Those two lines seems oddly disjointed.
I read "the resets" as something akin to a backup system, something that lets one go back to whatever they were before the upgrade... But then that doesn't match with the following sentance when considering the rest of the story that says no one ever went back.
"Factory settings," maybe, but the latter line seems to suggest that no one has ever wanted to UnRig - Sissy's got it right in the name:
And I wondered, not for the first time, what she was doing here, with Derrick, with the likes of us."My wife is weak," my boss had once confided. "Being Rigged is unkind to the weak." This was a truism of sorts, to the degree that, 'Imagine what their audits are like!' was the staple of gossip everywhere. No one fought anymore, but then no audit was 50/50 either! Jess typically tagged six more things than I did!
But you didn't need to be psychic to know that Sissy was never meant to see herself in the light of more predatory eyes, that all the Virtual Observers she had installed over the years spoke to a kind of despair she would never suffer, thanks to First-person, only bear. Endless audits, endless bouts of neurofeedback training, endless apps promising to nip and tuck this or that flaccid pouch of her personality, and none of it ever working, not as well as she needed, at least to swim with sharks like ourselves.
Just a continuation of cookie tracking advertisements, and just as poorly and irritatingly implemented. Seems about right - that it actually working as intended comes as a surprise is entirely unsurprising.
Lol. Gross. Ad-block for the Rigged then, hopefully.
- Tagging relationship moments for review. Interesting. And generally, the concept of a "highlight reel," which I mention later, real interesting.
Weekly audits on behavior... "BE THE BETTER MAN"
Maybe that's been my mistake in past relationships - joking
- Lol - "There is was. Happiness. My dear-dear friend" (p5). Like people constantly slide to obsessively fixate on homeostasis. Interesting.
I don't know what you mean by homestasis. People like being happy, so it makes sense that you'd tweak the sliders to make your brain settle into your preferred state of bliss. Why bother being upset when you could be exactly what it was you wanted to be?
Just a fancy way of saying system stability. Our organs maintain bodily homeostasis and the brain has homeostatic tendencies in its ongoing function. Since stress and affect constantly disrupt homeostasis, you can think of it as referring to the brain's compulsion to seek balance... or in this case, whatever balanced affective state an individual is predisposed to have.
And, as below, there seems to be social regulation, which determines when and how much you can tweak your sliders.
- Swonk towers - Drumpf towersI thought 'twin towers', but yeah.
Skysraper sized advertisements, how nauseating.
- The ads I assume to be Adonis & Aphrodite appear to come down the towers in "neural-perceptive overlay" (or whichever interesting nomenclature Bakker would use). Another great one-liner: "I had written those ads - well, more like massaged the AI that picked them out of thousands on the basis of neurofeedback polls" (p5). So much grist packed in there. Like are AI are constantly analyzing live-data on consumer experience while interacting with products?
I didn't see it as NPO, but that is an interesting thought. It would prevent cluttering the cityscape with ads if they all talked to eachother and were filtered through your brain before they showed up on the conscious spectrum.... I'd run it with an ad-blocker for sure.
I think this is another reference to the above google anticipating his search. Like tracking cookies, except its brain functionality, and its 100% of the time instead of when you are using the computer/phone/device (so up form 85%, not that much of a leap).
Lol - interesting thoughts, though I feel like we diverge in conception a little bit. Currently, based on my sister's IP, the ads across all the devices using that IP will reflect all the activity using that IP (perhaps there is a bit more specificity to my Mac address or my cell phone, regardless of wireless connection, but I've already seen my browsing habits reflected in the ads on my nephew's WiiU, for instance) - which is what I think you're referring to.
In Crash Space
though, instead of my browsing habits, the algorithm has access to my actual reactionary state. Walking through a store, what with the AI's unprecedented access, when a Rigged is browsing, the AI has a wealth of perceptive data concerning which product and what about it compulses a person to exercise their purchasing power. Conversely, it allows the AI data as to what products or apps are not available to the consumer - but wished for
, in their absence. With the breadth of data available to any AI with monitoring access to any or all of the Rigged, it wouldn't take much to design products, apps, and ads to fill any void niche.
Hence, to me, it suggests that Main Character Tim either hacked the AI to preference his vision of the Aphrodite
app or he just wanted something like that app to exist real bad or simply watched a shitty ad for the already existing app and thought about a better version...
