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Internet Adventures -- Version 0.0.7 -- Updated 10/28/16 Back to Snerx -- Contact us on our official IRC. ======================================================================================
The Russian word for Truth is 'Pravda'. If we were to take the American English equivalent for "a true bro" and slangerized it, the Russian crossover would be 'bruvda'. Let it be known from here on out that a bruvda is a true bro, one who is aware of the Good in others and acts upon it justly. Brostoyevsky is our series on internet culture in which we searched for bruvdas in various recesses of the internet. Enjoy the explorative deconstruction of the contemporary first-world in all its glory.
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Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 5 :: ====================================================================================== :: Post-Critical Art :: ~ Internet Adventures, pt.5 ~
Modern art, as an intellectual study, is the worst of all post-structuralist studies. Foucault's notion that aesthetics were all power struggles (meaning you could characterize anything as a positive and negative struggle or dialectic), paired with Derrida and Duchamp's notions of personal meaning and repurposing of objects, further reinforced on the mass scale (accidentally) by Warhol, gave rise to the gestalt switch of modernity that, "Anything is art." The problem is of course that given the notions just mentioned, as well as the general momentum of modern artists, that truly anything is being considered art, with the academics themselves asking the question of what art is, as if the question has no right answers. The pile of criticism this approach to aesthetics has generated is becoming almost as enormous as the pile of formal works supporting the notion that anything can be art, however the question of what is art is not actually open ended and so the aesthetic of modernity may yet be salvaged from its instantiation as a straw hut in low tides. The internet and the content creators on it, most notably the producers (and products) of comedy, have been the greatest source of societal critiques, not only in sheer quantity of production but in quantity of persons reached, as millions of people view these specific social critiques the internet provides every given day. Outside of the internet, infotainment has become so well done that it's starting to become the normative approach to actual education, showcased by shows like The Daily Show, The Colbert Report, and Last Week Tonight, all being immensely popular, and all bordering on being indistinguishable from actual news sources even though they started (and maintain themselves to be) merely parodies of news sources. But the internet doesn't have the restrictions that large television networks do, and so infotainment on the internet has taken a different form, one that when viewed as a whole, self-critiques and self-regulates according to that critique. This has now extended into the very real and regular world outside the internet, as it has become affected directly and strongly by internet culture and the criticisms it spawns moreso than any other source. The art world is no exception to this process; the leakage of memetic content into real-world instantiations of fine art is seen fairly regularly in the contemporary scene, and its instantiation makes sense, as it was Duchamp himself hours before a big exhibit that bought a shovel from a department store and hung it as his submission, tag and all, claiming that the repurposed item, with intent behind it, was a piece of art, so why not do the same with memetic content? Why not do the same with anything anyone takes to be explicitly normative or explicitly non-normative and frame it, as clearly that falls into the now-normative definition of art because you're being ironic or starkly unironic (read:hipster)? Nota bene, that while this motion from modern artists to question and push what we call art seems (usually) to be a legitimate question or push, it still follows a clear notion of what art is. There are still a recognized set of regularities that crop up amongst modern art. Without getting into debates over the formal or academic definition of art, I'll try to give two necessary criterion of art, that together are sufficient for characterizing any piece of art, modern or otherwise. The first is intent. This is often the pin the door of the aesthetic world hinges on, whether they want to recognize it or not. By intent I do not merely mean something is more or less artful depending on how deep the artist's intentions were, I mean that an object (or set of objects) must be intentionally instantiated as a necessary requirement before you can call them art. This is exemplified by other aspects that many would normally attribute to art, such as the process of production itself, whereby something is not art if it is not produced as art. This is not arguable. Finding a rock on a beach and claiming the rock, on its own, with no augmentation to environmental relation or context of its nature, is art, is false. A rock on a beach that was placed or photographed in a such a way as to frame it with a specifically intended environmental relation or spatial context can be said to be art, as the intent for the instantiation of art was present and a process occurred where that intent was captured (regardless if others share the same intent), but without this intent and subsequent process, there is no art. If there is no product from a person, there is no object of art present, this is semantically actuated and as such unarguable. The second is transcendence. This is