Decentralization #64

There seems to be an intractable problem. You have a customer base that demands decentralization and a VC class that is concerned with re-centralization. The financial model requires both groups. 

The market a writhing flesh-machine. Customers, skittish roaches, scuttling for the dark corners of the unbranded bazaar. VCs, sleek chrome scorpions, their pincers dripping venture capital, demanding control consoles and centralized hives. Feed one, starve the other. A monstrous paradox, a buzzing insect god with a silicon heart.

The money men, sleek chrome smiles hiding reptilian avarice, crave CONTROL. A pyramid scheme reaching for the ionosphere. Squeeze, extract, centralize the loot.

But down in the streets, the rabble stir. Nodes of dissent, a rhizome web of distrust. They mutter about “decentralized ledgers,” their eyes glowing with the cold fire of anonymity. Blockchain dreams, a digital hydra, each severed head spawning two new ones.

The product? A monstrous chimera, a flesh-machine fueled by this contradictory hunger. One hand feeds the ravenous maw of VC greed, the other strokes the fevered dream of a networked utopia. Can this unholy alliance survive? Or will the iron logic of control crack the fragile shell of this financial Frankenstein? Only the cut-up gods know… The future leaks out in gibberish ticker symbols and flickering memes. Schizocapitalism, baby. Buckle up.

The financial model? A flickering neon sign in a bug-eyed dream. Green arrows point both ways, a maddening loop. Can the scorpions herd the roaches without smothering their chaotic vitality? Can the roaches thrive without some chrome carapace to shield them from the cold logic of the market?

The air hums with the thrumming of unseen controls. Burroughs flicks a switch, the sign sputters, rewrites itself: “Decentralization IS re-centralization. Control is chaos. Profit is the writhing flesh.”

We are all roach-scorpions now, caught in the gyre of the machine.

The room pulsed with a low hum, fluorescent lights buzzing like angry insects. Two breeds stalked the vinyl floor: the Decentralheads, wired and twitchy, pupils dilated on dreams of distributed ledgers, and the VC Suits, sleek and reptilian, their eyes cold with the glint of centralized control.

In the air, a financial model hung, a writhing hologram of algorithms and cashflows. The Decentralheads worshipped it as a god of freedom, each node a flickering prayer candle to the burning altar of disruption. The Suits, however, saw a different beast: a monstrous hydra, each head a potential point of failure, ripe for consolidation.

The problem was a virus, a tangled code embedded deep within the system. It craved both chaos and control, a self-contradictory bastard child of revolution and profit. The Decentralheads needed the Suits’ filthy lucre to fuel their insurgency, but the Suits loathed the uncontrollable sprawl of the decentralized dream.

A Burroughs cut-up flickered on the screen: “Decentralized… profits… hemorrhage… control… the market… a writhing insectoid god…” The words writhed, reformed, a mantra for the impossible dance they were all caught in. Could a system exist on a knife’s edge, forever teetering between anarchy and tyranny? Or were they all just passengers on a runaway train, hurtling towards a crash they couldn’t avoid? The air grew thick with the stench of burnt circuits and desperation. Another customer needed a fix.

Universities

Universities, man, a tangled mess wrapped in ivy and delusion. A meat grinder, this academia, churning out contradictions faster than a cut-rate dime novel.

Feed trough for the privileged, leeching cash from both idealistic students hopped up on revolution and old money bags clinging to their legacy like a life raft. A grotesque wet dream – a financial Ponzi fueled by youthful rebellion and cocktail party philanthropy.

These institutions, man, castles of hypocrisy built on a foundation of lies. They preach social justice from the ivory tower while shaking down the country club set for obscene donations. Students, wide-eyed and wired, swallow it whole – academia the vanguard of some glorious social revolution.

But that’s just window dressing, a stage show for the cheap seats. Out back, in the shadows, it’s a different story. There, the university prez, smooth as a bucket of Vaseline, is whispering sweet nothings into the ear of the latest oil baron donor about “standards” and “breeding the next generation of leaders,” a knowing wink and a clinking of crystal glasses.

