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The Social Memory Dump, Shredding Society

Politics / Social Issues Jul 31, 2014 - 07:50 PM GMT

By: Andrew_McKillop


Intoxicating “the people” or “the mass” with permanent over-information of the trivial sort can be taken as the Aldous Huxley theory of the breakdown of society – to compare with the George Orwell theory where an all-powerful police state severely limits all information except pure propaganda (see for example I suggest we in fact have suffered a converging twin track of both “strategies” in western society today, including the ultimate in disinformation which is the suppression of the ability to understand, know, and act in consequence of what we know.

Radically dumping social memory is a key feature of the “strategy”, alongside the scrambling and shredding of key cultural elements of society, like the dominant and secondary paradigms that circulate in society. Pure inability to know is the end result.

Taking a snapshot of your PC's current system and using it as a restore point is well known, but we can imagine what would happen if a random selection of computer codes – binary, octal, hexadecimal and so on – had been used in the programming of individual files or system attributes. The easiest analogy would be dyslexia, amnesia, catatonia or other well known speech-memory and psychological difficulties or health defects. One thing would be certain - system breakdown.

True / False
System integrity is however hard to define when it concerns society and culture. Conversely for programmers and designers of computer hardware such as EPROMs, flash memories, processors and other key devices the meaning of system integrity is crystal clear.

What for semantics or semiotics are “logic operators” are usually called “logic gates” by IT hardware designers and software programmers. These gates operate by True/False or Yes/No choices, extended by other logic gates to permit more-extended operations, for example using If-Then-Else. In other words a certain amount of controlled ambiguity is introduced and utilised to enable more operations but upstream of this there is always the need for complete integrity of data streams or packets.

The data can come from an internal or external hard disc, a flash memory peripheral, or other sources such as plug-in cameras but at all times logical coherence and integrity must apply across the entire logic and data network of the PC or other IT device. Analogous to society's memory which is made concrete for example as national archives, museums and libraries, memory dumps are used to “take a snapshot” of the computer machine's state at a certain time. Daily news roundups on TV and radio, are for example sometimes disparagingly called “the daily memory dump” of society.

Many of the news items are “one trip only” and are erased from future roundups. Their “cycle time” is low and can be directly compared with memory dumps on PCs, which store data that is often entirely useless for later tasks. For PCs unlike society,  the data can be almost entirely deleted by disk defragmentation and disc reformatting applications, but even this is not 100% effective. Reasons for this even include the physical electron configurations of the semiconductor materials used.

The Ghost in the Machine
For IT memory devices this is called “remanent memory”. Huxley, Orwell and many other writers covering the theme of totalitarianism and the police state identified the problem, for The Master Elite, of society having “residual or remanent” memory, which can be partly-cleaned and deleted but not entirely. Its residence time can be very long – decades or centuries. As sociologists and anthropologists note, social or cultural memory is often mythologized or converted to legend.

 For example in Christian, Judaic and Islamic mythology there is an important role of The Flood, in Greek myth Atlantis, probably derived from real historical floods, tsunami, or extreme coastal tides.

By suppressing the real data – such as the real extent of historical flooding – the reconstructed race memory, myth, legend or folk tale lives on and serves a distinct supporting role in social thought and belief. It is reprogrammed rather than deleted. What matters is the time interval from the initial real event, to the reconstructed legend, and the extent of “social memory dumping” and “program editing” needed to maintain the legend in present society. Obviously the logic gates in the cultural network of real-versus-desired information must be modified to accept the process.

Today's radical context of destroying the rational bases of society notably includes the creation of “instant myths and legends”. These can have short or very short “cycle times” in society, before being dumped, but to achieve their supine acceptance by “the mass”, social logic operators are heavily tampered with. Major reprogramming is needed, not only of dominant social paradigms, but also of the secondary and supporting paradigms that prop the dominant ones.

