 'radical' only in that myself I know I took a giant leap forward which for some they have always inherently felt they had anyway.

But first some background to this post.

In February 2015 I grappled with fundamental awareness points stating:

"....So, after 46 years of living in every known conceivable arrangement of relationships I have come to a non-binding awareness of the following. I have put them as dot points in a list because I know some of you might like to consider them as separate things but in essence they are all the same and interwoven as one."

I then went onto make a list of all the factors I believe make up who we are and the very constitutions of what relationships are for Magali and I including:

  • We are single, always.
  • The most powerful relationship we ever have is with ourselves;
  • We have many, many, many relationships in our lives and those we have sex with make up a very small proportion of the total count of who we related too;
  • We have only the capacity to have one bonded, fully articulated, affinity centred, trusted relationship - a partner, who essentially is our witness in our life;
  • We can have sex with as many people as we want but we cant have as many people as we want having sex with us;
  • In being open with our partner, in being open with our Family, friends and the world we can be in ourselves;
  • In each relationship (of all descriptions) there are only three things that matter - treat each other well, respect each others differences and to show on a constant basis in an explicit way gratitude for each other;
  • Above all, trust - trust is the core essence to any relationship especially with ourselves.

In late 2016 I went as far as I could dare go in speaking of which we both now speak freely and open publicly. The post at that time focussed on the concept of compersion - https://www.alexanderhayes.com/journal/compersion

I've also written about:

So....the following is an account of how last week I let go and let myself grow.

----------------

FEAR

Strikes at the heart, head.

That hyperventilated feeling, anxious and grabbing for coffee, cigarettes and all those things I know do nothing to quell that fear. A visceral snake-sliding-woosh-feeling that surges from the soles of your feet to an explosion in your head. Everything I had ever read, heard, been advised of punched into me psyche and fear permeated.

JEALOUSY

It cut my day in half and as I tripped into lunchtime I know everything that anyone who had ever taught me to fear letting go...well this was the show. This was the moment I was being challenged, the deepest undoing of my mapped monogamy, my possession of partners, my condescending and hurtful comments made in fear, disguised, heavy salient syrup of fear.

Marriage after marriage, relationship folding furiously from one to another and each time my PTSD saying 'run' yet my soul saying 'stay'. 

REALITY

Magali has always encouraged me to be me (from the very beginning of our relationship).

As a result, with trust, I have been connected physically, emotionally, spiritually and intellectually with many people over three years.This has of course affected Magali deeply and yet I recall many times my almost unfathomable gratitude that she respected my own needs to connect fully with others which in turn grew our relationship, stronger. We had both expressed numerous times to each other and around our lovers that we are NOT IN AN OPEN RELATIONSHIP where one, either or both people in a partnership give the other permission to become physical with other human contacts.

We both assert that we have as a single person always had and always will have the FUNDAMENTAL RIGHT to be with anyone at anytime.We are in fact exercising our rights as single people to practise ETHICAL NON-MONOGAMY. 

ETHICAL NON-MONOGAMY

The concept of ethical non-monogamy is both rich and rewarding as described in 'Why ethical non-monogamy is AWESOME and totally worth the extra effort' by http://offbeathome.com/ethical-non-monogamy/

Ethical non-monogamy is often most closely aligned with polyamory, yet again we do not subscribe to that popular definition either as Magali and I share a complex and dynamic relationship which also challenges the polyamorist paradigm.

poly • am • ory

The fact of having simultaneous close romantic relationships with two or more other individuals, viewed as an alternative to monogamy, esp. in regard to matters of sexual fidelity; the custom or practice of engaging in multiple romantic relationships with the knowledge and consent of all partners concerned - Oxford English Dictionary, 2006

Here are some other great reads in this often contentious discussion area:

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COMPERSION

Compersion is literally 'letting go' in order to grow. As the opposite to jealousy true compersion, practised and in action enables our unhealthy attachments to our partners and those we love to disappear.