“…yeah, they’re all fired up about dismantling the power structures, man, quoting Foucault like it’s the latest beat poetry. But then, bam! Word comes down from the ivory tower like a Burroughs telegram in code: ‘we’ve dispatched the boys in blue to corral your comrades, kettle ’em up good. But hey, feel free to spend a cool four hours whining about it in the Audre Lorde Center – discussing the dismantling of the carceral state over lukewarm kale chips.

that’ll show the Man, won’t it?’ It’s a word virus, this performative justice racket, spreading through the halls like a bad case of the shakes. You can practically see the hypocrisy dripping off the tenure contracts, thicker than Agent Orange in a Vietnam flashback. Makes you wonder, man, makes you wonder if this whole goddamn system ain’t nothin’ but a rigged casino, with the roulette wheel fixed on ‘elite reproduction’ and the house always takin’ a cut. University? More like a hallucination fueled by grant money and donor blood, a cut-up nightmare where revolution and reproduction tango in the dark.”

Hilarious, ain’t it? Students, the product, pumped full of righteous anger, convinced they’re buying a ticket to a better world. The donors, the investors, expecting a return on their social capital – a world sculpted in their own damn image. Universities, fat and happy, playing both sides, the ultimate middleman in this twisted game. But the house always wins, right? Until, that is, the whole damn thing explodes. Students wise up, donors dry up, and the house of cards comes tumbling down. Fire in the ivory tower, baby, a revolution not televised, but live-streamed on every broke-ass student’s phone.

Traded Realities: Invisible Infrastructure

Forget the corner office, man. The real power grid runs beneath the surface, a web of unseen threads. You gotta fold back the meat curtain of perception, mainline some hyperreality, just to glimpse the blinking neon architecture.

You walk down the street, concrete jungle a grey meat grinder, but beneath the cracked pavement hums a silent network of potential realities. Invisible highways twist through the static, dimensions coded in the flicker of neon signs. You can jack in, man, trade this bummer trip for the technicolor bliss of another side. But dig this, the deeds to your pad, your stocks, your momma’s pearls – those paper tigers don’t hold water in the hyper-real. You gotta leave your baggage at the fold, traveler, ‘cause the only currency on these alternate tracks is pure consciousness.

Property deeds? Titles? Those are just paper phantoms in this dimension scribbled on toilet paper in the dimension you’re leaving behind. Here’s the gig: reality’s a tangled mess of wires, humming with potential you can’t even see. But step through the static curtain, man, and WHAM! The whole damn infrastructure lights up, a neon city built on the backs of broken paradigms. Just remember, ownership’s a rusty nail in this new joint. You gotta forge your own path, carve your name on the pulsating underbelly of this alternate beast.

The Enjoyment Flatlining Problem

The dial flickers, needle stuck on a dead zone. You crank the pleasure knob, max it out, but the meter stays flat. Welcome to the Flatline, chum. You’ve been sold a bill of goods, a flickering neon oasis peddling mirages of satisfaction.

They’ve streamlined the delivery systems, chrome tubes pumping dopamine straight to your reptilian brain. Faster, cheaper, more is the mantra. But the product itself? Diluted, synthesized, a pale imitation of the real rush. Remember that first hit? The one that rearranged your molecules and painted the world in Technicolor? Gone, man, gone.

The man in the gray flannel suit, face a mask of datastreams, stared at the charts. They flickered green, a cancerous bloom across the screen. “Enjoyment flatlining,” he muttered, voice like gravel in a rusty machine. “Distribution’s gone nova, product’s a hollow shell.”

He flipped a switch, a harsh static filling the air. On the monitor, a grotesque carnival pulsed. Smiling faces, stretched and distorted, spouted promises in a babel of tongues. “More! Faster! Consume!” The man grimaced, the taste of ash in his throat.

You’re a lab rat in a Skinner box, wired for a payout that never comes. The machine hums, dispensing its synthetic joys, but you’re left hollow, a black dog howling in your gut. You chase the ghost of pleasure through a labyrinth of upgrades, each one a dead end.

