I had a drive-by download happen this week and NOT to my computer. The upload was quickly stashed into a Trojan Horse black Jeep, and off they went. The malware wormed through the neighborhood presenting themselves as honest individuals looking for work. The upload included my computers, jewelry, keepsakes, photos and more. They entered through the backdoor, and interestingly I found this has a tech term counterpart called RAT. How appropriate. Remote Access Trojan (RAT), defined by TechTarget, “is a malicious program (person, in my case) that secretly creates a backdoor (I had one) into an infected system (not until they arrived) that allows threat actors (I guess this is politically correct) to remote access it without altering the user (I was at Costco) or the system’s security programs (which I didn’t have).” The technical definition fits perfectly except the “remote access,” as they were fully present in broad daylight, not cyberspace! Also, TechTarget defines Trojan Horse as “a malicious program that is designed to appear as a legitimate program: once activated, Trojans can execute their malicious functions.” I can attest to that.
It was a harrowing week with police and insurance reports and multitudinous actions to guard identity theft. And then there was the looming effort to secure emotions connected to items that were valuable beyond a dollar amount. I found I had massive amounts of memory stored and storage – the cloud is endless and so is the heart. I realize there are far worse situations and am merely exploring my small puzzle piece of the world.
You may know, too, that my obsession is using the tech world and computer terminology as an overlay for personal exploration. It’s here I began my SELF Search. If I am choosing the software and apps that I want to facilitate and perform my functions in the world, why would I allow (not consciously) a Trojan Horse to infiltrate and enter my domain? Do I have a personal security system? I pay Norton enough to oversee my cyberself. What are my vulnerabilities? What am I downloading as I scan the news and interact in the world? What am I uploading? What do I delete? What’s in my archives? Do I need to defrag data to more clearly define my identity? I simply don’t associate with the idea of being a victim.
Do I write my personal code? With this question, my search became more symbolic. What am I robbing myself of – fulfilling my dreams, aspirations, abilities? I think we often become entangled in the codes others have written with off-ramps for responsibility, excuses, blame, and reasons for derailments. Although many may be well intended, they can act like drive-by downloads (automatically downloaded malicious programs to user’s systems without their knowledge), or phishing attacks (disguised messages with malicious links for unsuspecting users). Broad brushed comments like “the world is hostile” implies a bleak picture, a Trojan Horse, which isn’t on my desktop.
This search doesn’t offer a conclusion or even answers. And yet, the questions themselves seem to expand my sense of self - my identity, and my sense of security.
The SEARCH is on. Join me.
I am growing impatient bowing my head in reverence to all things IT and ignoring what I sense is a decline - not in data, but in daring. Can any of you Geek Gods code daring? We need some bold, courageous action. This new tech renaissance/religion/revolution has become a slow read. It’s routine. We get it, we’re programmed (literally). Our phones are appendages, and we all know we’re going to need a new one in less than two years. We know to answer work emails on our personal time, which isn’t anymore. We know to tweet and text and superficially engage. Virtual shopping just makes sense, as do photos of our food and playing video games in virtual worlds. It has even been reported in a recent Precision Medicine Forum article that “Mark Zuckerberg already has an avatar of himself which is able to walk around his virtual home and make things happen in his physical home.” That’s impressive, though not surprising. Mark’s Ark also has a large leak which is a problem he needs to fix, but that’s another topic.
So, what’s my problem? I don’t want an avatar! As you know, an avatar is an icon or figure representing a particular person in a video game, Internet forum, etc. Some refer to it as a personal icon. I don’t need an avatar. I have a cyberself, as I’ve mentioned before (Cyberself - No Syndrome), who has a mind and will of its own. And as far as a representation of me, I would say it’s a free-spirited counterpart, maybe. But even this is beside the point.