So I turned to Magali and said "...you are blessed. Free to be... always were, are. No permissions needed. Not shared as you are not owned. Go connect, enjoy and be yourself in this world."

LIBRE D'ETRE.

I found myself standing there actually saying it.... hearing my own voice knowing it is the other compassionate, spiritual and soulful me the one I had buried away in those fear folds. That 'me' I always instinctively knew was the way forward.

I instantly felt excited, turned on, connected...back in a better space. The day prior amidst a flood of tears I'd scrambled together two pages of notes written mainly to myself, saying everything I'd felt in fear...a string of irrational needy throwaways. These feelings are perfectly normal I'm told and jealousy, fear of abandonment, comparison and self worth flooded through me like a virus.

That list went through the shredder 48 hours later after a long discussion with Magali.

Then there was that meeting in the airport, that intense rush of happiness for you Magali. Seeing you happy, chirpy and back in yourself, radiant and happy.

HAPPINESS

Flushed cheeks. Swagger. Coy grin. Flick of the hair. Thin lip. Naughty laugh. Giggles.

It all makes sense. Seeing your partner happy in themselves and fulfilled is greater than any shared lover tryst. Now a reality and no longer some benign fantasy.

Free to be. Do what you want wherever, with whomever however....with respect. With an intent to grow your relatedness with others. Approaching love and life as a series of relationships good, bad and everything in between. Deep lust. Love. Loss. Grief and the coming back. Growing our connection.

Trust. Always returning to trust. Trust above all else.


“Let me try to throw some light upon what I am trying to tell you. First of all, love always involves freedom. If a man says he loves you and yet denies you your freedom, then you often hate him. Yet because of his words you do not feel justified in the emotion. This sort of emotional tangle itself can lead to continued entanglements through various lives.”
— Seth Speaks - Session 550

Minecraft

I have been invited to connect with participants in the 'Electronic Village Online' (EVO) upcoming events sometime in February 2018 [ change the date here and link to the online event ]

As a presenter I am going to explore the notion of how Minecraft is affecting our method of loci, reshaping (eroding?) our memory palace skills and with the onset and convergence of mixed reality wearable technology in this space how it may be contributing to the shift in humanity as we know it, especially in younger children who are heavily involved in that space (not place).

The following is how I plan to deliver my presentation and connect with that community of adults online as far afield as Dubai and Canada with me located in Australia.

  • Introduction - formal titles, past experience, current projects, links

  • Caveat - technological skeptic / techno-optimist statement

  • Concepts - realities - augmented / virtual / augmendiated / mixed

  • Technologies - MagicLeap, Hololens, Occulus Rift et al.

  • Notions - Place, country, memory, time (relative)

  • Frameworks - method of loci, memory palace, Kalara, dadirri, socio-ethical

  • Hypothesis - Factions (Minecraft) as neural brain wash, placeless corporations

  • Discussion - power, control, privacy, politics, policing and perception

  • Context - based on links provided

  • Questions - open discussion


Presentation Title

Minecraft: My Experience and Your Dilemma

Abstract

As active agents of sociological change children now challenge the researcher stereotype amidst a battleground of virtual, augmented and mixed reality wearable computing. Fractals once closer to philosophical ramblings of the mathematical in the field of chaos theory are now an educative and neurological rearrangement as STEAM gets creative in Minecraft. A dilemma has emerged as participatory netnography reveals the longer term socio-ethical effects of corporations punching through our privacy firewalls, programming our minds and harvesting our creativity. 

Presentation

Recommended Reading / Viewing

Entitlemania

Source: xnspy.com/

Source: xnspy.com/

I think we have reached saturation point where as parents we have lost our way using old rules to govern new ways of living.