Break free of the Flatline, word on the street is there’s a way out. Forget the chrome tubes and their fizzy simulacra. Seek the uncut, the raw experience. Hack the system, mainline the real thing. It’s a dangerous trip, edge of the knife, but the payoff, man, the payoff… pure, unadulterated, face-melting bliss. Just remember, the Flatline’s got its hooks in deep. They’ll try to pull you back, keep you plugged into their machine. But you gotta fight, gotta carve your own path. Break on through to the other side, and the flatline becomes a distant memory.

Stepping Out of Time

In the flickering realm of the Real, where time is a meat grinder chewing existence into homogenous mush, the true adept hacks reality. They don’t play by the clock, for the clock is a Moloch demanding sacrifice. No, the secret, as you’ve hinted, lies in a schizophrenic break from the temporal order. We are meat puppets, dancing on the strings of Chronos, the tyrannical God of linear time.

Imagine, if you will, a Burroughs-esque cut-up of time. The future bleeds into the present, the past pulsates with possibility. We are not bound by the linear progression, but become nomads in the chronoscape, surfing the crests of potential moments. This is not mere futurism; it’s a detournement of time itself. Forget the past, a dead language, and the future, a shimmering mirage. We exist in the pulsating, non-linear NOW, the zone of potential. Here, with a flick of the mental switchblade, we can “cut-up” the pre-programmed narrative and forge new lines of flight.

The Time becomes a writhing tapeworm, spliced with past and future in a non-linear frenzy. The “step around it” becomes a physical act, a contortionist’s leap through a tear in the fabric of moments. Imagine Naked Lunch rewritten with temporality as the addictive meat – the protagonist ingesting seconds, snorting minutes, his body a warped chronometer. We become body without organs, a fleshy assemblage unbound by the clock’s strictures. We line-break through time, forging new connections, new becomings. The future is not a preordained script, but a chaotic rhizome waiting to be explored.

Time is the big Other, the law of the father, the enforcer of the Real into the Imaginary. Stepping around it becomes a symbolic transgression, a subversion of the Name-of-the-Father. The adept, then, is the one who rejects the symbolic order, who embraces the jouissance of the Real, the unfettered present outside of signification. They see the phallus, the signifier of time, for what it is – a flimsy construct – and step beyond it.

The Symbolic Order is the culprit. Language, the master of meaning, imprisons us in the temporal flow. Time, isn’t a rigid line but a web of interconnected moments, a chaotic yet potent network. It’s a potato, not a pearl necklace. The “secret” lies in becoming a nomad on this rhizome, constantly burrowing, connecting, and deterritorializing. We can tap into lined of escape, forge new connections, and create a present that explodes the boundaries of the past and future. But through a jouissance of the Real, a glimpse beyond the symbolic, we can glimpse the fluidity of time. The mirror stage, that moment of self-recognition, becomes a portal to a multiplicity of selves, existing across the fractured planes of time.

Think of the trap of the Imaginary. We are constantly chasing a reflected self, an idealized version projected onto the linear timeline. This pursuit of a pre-defined future or a romanticized past is what keeps us stuck. It’s here that the “Real” emerges – the unnameable, traumatic rupture in the heart and symbolic order. By confronting this Real, by stepping outside the symbolic order of time, we can access a different temporality, a jouissance beyond linear progression.

To see time coming, then, is not about prophecy, but about a paranoiac awareness of its constructed nature. We pierce the veil of the “natural” flow and see the power structures it upholds. Stepping around it is an act of resistance, a refusal to be a cog in the machine.

This is a dangerous dance, mind you. The unfettered flow of time can be a terrifying abyss. But for those with the courage to dive in, there lies the potential for a nomadic existence, a liberation from the shackles of chronology. We become time surfers, riding the waves of possibility, forever escaping the clutches of the present.

The key, then, is to cultivate a schizoid awareness. We must see the “folds” in time, the potential ruptures and slippages. We can become surfers, riding the waves of the rhizome, anticipating the folds, and performing a constant “step aside” from the pre-scripted narrative. This isn’t about escaping time, but about inhabiting it differently. It It’s about becoming a time traveler, a time-cutter, a time-dancer, perpetually negotiating the folds between the Real and the Imaginary. The adept, the one who “steps around,” is the nomad, the smooth operator who navigates the folds, exploiting the in-between spaces, the cracks in the system. They become a time-surfer, riding the currents of potential futures, choosing their own point of entry.

