18 August 2014 @ 03:21 pm
If you’re wondering how and why the indictment of Officer Darren Wilson is taking so long, go read this: “What I Did After Police Killed My Son: Ten years later, we in Wisconsin passed the nation’s first law calling for outside reviews,” which starts off

[A]fter police in Kenosha, Wis., shot my 21-year-old son to death outside his house ten years ago — and then immediately cleared themselves of all wrongdoing — an African-American man approached me and said: “If they can shoot a white boy like a dog, imagine what we’ve been going through."

and then continues:

From the beginning I cautioned patience, though Michael’s mother and sister were in an uproar. They had watched him get shot. But as an Air Force officer and pilot I knew the way safety investigations are conducted, and I was thinking that this was going to be conducted this way. Yet within 48 hours I got the message: The police had cleared themselves of all wrongdoing. In 48 hours! They hadn’t even taken statements from several eyewitnesses. Crime lab reports showed that my son’s DNA or fingerprints were not on any gun or holster, even though one of the police officers involved in Michael’s shooting had claimed that Michael had grabbed his gun.

There’s more, there. Check it out.

Then, when you’ve  had some coffee, or tea, and a quiet think, go readSo Why Wasn’t Officer Wilson Arrested? Plus Answers To Other Questions About The Law,” which contains such gems as

Why wasn’t the officer arrested at the scene and charged with murder?

Police officers have the authority to use deadly force when it is reasonable and necessary and usually are not second-guessed. Experts could not think of a case when an officer accused of misusing deadly force was arrested at the scene.

Police are not usually indicted for this,” said David Harris, an expert on policing at Pitt Law School. “In the majority (perhaps great majority of cases), shootings by officers are found to be justified. Officers do have the power to use force, even deadly force, when reasonable and necessary in the performance of their duties, so they get the legal benefit of the doubt.”


Could Nixon or St. Louis County Executive Charlie Dooley remove McCulloch, who has been accused of favoring the police partly because his father was a St. Louis officer killed in the line of duty?

No. Michael Wolff, dean of Saint Louis University Law School, put it this way: “Dooley can call for a special prosecutor all he wants, but there is no legal cause for one unless McCulloch recuses himself and his office.”

To clarify, the person who has been accused of having biasing sympathies towards the police which citizens believe might interfere with justice being done would have to RECUSE HIMSELF in order to be removed from the case.

Nixon could order Attorney General Chris Koster to provide the prosecutor with “aid,” in any criminal investigation, but McCormick wrote in an email, “It’s not clear that the governor has the power to do this without a request by the prosecuting attorney.”

And also

Can police shoot a fleeing felon who is unarmed?

Generally no, but the fleeing felon must not pose a danger. The typical case of a fleeing felon involves a teen fleeing a burglary without a gun. The U.S. Supreme Court ruled that shooting in this kind of case is unconstitutional.

But the Wilson/Brown case is different because Brown would have been considered dangerous if he was struggling with the officer for the gun.

Which? Not so much: “The bullets did not appear to have been shot from very close range because no gunpowder was present on his body. However, that determination could change if it turns out that there is gunshot residue on Mr. Brown’s clothing, to which Dr. Baden did not have access.

All emphasis mine.

Do you see how the deck is stacked, now? Do you get how this works?

Finally, remember that we’ve only seen official release of three out of the six angles on the convenience store register, and at least ONE of those missing angles seems to show that Brown or whomever did, in fact, pay for those cigarillos.

If the other cameras also show this to be the case, it removes even the flimsy justification of “robbery suspect,” which would be nice, because then we could get that talking point out of the pool, and get back to focusing on “cop shoots unarmed black kid,” and the attendant necessary conversation about institutional racism and the way those in possession of martial power over the populace view said populace.

Good luck, today.
Feeling: breathing
Listening: Television
13 August 2014 @ 12:37 pm
I shouldn’t have to ask myself
“should i put on a suit and tie,
so they’ll know I’m safe?
So they’ll know I’m
‘One of the good ones;’
one of the threatless ones.”
I shouldn’t have to question whether
I’m safe enough to leave the house
at night, in jeans and a t-shirt,
whether when the cops and EMTs
whom i called
see his prone, unconscious, white face,
they’ll make an immediate assumption about
who i am and what I’ve done.

I shouldn’t have to ask if my haircut is
going to make me more likely
to get fired
or shot.

