this is an experiment.

anaar and i were walking together, talking about alienation: the relationship between the technical alienation in marx and the psychological alienation that pervades modern life.

we talked about the production of musical sound: the voice from the body vs. the voice amplified, vs. the electric guitar, nearly mute without being plugged in, unable to produce a true voice of its own, needing the system of manufacturers, generators, resource extraction. the fundamental alienation of production in all computer-based creation. in analog musical instruments there is a way in which the circuit is truly shaping the sound, there is always that voltaic correlate to what is heard. in the computer there is not even that, there is only successive layers of abstraction, of discretized representation. always needing to be recoded, reconstituted, in order to manifest, in order to be realized, to be produced.

so we sit behind our screens, producing outlines and logics and instructions that will manifest perhaps thousands of miles away, months or years later, in ways we will never know. the product of our creation alienated many, many times over, and the product of that alienation of production a profound alienation of heart, of spirit.


listening to, of all things, a podcast, the relationship between marx's alienation and our alienation was brought back to me. the podcast was from the npr show radio lab, about "toxie" their toxic asset. they talked about the fraud the permeated the system: well-meaning individuals walking away from commitments, but just as businesses do all the time, just as fraudulent real estate speculators did to make millions of dollars.

this is the coming together of our personal alienations and the profound alienation of our work, of our systems of production. to be mindful of our profound interconnection, our interdependence, is the bedrock of right behvior, of ethics and morals and justice and righteousness. but our system makes this so hard, our system does not value these things, in fact, it nearly kills them.

we must work so hard to see the connections between the things we do, what we make and what is made, what emerges.

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