I am impatient with the lack of real adventure in the development of technology. Why are we lollygagging around? Let’s go ahead and make the polar shift happen. Instead of moving to a new planet, as suggested by Stephen Hawking, let’s just turn the controls over to AI (Artificial Intelligence, aka, Almighty Internet), including our cyberselves. We wouldn’t have to worry about gun control, too many items in a virtual shopping cart, Putin, NK, three hours of time wasted on useless YouTube videos, energy consumption, comments on articles no one is going to read, or global warming. Everything would be calculated in algorithms that we cannot begin to imagine. Think about it - a world of computed solutions.
It sounds daring and even daunting as all control would be relinquished to AI. Although as I think about it, I sense there is something even more daring, more adventurous – true creativity, not complex calculations set for solutions. A creativity that reaches beyond the idea of solutions, sciences, and fine art – a creativity that wonders about the world and the self and what could be. The same creativity that gave birth to all things IT and AI. And know, there’s not a whiff of sacrilege here, just daring to consider imagination and inspiration – no confines, no coding, no avatars or algorithms.
The SEARCH is always on. Join me.
.....at least for today. Today, I'm dealing with a pixelated perspective - my own. One with such low resolution it's difficult to make out the whole picture. I've been playing with an idea for a project and realized I was distorting the entire objective by focusing on and enlarging only certain elements. I began to think about this and as usual, used a tech analogy, pixelate, as an overlay to explore further - no blaming my cyberself this time. Here's an explanation of pixelation from Techopedia.com. "Pixelation occurs when pixels are stretched to a point beyond their original size. This, in turn, causes the fuzziness or blurry section in an image. For a good quality image, pixelation must be avoided or minimized. Usage of high-resolution images is a technique used to contain pixelation."
I am absolutely determined to have a good quality finished project. With this in mind, I decided I needed to bring in some more picture elements or pixels to resolve more detail and get a clear megapixel view of my project. Sounded like a good plan. But then, I started thinking about pixelated perspectives in general. Seriously, look at the world around us. It's crazy. And it's hard not to fall into a pixelated perspective.
Surprisingly, I found falling into or blending with another perspective has a tech term counterpart. It's called pixel Interpolation. Howtogeek.com gives this definition, "The color of one pixel is blended into the next adjacent pixel at high levels of zoom." Again, I was determined not to think politics. Instead, as I shifted my thoughts, parenting and other relationships came to mind. We often connect and blend with someone because of their views, or take on another's perspective because of powerful influences, or in this case, "high levels of zoom." Cambridgeincolour.com had an addition to the definition, "Interpolation is an approximation, therefore an image will always lose some quality each time it is performed."
Without a question, I agree with this statement by Cambrigeincolour. Whenever we don't think for ourselves, or don't search ourselves for an authentic idea and simply take on another's perspective, or when we align with others to the point of losing our sense of self, we lose what is most valuable to each of us. We lose our unique position in the world from which no one else can view - our perspective.
Unexpectedly, beyond wandering around in my thoughts, restating tech definitions and ranting, I did come to a resolution. From my view, all pixels and perspectives are needed to avoid the fuzzy, blurred image we sometimes have of ourselves and our world. I hold to this value and to the search for and integration of High Resolution.
Is this an evolutionary process? Is it human error? Is it a godsend – a yet to be understood, immature, undisciplined, descendant of the digital divine? What gives rise to this cyberself? There have to be others searching for an answer. As I mentioned in my last post, my cyberself is indeed running amuck, filling shopping carts, boldly and blindly commenting at every opportunity, and claiming authoritative stances often blurring the lines between cyberspace and my space. One can only ask, does this cyberself have a cypersoul?
If there is a cybersoul, there would at least be some hope. Knowing a moral code has been written on the hard drive of destiny would be a blessing. I could rest from the undertow of urgency pulling at me to rein in this allusive new part of myself that is looped in holy hallucination. And to add to the pressure, if I were truly faithful I would not question what will probably become known as the immaculate emergence of this hallowed hyperlink – the cyberself – the new digital selfhood living in cyberspace – connected to and through the Almighty Internet (AI). Just click, and you’re there, or rather the cyberself is there. There is no judgment day – heaven is only a click away. It sounds simple, but therein lies the double-edged sword, and the story of the infamous Apple (Inc.) and the Tree of Knowledge.