Look at our kids. They are addicted to screens to the point that as parents we are the 'ughs' that inhabit their house. We have become those barking contradictory fools that demand they get home by midnight, driven by a friend because we are too drunk ourselves to drive our own car to go find them. Our credit cards are racked up with all sorts of app store spends and when we threaten them with 'grounding' they laugh and say ' well go ahead then because you are already standing in my room and this where I want to be anyways'.

So you wake up in the morning to them screaming at you as to why they are late to go out for a 'makeover', stumble into the kitchen to find empty four litre ice cream containers, jello plastered all over the bench and a string of ants eating their way through the honey smacko triple whipped cookie crumbs. The car is in for a service yet again from the countless taxi pickups you made as you ferry your ungrateful, unseeing being to and from soccer, football, basketball, party, after party, shopping centre after shopping centre and guitar lessons home again.

You whine to your own parents that you are ignored, pushed, shoved, screamed and threatened with "....you fucking touch my shit in my room again you CUNT AND I WILL FUCKING KILL YOU". All those lovely photo albums of that cute kid you once knew have disappeared into that unkempt, slovenly, obnoxious, jackass that now occupies your teenagers bedroom. Your garden hose no longer reaches the end of the rose bushes as you trip over the empty bongs in the grass and that rank reek of male urine is what is killing the petunias. 

Long gone are those dinners where you could at worst tell your child to 'shut up and eat dinner' and when you have threatened to smack them they have read you the riot act of 'indecent assault occasioning body harm' or 'you are one step away from a divorce'. You confide in your partner who has taken to rip their hair out in quiet away from the point of conflict and despite the years of their seemingly serene calmness they too have turned into the vice-Superintendent. 

So what has technology taught you in the last decade that you thought you might avoid and unsuccessfully now live by. So the television wasn't that great a babysitter was it? and your benign assumptions that your teenager isn't accessing porn largely went unfounded too. The idea that them having a mobile phone was your security of mind failed as you flick through the candid surveillance shots and video clips they had been sending through the Snapchat without your knowledge.

So now you are standing there pointing your finger at me, the Internet and blaming me for your issues and lack of empathy for your situation. Well it's like this folks. Your idea of security and well being isn't valid anymore. Your kids entitlemania, need for consumerism, capitalist pig tendencies, insatiable greed for Youtube likes is where its all at. Long gone are the 'these are the house rules' as we feed your kids all the shit that they could possibly need to turn your precious little bumpkins into the surly, selfish and viperous soulless drones we need. 

Entitlemania is here to stay and the sooner you get used to the social-surveillance you live within, the lock-step buy-this-then-that instructions and the countless ways we can turn your children against you then the sooner your lives will evolve from that sensitive new age generation blah rubbish you were fed the better.

Love, your entitlemania-ego-rendition-of-you as a fairy queen is long lost somewhere in there as you sob into your pillow. The only antidote to your sickness is wellness and no, Google doesn't have the answer and no amount of prescription drugs, yoga or clandestine flings with that nice person at work will help either.

This is where we as parents admit that its a tough road ahead and no tougher than the road ahead for our kids and what they have to face life without their daily punching bag and foopie blanket to caress. 

 

 

Memory

Memory it seems is and has always been the greatest of power differentials for humanity. 

“For as long as I can remember” becomes a judicial call in judging others, in differentiating and socially sorting those who lack either the cognition for recall or who lack the capability for foresight. 

Cultural memory, personal memory and then a burgeoning digital memory comprised of a myriad of providers that in a conglomerate know more about you, than you of them. That digital memory, that retention of computational power of a changed state, those binary loops of change recorded, retained and replicable is a powerful means with which to challenge the memory of humans.

In recent times combined computational power and retention of the changed state is what is threatening this very fragile era of the anthropocene in what people claim is collapse of an analogue reality into that of a replicable, automated and inhumane Singularity. 

The core question then is what will if mean for humanity if technologies take away our capacity to remember place?  Will our human Memory Palace become a fearful void filled with dystopian nightmares, of science fictions and virtual realities reinforcing capitalist agendas as social factions?

