"Weird Signals" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: Weird Signals - we begin to explain
Date: March 29th 2014
Teratologists who tune in to the vast torrent of terabytes churning in the data lairs of Google will find leads, in both content and form, that provide something of a family rhizome of the Weird Shift. Portent and omen deprived apocalypticists will no doubt find a generous stimulus package lurking in work of economist V.C. Vickers:
The sun is setting --Can't you hear A something in the distance----Howl!!? I wonder if it is --Yes!! it is That horrid Google----On the prowl!!!
This passage excerpted from Vicker’s /The Google Book/, published in 1913, pre-empts the search-engineered information economy by nearly a century. The visionary whimsy of Vicker’s Google, presents today’s unfathomable and voracious data-monger as a sort of deranged Cheshire cat, seen in illustrations from the book, with dual processors, draped in a network mesh that recedes back into the long-tail. There were suggestive correspondences with Iceland’s wayward ash cloud, as well. a panopticonscientious objector, that atmospheric beast confronted the global economy, shadowed it, imposed the second largest series of air traffic shut-downs since World War II.
Another node is found in the electrical blackout in the Northeastern climes of the United States in the latter part of the previous millenium. Indeed there were reports of unidentified flying objects during that infamous power outage, strange bright objects claimed some. When a massive blackout again occurred, in 2003, the uncanny “strange glow” was an after-image : Citizens thoroughly spooked by the absence of light pollution. Probing further back, we find the evils of the world aggregated in the form of a flying dragon circa 1883, in Frederic T. Hall’s /Pedigree of the Devil/. Now the blacksheep of this family comes with the Theosophist thought-form, a psychedelic sort of cloud-computing, a multi-tenant architecture housing mental energies of positive thinkers. Important in structure if not form, a shadow form of the shadow form Understandably there is air of paranoia in all this, but please bear in mind that Weird Shift is not so much an elaborate conspiracy but rather evidence of a radical monopoly on monstrous form.
This would be hasty and misguided, as I will explain shortly, but you can appreciate presently that we experience the networked cosmos only as much as such search engineers allow us to access it, and can gain no idea of its absolute nature. With a feeble set of algorithms we pretend to comprehend the boundless complexity of hertzian depths, yet whole worlds of information lie close at hand yet can never be detected with the signal to noise ratios imposed upon us. I have always believed that such strange, inaccessible worlds exist at our very fingertips, and now, with Weird Shift, I believe we have found a way to break dawn the barriers.
Weird Shift harnesses and recycles the waste products of the global brain, accumulating the half-formed thoughts, inklings and approximations that take flight in the informational sphere as typos and misspelled search terms called, appropriately enough, “ghost queries.”
While Google is a massive network presence, it is no more than hobbycraft in contrast to the labyrinthine maw of Weird Shift, think of the image of a network with its nodes and links forming a mesh, this is counter-balanced by the absent modules or zones of empty space. This omission is what defines the presence of the network, or depending on your openness to figure-ground reversals, suggests a previously imperceptible, possibly unfathomable, shadow web such as Weird Shift. At which point the mighty network is revealed as a mere segment of a much vaster scheme.
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