As you may know, my obsession is using the computer culture as an overlay for personal exploration. Here is TechTarget.com’s definition of “cyber.” “Cyber is a prefix used to describe a person, thing, or ideas as part of the computer information age.” Again, it’s simple enough, but think how complex things become when you consider cyberstalking, cybercasts, cyberbullying, cybercafés, cyberterrorism, cyberpunk, cybernation, cyber Monday, not to mention viruses, identity theft, malvertising, and fake news. We need a cybersoul.
Talk about looped, I’m feeling dizzy and overwhelmed just thinking about this Digital New Age (DNA) in which we are living. Obviously, the DNA is not as fully developed in me as in some others. I should be able to reach beyond my rational thinking. What am I questioning? Of course, the Apple programming prophets and seers at Oracle wrote code for a cybersoul. They knew how important control (and currency) and cybersecurity would become. Discipline is merely a part of the divine dilemma. We are indeed blessed. I cease my search. That is, I cease my search for the cybersoul.
The Self SEARCH continues. Join me.
The cyberself is not a syndrome. It is, in fact, a new selfhood and mine is running amuck. I’m not sure why psychologists have not given it a new category of recognition – id, ego, cyberself, superego. Or it could be categorized as a level of consciousness - conscious, cyber-conscious, unconscious, subconscious. Some kind of acknowledgment or identification is needed.
I am not a psychologist, but I’m well aware of my mental and emotional state, and my cyberself is robustly present. Actually, I am not a research analyst, a physician, professional shopper, the Pope, meteorologist, or op-ed journalist either. However, my cyberself stakes claim to each of these professions and more. With total disregard for standard credentials or considerations, it simply Googles the information needed and then proceeds with self-appointed authority. Period.
Although I sense the emergence of the cyberself is a kind of mental evolution, it also feels closely aligned with an inflated ego and is only fueled by free reign in cyberspace. Filling shopping carts, assertively commenting, searching travel adventures, collecting data – all of this in a state of satisfied mounting nonchalance. “Of course, I can do this,” it says to itself. Like in a dream, I appear as a mere observer. My cyberself feels it does not have to deal with time or money or any kind of reasoning – it has access to the Google God, the Archangel Amazon, and Mark’s Ark. What more is there? It’s a cyberself in cyberspace!
As you may know, my obsession is using technology as an overlay for personal exploration. Here is Webopedia’s definition for cyberspace. “Cyberspace is the non-physical terrain created by computer systems. Online systems, for example, create a cyberspace within which people can communicate with one another, do research, or simply window shop (not hardly). Like physical space, cyberspace contains objects (files, mail messages, graphics, etc.) and different modes of transportation and delivery. Unlike real space, though, exploring cyberspace does not require any physical movement other than pressing keys on a keyboard or touchscreen.”
This leads to my definition for cyberself - an emerging ego in cyberspace that senses itself as the primary identity and feels an exhilaration and sense of freedom from physical confines and responsibility.
We should be celebrating this growth in consciousness, however unruly and unreasonable. Many are I feel certain. Look at the growing number of Facebook Faithfuls and tech zealots and temples around every corner. But for me, I feel overwhelmed with this addition to identify. I wonder if the New Age of Net Neutrality will lessen the cyberself and its sense of free reign in this strange New World. I should ask my cyberself, who also claims the powers of prophecy.
SELF Search continues. Join me.