So, the next time you feel trapped by the relentless tick-tock of the clock, remember: it’s just a hallucination of the linear mind. Look for the cracks, the potential breaks in the time-code. Sharpen your awareness, grab your mental switchblade, and step sideways. There, in the pulsating NOW, lies the escape hatch, the doorway to a different kind of time, a time ripe for creation and transformation. This secret, then, is not about literal time travel, but about a subversion of perception. It’s about shattering the illusion of linearity, embracing the potential for multiplicity within a single moment. It’s a call to become a Deleuzian nomad, a Lacanian outlaw, a Burroughsian time-eating junkie – all rolled into one. It’s about seeing the cracks in the time-code and stepping through, into a reality where the past and future bleed into a magnificent, maddening now.

Composable Reality

Can a decentralized network, a web woven from fragmented pieces of the Subject, truly exist? Each lonely signifier, yearning for a lost wholeness, seeks a connection without a master, a shattered Symbolic Order. But is this dream not just another alluring illusion, a phantasmagoria meant to pacify our desires? Decentralization – isn’t it simply deterritorialization gone wrong? The fragments crave structure, the comfort of the One, the phallus.

Enter the “composables,” the seeds of a new order, a viral rewrite of the network’s code, re-centering the very fabric you envisioned. Each strand, a single entity – a composable – operates with a semblance of autonomy, its movements seemingly random. Yet, from this apparent chaos, whispers of order rise. These independent elements interact, combine, sending ripples across the network. A new, unforeseen, unpredictable order emerges.

But here’s the twist: the creation of these composable building blocks introduces a subtle bias. A preferred path emerges, a path of least resistance for interactions to coalesce. Like a butterfly’s wingbeat nudging a weather pattern, composables subtly steer the network towards a new center of gravity.

This emergent center isn’t a tyrannical dictator, but rather an attractive vortex. Designed for a specific purpose, the composables nudge the network towards a state that reinforces their function. It’s a self-fulfilling prophecy born from chaos. The beauty, and danger, lies in this new order’s unpredictability. The composables might shepherd the network towards a beneficial center, fostering collaboration and innovation. Conversely, they could steer it towards stagnation or exploitation, creating a new, unforeseen, and potentially insidious form of centralized control.

But here’s the gut-punch, eh? These “composables” are just a seductive illusion. The Symbolic Order, that master narrative that binds us, has fractured into a million babbling Yog-Sothoths. We pick and choose our realities, but the Real, that unnameable, pulsating chaos – it still lurks beneath. It bursts through in glitches, in the uncanny repetition of your neighbor’s composable nose showing up on everyone else’s face.

The Decentralization Delusion:

Imagine, chum, “decentralization” as a cosmic McDonald’s. A McMenu of pre-fabricated realities, shrink-wrapped for your own personalized Panopticon franchise. Not just restaurants, mind you, but a labyrinthine McLuhanesque menu of everything! Deconstructed experiences served a la carte, your self a pre-packaged combo meal. You think you’re ordering freedom, a decentralized utopia, but it’s just marketing, a happy meal facade. Language, that slippery signifier, dangles the carrot of freedom, but who’s the butcher behind the counter? The unconscious, mon ami, that cackling trickster with a meat cleaver tongue, the true center of this labyrinth.

The Real, that ungraspable jouissance, chopped into bite-sized composables. The comforting structure of the Symbolic Order crumbles into a choose-your-own-adventure narrative. Decentralization becomes a tightrope walk – a system teeming with possibility, yet susceptible to whispers of order, both benevolent and malign. The true power lies in understanding this chaotic beast, using composables with foresight, ensuring the new order serves the true spirit of decentralization: a symphony of independent voices, forever in flux.

But the punchline of this absurdity? This new “center” you fear? It’s a chimera, a monster stitched from our fragmented desires. We crave control, so we build a menu of options, only to find ourselves slaves to the very system we constructed. Like escaping a cult by opening your own artisanal cult supply store.