the framework the aesthetic door rests in, whether or not its critics recognize it. By transcendence I do not mean art teleports you to a different plane of existence, I mean that the art piece itself is to convey some notion in any general sense, as a relation between objects or concepts, with or without any further context, and with or without the notion intended by the artist that produced the piece being the same notion the perceiver of the piece attains. This criterion is what allows for color fields to be considered fine art, and the criterion of which's questioning led to the creation of both expressionism and cubism. This is also the criterion most abstractly reified in modernity, to which we've seen many modern artists claim that the meaning of their work is whatever the viewer wants it to be (exemplified greatly by the numerous blank canvases in the MOMA, which were purchased for millions of dollars[1]). These two criterion as broad and general conditions, when amalgamated as they've just been, account for the greatest number of art pieces, especially with regards to modernity, and not just with explanatory power but predictive power as well, as many people can now accurately tell you if a piece (or one similar to it) might find itself in a museum or gallery. These two criterion are also the most attacked, which many think is what produces the deepest works of art, as questioning intent and perception after the instantiation are what gives rise to most of the production of, and literature on, aesthetic works. This paradigm which we will now attribute to modern art at large is what spawns the question of, "What is art?" It also allows us to answer the question, but maybe too broadly, as seemingly anything can be considered fine art under this definition. Surely if we can know what art is by intending it to be such, then we can know what art is not if the intent is explicit to some produced object not being art. This is to go in the opposite direction of, "anything is art," but not to say, "nothing is art," as we are clearly saying there are things that aren't art, and so we must also admit some things are. This is where post-critical art comes in. H3h3productions released a video called, "How To Make Modern Art," in which what we consider to constitute modern art is heavily criticized and parodied, with examples given to showcase what is /not/ art.[2] Ethan, the creator of the video, gives the regular criteria of how to make modern art as being: making it look old, putting it behind glass, resale of old crap, and excessive pricing. Each of the four criteria is substantiated by works in the video that are on display currently in the MOMA in New York. He also notes that it's not real art if it doesn't sell for more than a million dollars. He then goes on to produce an object that by intent is not art, as he clearly thinks the majority of modern art isn't actually art, his parody product of which is his beanie, behind glass. The issue is not that this fits his criterion for modern art, as his criterion is not supposed to give rise to actual art, but that fits the criterion for art at large, even with the intent of the product as being not art, which makes us wonder if his framed beanie is actually profound modern art. You may be wondering about his fourth criterion- the pricing. Worry not, because after he posted the video, he also gave a link to ebay, where you could bid on the framed beanie, the first of which had bids at seventy million dollars USD, to which ebay took down, as they thought the large price inflation was from false bids (framed screenshots of which are now also currently on sale on ebay[3]). In the same day he sorted it out with them and got it put back up, and within four hours of that it had gotten back up to two million dollars USD.[4] These were fake bids, as ebay has verified, but people are willing to pay the money for a beanie behind glass just the same as they are for real modern art, as thousand-dollar knock-offs have since been spawned and sold on ebay. Clearly people think this is real modern art, but why? This was supposed to be a direct showcase of what isn't modern art, or art at all, but it has already spawned knock-off pieces that are being bid on for thousands of dollars much like early editions of major screen prints from famous artists would be bid on.[5] This is post-critical art. Not only because it's after critique, or only because it can't be criticized as art since it's not intended to be art, but because it's past the critical point that it could reasonably be called art, as it's its own critique, its own non-intentioned piece, with the video being a meta-instantiate of the very notion of what should not be art and the framed object being a meta-reification of what is intended to actually not be art. This is what the self-critical nature of the internet hath spawned, as while on the surface this seems to go against the two criterion outlined earlier, that this seems like the piece was non-intentional and that it is not meant to transcend, that it was intended to be so and in that it is transcendent. So as an instantiate of post-critical art, like we can know all post-critical art to be henceforth, the video paired with the framed beanie is truly a piece of meta-art reified. This also lets us know the definition of post-critical art as being all works produced with the explicit intent of not being art. This means critiques of art, with explication of what is clearly not art, are then themselves pieces of post-critical art. This essay, as it is a reified critique of meta-art, without intent as being its own object, is then itself an instantiate of post-critical art. Fuck you modernity.