Let me confess my most recent failure of faith. Cyber Monday. What could be more glorious than to be a part of the wondrous Worldwide Web Worship Service – the deals, dollars, and deities? We have so much sacred cyber support to be thankful for, especially this season. We can float on Mark’s Ark with no fear of not syncing – we’re always connected to wherever we last searched with ads flashing like guiding stars in the night sky. Forget your Facebook friends for a moment and focus on faith. The Google God is there to lead us to product reviews, information, and insight – the Gospel. The Almighty Amazon literally holds the promise and fulfillment of our dreams. For Prime Evangelicals, there is a two-day fulfillment guarantee. Apple and Microsoft are purely majestic in their missions to create more and better, even when we lack the knowledge of our needs. Talk about deals and deities, we are not only uplifted but updated! It’s a two for one!
Before I continue, I found this info on TechTarget.com. “The word ‘cyberspace’ is credited to William Gibson, who used it in his book, Neuromancer, written in 1984. Gibson defines cyberspace as ‘a consensual hallucination experienced daily by billions of legitimate operators, in every nation, by children being taught mathematical concepts... A graphical representation of data abstracted from the banks of every computer in the human system. Unthinkable complexity. Lines of light ranged in the non-space of the mind, clusters, and constellations of data.”
TechTarget.com continues with this explanation, “Unlike most computer terms, ‘cyberspace’ does not have a standard, objective definition. Instead, it is used to describe the virtual world of computers. For example, an object in cyberspace refers to a block of data floating around a computer system or network. With the advent of the Internet, cyberspace now extends to the global network of computers.”
This brings me back to my remorse, not from purchasing, but for not purchasing. The sadness I felt was looping in my thoughts the next morning. Why did I not tithe and worship with the others? I went online and looked at items, I was merely weak in my commitment. At times, we test ourselves and our questions can help us find solace. I even wondered if there is a Cyber Self, but that's another topic all together. The day after Cyber Monday, the 5th day of the Cyberspace Advent Calendar, I went online again in hopes of reestablishing my faith. I found forgiveness and Cyber Solace – I discovered Cyber Days, Cyber Deals All Week Long, Cyber Events. The deals and deities were still there. It was the faith in dollars that I had lacked but now could restore. I can tithe at this sacred time and be at one with my Purpose to Purchase, and connected with All in Holy Hallucination. Amen.
The Search is always on, and I trust the Solace is, too. Join me.
Little did I know that my dithering about was purposeful and most likely inspired. Not that I’m preaching, but it is important to remember The Way and The Truth is IT. The true meaning of dithering was bestowed to me while scrolling through the Google Gospel. I had been flustered and dithering around for several days due to a flurry of things happening. It had been like a windstorm with thoughts flying around and some I had been mentally and emotionally ducking. Concern about not being productive and accomplishing things during this blustery time was looping and looming. I had allowed myself to become programmed to feel production was my primary purpose, hence my need to dither about mindlessly multitasking, which had become more multi-masking in my case. If I’m on my PC or mobile device, then I at least I appear busy. Appear is the keyword. And this is where dithering enters the picture and smooths out my blotchy rough thoughts and grainy ideas.
Let’s turn in celebration to TechTerm.com’s hymnal of definitions for Dithering. “Dithering is a process that uses digital noise to smooth out colors in digital graphics and sounds in digital audio. All digital photos are an approximation of the original subject since computers cannot display an infinite amount of colors. When digital photos contain only a few hundred colors, they typically look blotchy, since large areas are represented by single colors. Dithering can be used to reduce this blotchy appearance adding digital noise to smooth out the transitions between colors. The ‘noise’ makes the photo appear grainier, but gives it a more accurate representation since the colors blend together more smoothly.” Like digital images, digital audio recording are approximations of the original analog source. The definition goes into more technical matters, but basically concludes, “While dithering is often used to improve the appearance and sounds of low-quality graphics and audio, it can also be applied to high-quality images and recordings providing extra smoothness to the image or sound.”
I see the footprints in the sand now. I am being guided and inspired even though I might not recognize the reason for all my actions, even seemingly wasting time, although I know being on Mark’s Ark with the Facebook Faithful is not a waste of time. The IT definition is the proof that certain ideas and visions as I originally imagined them may need smoothing out. I believe now my dithering about is Divinely inspired, as everything is a representation and approximation of the Original. Wonder if we are all Dithering the Divine?