The very same anti-ethical factions underpin plugins for the online game Minecraft which claims an ethos of community, a mirror for society made up of ‘blocks and adventures’ whilst others claim it is a ‘minefield’ for children who are being programmed and brainwashed.

“... With this plugin players group up in Factions. You claim land as your own and build your base. Factions is a self serve anti griefing system. Leaders control who can can edit their faction land. Factions is also about diplomacy and war. You declare wars and forge alliances. You fight over land and manage your monetary expenses.” - https://dev.bukkit.org/projects/factions

When we enmesh ourselves in a virtual reality we are eroding our capacity to connect with place and if we do that, we erode our capacity to retain our culture. Country is our location map for memory and culture is that memory being based on place, not just an inanimate location. Ostensibly, memory constructed as a connection with Country is at the core to culture, to who we are as individuals, of our collectives, tribes and families. 

So the story that is being told here is that it is likely the human computer experience will meld as a cyborg in networked virtual reality yet remains part of the natural environment, exploitative digitally enhanced regimes not separate to nature, rather as part of nature. A failure to recognise the inherent dangers of destroying natural environments is as much about power of those who don't care and those who care enough to stop them.

Survivor Impact Statement

Today it occurred to me that there are a number of survival skills I have learned which may benefit others, so, like everything that I have achieved in the last few years I am going to share them in the hope that they may make a difference in other people's lives.

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Trust Based

As we descend into an era of technology mediated insecurity, our blockchain constantly handshaking with provider, service and national security identity check point there is one thing apparent.


Engineers and information system developers have ensured our fundamental connection with each other as now compulsorily mediated, dependent on digital profiles we once dismissed playfully as inconvenient at worst. After all, who needs a password when we use the same one for all service providers except the bank. For those who seek ultimate expediency even trust has become a commodity, an embodied implant perhaps closer to an Uberveillance we once dismissed as science fiction.


We are led to believe as citizens that we have a right to question why each and every of our transactions are being monitored, retained, compared. If nothing more our right to know about ourself and the power for deletion must be maintained at all cost we claim yet where and when do we exercise such a right?

Nothing is more apparent, more important now in this Information Age than trust itself and so trust must be firmly foremost in any technological creation.

From an observation point of those less enamoured, we are lurching around now as Foucault posits, subject to a disciplinary surveillance exercised by the very institutions, corporations and services we once considered trustworthy, of moral accord or even remotely ethical by design.


If society by virtue of cultural association is largely disciplinary then what became of trust? In that regard, has digital, replicable technology eroded that trust by cannibalising control and become the very tool of oppression we sought to avoid?


My PhD at one time teetered dangerously to the hard right as I sought and fought to validate claims that head worn surveillance, human as network node, camera carrier would be of benefit to humanity. My attestations brought forward a null hypothesis that pitched technological determinism as default, a good.

If technology has been good for humanity such as life expectancy for those needing a heart pacemaker, then isn't a body worn camera simply an extension of that human convenience?

However, like a drug mule substantiating a gut full of powder filled condoms, a cognitive dissonance seems to be at play here, a trust mechanism that I once believed was "user" led and bred.

It became evident to me as the Internet crept steadily towards a 4G omniscience that creatives are at great risk of contributing to an Orwellian surveillant state. Likewise educational technologists drunk on their own outcomes efficiency stupor run the same risk by virtue of their own egoic need to share such data.

The Internet is after all a United States of America based innovation according to a technology skeptic. For others a more pragmatic claim that if we have nothing to hide then we have nothing to worry about yet as we well know, through history such claims have proven that governments only serve themselves and those elite minorities that prey on the demise of others.

For all their claims of counter-cultures, decommissioning and de-schooling under an Illich [ref]  inspired utopia educational technologists and their kin fall mute in the face of their actions and inaction. Of course, despite all assertions to the contrary, these head worn camera data end up disaggregated at the very least automatically rendered visible to the very corporations seeking an insight into their 100 million or so minute by minute user base.


