Monday, December 03, 2007

The Happy Paranoiac's Corner: Gaze Adjustment for Larger Micro-Surveillance







They're getting larger

Inch for inch, the price of flat screens is coming down. But instead of pocketing the savings, many consumers are upgrading to ever-larger sets. 2008 will be the tipping point where the majority of sets will be more than 36 inches. (More like 70 inches.)

To see us better
Under a new deal, TiVo will provide NBC with second-by-second information about its subscribers' viewing habits, which the TV network can then share with advertisers.

11 Comments:

Blogger Juke said...

viz. TiVo - there's a thing in your house that talks about you to others who don't have your best interests at heart. In your house, inside there where your farting and shuffling and chuckling affections and yes even cries of grief arcs of consciousness unfold and glitter and shimmer and fade or rise booming toward the light fixtures. Not that TiVo's snitching off your emotional life to some third party that wants to essentially metabolize your existence. No money in that at present.

12/03/2007 4:42 PM  
Blogger Tom Matrullo said...

If it talked, as in, gossiped, there would at least be something of recognizeable heat in it. Advertisements are denial of speech; tracking us and them, a denial of that denial.

12/04/2007 12:01 AM  
Blogger Juke said...

Oh it gossips, but in a language most of us are denied. We could get it if we had the access, but to get access you have to side with the thing in the machine and its masters, also in the machine. Wait, was that the point?
I think in the way journalism keeps gossip under its wing BigTiVo's a kind of source for journalistic gossip as well, the human constructs along the pipeline formed and informed by what they hear about the subjects, moral reaction happens like with back-fence gossip - speaking now of that greater web of two-way data streaming of which this is just the tippy-top - though it lacks the mammalian heat I'd call it of the old wives, more ranchers discussing the cattle with the foreman and the hired hand - also it's science, research and experiment, lab and subjects, very well funded science too - and further in it's reduced to alien sense organ, if you get up too close to it that's all you can see, that big unblinking compound eye. Ask Britney or Pete or Lindsay.
Advertising is so debased now it's basically synonymous with complete disregard for truth, but it shelters its motives behind the essential and fundamentally necessary advertisement of the self that various and illustrious bardic voices have championed. Because of course we all do that, advertise - birds do it with feather and song, dogs do it with pee and howling, we dance we crow we boast we calmly and humbly radiate our successful natures; but inside the machine lying's now of an equal weight with truth-telling, both are devices, tools, weapons in the arsenal, their dispassionate use a vital skill.
Yet it's in the interest of certainty and fact that the mind in the machine listens and collates more and more carefully. That's the proof of separation, and cooperation with that separate creature is proof of treachery. But it came at us so slowly we never saw the borders of it, it's infiltrated our support systems - speaking now of the even larger machine that this BigTiVo's symbiont-merging within - we got used to it, we grew up with it, it's familiar, we keep TV's as long as cars and use them as often or far more and think how familial the car is - the screen, the remote, the vapid shallow inhumanity - even though it's metamorphisized, turned into something scary and deeply alien.
Knowing the truth and telling the truth, and the compunction and withdrawal at the line between those owed honesty and those not. What makes us cohere, or not.
The machine forces you to be honest with it by tracking your actions independently of your willingness to participate; but you can't force it in return to be honest with you, au contraire, you can't stop the fucking thing from lying its damned head off, every chance it gets to maybe make a little money.

12/04/2007 4:20 AM  
Blogger Tom Matrullo said...

I would kindly beg to differ with the idea that plumage of bird is what we mean by advertising, let alone song. Though at times the senseless repetition of the squawk seems more akin to "ad-sense" than to gossip or any other communicative act.

Cars have gotten more powerful, and have somewhat enlarged, but not as much as TV's. We must have 5 TV's they must all be always on, perhaps even when we sleep. We walk from the kitchen to the bedroom, from the "lanai" to the "family room," but never leave TV.

We want that eye to assure us something somewhere is being seen, even if we don't have any idea what it is.

We need to feel that seeing occurs, from it we deduce, Cartesianically, we're alive.

Only, you see, the point is not the seeing, but the grifter soul. King of the mountain. We sign over to it all advice and consent, in return for which we receive the endearments of the large glass, cool to the touch.

12/04/2007 9:40 AM  
Blogger Juke said...

