Beam it in!

Paul Baran’s network was based on a technology called packet-switching that allows messages to break themselves apart into small fragments. Each fragment,or packet, is able to find its own way to its destination. Once there, the packets reassemble to create the original message.” Galloway. I love this, reminded me of teleporting. Imagine if you could break messages apart into small fragments and have the destination be someone elses brain. Teleporting thoughts hahaha.

Interestingly enough though – they used the internet for this little project, but I do see someone in the comments section making an interesting point about this setup just sending a signal that makes the receivers muscles twitch. Still though – using the internet to fiddle with yer muscles.  WHAT DOES IT MEEEAN!


The Internetwork(s)

First off I feel like I should point out that this post originally began its life as 4-5 other drafts I had floating around my dashboard, and when I was going through them I realised that they seemed pretty well interconnected, so that explains the length, I did my best to keep it interesting.

Does a network have a center? Normally we’d believe that it would/should (it’s gotta start somewhere right?), however, nature seems to be structured randomly (heh isn’t that funny) yet still manages to work just fine. I think a good way to look at it is how we learn things via trial and error; answers are not given and we need to actively seek them out, by working around existing knowledges as well as trying to break new ground with experimentation. When we try to learn about something we don’t know, we engage with a certain kind of infiniteness to the possible approaches; we can use existing knowledges, but if the knowledge turns out to not necessarily be the best option, it is explored nonetheless to be fully excluded from from any contingency and/or an entirely new approach must be taken, and when exploring ideas outside of existing knowledge, new knowledges or technologies need to be constructed to adapt accordingly to the situation (experimentation).

MAP OF THE INTERNET: Enlarge to see just how intricate and detailed the connections are.





If you think this is cool –>

Check this ” bi-dimensional presentation of links between websites on the Internet.” and more specifically detailed and interactive map out. 





I think its possible that the inherent randomness of a nature-type system is both random in its infinite possibility of executions but not so in its reason(s) for executing them. That kinda makes it sound like conscious thing that makes decisions, but I don’t see why that is unreasonable, if you look at nature as a system, it constitutes living things that need to constantly call the shots.

Decisions, decisions.

The internet as a network also constitutes living things (hoomanz), has no center, yet still functions, and is constantly evolving. I think that is because the internet as a whole IS a center more than anything else – but to what end? lulcatz? A collective intelligence? – just because something is a center doesn’t mean its not complex. Our minds are the center of our sentience and its one of the most complex things out there (in there – whatever) , all focused into a single blob of goo, that moderates consciously as well as subconsciously; I feel, in a similar fashion that protocols moderate the interwebz. According to Galloway a protocol is/was a (1) set of rules and recommendations that outline specific technical standards, and (2) refers to any type of  correct or proper behavior within a specific system of conventions, (3) introductory paper summarizing the key points of a diplomatic agreement or treaty and (4) standards governing the implementation of specific technologies. Some of it constant stuff and some of it stuff that changes accordingly. He goes on to use the analogy of a highway system to better define protocol as a technique for achieving voluntary regulation within a contingent environment.  (else we’d still be a bunch of crazy baboons or more likely extinct by now I imagine)

Stanley Kubrick is awesome

I took away from this that a protocol is a form of governing something in a place where anything is possible(I mean that in the best sense); which I think suits just fine with the brain as a center, having its own version/types of protocol, as they have been mirrored in the developing internet, possibly by accident, but probably not. I’m not exactly a specialist when it comes to how the brain works though [and that sucks because I really want to be able to elaborate more how Galloway’s descriptions of protocol could be better linked to the brain] so this whole argument is probably invalid just on that basis, but I would like to look into it more to see if the internet really is sort of structured similarly to the human mind.


I like how Holly used a mosh pit to help describe a distributed network. Conversely I went for the Lamb of God/Meshuggah show last week and it was my first actual proper encounter with a mosh pit. I’ve been a big fan of metal since I was 10 but Malaysia was never very receptive to metal, in fact Lamb of God was supposed to play there this week as well but they got banned at the 11th hour [heh] for being Satanic or some dumb shit like that. I was even in a metal band for a while and they’re still doing great back home under the name Sacwrath (rock on brothers!), but I never actually got to be in the mosh pit and part of that audience. It’s something I had always wanted to do, but never comprehended either.. it just didn’t register in my head why people would gather in a pile and just go into a total rampage on each other. I’ve been to lots of raves and electronic music festivals before and some of the meat piles I’ve ended up in were insane, but every time I knocked into someone I would get disconcerting stares and threatening looks; even though everyone piled up together, I never felt a togetherness, people were pretty much there for themselves. When I was waiting for Meshuggah to come on stage I was seriously nervous, I looked at the guy next to me and told him I’d never done this before, and asked him if I was going to die, he just laughed and reassured me that everything would be fine, and it just so happened that a whole group of guys heard that conversation and greeted me and started telling me about mosh etiquette  but most importantly to make sure if anybody fell down to pick them up right away because “you don’t wanna be that guy”, and to look out for each other – one guy pointed at me and said “especially this guy.” I was there pretty early so I had a decent spot near the front and center of the stage, and when the band came on it just took a few moments before the pit started to form, I didn’t think about it I just ran straight into the madness.

I felt like a human pinball being bounced around and shoved left, right, front, back, diagonally, it was just insane, eventually I got pushed hard enough that I fell backwards, but before I knew what was happening I was back on my feet being thrown forwards, and that was so confusing, I had no idea who that kind samaritan was that picked me up but I’m eternally grateful because I thought I really was going to get trampled, but after that somehow I just knew I was going to be safe here, I felt safer there than I had anywhere else in a long time. I only fell another time after that but I was picked up no problemo, I even got to help a few people up myself, and that really was awesome. I’ve never experienced that kind of connection with so many strangers before, didn’t matter who you were, you looked out for everyone there and they looked out for you. That NEVER happens at electronic music festivals, in fact you’re  more likely going to hate the people around you for shoving around so much and not keeping to themselves and I suppose that’s really because the mindset going into them isn’t about the connection you have with the other people as much as it is at a metal concert – metal-heads are fucking awesome people \m/ – but as a distributed network it works with a collective, active and voluntary participation from parties involved.
EDIT: Don’t get me wrong, Flume is flippin awesome too!

Holly also mentioned that the idea of distributed networks appealed to her sense of democracy and/or possibly socialism, but as Eric Hall puts it, “IP uses an anarchic and highly distributed model, with every device being an equal peer to every other device on the global Internet.” and I believe this is more accurately representative of what the internet and distributed network are/have the potential to be, but also kind of like what I ascribed the brain is to hoomanz.

“We’re used to the idea of the internet being characterised as a democratic, open, non-hierarchical technology and space: is Galloway arguing something that fundamentally challenges this?”