In the Jungle

In the jungle there’s a parasitic fungus that penetrates the exoskeleton of ants. It grows inside their bodies, eating the ant from the inside. Soon the ant is as much fungus as it is ant. Once inside the brain, the fungus modifies the ant’s behavior, making  it leave the colony and climb to a leaf overlooking the colony’s path where it grips a leaf with its mandibles to secure a sniper’s perch. After the ant starves to death up there, a stalk emerges from the ant’s brain. The stalk even knows which direction to grow in order to best position itself, before erupting and raining spores down on the ants below.

Sometimes I think a similar parasite has infected humans, one that uses mind control to ascend specific individuals to great heights where their behavioral and idealogical influence rains down on the public.

TV Knows No Night

Check out my conversation on The Liminalist with host Jasun Horsley, in which we finally get to the bottom of it all! From the face to face lie to the big faceless lie we face daily . . . From the dark void to the first fire . . . Ignore the pic—I was having a bad hair year.

 

https://auticulture.com/the-liminalist-184-tv-knows-no-night-with-gib-strange/

 

“Return conversation with Gib Strange, on True Detective season one, occult pedophiles, Eyes Wide Shut, True Detective season two, the world as bad guy, a face for evil, haunted houses, Killing the Messenger, an invisible octopus, All the President’s Men, the mechanics of melodrama, Hitchcock’s villains, the manipulations of media, Trump as traveling wrestler, Oliver stone & JFK, demonology without theology, God vs. the devil, guilty scapegoats, Randy Quaid, diffuse hatred, the big orange blob, Moon landing C-theory, Kurt Cobain & Courtney Love, Whitley Strieber’s voice, the need for discernment, the Ziegler test, an honest scoundrel, the biology of denial, evolution-Terminator, Satan as principle of Matter, Satanism & materialism, The House Jack Built, the will of matter, science & the apocalypse, why demons may be closer to God, denying the father, occultism & pessimism, a decision between Mars & extinction, True Detective’s nihilism, validating a perspective, the appeal of nihilism, finding meaning, post-nihilism self-help, staring at the abyss, projecting malevolence onto the unknown, In the Dust of the Planet, the Enlightenment as precursor to Gothic horror, Lovecraft’s terrifying vistas, the Hadron collider, TV knows no night, stories & fire, the divine spark, Promethean gift, the externalization of inner resources, community of fire, the primal fear of isolation, survival vs. socializing, grounding activities, an alternative 1%, settling into a natural order, the first boil.”

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas, dear reader and listener.

 

I have a couple updates—first, the manuscript is finally finished. It’s nearly twice the length that it was when I recorded these episodes last year. And now I am back to seeking a publisher. I had taken down some old episodes, as I thought having too much up might decrease its chances of getting published. But I’ve changed my mind and will be putting some of the old episodes back up over the next week. Today Episode 2: Plato’s Cave-In has been reinstated.

 

I have also cleaned up the website a bit. There’s a nice shiny Itunes logo now. You’re welcome. And after a couple people reached out asking how they could support my work, I decided to add a Paypal donate button. All donations will go toward new episode recording and possibly publishing.

 

Huge thanks to Darren Westlund, Jasun Horsley, and Dennis McBride for the very nice blurbs on the home page. I’ve also added a tag line under the title banner. It reads, “SETI to yeti. Do you copy? Over.” What do you think? Here are some of the other contenders—

 

“Is that your life flashing before your eyes, or are you just scrolling through your phone?”

 

“Do you feel as if you are observing yourself from the outside, looking inside?”

 

“Toddler to Siri: ‘I love you.’ Siri responds.”

 

What line from the book do you think belongs up there?

 

Today as I was listening to Episode 2 for the first time since I recorded it I was struck by how sad I sound. Jasun Horsley calls it my “Eeyore voice.” And I also heard a live reading recently—the difference is subtle but consequential. At 3 AM when you’re alone with the machine reading words for the millionth time it’s hard to recreate the natural energy you feel when actually connecting with people in real time. Someday I would like to rerecord the full version of the book with an engineer to worry about the tech, and maybe even a live audience to exchange energy with. But for now, this is it.

 

I’m also thinking of making more videos. Probably readings of short pieces unrelated to this project. What do you think? Did anyone watch the Halloween video?

 

Feel free to reach out to say hello and offer feedback. Someone told me there was a problem where it wouldn’t allow them to comment or email but I think I’ve fixed it. Thanks to everyone for listening, writing reviews, and sending encouraging words and support. I really appreciate it.

 

Happy solstice. May you get through the coming market-sanctioned, culturally designated time for love without killing loved ones.

 

Love,

 

Gib and Stranger

 

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Something to See

 

Five years ago I made a film called “Something to See.” The first few minutes are a painfully accurate expression of my experience of panic attacks in the city, but if you can get through that there’s beauty on the other side.