All due, still there is in this one distinction, that having debased the action generally it's now a shift of major proportion to get the core idea back into the light.
Bird says, via song, "I'm here. I'm well-fed. I've got uninterrupted field of view, no predators, clean water, solid nest-site - ladies, line up for hourly interviews!"
Dogs pee on everywhere little squirts of urine then other dogs come by and read them. Post no bills.
We wear LaCoste shirts to the poolside bar in Cancun, or the Armani summerweight to the Cafe Polonia in Milano. We drive a red Miata. We drive a black Lexus. A Bentley Azure. We are driven to and fro by long white hired limousine.
All signals, signs - advertisement.
Bird feathers advertise the same things generally on a visual map.
It is the subjective response to the "thing-ness" of advertising that's broken, that it is now so far profaned as to have become something other than what it once was, and that thing so repugnant its noise dims the larger more living sound of creatures just bein'.
Whitman's who said that as title yes? Contradicting himself all over the place, yes, still...
It isn't the selling of things, it's the selling of things as precedental, with no governance and no allegiance to higher, unmarketable things. It's as though the Satanic pigs who throw this shit into our homes have tunneled right through the dimensional membranes, into absolute void. There is no higher truth, right?
Wait.
You don't lie to kids, right?
Especially heinous to lie to kids just to get some personal econo-upgrade, to make bank on that lying.
You don't lie to kids, it just ain't done.
The fucking television lies to 'em all day long.

12/04/2007 6:05 PM  
Blogger fp said...

We need to feel that seeing occurs, from it we deduce, Cartesianically, we're alive.

I think that's a very important (forgive me) observation. And the intense colors, the reinforcing audio, the driving pounding significance of the motion on that screen has replaced seeing in real life for too many of us.

The other day the dog and I were on the field and a redtail screamed and launched itself from the hedgerow. We both watched it glide away, staying pretty much at treetop height and moving north to south across our field of view. Watching the dog watch the hawk and watching the hawk myself was a powerful experience, and I thought something ponderously self important about life and how moments like that are what enrich the whole thing.

TV couldn't compare to the satisfaction I felt out there while the dog and I paused our game of perpetual Frisbee just to SEE. But so many of us, self included, spend so much time in the reflected glow of these screens that the seeing of what is and the seeing of what reflects what is gets confused. I think.

12/04/2007 10:34 PM  
Blogger Tom Matrullo said...

I won't even try to defend the distinction, but I'll try to make it, between grifter speech that by definition cannot hear anything but itself, a speech for which no conventions of narrative, of art, of tonality, of continuity, of order, let alone anything higher, count, and something else.

The bird might get lucky, but even if not, he's exhibiting a certain joie de vivre natural to creatures on good days in good health under fine skies. Frank's dog and Frank as well know how that is. If said bird didn't feel that way he wouldn't advertise.

The guy selling the Hummer to you no matter how much you don't need one is not so much greeting the world as seeping through its porosity to justify the lie upon which his vaporous existence is based.

Or something.

12/05/2007 12:31 AM  
Blogger madame said...

we have 3 dumb tv's now. no reception. just for what you put in them. video games. films. house. dexter. everyone tells me that the reason that the russians and all the eastern european immigrants to france learn french so easily (besides having every sound in their own languages) is because they learn it from watching tv. i choose the slow read balzac method. takes like 20 years in my case. my ten year old's method of running around the village with horrible little boys took less than a year.

go away from north america for a year, then go back to a hotel in phoenix, for a funeral or something, turn that fucker on and see how alarming it really is. scary shit. in your face.

12/06/2007 2:04 AM  
Blogger Juke said...

And the entry greased with what we were shaped to recognize as normal biologic evologic "Hey I'm here!"ness
That was the point Tom. The grifter's shield is a natural thing taken to its exponents and repurposed as Trojan entry.
You make a nice coffee grinder you advertise it.
No problem there.
But just keep extending it and somehwere you pass through the gates of hell unknowingly.
Fudge the truth until it's gone. Middle European gangsters having raised four generations of Americans to the wireless implant of the television's grandmother/wolf stories, normal is a Satanic combine.
Grifter consciousness is the pathogen, not the trumpeted attention-getting.

12/07/2007 7:27 PM  
Blogger Tom Matrullo said...

madame, I once worked for a cable co. and had all the channels, all quarkzillion of them. The day I quit, and no longer had the freebie, was my last day of ubilicus televisicus. I tend not to think about it until I happen to see one somewhere - they have them at the Y, so people working on themselves don't have to have themselves to amuse themselves - the conventions of graphics, speech, conversatonal clackery, void of referential anything, commercial interruption, notions of news, all day plans to set your attention here and never move, banishment of time, of history, of choice, of sense, Jim Cramer will be here in a sec to do his best asshole impression - without pause, without the first thought that all this is is monetized vaudeville, picked over for the especially tedious parts, As Our Cliche Turns, we are all dozing off to the boringest shite concoctable, and people actually make money on the concocting. What is it that wants us to forget life? It could be the grifter consciousness, which hates life, hates birds, hates whatever stands between it and the next sell, and is on a tear to get rid of all else.

12/07/2007 11:24 PM  
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12/10/2007 3:30 AM  

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