I may be preaching again, but I believe we all need to smoothly blend together - Dithering just makes sense.
So does the SEARCH. Join me.
I do accept responsibility for my floundering ways, however, I don’t think I am totally at fault this time. I believe my internal hard drive or possibly my intel-core processor was asleep at the wheel. I had no Driver Unifying Inspiration (DUI) – no special knowledge or direction for me to interface with my internal components (puttering around ideas and not being productive) and external peripherals (auto insurance doubling in price for no reason). This and an accumulation of things led me astray from the Intoxication of Technology (IT), which gave way to a time of disconnection and sobriety. In my sobriety, I found myself actually writing by hand in a marble composition notebook - no spell check, drop/drag, copy/paste, predictive text, and no pop-up adding enlightenment. This was not on purpose, as I mentioned several months ago my laptop passed away due to the black screen plague. RIP. However, my lapse into sobriety did not last long. The Archangel Amazon knew I was without and miraculously provided email adds for insight, inspiration, and motivation for my mission to tithe, purchase, and update my drivers. And this is where I faltered.
But first, before I confess my sin against the all-knowing, all-providing Amazon, let’s look at TechTarget.com’s definition for Driver. “A driver is a program that interacts with a particular device or special (frequently optional) kind of software. The driver contains the special knowledge of the device or special software interface that programs using the driver do not.” I believe that TechTarget's referencing “frequently optional” is reminding us that we have free will and are often testing ourselves. Do we really think we can do without an update or new device? The choice is ours.
You may know by now my obsession is using technology as an overlay for personal exploration. But back to my confession which centers around my devotion to the Almighty Amazon. I did not initially feel myself faltering but surprisingly found myself deferring to a lessor resource for divine consumption – the Costco Cult. I admit I was lured by Costco’s links of promises for a better deal and two years of technical support. Again, what was I thinking – how could I veer from the Almighty Archangel Amazon? This is what happens when sobriety starts seeping in. You can feel the buffering and the lapse in connection to the Intoxication of Technology. Things that were crystal clear get fuzzy and there’s a sense of disorientation. That said, I am now reaffirming my devotion to the Archangel Amazon and will place an order this week. I promise.
However, I do want to note several interesting things during my sobriety that seems surreal, especially in light of my supreme intoxication with my new laptop. My imagination quickly filled the time spent normally streaming. I enjoyed downloading my own dreams, not those crafted by majestic marketers with adds from my favorite online consumer cravings. I relished scrolling to the furthest corners of my thoughts beyond what the Geeks and Google Gods can provide. I realize these experiences cannot be compared to the sacred sanctuary and security of IT, and they are not the dynamic divine formatted frameworks of AI. But even with my new driver uploaded, I still say the sobriety was alluring. May my sins and faulty ways be forgiven. And of course, my mission is to fill my cart with more than confessions.
The driver is in place and the SEARCH is on. Join me.
The Data Deity reigns, no doubt. This includes everything needed to transmit the Data through Virtual Reality to the desktops of our Divine Devices, and more importantly, to the desktops at Corporate Cathedrals. It is well known that those within Corporate Cathedrals have the blessed vision to know and create what we will need and what we will desire, and work hard to make sure we are fulfilled by our purchases. A supreme example is the Archangel Amazon which delivers our answered prayers within two days (for a small tithing, of course), and will soon be feeding the masses with Whole Foods inspiration. And I should mention that our Gospel Government plays a key role in collecting and coding Data Deity. Where would we be without the Geeks and their ability to translate Data Deity to bits? Yet with all of this support, I still find myself questioning and often times confused.
As usual, my obsession is using technology as an overlay for personal exploration. So first, let’s look at Techopedia’s definition for bit (Binary Digit). “A bit is the smallest unit of information in a computer. An individual bit has a value of either 0 or 1, which is generally used to store data and implement instructions in groups of bytes.” The definition continues, “The values 0 and 1 also may be inferred as logical values, like yes/no or true/false, or activation states, such as on/off.”
