Selected Quotes from Richard Thieme
The convergence of enabling technologies of intrusion, interception, and panoptic reach, combined with a sense of urgency about the counter terror imperative and a clear mandate from our leaders to do everything possible to defeat an amorphous non-state entity defined by behaviors rather than boundaries, borders, or even a clear ideological allegiance, has created an ominous but invisible set of conditions that undermine the previous cornerstones of law, ethics, and even religious traditions.
The weakest link in discussions of privacy is the definition of privacy, and the definition of privacy is not what we think.
Current technologies make speaking of interception obsolete. Our technologies constitute the physical framework, and software and informational contexts, of a pan-global society. Boundaries between elements of the network, between the networks that make up the network, that is, are arbitrary and porous. We live in a world literally without walls. Every attribute of a process or structure that broadcasts or transmits information about itself by any physical or electromagnetic means can be detected, often at the source. Often enough, those who built the system in the first place engineer information to come to them. “Here” and “there” are distinctions without a difference.
There’s plenty of laughter among hackers, laughter at the paradox of the mind watching itself build worlds in which–in spite of seeing the marks of the tools on the raw material and seeing the tools in our hands–we lack the freedom not to believe.
Cyberspace is like a multi-dimensional cubist construction in which we become ten-dimensional portraits by Picasso, our digital selves both artifact and artist.
Footnotes are conspicuous by their absence on the Web. Information is self-referential. Symbols and images point to themselves like a ten-dimensional dog chasing its own tails.
We create the online world out of nothing, then forget that we made it up so we can play in it.
Like speech, writing, and print, the computer is a tool that shapes our perceptions into forms the computer can use. If we are to bring our ideas to the computer, we must express them in language the computer understands.
Web sites work best that lead us by easy stages from accessible text or images into the complexity of information patterned beyond our comprehension.
To understand the world, we must first understand ourselves. Then, like the Hubble telescope when it first went up, we can compensate for distortion.
When we lose ourselves, we find ourselves, but when we try to hold on to what we find, we lose it again.
“Techno/spirituality” is the search for “human nature” transformed by interaction with information technologies. We are like apes seeing their faces in the river for the first time – a digital river flowing through our collective mind.
What is the particular gift this day has given me? Who have I loved, and have I dared to love them as well as I could? Have I contributed to the well-being of another, have I enhanced their sense of dignity or expanded the possibilities of their lives? And of everything I have received, have I given anything back?
The meta-rule–“do the right thing”–requires sometimes that we break the rules. There is only one rule: if you don’t know when to break the rules, don’t break the rules.
We only feel a need to impose a rigid structure on the flow of life when we are afraid that life is chaotic.
We’re like people wearing glasses running around frantically looking for our glasses.
The Internet—like the world—is best ruled by letting things take their course.
The digital world is water, a rising tide, a tsunami impacting our consciousness with revolutionary force, leveling our villages, sweeping away our shrines and altars, sweeping everything, everything out to sea.
When we see our thinking from a point outside our thinking, we see that ideas and beliefs are mental artifacts, as solid and as empty as all the things in the physical world–things that are patterns of energy and information that fingertips or eyes or brains are structured to perceive as if objects external to ourselves. That is, of course, an illusion.
You’ll never see where it goes.” – Mobius
Identity at a fundamental level is being transformed. Digital identities can be appropriated, yes, but more than that, we can invent them on the fly and determine at the moment of action or execution to which matrix we are related as a node in the network. We choose the context that in turn creates the content we designate at the moment of execution. Our identities exist as potentialities made actual by our intention at the moment of action. They are the equivalent of quantum states, fixed only when expressed.
Humans are open systems of information and energy. Current work in biotech, nanotech, genetic engineering, artificial organisms, electromagnetic fields applied to surveillance, intrusion, and weapons to disarm, debilitate and kill, intersects with traditional “information security” models but is becoming a tail that wags the dog.
We are like miners tunneling through an immense mountain, seeing only the earth in front of our faces. Our interests and intentions focus what we see like lights on a miner’s hat. What we don’t know is so much bigger than ourselves.