If humans "become" a camera have we then simply lost our ability to see? Or, as some would have is believe, has humanity evolved into an übermensch, a super human made up of nodes in an electrophorus where trust is merely one number joined to the next?


It is apparent to me that a trajectory be articulated that seeks a way forward for humanity not simply a predictive analysis touting papal control, a singular dystopia and environmental degradation unchecked. Nor are claims that trust is a blockchain, artificial intelligence an inevitable, automated food farms an answer for a flailing anthropocene.

Trust is a handshake, an eye to eye human connection that brings all senses to bear. Without trust in a state led technologically mediated hope all we do is thrash around in a virtual reality unaware we have pissed in our own pants and wiped out a community in a single keystroke.

ONERC

The comment above was made in my Facebook publication of the link to the article by Nicolas Beriot, Former Secretary General, ONERC - National Observatory of the Effects of Climate Change, French Ministry of the Environment, Engineer.

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Didirrgun

Tonight we had the privilege of sitting on the pidan dunes amongst all the cockle shells listening to Bart Pigram, Uncle Peter Peter's and another Elder tell stories of their time as children on Kennedy Hill, Broome, Western Australia. We listened to another old welcome to country audio stories and then they told us stories about Boogarragarra, the lady in the red dress, the devil dog story, about fishing for stingrays, old men fishtraps down south and also north of Broome.

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Protecting Country

In July 2017  with the guidance of Bruce Hammond, Tanganekald Traditional Custodian of Adelaide, South Australia in conjunction  Magali McDuffie from Ngikalikarra Media I assisted in bringing the ‘Protecting Country’ documentary film on a screening road trip across Australia. The road trip took 14 days to complete and we travelled over 7741 kilometres through some of the most remote regions of Australia.

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Significance Of Instinct

Here I am sitting  bare chested in the warm glow, faint light at night in a cabin I’ve hand built from mud pile to shiny tin roof.

The night air blows in on me cooling from a thirty nine degree day to something even half human tolerable. My partner's dog lays on his deathbed struggling to breathe. My cars windscreen cracked from a flying stone. Overdue for service 12 thousand kilometres ago we ferry children vast distances praying each time the car won’t give up.

My partners car lies still, immobile needing a new gearbox. Our credit cards maxed out till we are in arrears. My shoulders aching from scrubbing the floors of the adjoining shipping containers that we lie in and call our bedrooms. Hot box by night we run fans till we can’t stand the hum any more.

We still have no shower nor hot water but in relative terms at least we have the water now connected, saving us carrying six buckets a day from a distant tap to flush the toilet, wash dishes, fill the kettle, wash etc.

My instinct tells me that despite health scares, daily money worries and hourly emotional roller coasters that it will all be ok. I trust it will be ok as it would seem that anything else would be a preferable route with which to take life.

So what of the significance of instinct?


A first thought if that of our basic instinct as humans to protect others and ourselves. Perhaps a general idea that our instinct is ours and ours alone. What essentially is ‘instinct’ you might ask? I’ve often contemplated what a life might be if we were unable to ‘feel our way forward’ or as first nation people globally attest, to dream into existence our own reality, not simply think we have no power in doing so. (ref: Paddy Roe)


Whilst we may often be not conscious to the manner in which we make decisions on a moment by moment, hourly or daily basis there is a correlation, I believe, between that which we have learned and that which we instinctively recognise as significant.

The term ‘instinct’ it seems gives rise to a key facet of my PhD which upon the outset for me was seemingly irrelevant to the key subject area I chose to research. At the beginning of the research journey I was set on an outcome that would inform changes in education sector policies to harness the use of wearable cameras in the learning environment or workplace setting. How blindly naive I must have been to think that this outcome alone would have contributed anything to the body of existing science in the world.

As I near completion of the PhD I am struck with the instinctual feelings that arose as I immersed myself at the time as an avid education technologist, perplexed as to how I had not “seen” the bigger picture and the impact of my own actions at that time.