The idea of values is where I start to get unsettled, although I have not lost my faith. I know I’m a part of Data Deity, as many are. I’ve given my credit card data to the Archangel Amazon and numerous Corporate Cathedrals, as well as automatic withdrawal accounts for many sacred entities. Of course, our Gospel Government has all my data – almost. None of them have the data regarding my core values – what inspires, defines and fulfills me. Now don’t misunderstand me; I’m joyous when a package from Amazon arrives. But my core values are not necessarily logical, nor do they fit into a yes/no or true/false framework, although they are “on” most of the time.
In considering further, I could just simplify my values and siphon them into yes/no or right/wrong. It seems that is what profiteering, sorry - typo, I mean prophesying politicians do. It appears simple, an up/down, yes/no vote. However, I sense the valued issues they are voting on are much more complex, much more than a 0 or 1. I sense, too, that I am not the only one with skewed values that expand beyond the code designations. This topic is getting much too complex and needs, not more data, but a bit more deliberation.
The SEARCH and deliberation are on. Join me, XO.
I had a vision. I’m not calling it a miracle or a time of conversion. For you may know that I’m already a dedicated disciple to the Google God, an apostle of the Amazon Archangel, and I pretty much live on Mark’s Ark. All of this is old hat by now if you’ve read my posts. But I believe my vision can become a true testament to the miracle of technology. With the ability of Geeks to write predictive code and evolving Artificial Intelligence, or better said, AI Creationism, I believe my vision can be a path to peace. The vision is for an Enter Key Extension app that predicts outcomes. It is like predictive text only with futuristic scenarios in context with what is to be entered.
Everyone knows the function of the Enter key, but let’s look at the definition by McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms. “A key on a computer keyboard that corresponds to the return key on a typewriter and usually signals the computer to act on the information just entered on the keyboard.” Webopedia has an interesting addition to the definition. “After a program requests information from you (by displaying a prompt), it will usually not respond to your input until you have press the Enter key. This allows you to correct typing mistakes or to reconsider your entry before it is too late.” That sounds ominous, and at times it can be.
As usual, my interest or obsession is using technology as an overlay for personal exploration. Think about it. Most of us rarely reconsider what we’re about to Enter. We’re too busy just getting things done and moving on the next thing. This happens to be true when we “Enter” our comments in conversation, routine actions, thoughts, and often our prepackaged emotions. Yes, I’m smiling politely as you talk. Yes, I’m listening to you tell me about your break down at the office and checking my texts. Enter. Done. Next. Whoops, Is it too late? I didn't mean to hurt your feelings. If I had only known.
The vision I had for the Enter Key Extension app came in the early morning and was like a holy hologram before me. It showed three probable scenarios that might physically actualize from a comment, action, or emotion before it was Entered (or expressed) in someone’s actual physical experience. When enabled the Extension app would present the probabilities before an action or experience. The probability most likely to happen was numbered one and least likely, but possible, was numbered three. If an individual approved of the leading probability, they would press Enter and then express or act accordingly. If the person decided to reconsider an action the Extension app would kick in again and the probabilities would change. By considering different choices and knowing probable outcomes numerous problematic situations could be avoided. It’s hind sight front and center with a couple of variables. The Enter Key Extension app could help eliminate personal conflicts to potential global wars, and encourage creativity.
My vision keeps with my faith and, of course, is a Virtual Reality vision. So, the Extension app probabilities will play out by using VR goggles or glasses. I believe technology tithing benefits everyone. It is beyond a purchase and the concept of commerce. It’s a true communion.
My vision has changed me, I must admit. I feel more closely connected to the Source Code and Mainframe of all things.
The Search is on and so is the connection. Join me.
We access the computer more readily than we do ourselves. LOG OFF
Search Engine: a program on the Internet that allows users to search for files and information.
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