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The Ethical Fallacy of Taking the Internet Seriously :: ~ Internet Adventures, pt.4 ~
As a measurement from a virtue-vice system, taking things too seriously is in the ethical wrong, it falls on one extreme of the system. Within the same system we can map the opposite extreme as never being able to take anything seriously, which puts us within the realm of people who take things too seriously or never at all, and without assuming all readers are obsequious in nature we should substantiate that these extremes in this virtue-vice system are actually unethical. It might be that you deny the validity of virtue-vice systems as being proper demarcators of ethicisms, to which I have no quick and easy counter. In this case we must base our ethics in some other system we could call objective, and do so without listening too strongly to those who say such a thing is impossible, as the impossibility of objective ethics places us in an inescapable box of epistemological dismay that we could never know anything to be ethical. It must be that ethics is objective, as to claim knowledge of such would require justified true belief with the focus here on 'true' as Truth is of an objective nature and is the very thing that allows epistemological systems to tie to reality. That's nice, you might say, but so what? What are we going to use to say anything objective about ethics then? Understand the standard Randian adherent builds their 'objective ethics' off an A=A tautological system, whose problems arise quite quickly in the face of dissent hailed from synthetic a-priori defendants who note that tautological systems only define themselves, never actuate themselves, meaning that you can't ever learn anything or know the things within the system to be true external to the system, as their truth is merely axiomatic and contingent to reality. So to make this quick, we'll assume people exist and that people are minded things. To quell the qualms people coniptionalize over the semantic of "minded things," we'll use the definition of thought-capable objects. This may further have taken you aback, but defining people as thought-capable objects makes them feasible in both monastic physicalist frameworks and body-mind dualistic frameworks. With this understanding of persons, know that ethics only exists where minds do, in that without mind interactions there are no ethics. This does not mean ethics exists in the mind alone, or that ethics is an invented or made-up construct, but rather that it explicitly denotes the parameters in which an ethic can be existent. We don't say rocks have ethics as they do not discursively consider the actions they commit; they act without the capability to reflect or plan the act. This also makes it so that even without free will or in a deterministic framework we can still have ethics, as even when deterministically forced to do so, we still have thought, and so as thinking objects we carry out ethics. You might be asking now what the fuck this has to do with the internet. Let me take you back to the initial proposition- that taking things wholly seriously versus wholly not are two extremes of a virtue-vice system and that virtue-vice systems in themselves do not actuate ethical imperative. With our understanding that we've just established of objective ethics (being that it's objective that persons exist and they interact) we can count mind interaction and use virtue-vice as a ledger of the actions. This means that we don't even need to say an act in itself is 'good' or 'evil', we merely need to note that the act occurred in reality and the rest sorts itself out. This is a very clean framework for ethics. I understand dissent may arise here, but that's not what this is about. So moving on, within the virtue-vice system of wholly serious and wholly unserious (or fully sarcastic to the point you can't take reality in a sober manner), we find the virtue lies in the middle. To be half-serious and half-sarcastic at all times then is truly the mark of a virtuous person. This extends not only to all things said but to all instantiated actions committed, as you must be sober enough to recognize that they are indeed happening and that they are serious in this sense but also that they are contingent and needn't necessarily be the case. Basically what I'm saying is that if you take what people say on the internet seriously, then you're a bitch.
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The Social Error of Online Dating :: ~ Internet Adventures, pt.3 ~
I occasionally go through Tinder profiles to see if there's any females that say they enjoy something other than the beach or Disneyland. There are several laws to online dating through services like Tinder, Hot or Not, Badoo, etcetera. For example, if they're blonde there is a certainty that they say they like either the beach or Disneyland, or they will say they have wanderlust (as if to imply most people don't like travel). There's a statistically impossible trend of genericism across a disproportionate amount of these profiles and this is good news because it means we've reached it, egalitarianism has won, everyone is the same generic loaf of wonder bread now and people are controllable on a mass-scale. At least the people lonely enough to do online dating are. Really fourth-wave feminists should be attacking whatever is responsible for homogenizing the personality-hood of feminine society instead of just blaming men for everything they don't like. Online dating itself seems a little odd. I don't say it's odd because of any social stigma, I say it's odd because it can allow for too much power. Sexuality thrives best when you have to work for it, when you aren't sexually satisfied all of the time, but with the way web culture currently exists porn is available almost universally and real-life mates might as well be on a slider scale of physical customizability through dating and hook-up services. We find this shows that sexuality is not truly meant for "the one" or for a "perfect match" but rather for someone that fits close enough to your physical preference and happens to live within a 20 mile radius. Even without online services, did everyone really think it was a coincidence that 90% of their "soul mates" lived within driving distance? If anything here we see that sexuality is valued higher than it reasonably should be. So considering that, I decided I would really try to test the efficacy of online dating and see if I could find someone remotely close to a "soul mate". The sapiosexual conquest had begun, where the body was of lesser concern and the beauty of the mind was in focus. I got paired with a chick that said in her bio that intelligent conversation is a must, and that she liked the beach and Disneyland, but the intelligent conversation part stood out to me. So I messaged her. I thought she would ignore me like all the other women in my life, or that she was as fake as her bio was generic. It ended in me getting nudes from her. I'm not sure what the point of this story is anymore, but I think we all learned a lesson.