- "So it was a case of sliders maxed out in maxed out circumstances. I was 'double dipping' large, and it was a fucking rush" (p6) - The moment of maximal affect, at the extreme of biology and "parameter" restricted augmentation. Gives an interesting anchor point in relation to the later Hitter-app.And the anchor point being extremely important. Without being tied down somewhere, its easy to go nuts for a little while.
Well, narrative anchor. It serves to highlight how much more extreme Cheese Hitter
allows the Rigged to experience. The actual anchor is this commercial/governmental regulation we're elucidating above and below that decides the parameters in the first place - lest the Rigged just burn out their brains hitting the happy button over and over and over again. Again, the narrative refers to "envy famously lay on the far side of the parameters" (p9) right before the quote below about consumer impulses. So there are straight up affective states that the "original industry panel" decided the Rigged wouldn't be able to tweak, as well as limitations on how much of what one can tweak and when...
- Discrepancy remains, as far as I read it: "No one who's Rigged has gone back to baseline" (p7). So in contrast to my earlier notation, does this suggest that no one has ever become UnRigged? Or no one has ever "reset," as noted above?This is far more clear to me than the above line. No one becomes unrigged. Maybe this is regardless of all those 'everyones' who hate what they have become. They hate, but not as much as they enjoy.
That would be a weird juxtaposition to experience.
- Also, we are Baselines.I rail against the injustice! Rig me up, Bakker!
No, friend, don't do it
- Tim mentions being unlikely to double double dip a second time, in a short period. Really this whole paragraph on page seven. So much future speculation one might unpack from his words; specifically: Is that how it works? Or is it that euphoria is always locked, forcing you to seize the cheese, rather than just laying in bed drowning in your own pleasure? I think the latter.
"The euphoria menu was locked, my joy fixed to Washington's definition of 'normalcy.'"
Intense experience can spontaneously lock your ability to "tweak," based on governmental regulation. Real interesting.
Hmm... Lol... I feel like I'm mixing your metaphors. The way I've perceived it he actually does jack his euphoria slider to the limits of the parameters when he saw the ads so he knew he was as happy as could be while also experiencing a "natural-affective state" (in this case, that of being satisfied and proud of ones own creation). But then it gets locked... Like you can only tweak your euphoria (or any slider) to the extent that you remain a "productive consumer," as you said - so maybe we're not so far from each other.
- Fucking Bakker. There are just too many classic Bakker one-liners in this one section. Investor/machine dichotomy; suggesting that investing is the one remaining obstacle for Machine Learning to usurp the special, unique human "je-ne-sais-quoi."Without strong AI, traditional computation just can't keep up with stock markets.
The advent of quantum computing will see an end to that.
On that note, I wonder what % of stock market transaction are already being managed 100% by algorithms without human intervention? I'm guessing its already most. They just aren't sophisticated enough to predict short term trends or beat out human hedge fund managers making snap judgement.
Yeah, it's a lot...
Also, Warren Buffet. Just download his brain and make it into an investing computer.
Maybe there are monuments to famous investors in this changed world of Crash Space
Remembering not trauma, but joy. How different the world would be.
- Highlight reel. Too funny.
It's really funny to me but since that CW show The 100
has gone off the rails of source material (originally based off a YA trilogy, as far as I know) it actually is weirdly relevant to this conversation.
Some people would rather remember how their trauma shaped them and how it contrasts the joyful moments as joyful at all?
- Another one: Its the same idea as the Argument, rehashed in a different way. Same thing the poor guy later on tries to bring up. What makes 'real' ... 'real'? If the chemicals making up the sensations are the same either way, how is artificially activating the feeling functionally any different than waiting for biology and circumstance to do it?
"Smiles are real now, Du."
This is an interesting thought, because it implies that "recognition" is a - seemingly obvious - component of social cuing. So now, as baseline, I might suffer any number of anxieties concerning a lover's smile. But a Rigged knows that their relations are genuinely "happy" (or 'constantly achieving homeostasis,' I suggested before). And that makes it "more real," somehow...
Same thing as the people who reject Soylent because its 'synthetic'. The disconnect is that there is no difference in the end product, nutrition entering the body, but how the nutrition got to you. Just because it was synthesized in a cell and cooked up in your pan at home, rather than blended and measured in a lab and pre-packaged, doesn't make either one better. The chemicals in are the same. The result is the same.
What matters how you got there.
