Nmherman on Fri, 22 Jun 2001 21:24:31 +0200 (CEST)

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[Nettime-bold] What I read for the "Roll Your Own Blackout/Energy Crisis" at Rogue Buddha

In a message dated 6/21/2001 4:18:14 PM Central Daylight Time, 
nmherman@aol.com writes:

> The address is 2402 E. Hennepin Ave SE

Hey team!  The reading was a good time by all with only candles.  I read 
this, written in honor of Carter Lebares' birthday!!!!!

Genius Crisis:  for Carter

It's hard to figure out what's going on.  Perhaps we truly are a species, a 
nation, in crisis.  Explanations can be facile when something's really wrong. 
 Fearful thoughts are often desperate.

There may be no time left.  The defense industry is preparing for the worst.  
Civilians can still, however, dissent.

In the dystopian film "Rollerball" an inquisitive hero gains an audience with 
the world's brain, a psychotic computer that is clearly incompetent.  The 
computer blurts out truisms, as Jonathan listens in disbelief.  The computer 
is insane.

I once wrote an equation:  genius equals media times talent to the 
two-thousandth power.  Maybe I should have known the computer, driven to the 
limit of its efficiency, would rant "genius is energy."  I didn't.

But we are in crisis.  My president seems comfortable planning a hot-planet 
fascism for the new millennium.  The experts haven't trusted us to discover a 
new reprieve.

We live today, even here in Minnesota, within vast economies of hierarchical 
genius.  Norbert Wiener predicted as much in his book "The Human Use of Human 
Beings."  He knew we had lost the human mind.  He knew that the genius of 
power had overtaken human genius.  We are on the sidelines, it seems.

Jonathan tried to participate.  He had been conditioned to participate, even 
to win, but his heroism is the hierarchy.  Victory is perhaps the wrong 

A fascinating book, the winner of best neuroscientific book of 1998, proves 
beyond reasonable doubt that genius is an electrical cycle of which every 
normal brain is fully capable.  The book's author James Austin calls his 
theory "Zen and the Brain;" I call mine Genius 2000.

Like SUVs, air conditioning, and shopping at malls, thoughts can pollute.  
After all, what is our behavior but our thoughts in action?  Perhaps the 
genius of our time is pollution, despair, disease.

We must be aware of and responsible for the externalities--the hidden 
costs--of our economies of thought.  The Greeks of 500 BCE described the 
hidden costs as tragic flaws, the weak pillar that brings the edifice down 
but only at its completion.

We may not survive our next tragedy, that of the planet itself.  Genius is 
like breathing; it doesn't need rolling blackouts.  Only the hierarchy needs 

Our task is the conservation of ecosystems of genius.  History has left it to 
us to repudiate the machinery of depletion and desolation.

Max Herman
June 21, 2001

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