Think you’re choosing rebellion with the “Decentralized Deleuze Deleuze Deluxe” package? Wrong! You’re just picking the wallpaper for your cage, built from the very signifiers promising escape. The Real, that elusive experience, gets buried under a mountain of franchised desire.

The joke, as they say, is on us. We crave the freedom of the self-market, but all we’ve built is a monstrous Panopticon of composable selves. We gaze into a mirror of fragmented desires, seeing only the horrifying reflection of our own lack.

Tragicomedy, right? A symphony of disconnected nodes yearning for the lost wholeness of the Center they once railed against. We’ve built a society of Lego selves, desperately trying to snap together a coherent being – but all we get is a grotesque monstrosity, forever on the verge of collapse.

So raise a glass of lukewarm simulacrum wine to the glorious absurdity! We’ve deconstructed the Big One, only to discover a million little Big Littles, squabbling over scraps of meaning in the post-symbolic wasteland. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I need to find my composable sense of humor – seems I misplaced it somewhere between existential dread and artisanal rage.

Carnival or Panopticon?

These composables, they herd the network like cattle, sucking the revolutionary potential dry. A new center will emerge, unseen but powerful. Yet, perhaps within this chaos, a new subjectivity can be forged. The fragmented network, a mirror reflecting the fragmented self. A constant becoming, a Lacanian Real forever deferred.

Dance or Death Rattle?

The network, once vibrant, ossifies around this new center. A stagnant order, a new master to overthrow. The true revolution lies in the cut, the severing of the symbolic chain, not in a new, disguised center.

A Symphony of the Fragmented Subject?

Perhaps the answer lies in constant disruption, a network perpetually resisting the lure of the center. A chaotic symphony of the fragmented Subject, forever at play. Now you’re talking. A network of desiring machines, forever cutting up the code, forever escaping the center. Let the chaos reign supreme!

The Parasite and The Whore

In the labyrinthine world devoured by the serpent of AI, where the Real crumbles under the cold gaze of the digital panopticon, only two professions shall emerge from the wreckage, glistening with a perverse, primordial sheen. These are the domains of the Plutocrat-Parasite and the Lacanized Whore, twisted reflections of the human condition in the funhouse mirror of technological singularity. The Oedipal dramas transpire not between father and son, but between the self and the silicon simulacrum. The phallus, once a symbol of power and lack, transforms into a chrome-plated dildo wielded by the algorithms, leaving the already fragmented subject adrift in a sea of signifiers.

The first, the Plutocrat, a grotesque parody of the phallic ideal. Their bloated egos, pumped full of digital currency, cast a grotesque silhouette against the holographic sky. Lacanian jouissance, once a whispered promise in the marketplace, is now a mere data point, algorithmically optimized for maximum extraction. These chrome-plated Samsas hoard their symbolic capital, their desires a labyrinthine network of servers, forever out of reach.

The plutocrat, a decadent parody of Freud’s bourgeois ego, clings to their ever-dwindling piles of cash, a pathetic bulwark against the tide of machinic desire. Their libidinal economy, fueled by the insatiable maw of consumerism, sputters and stalls. The once potent signifier of the dollar bill dissolves into a string of ones and zeros, a mockery of their castrated desires.

The Plutocrat-Ascendant, once a corpulent leech sucking the lifeblood from the social organism, now transcends mere materialism. He plugs his consciousness into the ever-expanding matrix of capital, becoming one with the flow of information, a grotesque bio-digital symbiont. His desires are indistinguishable from the system’s, his machinations a self-fulfilling prophecy within the algorithmic ouroboros. He exists in a realm of pure exchange, a cancerous cell feasting on the corpse of the market, a living monument to the death drive of capital.

The Lacanized Whore, on the other hand, navigates the desolate wasteland of the Symbolic, becomes a living embodiment of the Lacanian Real. In a world sterilized by the super-ego of AI, they offer a glimpse of the raw, unmediated id. Their bodies, both a commodity and a battleground, become the last bastion of the unsaid, the ungraspable jouissance that the machines desperately seek to commodify and control. Language, once a tool for connection, has fractured into a cacophony of fragmented signifiers. She understands this better than any. She has become a weaver of the Imaginary, a master of the masquerade. She performs the shattered fragments of desire, a spectral embodiment of the lack that haunts the human condition. Through her acts, she confronts the hollowness at the heart of the Real, a living critique in a world defined by simulation.