Very interesting. What some humans will get upset about
Though, it does suggest that "human" is simply a time/space relevant umbrella term for our form now. The Rigged wouldn't qualify for homo sapiens sapiens
anymore, it would seem.
- There's another line in here:Someone is always in control. The farther behind the curtain they are, the more adamant the control. Every system is regulated, usually by the government, this wouldn't be any different. But it always gets fun when people see the rulers make decisions about how you live your personal life behind closed doors. There would be outrage. There would be Hitter, it would only be a matter of time, as it is the human condition to break free of cages, whether its for protection or not.
It was too risky to the economy, the original industry panel had determined, to give consumers control over consumer impulses.
We now have notation on governmental and corporate regulation of experience, which I find... well, interesting and ominous for reasons that Bakker doesn't explore here.
- The sharks (Neuronauts, Neuropaths, Rigged) don't socialize with the other fish...
It would definitely seem that - as sparsely as Bakker's talked about that idea elsewhere - this is a precursor for a world like Semantica
, where the government hunts down Tweakers, whom they deem to be tweaking in ways that threaten the ingrained Rigged sociocultural organization. There must be Martyr Anti-Glenn somewhere, who uses the tools of the Rigged to undo that society.
- Bakker seems to have a particular thought about the "virtual observer" apps, where an AI "suggests" behaviors of best-possible fit to context. It's a difficult section to unpack fully as there are so many layers to it. We have this technology that enables humans to modify certain experiences, subject to governmental and economic regulation, and you have the engineers responsible for programming apps. It's an evolving technology, in a world that is still reorganizing itself to accommodate the Rigged. And on top of it, Bakker drops a little speculative tangent about engineers having trouble modeling moral contexts...Often the people that do the creating feel like its not their job to deal with the moral side of it. It wasn't politicians that build the A-bomb, but it was built because they asked for it. If each engineer had to agree to personally use it, to hit the nuclear button, then I doubt it would have ever been built. Separating creation from decision/morality/ethics drives progress.
Right - agreed but missed my point. My bad on explanation, as per usual. Bakker suggesting engineers have trouble modeling a moral context - talking about Sissy having an app telling her which behaviors are "morally better" in her any-given context - seems very un-Bakker-like. An algorithm could go through all available historical and Rigged perceptual data on what behaviors are deemed moral in which contexts by the most number of sources - not mention, inherent biological data. For Bakker to suggest that engineers have trouble modeling moral contexts, he's implying that morality is part of something untouchable and quintessentially human - which obviously doesn't seem like an assertion Bakker is likely to make, especially in this story.
- "What we once were; the prison we escaped" (p11): the parallel Glenn's presence invokes. I'm not honestly sure where I fall in their little philosophic dialogue but the ending did prompt different sorts of questions from me.Also just before " He wasn’t even sure why he’d accepted Derrick’s invitation to join their party—and how could he be when he wasn’t Rigged, when he had no apps! "
The idea that, without being rigged, you are less than human, begins surfacing. There is no communicative pathways left open for meaningful discourse between the two groups.
Indeed - ties right back to the crux on recognition being inherently necessary for communication. Worse, both parties perceive theirs to be the more "real" or authentic or whatever Cheese (experience).
- "Humans were eusocial organisms..." (p12): implying that the Rigged still perceive social cues "normally," so that despite their augmented ability to broadcast socially, they still tweak in response to each others behavioral cues. Being in control changes things so dramatically. If we are in fact 'eusocial', being able to actually align yourself, your thoughts and feelings, with those around you, would create such a profound feeling of belonging. Of being accepted in a way that the Baslines would be entirely unable to replicate. Not only can Glenn not properly read their expressions, but even if he could it wouldn't matter. Their connection is something entirely alien.
- "Social domination..." (p13): continuing this social cuing thought, Glenn normally perceives behavioral expression, but the Rigged at full (or beyond full) affect are literal monsters, in the ken of Lovecraft's imperceptible horrors, and so Glenn responds catatonic.
- "Just because you couldn't see the slider didn't mean it wasn't there" (p14): I know Wilshire liked this quote. But sure, the metaphor stands, we all have "sliders," which we tweak constantly, aware or unawares.
Not to mention Hitter
's Big Show
function - that shit Mad, Shire.
The Sliders. The Argument. What to means matter anyway?