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The Black-Hat Fallacy :: ~ Internet Adventures, pt.2 ~
I've spent the majority of my free time over the years in programming communities and obscure forums that serve no purpose other than to generate content exclusive to themselves for the sake of spinning their wheels, often times these communities are autism whirlpools of self-sustained echo chambers. It seems the only way to break the wheel-spinning of this fractionalizing of the internet is to revert to older systems like IRC, BBS's, and usenet groups, as not even onion sites have been able to keep the autists at bay. These older systems seem to break the cycle simply due to their lack of public availability and difficulty to access (if you are not very net-literate), making them retain the feeling of exclusivity. Regardless the reasons for their success in programming circles, these esoteric technologies are undeniably successful in whatever their aim. Take for example AnonOps' IRC network, which is the public face of Anonymous, the hacktivist group that doesn't really do anything anymore. The main mode of communication for most of their members and coordination of their projects is through this IRC network and in the past they've been incredibly successful due to it. But in all the groups, no matter if they're public, esoteric, private, easy or difficult to access, there's one thing all these higher-level programming circles have in common that an average lurker of their communities will quickly notice if they have sufficient training in formal logic. We'll take to calling this commonality the "Black-Hat Fallacy." The fallacy tends to follow as: "I want a free and open internet where all information is publicly available." "I don't want others or the government to have access to my information or records." This is contradictory, and yet these contradictory views are held in tandem almost universally by everyone in anonops' IRC and everyone in higher levels of software technology that advocate for internet policy (further exemplified by the keynote speaker of this year's BlackHat conference). I think this helps paint a clear picture of the failings otherwise fair-minded individuals come to in terms of reasonable conclusions when deprived of a broader understanding of formal logic and normative ethics. It might be fair to say this has resulted due to things like formal logic, ethics, civics, and others no longer being a part of standardized education curriculum in public schools, but this is a fallacy so strongly centered in their ideology that I fear formal education stands no chance at defeating it. The question now becomes, to those exposed to the fallacy, which of the two views do you value more? Either you take the first position - you want a free and open internet where information is publicly available because you think academic works and knowledge shouldn't be closed to the public and therefore you cannot privatize information including medical records etcetera, or you take the second position - you don't want others to have access to your information or records because you think consent is required first and therefore assume information can be owned, privatized, and made exclusive, but you cannot take both and maintain logical consistency. My apologies for that being a single sentence. So it then seems that while these netizen dilettantes of ethics intend to do good, they inappropriately apply their intentions. I guess the moral of this story would be as Hanlon famously said, "Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity."
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The Philosophical Camwhore :: ~ Internet Adventures, pt.1 ~
== All of the following events took place between March 2nd and March 29th, 2015 == A while back I was sent a link from my Estonian friend to a camsite where people can stream themselves performing sexual acts for money. The link was to a specific girl, a raver chick with purple hair, who was going to hoola-hoop naked. When I realized what I had clicked, my sides were destroyed. I returned the next day to see the same performance, only this time with knee-high socks. This wasn't for sexual reasons, at least not entirely, I returned because I wanted to see what I could get these people to do for money. I spent the next month taking the entirety of my free time going through ~600 females (some fairly well known) and ~50 males on three different major camsites, seeing what I could make people do for money. Don't worry, it wasn't my money, most of these sites have relatively easy exploits you can abuse to gain free 'tokens' or 'gold' which are used to tip the performers. I have a lot of free time and probably an issue with abusing power, but I did approach this as a serious research project (or as serious as one can take camgirls). After going through about 650 people (all of which I cataloged and will be uploading data for), there were a couple strong trends I noticed, the first being that the younger and skinnier you looked, the more people you'd get to watch you and the nicer they treated you on average. Proportionate to the younger and skinnier factor was the joyfulness and outgoing factor, where it seemed that because they were young they were also happier, not yet beaten down by life like the jaded older women who were clearly doing this kind of work because they had to, not because they wanted to. They might have been happier and more talkative because their customers were nicer to them, it was probably a bit of both, regardless, age and weight scaled directly in relation to popularity on these sites. Of course, what I just said is 'subjective' and harder to prove, so I don't have data on this, but I do for the rest of the project. The second thing I noticed is that many of the females, especially the younger ones (under 25) who were American or western European, fancied themselves intellectuals. One of them was displaying her smarts by fluently conversing with her crowd of international clients in six different languages. It would almost have been