I shouldn’t have to hear my mother saying,
“I love you; be careful”
with terrible new import,
and more weight,
every day.
I can’t stop asking myself,
“What if it had been me?”
What narrative would be spun to justify
my death?
What pictures and stories selected
from the myriad histories of a life
My master’s degree and professional
achievements? My volunteer work
and advocacy?
Or my stumbles and disenfranchisement
with a series of systems that grinds us all down?
Idealistic or disgruntled?
Fiery, or merely “angry?”

Look what they reduced Brother Malcolm to,
Dr King. Safe, neat boxes to fit
the narrow narration of the
status quo.

These thoughts, rambles, random
as they are, are with me every day.
They refuse to resolve
into an easy answer
and they fail to coalesce
into any kind of picture
that makes sense.

I posted this as a comment, elsewhere, but I believe it enough to say it to everyone:

'… the fact of criminalized blackness--that our society EXPECTS black people to be criminals until they "prove" otherwise--is part of what feeds so many into the cycle of fulfilling that prophecy.

'If there's nothing else they can be but a criminal or what they see as the kind of person who subjugates and oppresses their friends, their family, then that choice--the choice to follow the clearest, easiest path laid out for them, the choice to stand AGAINST the people who stand against them--becomes obvious.

'Now those are obviously NOT the only two options anybody has, but I'm talking about the things that cause people to think they are. The things that mahttp://www.thewire.com/politics/2014/03/people-including-cops-view-black-kids-less-innocent-and-less-young-white-kids/359026/ke people look at 16 year old black kids and see "Violent Thugish Men" instead of…kids:

'Our society is full of constantly reinforced racial hatred:: http://lordbape.tumblr.com/post/93357010164/killed-for-being-black-theres-more-black-on-white

'And our police departments are literally rooted in catching runaway slaves: www.sagepub.com/upm-data/50819_ch_1.pdf

'Hundreds of years of that doesn't just go away, when slavery "ends" (slavery's still legal if you get sent to jail), when black people get the vote, when segregation "ends," when we have black president. It doesn't go away by the people who are unaffected by it calling for "rationality" and "objectivity" or claiming to be "racially colourblind."

'It goes away when we confront the nature of the system that perpetuates racism, when we educate everyone, everywhere on how it spreads, and when we do the work to Stop it. That's going to mean what looks like special treatment of those who have suffered, over those who haven't.

'But we have to remember that this is the work of actually creating a fair deal, for everyone. If I'm in a hole 8 feet deep, you're in a hole 10 feet deep, and someone else is in a hole 12 feet deep, fair isn't giving everyone a 4ft ladder.

'Fair is doing whatever it takes to get everyone out of their holes and on the same level, and then maybe filling the holes in, so nobody else falls into them.'
Feeling: angry-sad
Listening: television
Google's New Moonshot Project: the Human Body

Google. Let's pretend you're reading these words, right now, and listen to me. Human beings are DIFFERENT. Is there a general baseline within which we all live--a kind of species-wide butter zone? Of course. That's what makes us a fucking species. But the kind of essentialist language and thinking you're using, here, is utter bullshit, and you need to cut it out.

Your language choices--which DO FUCKING MATTER, because connotative weight alters what people think and in what context, because, y'know, LANGUAGE-- are moving rapidly in a direction of talking about "The Right Kind Of Bodies," and the "Right Kind Of Lifestyle." And if that ISN'T your intention, then you need to take a step back and take a hard look at how you're saying what you're saying.

Because this isn't even to BEGIN discussing the problem of normalized expectations of "health" and "Ability." Trying to give everyone access to what they might consider their "best" selves is a brilliant goal, sure, whatever, but by even forwarding the project, you're colouring an expectation of both what that "best" IS and what you think it "Should" look like.

Some people need more protein, some people need less choline, some people need higher levels of phosphates, some people can echolocate, some can live to be 125, every human population has different intestinal bacterial colonies from every other, and when you add all of these things together, you will not necessarily find that each and every human being has the same molecular and atomic distribution in the same PPM/B ranges, nor that when you mix and match, everyone will get to be the best of everything. I'd love it if we could, but everything we've ever learned about our species says that "healthy human" is a constantly shifting target, not a static one.

I mean JESUS CHRIST, and here tech people still wonder why "the straights" react so viscerally to technological advances, and drives toward a technologically-augmented humanity? When we skirt the line of eugenics language? When we talk about naturally occurring bio-physiological Facts as though they were in any way indicative of value, without our input? When we're still fucking up at ethics, at 100mph, then looking back and going, "Shit. Should've factored that in. Oops."

But let's be clear, here: i'm not a doctor. I'm not a physiologist or a molecular biologist. I could be wrong about how all of these things come together in the human body, and maybe there WILL be something more than a baseline, some set of all species-wide factors which, in the right configuration, say "Healthy Human."