We are real birds in digital cages.
Information is always relational. The power of information that is linked and mined is magnified by orders of magnitude. What matters are patterns and who can see them. The patterns result from relationships between events and processes, and seeing them is relational, too. Notice that I said, information is related to a process or event, not to an “object” which does not exist in the form our brains like to paint it. Step back when you think you see a “thing” and feel the breeze as it evolves. Rocks may evolve more slowly, but they are as much in motion as a neutrino. And when you see them, you change the frame.
The Net is an imaginary garden with real toads in it.
A photo is no longer worth a thousand words. Or maybe it is, since digital words and images alike are subject to manipulation. Same with voices. Deep fakes are real.
The full evolution of the human/computer synthesis is likely to be a religious experience. It will happen as Hemingway said bankruptcy happens, gradually, then suddenly.
The Internet does not replace anything, it redefines how we use other media.
The fancy name for diverse styles of living is “spirituality.” Our challenge is not to find the one that’s right. Our challenge is to find one that works.
Our existence is a recursive call of the pattern of the pattern of the code.
We live on the edge of a digital blade and the blade cuts both ways.
When my life began to grow more mellow, I thought I was becoming disciplined, even virtuous. Now I know it was just lower testosterone levels.
Believing is seeing. Believing is the precondition of a possibility.
The structures of energy and information in the universe are the universe.
Money is dye in the arteries of our souls.
When chaos for breakfast and doubt for lunch make for indigestion at dinnertime, real power is wisdom, not winning. The wise person steers a course by the torchlight of doubt and chaos.
Between we humans and our souls there are no barriers but the ones we erect to protect ourselves from the terror of self-transcendence.
how do you live vibrantly?
how do you free the mind?
How do you live in a world without walls? – Kenneth Olthoff
Because “elements of the National Security State were committed to the production of strategic fictions, simulations, and deceptions” as Timothy Melley put it, the mind of society becomes confused about what is real and must rely on postmodern deconstruction in a futile attempt to discern what is happening.
The digital world, with all its circus animals and mythical beasts, is simply a new way for the human brain to deceive itself into thinking it knows.
Neither hackers nor spies live inside consensus reality. They live at the terminator on the moon where everything is thrown into relief, where intentionality creates consensus.
A browser is a knowledge engine that organizes information in flux so it seems momentarily frozen. Portals are like gravitational lens that boost distant clusters into the foreground.
Computers aren’t about technology, they’re about people. The power of the Net derives from the deepest intentions of the people who use it.
We think, therefore the cursor moves. The universe is a point-and-click multi-dimensional interface in which we are immersed, multi-dimensional point-and-click beings.
You can’t write a 32-bit application for an IBM XT. It just can’t handle the code.
The first two weeks in a new culture are so impactful, Margaret Mead said, that you have to stay another year to learn more. That’s how fast a culture assimilates an “observer.” Our first two weeks in the digital world are almost up.
When we explore the Net, we are exploring ourselves. We learn to surf swells of meaning that surge back and forth like the sea. We learn to follow currents of information, feeling swells interact in complex ways. We become voyagers in a sea of information, we make tangled star maps that remember for us how to find our way home.
Descriptions of reality are true at different degrees of precision.
The moment we see ourselves as we are perceived by another, we become someone else, neither who we were nor who they think we are. Spies live in a dynamic loop of meanings and projections.
Once I had answers. Now all I have is questions.
Change causes fear, rigidity, and isolation. The antidotes are mutuality, feedback, and accountability.
An idea that ripens at the right time can not be stopped by all the NOs in the world.
Wisdom, like insanity, is contextual.
Thinking about the unthinkable ripens the mind toward new possibilities.
Prophets are people who get wet before everybody else and start sneezing. We can quarantine them, but reality is a cold it is impossible not to catch.
There comes a point as we think at which the framework of our thinking itself wrinkles and slides into the dark. We see the edge of our thinking mind, our mind thinking, beyond which we see … something else … luminosity that constitutes the context of our thinking and our thinking selves.