Don't know. Just interested in elucidating for elucidation's sake. I'm a monster, I know
- "Violated non-verbal expectations" (p15): it alludes to the Dunyain, who can "tweak" at will, to broadcast whichever behavioral cues that they deem to require and also seems to reflect the perception of their "dropped affect" moments, the dipping in and out of the probability trance. But I really love this quote because it illustrates well another point I've already tried communicating, regarding Bakker's writings on BBT, specifically, and augmentation, generally, in that brain to brain cuing, in many cases, resolves on 'recognition.'On the witness rather than the actor?
I'm not sure I grok you, #2.
- I loved Moira as "neurocomputational engineer" (p15). I should show this to my sister-in-law who bares the same name - if only to see the horror.
Lol. And here I was thinking that Moira's the real MVP.
- "personality; written into the human OS" (p16): provides an interesting illustration of nature vs. nurture, though, I think I can make the argument that learning through practice changes the nature "baseline" whereas the Rigged can only further inscribe neural networks based on "tweaking."Maybe back to the 'resets' - I think that the baseline they use for the Rigged is something that is set by your nature when you get Rigged. As it mentioned later related to Anger. Interestingly, if you believe that people can naturally change their own nature, their own baseline, through repetition and practice, then what would preclude the Rigged from doing that?
A Rigged wouldn't do it? Why would a Rigged practice something like meditation to mediate how angry or sad or whichever they become when presented with offensive or painful stimuli when they can just tweak?
On that note, I don't think people can really do that. What you change might in fact be how you deal with your natural propensity for reacting to stimuli, rather than changing the reaction itself.
Well, you'd be wrong, so far as I see the world.
For instance, tactile two-point discrimination. Take a paperclip, unbend it, and make a single long form U. Take a blindfold or have someone else touch the two points together to your skin while looking away (different areas of your body have different thresholds for two-point discrimination based on predispositions). Repeat with the tips a little more spread apart each time until you can sense two points instead of one. What's surprising at first is how far apart the tips actually need to get, on average, for two-point discrimination. What's more surprising is that by repeating this exercise and others like it, you can minimize the distance necessary for two-point discrimination (you've changed your baseline threshold).
And that, to be honest, is just a decent analogy for brain plasticity generally and why it has always seemed more interesting to me than railing about these biological limits I'll never have a chance to practice myself to the limit of anyways - not with this one life in this time/space crux of sociocultural organization.
- "Extremis of hate and passion" (p18). Great line.These two just dont strike me as they do you it seems.
- "It is what it is." - Jeepers. What a fucking haunting line...
Lol - each their own preferred flavors.
"Extremis of hate and passion" is an awe-full statement because that'd be a crazy crux to experience; clearly, one hell of a drug.
When MCT mouths "it is what it is" to Derrick, it is a testament to reconciliation to beyond fucked up-ness. Like... MCT's best friend just shot his wife in front him, he and a group of his friends are having orgasms because they've tied horror to pleasure, and his mouthed statement pushes Derrick to kill himself so his friends can have the greatest rush (or meatiest slice of Cheese) they've ever had because they're all reconciled to the fact that all this is perfectly natural and normal... That "it is what it is."
While Glenn (our readerly stand-in) convulses, catatonic and screaming... or some such
This reminds me so completely of the debut of The Rite of Spring by Igor Stravinsky around 1910, a concert that literally caused a violent riot due to the dissonant cords that the audience was subjected too for so long. It is now believed that people in the audience didn't have the experience to cope with the sound, and it's repetition drove them insane.
So, historical precedence for people turning to violenace when the brain runs out of "cognitive ecological" experience to draw from.
Very interesting... Indeed.
EDIT: Also, "gendered answer" notation. Four women to three men. One homosexual couple. All grappling with the difficult conceptions regarding the narrative-proper, rather than questions of sexual orientation (though, this story certainly raises some interesting questions regarding that).
Not sure I graps what you're saying here?
Well, firstly four to four because I forgot the Neorasta, Du.
But when reading Bakker's recent stuff I've noted GA for how Bakker invalidates the gendered criticisms from years gone by and circumvents those previous criticisms, which enabled indignant readers to ignore or otherwise dismiss - what I think are - the more complicated conceptions he'd hoped readers would wrestle with.
To the brackets, Rigged sexual orientation... how does this story not imply a world of insane novelty and variety in sexual behaviors reflecting moment to moment tweaking?
Cheers, #2. Love participating earnestly in a thread again