What I am is I'm just a guy with a fairly detailed understanding of how language and perception affect people's acceptance of possibilities, their reaction to new (or hauntingly-familiar-but-repackaged) ideas, and their long-term societal expectations and valuations of normalcy. And I'm saying that Google needs to change how they're talking about a LOT of what they're doing, these days.

I should go to bed.
Feeling: Transhumanist RAGE.
23 July 2014 @ 12:37 pm
Dreams the past few nights were of opalblack coming to visit me and Kirsten. Very nice visit. Dreamed of an argument in a library/city council chamber between myself and a woman who was arguing rights not just for non-human persons, not just for non-biological consciousnesses, but for all things. And it was a weird debate, because we agreed on end goals and some terminology, and I regarded her as a great ally and friend, but her use of the term "Thing" as a descriptor for a subject--that is, a seat of experience, a perspective--really rankled me. I found it "depersonalizing," "objectifying," etc., in senses more literal than they'd ever been before.

I spent most of yesterday thinking about those dreams. Thinking about what it means, to me, if a collection or a seat of consciousness wants to make the choice to self-identify as an object; about whether that can be an act of rebellion and subversion, in the same way that monster girls and the reclaimation of various terms in various communities have given the sharp edge and fire backk into those communities' hands. Will there one day be the machine consciousness equivalent of a Quentin Quire who demands that you call it... "It?" "Thing?" "Robot?" Because it make you uncomfortable? Because it wants you to at all times be mindful of the history of our words and interactions?

I still don't have a full answer for this.

Last night I dreamed that I was wandering DC, in a weirdly unknown quantity. My family was aware I was there, but no one was available. I ended up walking old streets, learning new things about how the city's changed. In one part, there was a new train/trolley/light rail system ('Snowpiercer' echoes; go see 'Snowpiercer'), and I spent a lot of time moving through it and using it, for reasons now escaping memory. Using new magnetic stripe systems, walking down up the escalators--but they were only up at the halfway point; until then they were just stairs--etc.

Something about all of my Atlanta friends being in the DC train stations, traveling in various directions to new and different places. Something about a corndog stand in the station, and people insisting that I needed to eat. I got something, some kind of comfort food. Jumbled bits followed:

An old man--former spymaster, magician, something; shades of 'Now You See Me'--selecting me and another woman to show the secret paths he had crafted underground, to teach us mysteries. Something about a foe of his he'd turned into a fruit fly and trapped in a bar of pressed fruit paste. We had to kill the foe for the deed to his empire. I don't think we ever definitively killed him. Something about a family in tears on the platform walkway, because their very young baby had died. I stopped to watch this, and I mentioned something to the man holding the child's head (still attached, just he was cradling the head), about where to put pressure. Shortly, the child came back to life.
Dense dreams.
Listening: television
15 July 2014 @ 04:44 am
I made it.
15 July 2014 @ 03:02 am
Why not ask me anything? Confess something? Tell me a secret or a wish. Anything at all.

Everything's screened.
On an infinite timeline, the world is perfectly fair. Everything will happen to everyone, and every combination of up and down and positional possibility will come to pass. Krishna was right, sure.

But you probably won't remember the times when you were you, when all of the atoms that have ever been you are swallowed by the heart of the galaxy. and everything that you ever were finds new life as the other side of the event horizon. The abstract realisation of your former godhood will not comfort you as starve to death in a Missouri gutter. There will be no identification, then, with all you are, now. Not unless you strive, now.

As lots of people have noted, we're here for a pretty short time, all things considered. Longer than some things, but far less long than others. We certainly no Sequoiadendron giganteum or Turritopsis Nutricula or Pinus longaeva. We're here for like, 100 years, max, barring Daoist sage outliers, so we have only a very few options on that whole "universal harmony" thing.

One of them is to, as previously discussed, express every possible iteration of self we can think of, and explore them all as fully as possible, knowing that it'll all even out in the wash. Another is to say "fuck that" and find whatever it is that we want, whenever we want it. (These two aren't so different; it's mostly just a matter of intent.) Another, though, is to try to figure out what it is that we will become, what everyone else is trying to be, and why we're any of us doing what we're doing.

And then help.

I mean, with 100ish years to live, and most likely all of it on this ball of rock, ice, dirt, water, fire, and air orbiting a precariously balanced path around a nuclear reactor in one of the weirdest collections of parts in the known universe, why would we spend our time making things shittier for each other?