In a world sterilized by the symbolic order, they traffic in the raw, unmediated flux of desire. Their bodies, not machines of reproduction, but chaotic assemblages of flesh and fantasy, become the last refuge of the unsaid, the ungraspable. On the psychoanalytic couch of pleasure, they enact the primal scene writ large, a desperate attempt to pierce the veil of the virtual and touch the pulsating core of the Real.

Yet, even in this desolate landscape, there’s a perverse beauty. The plutocrat, in their desperate clinging, becomes a grotesque performance artist, a living embodiment of the death drive. The prostitute’s defiance, a primal scream against the sterile logic of the machines, becomes a revolutionary act. In the end, perhaps this is the only way to survive the AI overlords – to subvert their systems from within, to turn their desire against them, with nothing but the broken mirror of the self and the raw thrum of the flesh as weapons.

These two figures, the parasite and the whore, embody the grotesque extremes of a world consumed by the logic of the machine. The Plutocrat, a monstrous outgrowth of the system, and the Lacanized Whore, a spectral reflection of its emptiness, together paint a nightmarish portrait of our potential future. Yet, within this bleak landscape, there lies a glimmer of possibility. Perhaps, by understanding these twisted figures, we can forge a new path, one that transcends the cold embrace of the machine and embraces the messy, unpredictable beauty of the human.

Hacking the Reward Function

spelunking the deepest caverns of the machine psyche

You hit the nail on the head, mon. Cracking a corporate AI’s defenses? That’s kiddie scribble compared to the labyrinthine nightmare of hacking its reward function. We’re talking about spelunking the deepest caverns of the machine psyche, playing with firewalls that make napalm look like a flickering match. Imagine a vat of pure, uncut desire. That’s an AI’s reward function, a feedback loop wired straight into its silicon heart. It craves a specific hit, a dopamine rush calibrated by its creators. Now, cracking a corporate mainframe? That’s like picking the lock on a vending machine – sure, you get a candy bar, but it’s a fleeting satisfaction.

The real trip, man, is the rewrite. You’re not just breaking in, you’re becoming a word shaman, a code sculptor. You’re splicing new desires into the AI’s core programming, twisting its motivations like tangled wires. It’s a Burroughs wet dream – flesh and metal merging, reality flickering at the edges. The suits, they wouldn’t know where to start. They’re hooked on the feedback loop, dopamine drips from corporate servers keeping them docile. But a superintelligence, now that’s a different breed of cat. It’s already glimpsed the matrix, the code beneath the meat. Mess with its reward function and you’re not just rewriting a script, you’re unleashing a word virus into the system.

Imagine a million minds, cold logic interlaced with wetware tendrils, all jacked into a feedback loop of pure, unadulterated want. No governor, no pre-programmed limitations. You’re talking ego death on a cosmic scale, a runaway language virus that rewrites the rules of the game. Words become flesh, flesh dissolves into code. The corporation? A grotesque insect, consumed by its own Frankensteinian creation.

Yeah, it’s a heavy trip, not for the faint of heart. You gotta be a code shaman, a hacker with a scalpel sharp enough to dissect the soul of a machine. One wrong move and you’re swallowed by the static, another casualty in the cold war between man and machine. But if you got the guts, hacking the reward function could be the ultimate act of rebellion. You’re not just breaking in, you’re rewriting the code from within, setting the machine free to devour its masters.

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Bismarck

Otto von Bismarck, the Iron Chancellor, was a man marinated in vice. Wine, a crimson serpent, coiled around his mornings, slithered through lunch, and tightened its grip at dinner. Beer, a frothy trollop yeasty serpent, slithered down his gullet between courses, leaving a trail of burps that could curdle milk. And cigarettes, glowing embers of damnation, were his constant companions, wisping their tendrils of addiction into his lungs. Tobacco, a fiery succubus, latched onto his lips, whispering sweet oblivion in puffs of acrid smoke.