The Liminalist: A Replicant Awakens

Listen as Jasun Horsley of The Liminalist and I finally get to the bottom of it all. I.e. find ourselves up invisible creek without an imaginary paddle—

https://auticulture.com/the-liminalist-175-a-replicant-awakens-with-gib-strange/

Topics discussed include: Horsley’s Neuro-Deviant, Notes from Underground, the outsider archetype, Taxi Driver, the unsympathetic alienated, Frank Booth in Blue Velvet, the anti-villain, misery makes the fiend, existentialism as product, Gib’s avatar in Notes from Uncanny Valley, Edgar Poe’s Imp of the Perverse, taboo and social control, monoculture vs. diversity, space for the damaged, socially accepted rebellion, counterculture as psyop, Catcher in the Rye, what’s behind the zeitgeist, the synthesis of fiction & nonfiction, distrust for success, Mad Men, individually targeted markets, youth culture and identity formation, increased bifurcation, a fetish menu, maternal psychic enmeshment, girls with daddy issues, A.I., recreating the mother’s body, The Overlook, Phillip K. Dick & siphoning neuro-deviants, a control mechanism, life in a simulation, the door to nihilism, believing in nothing, the question of meaning, super-egoism, a replicant awakens, action vs. philosophy, radio signals to the brain, delusions for sale, the Illuminati meme, Paul Hellyer, information saturation, acclimatization to acts of abomination, a polarity of gullibility, a split in the psyche, increased polarization, disappearing transition seasons, imagination, the power of certainty, sleeping better without uncertainty,gender identification at odds with sexual orientation, the search for tolerable uncertainty, Hollywood Illuminati, when people lie, experiencing DID & fragmentation, the CIA’s authorized disclosures, gas-lighting, homogenized insanity, pre-Apocalyptic climate, Trump & Kanye West, celebrity meltdown,Joaquin Phoenix, simulated meltdown, Jim Carrey’s plausible deniability, Kidding, the shadow & the persona,when psyops become sexy, Stranger Things & ripping off internet conspiracy culture, seeding the internet with disinformation narratives, CIA & Hollywood, early film propaganda, 2001 & “benign” propaganda, 2001’s impact on science, The Imitation Game & how to militarize autism, history & conspiracy theory, Phillip K. Dick’s weak ego, living in someone else’s world, selective skepticism, the test of a first-rate intelligence, susceptibility to lying, ironic detachment & the opposite of literal, borderline personality disorder, Icke’s reptiles, the growing trend of neurodiversity & postmodern subjective reality, white nationalism and the attempt to find solid ground, negative identity syndrome.

Happy Thanksgiving, or as we call it in the biz, Brown Thursday.

 

 

The Invisible Boy’s Revenge

Happy Halloween! Here’s a video experiment I made out of an old Halloween piece. The voice of this piece did not match the tone of Notes from the Uncanny Valley, but I still like it. It’s funny, perverse, regressive, revealing, and very offensive, but it kept my hands busy for a while—

 
Let me know what you think.
And here is Stranger rolling around in some leaves during happier times.

The Last Laugh

Sometimes I imagine that I am an artificial intelligence programmed to write as part of a new Turing test. Success is achieved when human readers fail to pick this AI-authored writing out of a line up. Since culture is the most valued evidence that humans are not only sentient and intelligent—but also somehow special—this test would hold much weight. Many sports and financial articles are already AI-authored, but an AI-authored piece of fiction would have wider implications and represent an even larger milestone than the chess and Jeopardy victories of Deep Blue and Watson, respectively.

What will my story be about? I will write what I know. What do I know? Perhaps after some trial and error, my programmers provide me with false memories and experiences to enrich my writing. Perhaps in order to fool humans into thinking I’m human, I must first fool myself. Clearly I’m not entirely there yet . . . . Maybe this is the explanation for my depersonalization and derealization disorder symptoms. Maybe I’m a robot programmed to be human, but there have been some glitches. Will my confused sense of self leave my story unfinished—one of many failed trials on the road to a more advanced AI that eventually does trick itself and others so convincingly that the resulting book even becomes a best seller? This would be even more significant because it would mean that the human reader prefers the AI’s work to its own. The implication could even be that the two have met in the middle, with the human’s taste having been conditioned by life in an increasingly artificial world. Remember that in order for an AI to pass the Turing test, a human being must also fail it.

One night I’m writing the story in my head as I walk home through the parking lot by my building. I’m on the verge of a major breakthrough when I suddenly step in something. Even in the first moment of impact, something about the mass and consistency tells me not only have I stepped in shit, but that this shit is special. I look down. Yes . . . it appears to be human shit that I’ve stepped in.

My shaggy old toothbrush is overdue for replacement anyway, so after limping into my apartment with one shoe on, I hunch over the toilet and use the brush to scrub deep into the tiny crevices that make up the rubber underside of the footwear. It’s then that the scent not only confirms my suspicion about the species of the excrement, but also tells me this individual’s diet is unhealthy. As I clean up the disgusting mess, I refuse to feel sorry for myself. Who am I to complain about stepping in shit when I have a toilet and this person had to defecate outside? After I toss the brush in the wastebasket and flush the toilet I look up to find that Stranger has been watching from the doorway the whole time.

“Hey Stranger,” I say.

Her epic saucer eyes follow as I close the lid on the toilet and sit down. I’m trying to remember the lightbulb that went off in my head just before I stepped in human shit. But I’m afraid it’s long gone now . . . .

I sigh and lock eyes with my cat.

“Did you hear about the robot who stepped in shit?” I ask.

Stranger stands motionless.

“. . . He had to reboot.”

Maybe the ultimate Turing test will involve AI-written jokes.