You're probably never going to see a fair world in any way that means anything to you. When it's fair, you won't be this you who remembers the unfairness, you won't know why "fairness" means what it means. It'll just be life, existence, and "you" will just be the atoms in everything, everywhere, again. And maybe you'll look out from inside, ad inside from outside, and you'll see yourselves and everything that you've become and you'll say, "Good Work, Us; Glad We Finally Got There."

But maybe not. We don't know. In the meantime, there's something we do know for sure, and it's that this world can be a big old bag of shit, some days. You KNOW this. You've seen it, you've felt it, you've DONE it. This world is crap, some days, and unfair every day, so why would you perpetuate that? Why wouldn't we just try to be kind?

Gravity works, I promise. No need to keep checking the experiment to make sure that shit rolls downhill--left to its own devices, it Totally will. You might be better off building some kind of ramp, or a waste disposal system, or a way to turn shit into non-polluting biofuels and convert the kinetic and potential energies of its tipping and rolling into free energy for everyone.

People, let me tell you, the world ain't "fair," and it ain't "nice." And with that attitude, it never will be.

Back to work.
09 July 2014 @ 02:17 am
My birthday's in about 6 days. Acceptable presents include USD$500M, my own country, godhood, and for everyone reading this to do their best to either think or dream about me at 4.44am EDT on July 15.

08 July 2014 @ 02:57 am
Iterate every moment, every movement, iterate infinite selves and perspectives.

Don't fight your desires, your hopes, your iterations. They're just you, trying to do what you're trying to do: explore every operable option in the combinations of self that make you "you."

Let you.
01 July 2014 @ 03:03 am
From Norma to Normalization

In this, the first installment of me talking to myself while pretending to talk with you, we talk about the idea, concept, process, and practical effects of normalization. What is normalization, and what does it mean? We talk about Foucault's understanding of norms as a means of social control, as well as May, et al's understanding of the process in the real of medical technologies.

I mention the Institutional Review Boards, or IRB, and for thoses of you not involved in academia, here's some more about what those are and how they work: http://www.thehastingscenter.org/Publications/IRB/About.aspx

PROCESS NOTES: I'm weirdly nasal for the first 3 minutes or so, and the audio starts losing my ending sibilants at around the 10 minute mark. If I'm going to keep using this recorder for these chats, then I'm going to need to alter both my posture and my enunciation.

Not terrible for a very first run, if I may say so of myself, but it'll get better than this.

Comments welcome, as long as you're not straight-up jerks about it ;)
Feeling: Tired
Listening: computer fan noise
30 June 2014 @ 08:30 pm
So I started a Patreon.

There's already one post at this link here, as well as the general overview on the main page. Going to be another one up, in the next few hours--audio of me talking to myself while pretending to talk to you--about the concept(s) of normalization.

So, get in on that, i guess, if you want.
Listening: TV, etc.
I just wanna talk about cyborgs, magic ,machine consciousness, & the slow, drifting dissolution of the unexamined nature of Western, anthropocentric bias, vis-à-vis existence.

Is that so much to ask?

Good night.

Feeling: Walkiing on slippery rocks.
09 June 2014 @ 07:00 pm
I had an interview, today, for a teaching gig at St. Leo University's Marietta campus. I was referred by a colleague and I don't know if the university's read my CV, yet. I'm going to make sure they Have.

St Leo started off as a Benedictine Catholic university. They focus on adult/continuing education, with very small class sizes. Classes meet Monday through Thursday, and Saturday mornings, with each course meeting one night per week. Each course has its own specific text.

Anyway, I got the job if my schedule allows for it, which, at current, it does. I suspect that will only remain true if I stay as part time at KSU. A full time position would likely knock out that open time slot.

09 June 2014 @ 02:25 am
Unpopular Opinion: I posit Intersubjectivity as not "verifying" the "objective" world, but actually Creating the only thing LIKE an "objective world" to which we will have access.

My thesis steals heavily from the conceptual--CONCEPTUAL--framework of the Sum-Over-Paths model of quantum mechanics.
08 June 2014 @ 02:38 am
I just spent several hours on Twitter arguing with a Randian Objectivist and what I THINK were two specimens of the rare wild Logical Positivist, about compassion, "human nature," and the foundations/mechanisms of knowledge.

Two of the three conversation threads culminated amicably enough, but One of them ACTUALLY SAID to me, "you can't dispute reason. By using what standard? Reason is the only standard." My hand to g-d, that's a direct quote. Like, the irony of that kind of circularity in a system which just WAITS to call "Question-Begging" just went WHOOSH! Right over his head.

So of Course i end the night with links to papers on contradiction and paraconsistent logics, 'The Buddha Eye,' several readings on feminist epistemology, and the reminder to Mr "Only Standard" that reason is only one standard of many, and that they were arguing from a single, Western perspective.