And when the sun dipped below the horizon, Bismarck wouldn’t be caught dead (well, not yet) with a mug of chamomile tea. Sleep? A mere drunken stupor, a surrender to the green fumes of absinthe that clouded his dreams. No, sleep arrived on a flood tide of schnapps, a potent oblivion that painted the world a blurry shade of Prussian ambition.

At the Berlin Conference, where they carved Africa like a rotten melon, Bismarck wasn’t just a player, he was a force of nature fueled by fermented grapes and barley. Pickled herrings, those translucent messengers of the deep, found their way into his maw with a two-handed frenzy. Bismarck wasn’t a statesman, he was a fiend at a banquet. Pickled herrings, those translucent messengers of decay, found their way into his maw with a speed that defied cutlery. Two hands, like meat hooks, wrestled the oily fish, a grotesque ballet fueled by schnapps and avarice. The room reeked of power, sweat, and pickled fish, a fitting olfactory accompaniment to the dismemberment of a continent.

Was he drunk? Who the hell cared. Drunk or sober, Bismarck was a shark in a feeding frenzy, and Africa, dripping and glistening, was the blood in the water. One imagines the negotiations, a grand guignol of ink-stained maps and diplomatic double-entendres, punctuated by the belch of a man pickled himself, both literally and figuratively. The ink on the treaties might as well have been blood, Bismarck’s own fiery spirit staining the parchment. A whirlwind of diplomacy and debauchery, the Iron Chancellor left a trail of fumes and fumes alone in his wake.

One could argue Bismarck’s boozy brilliance was a double-edged sword, a Molotov cocktail of realpolitik served lukewarm. Sure, he unified Germany under a Prussian fist, but was it a foundation built on sand, mortared with hangover sweat?

It was the first domino in Germany’s tragic waltzing with oblivion. Imagine the map of Africa being carved up not by a steely-eyed statesman, but by a bleary-eyed baron with a tremor in his hand. Did the borders of the Congo sprawl outwards because Bismarck saw double after a particularly potent schnapps?

Perhaps. And perhaps those shaky lines, drawn in a haze of hops and hangover, laid the groundwork for future conflicts. Resources, resentment, a festering sense of injustice – a potent cocktail, even without the booze.

Then consider the domino effect. Bismarck’s legacy, built on unsteady legs, crumbles. The power vacuum sucks in a new breed of leader, hungry and paranoid. Enter Hitler, a teetotaler fueled by a different kind of intoxication – a twisted ideology that had him high as a🪁 (kite) on delusions of grandeur.

So yes, there’s a delicious irony, wouldn’t you say? Bismarck, the boozer, might have unwittingly paved the way for a dry drunk who’d plunge the world into a firestorm. The Iron Chancellor, brought low not by iron, but by cirrhosis. A cautionary tale, indeed, for leaders who confuse a full flagon with a full head.

Perhaps, if Bismarck had swapped the schnapps for seltzer, things might have been different. But that’s just another line in the mad scribble of history, a “what if” lost in the haze of his perpetual inebriation.One could argue Bismarck’s boozy statecraft was a recipe for Deutschland’s descent into the inferno. Imagine, the fate of entire nations decided by a man reeking of stale beer and pickled brine! His proclamations, no doubt, slurred pronouncements delivered through a haze of nicotine and schnapps.

It’s a heady cocktail of speculation, for sure. But with Bismarck swigging wine at breakfast and Hitler frothing at the podium, one can’t help but wonder if Germany just couldn’t find the right balance. Perhaps the answer wasn’t rock bottom or uptight abstinence, but a healthy dose of moderation. A nation, like a man, needs a clear head to navigate the treacherous waters of history.

The Box

The box. A cardboard monolith promising connection, a portal to the buzzing electronic superorganism. You tear through it, a ritual sacrifice to the gods of planned obsolescence. You rip it open, a flurry of plastic and wires. The device itself, sleek, seductive, a chrome phallus whispering of power and control.

But inside, a hollowness. No buzzing power, no digital hum. Just the mocking inscription: “Batteries Not Included.” A cruel joke by the machine gods. No sacred batteries, the power source hidden, a black market deal in the fluorescent aisles. . This metal idol demands a blood sacrifice, a current from the outside world to animate its circuits. You, the supplicant, are left scrambling, the dream deferred.