impressive if several vibrating dildos weren't buzzing on screen. The 'intelligentsia' comes out of most of the younger crowd on these sites since they are willing to talk about anything, especially on slow nights (and slow for some of them can be as many as 500 paying customers). I remember one show distinctly where I had joined a room and the camgirl was discussing why a non-deistic (meaning perfect) god couldn't exist while holding up a book by Ayn Rand (which tells you plenty about her critical analysis skills), all while stark naked. It's in the absurdity of the moment that you start to think you've poured too much time into this, but it was also in this moment I realized that these pseudo-intellectual camgirls were the draw for the mass-conversion of the sapiosexual western world. "Smart is the new sexy," is a common phrase, but it's not new; intelligence in women has always been considered a strongly attractive feature. Let me be clear, intelligence is not to be confused with smarts. The chick that knew six languages was smart, she could speak six languages, she had memorized a lot of shit, congrats, but she was not intelligent. She had low theory of mind and seemingly no way to form an opinion on something without committing a formal fallacy. The Randian streaker of cyberspace on the other hand, with the book being in the first hand, was at least positing things she had previously not been told, meaning she was coming about synthetic a priori arguments; she was expending the intellectual labor to reach new concepts, giving her the rights to ownership over those ideas. This is the mark of someone with the potential to be intelligent. She was still wrong though, she committed several formal fallacies along her way but at least it was a step in the right direction. Thinking about this a little more I reproached the younger camgirl crowd, no longer demanding them to put shoes on their head or seeing if they could fit their whole hand in their mouths but instead asking them why they did or didn't believe in god, what their preferred system of governance was, how they justified knowing things without presuming knowledge was possible in the first place, all the perennial issues of philosophy that have challenged us as humans for quite some time now. Their responses weren't that unique or surprising, but it gave some insight into how this sect of society thought. A few red flags might have struck you there. Who am I to say such things? How pretentious do I think I am? Isn't this totally subjective? These might be the questions you're asking, but if they are, you're delusional and I'll explain why. Again, I went through approximately 650 people across three major websites (all of which were after I started asking them philosophical questions), cataloging them all (stats include age, nationality, languages spoken, and body measurements), pairing the chat logs for each, and moderating for synthetic a priori statements that both did and didn't commit formal logical fallacies. This gives an objective basis by which an unbiased third party can also review the data, the pool of which was created by a professional logician. Who I am to say such things, the pretentiousness of which, and the subjectivity of which, are now accounted for. But maybe I wasn't asking the right questions, I mean out of any random pool of 650 people, surely some of them are bound to be fairly intelligent, right? Wrong, none of them were. I pressed pretty hard on all the ones willing to have conversation outside of payment negotiations, dedicating about 20 minutes on average to each, asking counter-questions that follow the Socratic method, and whatever the topic was none of them escaped a formal fallacy of some sort. The critical skills just weren't there. I think the reason for this is that it isn't a random pool of people, but a very specific pool of a very specific kind of person, namely the kind that is willing to engage in self-pleasure regularly as their sole means of income. This isn't an ethical assertion here, I'm not saying what they're doing is wrong, I'm saying their nature is different than the average person. These are a different kind of people, a kind that lives for the body rather than the mind. It seems fair to say then that their minds would be less exercised than their bodies. So what was the point then? I'm not here just to shit on camgirls, on the contrary I think this data is very important as camsites are the fastest expanding market of adult entertainment, and so this data is useful for understanding how the newest (and soon to be largest) adult entertainment market operates on some level. I opened saying that I wanted to see what I could get people to do for money, and that was true, but then I wanted to see what I could get people, people that would do almost anything with their bodies for money, to do with their minds. There is an underlying hypothesis here, one in which you realize that you don't get credited with a novel approach to thinking for taking other's feelings into consideration, that stereotypes are stereotypes for a good reason. The stereotype of the camwhore is that of a camwhore: very nice people, very big hearts and goals in life, very little brains to get them through it. One hundred percent of the data aligns with this hypothesis, and the sample pool is decently large enough that one could say after a few more people run similar projects like I have, that this is a solid theory about an aspect of internet culture that tells us objectively the kinds of people that hedonistic work is entrenched with. ______________________________________________________________________________________ And so begins the series Internet Adventures. This will be a study series on internet culture. Let me know how you liked it, and parts you disagreed/agreed with. I'm willing to re-work the methodology if flaws are pointed out, as well as partnering with people to do additional research and cull data. Also, check out MissAlice_94 she was one of the cooler camgirls lol.
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