Examples of this process are literally everywhere. Taking only the “black box economy which runs all by itself”, neoliberal legend paints a picture of the Ancient Economy, before the 1980s, being “fettered and hamstrung”, un-free and illiberal, “Sovietized” by trade unions, and weakened by small and manipulated un-transparent markets. The myth continues with an image akin to the economy of the Medieval Ages! Supposedly “the public” is so stupid and witless it will swallow and believe this instant legend. To make this happen, social memory of “the past economy” has to be de-learned. After that, knowing anything at all about the economy has to be forgotten.

The major problem was and is that deconstructing the so-called Ancient Economy is only possible through mythmaking. As empirical data shows, if we took the 25-year periods 1950-75 and 1989-2014 the Ancient Economy performed massively better than the New Economy on every logical criteria, from growth and debt to employment and income distribution. It is therefore urgent not to know!

The Slippery Slope
Dumping all “unfortunate reality” and mythologizing the before-and-after becomes a permanent process of unknowing. In the case of the economy we can call it Economic Dyslexia, but the process is society-wide with rapid spillover collateral damage, which we can call a Wave of Unknowing. Again using the case of the Mythologized Economy, the master-class or power elite can say to itself that if outright distortion and lying fantasy are right and proper for the economy, why not elsewhere?

For perhaps 25 years, the same substitution of fantasy for reality has been rampant in almost all domains of western society. The net result is that the “system integrity” of society, including the ideology and culture of individual persons in current western society, has been heavily degraded – initially by design but later spontaneously.

Recourse to “disk wiping” of society's hard disk is therefore always increasing, but is operated on a random base. This makes it possible for us to surmise that initially there was simply an elite desire and plan or program to dumb down “the masses”, but the process later became autonomous, self-feeding and self-amplifying. It ran out of control.

As a result, the supposedly all-powerful elite itself became a Ghost in The Machine and the only way, today, for the shreds and tatters of its previous all-powerful status to be kept alive is the destruction of the memory of society. It is now obligatory and recurrent but is in no way systematic. Unfortunately however, a society with no memory does not exist. It is dead.

Unintended Causes – Unknown Results
Traditional and ancient myths often utilise the trick or subterfuge of “magical causes”, upstream of the narrative used in society's “extant myths and legends” that serve an ongoing useful role. Being “magical” these causes are in human terms, unintended, and it is therefore logical – but in western culture no myth or legend says this – that the results will be unknown to society. 

Relating this to our core subject of western society's moral, cultural, ideological and intellectual collapse since the 1980s or before, mysterious or unknown causes for the downstream wipeout process of unknowing are strongly and repeatedly present.

As one simple example, the 2008 financial crisis is now very often by-lined “the Lehman Bros crisis” or even “the Lehman Bros moment”, a mythologized moment in time attributing the global financial crisis to the collapse of one small brokerage and private banking firm.

Alternately, the term “the subprime crisis” is used with the same objective, to deflect attention from the fact that the unexpected results from a “complex multivariate crisis” of the type that is inevitable and recurrent in a deconstructed economy are logical and totally unavoidable. It was a “mystery crash”.

To be sure, social myths exist and concern us individually and collectively in our daily lives – for example religious belief - but are impossible to compare with the loss of meaning experienced in western society of today. We could for example compare Western Unknowing with the role and function of periodic or cyclic millenarian cults, in late medieval western history or as studied by anthropologists in “primitive” non-western society,

These cults can be called a type of “wide area social hard disk wiping”. They are followed by mass delirium, and very certainly can cause pre-western or “primitive” form of social breakdown and widespread violence including the equivalent of civil war.

Outside of the millenarian cults and in several non-western cases, notably in Australian Aborigene cosmology, the role of Unintended Causes is very strong. In turn, for some Aborigene groups or tribes, this can produce “twin track knowing” of landscape features, natural phenomenae and events of any kind, where the known and unknown have a constant twin role, alongside anything that is empirically perceived.