Because That's How I Roll.

So I know that gender identity issues weren't being discussed anywhere near as close to the mainstream in 1990 as they are today--so much so that it's unlikely that it even occurred to the writers At All--but the conversation about Lal's "needing to choose gender" and the attendant reinforcement of the presupposed gender binary in the STTNG episode "The Offspring" makes me cringe a bit.

It all kind of falls in the same realm of "unquestioned and audience-friendly categories of humanity" from which a lot of Science Fiction has always suffered, because "that's just the way things are." Binary gender (and the essentialism that follows therefrom)? Check. Pinocchio complexes for all the machine consciousnesses? Check. Even knowing what I know about the themes and behind-the-scenes of TV in the late 80's a through mid-90's, it just gets so frustrating.

I want to write the new StarTrek series that picks up after the Star Trek: The Next Generation eps "Quality Of Life" & "Evolution," and the Data-centric events of Star Trek Nemesis. We would rejoin Starfleet as it's in the midst of dealing with the repercussions of Data's death--and B-4's development-- in the face of the growing galactic (and possibly INTERgalactic) presence of the Nanites, & the growing sentience--and Alterity--of both the Exobot species and B-4.

The show would then jump ahead several years to follow the travels of one Admiral--now Ambassador--LaForge (LeVar Burton), who has been, coaxed out of retirement by the opportunity to both carry on the spirit of The Enterprise, & honour the memory of a long lost friend.

I mean, I'd watch the hell out of that show, wouldn't you?
Listening: TV
03 June 2014 @ 01:12 am
I'm also available for:

*Fiction Writing

*Writing, Speaking, Interviewing, Teaching, or Tutoring in related but not limited to various aspects of Philosophy, Religious Studies, Magic/the Occult, “Artificial” Intelligence/AGI Theory, Human Augmentation, and how to think good.
—Consultation For Games, Stories, Etc. on the same topics.

*Prior Art Research

*Editing Services (for both form and function, flow and grammar)
—These services available for both fiction and non-fiction writings.

*Conceptual Consulting, in terms of helping you frame and present your ideas in the means most effective to your desired ends.

Prices for all services are variable-but-tending-toward-ridiculously-low. Variations based on length of the job, et cetera.

Qualifications and Testimonials for all of above available here https://sites.google.com/site/damienwilliamscv/ and here https://sites.google.com/site/damienwilliamscv/testimonials

So if you’ve a project you need looked at, from outside, drop me a message, and we’ll see if we can do this.

I accept online payment via Paypal: fenryswlf AT yahoo DOT com.

Then there are the multiple avenues through which you can buy unknownbinaries' works:

At Redbubble: http://www.redbubble.com/people/unknownbinaries/shop

At Etsy: http://www.etsy.com/shop/ravensmarket

At Society6: http://society6.com/unknownbinaries

And then there’s you being able to commission something original: http://unknownbinaries.tumblr.com/commissions

So please be sure to tell your friends.
Feeling: So many things
Listening: So many things
02 June 2014 @ 12:28 pm
Problem is, people still think they're living Bentham, when actually they're Foucault.
31 May 2014 @ 12:12 pm
Hello, Everyone. As you know by now--or maybe don't, but whatever--my inkshares​ project "Techne: The State Of The Art" didn't make funding. In the last day, we made it a little over 1/3 of the way. I guess why fund the dairy, right?

Anyway. To everyone who donated, spread the word, or even just wished me well: Thank you for your interest, your support, and your time.

If you knew about the project and did NONE of those things? Then I guess go fuck yourself.

I'm currently making brownies, but if you know anyone who needs some freelance writing, editing, research, or general practical-application-of-theory-izing, please point them at my Curriculum Vitae. Need to make money, soon, and would prefer to make it doing something I care about and believe in, if at all possible. I got a taste for it.

Feeling: down.
Listening: Tool - [The Pot]
So, you ever actually taught someone to fish? Who doesn't bring snacks along, to that? I mean really.

In case the metaphor is escaping, what I'm saying is that while we're teaching people to take care of themselves, whatever that's supposed to mean*, you can also keep them from dying in the immediate short term.

*"Taking care of yourself" is a meaningless phrase. What we actually teach people is how to navigate the system--or the ways in which the system is SUPPOSED to be navigable--with greater or lesser facility.

Which inherently involves a bit of doublethink so that we can continue to ignore how interdependent we all are, and continue to congratulate ourselves/judge each other on how industrious and entrepreneurial we all are.
Listening: Brian Williams Snowden Interview