Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Cocaine

I don't use cocaine but I know a lot of people who do. In general, they don't know I know. Either I am reliably informed or I can just tell. It is pretty obvious, after all. Somebody who has just taken a line tends to be sweaty, energetic, optimistic, full of themselves and incapable of allowing their conversational flow to be interrupted. They are, in short, total bores. The problem is that cocaine enhances self-esteem and there are few things more irritating than excessive self-esteem. Cocaine users don't know this precisely because their self-esteem is so elevated. Also, when they are together, they can all agree on how wonderful they are and are, as a result, unaware of the waves of derision and boredom emanating from the surrounding non-users. I suggest, therefore, the establishment of cocaine communities in which users can live together happily - organising ads, interest rate swaps, videos, photo-shoots or whatever - leaving us the rest of us free to wallow in our interestingly low self-esteem, cracking jokes that are actually funny and not surfing on a tide of Columbian corpses, the effluent of the industry that sustains their self-esteem.

12 comments:

  1. I see another reality tv programme on the horizon!

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  2. I think your misanthropic rant, Bryan, regarding the joys of being immersed in a delightful cocoon of one's own greatness stems from low self-esteem. What you need to rectify this unhappy state is a regular intake of a substance known as cocaine. Your post is also deeply subversive as it is clearly anti-capitalist in intent.

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  3. On a related vein, all the people I've known who are super-fit, exercise regularly, and participate in demanding sports or recreational activities, also tend to be crashing bores. This may be because strenuous exercise releases endorphins into the bloodstream. These endorphins resemble opiates in their effect upon the individual, and have been shown to be addictive.

    I find that those people who engage in 'extreme' sports, and activities such as mountain-biking and wind-surfing, tend to be the most self-absorbed and tedious of individuals.

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  4. Presume then that the 'blogosphere' as a whole = the world's biggest coke party? All those sweaty, uninhibited egos yabbering away, busy not listening to each other in the attempt to make everyone listen only to them, while boring the hell out of those of us who stumble in off Internet Street to borrow the phone. Present company natch excepted, BA, grovel scrape chiv chiv & ahem.

    But the analogy doesn't auger well for the future of AI, does it? They'll never admit as much, but essentially all the boffins can really do in this profoundly dull, literally soulless dead-end of a scientific field is to keep souping up microprocessing speed and multiplying (inter)networking capacity - precisely as all coke essentially does to the brain is facilitate 'enhanced and prolonged firing, or boosted signal transduction' in its neural network. Hence the first computer to pass the Turing Test will be far more likely to follow that feat of simulated human genius by vomiting down your shirt, pissing in a potplant and then eating all your food the next morning...than knuckling down to Unlock the Meaning of Life, fall in love, and/or compose a symphony, anyway.

    Hardly seems worth the trouble, does it.

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  5. Excellent and unusual point, Jack. I hadn't thought of that - in relation to cocaine at least. All our efforts in AI will do no more than construct another mirror to reflect Caliban's rage or, in this case, nauseating self-esteem.

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  6. Good morning, BA; thank you for your generous response, and also for opening your blog to comments at all. I've admired your writing very much for a very long time. I hope the inevitable trolls don't ever get you, or more's the point shut you, down.

    '...nauseating self-esteem...'

    Quite. As I think you recently mused - part of the Lovelock 'Gaia's Revenge' review for the Lit. Rev. , from memory - it could well be that Mankind's most important specific trait, not to mention Its most powerful evolutionary and creative motor, is the capacity for humility. And no artificial intelligence will ever solve the problem of simulating this, because machines can by definition only ever be agents of action, not acquiesence, much less submission, much less grace. But as with Caliban, it's deeply moving, in a tender lamenting kind of way, to watch our highly active - or to put it another way, largely uncontemplative - IT white coaters out there on the futile 'cutting edge', raging and thundering and fumbling and clambering about in what, presumably, they imagine are the footprints of God, even though most wouldn't dream of employing that kind of language. Which is of course why they'll never catch Him up. Or Her, if you prefer. Or her. Or it. Or It. Or it(s). Or...well, you know. 42, and all that.

    BA, thank you again for the site and the comments space.

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  7. All our efforts in AI will do no more than construct another mirror to reflect Caliban's rage.

    What ???

    Doing more than this 10 years ago with AI and parallel processing and research anaesthetists (you don't want to go there...).

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  8. not surfing on a tide of Columbian corpses

    Why should cocaine users feel reponsibility for the destruction their activities have caused on the way to their mirror. Oil and Religion all have blood on their hands. Then there are human rights atrocities caused by cheap labour for trainers etc. Along with environmental destruction caused by tofu farming of all things in the amazonian rainforest.

    I personally don't find it anymore offensive talking to someone coked off their heads as i do to someone drunk or a "40 fags a day" journalist breathing all over me. It seems everyone takes some form of stimulants to get through the day... and they are all awful to speak to when they have had far too much and you aren't on the same wavelength.

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  9. This post is hilarious, Its too bad that the only reason I felt compelled to comment is that I'm snow blind. Keep it up!

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  10. Really having a look at the post i feel sorry who feels that cocaine helps to boost self esteem parents who are looking for adolescent residential treatment methods and therapies will find the post helpful and know how about the cocaine

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