I was guided selfishly by a mantra that change is inevitable so those not keeping up with change as being redundant and superfluous as an employee to an organisation. At various points through that journey I witnessed fellow colleagues being made redundant as the switch to technology facilitated online learning and mobile learning gathered pace. I joined and sometimes led initiatives such as the Australian Mobile Learning Network (AMLN) and on reflection this was all in response to my own myopic version of vision for a technology facilitated society.

In essence I inadvertently introduced the very technologies that would lead to those redundancies. How could have I been so blind at the time to the trajectory and inevitability of implosion that my actions were likely to create?

So gradually I gained an understanding that whilst the Internet would bring about great benefits to humanity that it also had the propensity to give rise to great control, carnage and cultural genocide. Whole departments in the Australian Vocational and Education Training sector started to close as teaching switched over to learning on demand, remotely accessible via the internet.

“…instinct or innate behaviour is the inherent inclination of a living organism towards a particular complex behaviour.” - Wikipedia


I am bringing into focus within my PhD the direct correlation or relationship that arises from certain  professional entities coming into contact with others. In essence, for example, the innate behaviour of engineers as they socialise with science fiction writers.


“…the simplest example of an instinctive behaviour is a fixed action pattern (FAP) in which a very short to medium length sequence of actions, without variation, are carried out in response to a clearly defined stimulus.” - Wikipedia

If the FAP as described brings about a series of actions without variation then perhaps thats why these two cohorts frequent the same bars, laboratories, fetish establishments. Maybe, just maybe as one dreams the dreams the other follows and tries to bring these dreams to reality. Take for instance a science fiction author who pens some rancid prose, it passes through peers till it has hit a likes status befitting funding and finally ends up plugged firmly in the psyche of mid teen to late life male psyche, though film, gaming, merchandise and of course, upgrades.

I also believe that instinct as a literary term is a shallow, Anglo-celt expression which only touches on the surface of what we actually mean by ‘gut feel. Think for instance how many times today you have been guided by that ‘gut feel’, how many times you consciously made a decision or took a path to a result that was based on that instinctual feel forward feeling.

Sure, technology interrupts that by having the convenient answers when we need them but how many times today did you actually ‘feel’ and then make a decision based on your hunch, knowing, suspicion or any other term that co-joins that of instinct.

So at best, instinct is ambiguous, neatly abstract, sufficiently far enough away from our liberal selves as ‘just a feeling’. The purpose of this PhD is to dissect circumstances, reflect on learning from experiences, develop an understanding of the moments where I broke through old instinct and embraced a better way of grounding reality.

For me, at this present time, sitting in a cabin, seeing the faces of my happy sons smiling back at me from a photo frame, adjusting in my chair to better see the smoke from the Indian incense that my partner punctuates the air and ambience of this little wooden home with, my triggers take me to visualise past times and to bask in the incredible time of the present moment.

My instinct tells me that there is a time and place for it all, but the hardest and most rewarding of life journeys are grounded in a collective consciousness, a humanity that extolls the virtues of basing life breaking decisions on instinct. Even as I write free form I know that more changes are ahead as I sift the the piles of literature before me. Perhaps what I’ve discovered is not unique nor contributing yet I have a hunch (pardon the pun) that there is much to be gained by paying greater attention to the way we feel of life, acknowledging the deep divides we observe around us as our children argue with us about screen time, shaking in rage with withdrawals, exhibiting behaviours and physical manifestations akin to that of an autism, a schizophrenic and techno-bipolarity.


It begs another question. What of the significance of instinct - is it enough simply to say it sometimes guides us in our decision making or as I will argue, instinct is as ‘litany’ is to Australian Aboriginal people. Our ability to tap into that energy, that connection means we have a better way of seeing our way forward, responsibly living a life worth living, not simply a capitalist virtual dreamscape.


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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