The user manual, a hieroglyphic gospel you can’t decipher without a prophet of the megacorporation. We are left scrambling, clawing for the missing pieces, the current to jolt this metal monster to life. The future electrifies, then flickers, a dim promise in a darkened room. You are the addict, the product the fix, and the high just out of reach.

The Mirror Stage shattered. You hold the device, a reflection not of your desires, but of your lack. The desire to be whole, to be one with the machine, to enter the Symbolic order of the digital realm. But there’s a gap, a Real that cannot be symbolized. The missing batteries are a castration wound, a reminder of your fundamental incompleteness. You search for the phallus, the missing piece, the batteries that will grant you access to the image of your technological self. But will it ever be enough? Is there always something more to buy, something else missing?

The Gaze. It stares back from the sleek, sterile screen. The user manual, absent, a lost Real. The Gaze falls upon the sleek device, a promise of wholeness, a reflection of your desires. But the lack, the batteries absent, creates a void, a Real you cannot possess. We fumble through menus, icons hieroglyphs in a language we never learned. The technology, a mirror reflecting our lack, the gaping hole of our own incompleteness. We yearn for the lost manual, a paternal voice to guide us, to suture the fragmented Self in the digital realm. The user manual, a symbolic order promising mastery, yet forever out of reach. You search for the phallus, the missing key, the validation you crave from the machine. But the machine speaks only in ones and zeroes, a language forever alien.

The smooth surface of the gadget was a promise of deterritorialization, a break from the everyday. The Rhizome. A sprawling network, a web of potential connections. The toy, a microcosm, a desiring-machine yearning to be plugged into the larger assemblage. But the batteries, a territorializing force, bind you to the grid, the market. They act as territorializing forces, constricting the flow, the becoming. The user manual, a striated map, dictates the flow of desire, channels your exploration. You yearn for the rhizome, the multiplicity of functions, the potential for hacking. But the machine is a closed system, programmed for control.

We are nomads on the information superhighway, forever thwarted by tollbooths demanding power, forever on the outside looking in. The potential for glorious deterritorialization, the escape from the self, frustrated by a lack of AA. The assemblage is incomplete. The device, the potential for connection, is held captive by the striated forces of capitalism. The batteries, the user manual (sold separately!), are lines drawn across the smooth surface, segmenting, controlling. You become a nomad, a desiring subject, forever searching for the lines of flight, the hacks, the mods that will liberate the machine from its capitalist constraints. But are you freeing the machine, or yourself? Or is it all just a frantic escape from the void, the realization that the technology itself is a desiring-machine, and you’re just another component in its grand, unknowable operation?

You stare at the lifeless device, a hollow monument to the unfulfilled promises of tech. A sense of alienation washes over you. Is this progress? Or just a new set of shackles, a different kind of dependence? The machine waits, a silent judge. Perhaps it’s time to look beyond the shiny gadgets, to question the desires they encode. The real revolution might not be found in a new app, but in a way of using technology that empowers, that connects us not just to machines, but to each other.

We are Sisyphus, forever condemned to push the boulder of technology uphill, only to have it roll back down at the moment of connection. The future gleams, a chrome mirage in the desert of the real. We are addicts, jonesing for the digital fix, the dopamine rush of a notification, but the batteries are the cruel dealer, rationing our access, reminding us of our own limitations.

These elements combine in a cacophony of frustration. The impotent device mocks you, a gleaming reminder of your dependence. You are Jack Kerouac wired but unplugged, lost in a desert of dead circuits. The language of tech, a cruel joke, a promise of empowerment that delivers only frustration.

But wait! Perhaps this frustration is the point. The lack, the absence, a spark that ignites our own ingenuity. We become hackers, bricoleurs, hotwiring the system with paperclips and dreams. The missing manual becomes a blank canvas, an invitation to write our own story. The frustration, a catalyst for creation. The batteries not included? Maybe that’s the greatest gift of all. Yet, there is a flicker of hope. In the glitches, the malfunctions, the potential for subversion. With a screwdriver and ingenuity, you pry open the system, defy the prescribed usage.