Alternate Language
We can easily relate this to what I call a general syndrome of Unknowing in contemporary western society. Probably unintended, and often only dimply-perceived by many,  “substitute language” development is rampant. This process of substituted meanings is found in human babies who, for any reason, have not been taught a language. Speech and semantics experts note that learning to speak is the process of learning the details of a first and specific maternal language. Babies however come from the womb “hard wired” with instinctive understanding of profoundly complex grammatical rules and an innate drive to learn their “local” maternal  language. If they are not taught that language, they will create their own “alternate language” or twin speech. Under certain circumstances, this “twin track” is defensive, and creates permanent or “indelible” double meanings of words and idioms in later-learned local or other languages of the formal type.

One theory about the “plague of unknowing”, therefore, is that one of its causes was defensive, possibly due to initial elite attempts to utilise Mass Communication to create a dumbed down public.

The clumsy and heavy modification of perceptual and semiotic frameworks - “when you say dog I think cat” - produced a defensive reaction in society which soon extended much further than a simple and systematic recourse to double-think, resulting in another and further driver of the unknowing process. More serious damage resulted, as starkly revealed by “the new journalism” of both the print and audiovisual types.

As we know, it is commonplace to find predictions that conventional print media, especially the so-called “great newspapers” are dying out, plagued by continually declining sales. This also affects other media such as magazines and books. TV news shows and documentaries also suffer declining audiences, as does radio journalism, but this totally ignores why this is happening.

The major reason is the mutated content of these media with increasingly evident lack of ability by journalists and reporters to produce coherent texts or spoken comments. The genre has been deconstructed. Unknowing speeds this decrepitude, making what were “slips of the tongue” or “typing errors” into permanent but unrecognized features of the new journalism.

As a very current example, the glove puppet media's attempt to “rally the masses” for a nuclear war with Putin's Russia is a farce. The public is already bored with it, and bemused by the vast stack of false-flag operations under way. The media has dumbed itself down to the point of chaotic incoherence or to use a quantum physics analogy, to deconstructive incoherence.

The New Framework
This is firstly not a stable state and is in no way sustainable. It is an “interregnum”. What was previously dumbing down becomes a new semantic and cultural framework, with an inevitable loss of content and coherence in society.

It can be called deconstructing society, but as already noted above, the constant wide-area flushing and destruction social memory, followed by random editing of its remains ends up with a Non-Society. By definition, mobilising this for Heroic Endeavors of the Elite – like nuclear war with Russia – will be difficult or impossible. The new framework of society is chaos-type and also by definition. It is inchoate or unpredictable.

To be sure, the elites themselves bathe in a pea fog of Unknowing. They do not know that society is ungovernable, and due to their own particular form of Herd Schizophrenia are unable to know. What we can note is that neither Aldous Huxley nor George Orwell imagined this end-result. Reasons for this are easy to surmise and include the existence from the 1930s to the 1950s of extremely hard-edged and defined Mass Ideologies and political-social doctrines.

Unknowing has destroyed all this. This is certainly an unexpected result for the downsized and dumbed down elites who imagine they still rule, today. Their rather transparent or child-like desire to “cook up a nuclear war” with Russia can be understood as a pathetic and too-late attempt at saving their own thick skins and unearned status of would-be leaders of society.

By Andrew McKillop


Former chief policy analyst, Division A Policy, DG XVII Energy, European Commission. Andrew McKillop Biographic Highlights

Co-author 'The Doomsday Machine', Palgrave Macmillan USA, 2012

Andrew McKillop has more than 30 years experience in the energy, economic and finance domains. Trained at London UK’s University College, he has had specially long experience of energy policy, project administration and the development and financing of alternate energy. This included his role of in-house Expert on Policy and Programming at the DG XVII-Energy of the European Commission, Director of Information of the OAPEC technology transfer subsidiary, AREC and researcher for UN agencies including the ILO.

© 2014 Copyright Andrew McKillop - All Rights Reserved Disclaimer: The above is a matter of opinion provided for general information purposes only and is not intended as investment advice. Information and analysis above are derived from sources and utilising methods believed to be reliable, but we cannot accept responsibility for any losses you may incur as a result of this analysis. Individuals should consult with their personal financial advisor.

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