One way to solve an encrypted message, if we know its language, is to find a different plaintext of the same language … and then we count the occurrences of each letter … Then we look at the cipher text we want to solve and we also classify its symbols … until we account for all symbols of the cryptogram we want to solve. (On Extracting Obscured Correspondence, 850 AD)
Wearing a mask, hiding behind convention, playing a role for others and for oneself — in short, a continuous fluttering around the solitary flame of vanity — is so much the rule and the law among men that there is almost nothing which is less comprehensible than how an honest and pure drive for truth could have arisen among them. (On Truth and Lies in a Nonmoral Sense, 1896 AD)
And so it came to pass. The virtual programs the mask. The face masks the virtual. Thrown, the strong man the raft — the weak the current. Masks mask. Programs program. And so it comes to pass.
With the statisticastration of humanity the individual has become objectified willingly beyond mere object. Indeed objectification has dominated man ever since he first appeared in a lake’s reflection once upon a time in the hidden beginning. But now through the ordering of disorder this beginning nears its full dis-closure as the yet most dangerous objectification advances an-nihil-ation by technological dialectic. What rages through the consecration of the statistic? Virtualization. Already heralded as the end of meta-physics by prophets, Theodore John Kaczynski included, the conversion of seven billion human beings into trillions of zeroes, alongside the prior one hundred billion similarly projected, unconceals itself most blatantly through smart-phone social media’s trillion-dollar free and priceless formation of herd (immunity) programmed by masked programmers openly perceived. Pop-ulation of pop-ular narcotic weakness immunizes the herd from recognizing concrete potentiality, restricted and opened, and affective condition of possibilities. Human existence is historical. It is not as it was. The technological aesthetization of actuality need not even hide. It has all turned so blatant. Words reveal. While dreaming one need only look around at those dreaming. But to be sure, the screening of time, its smarting, is minimized at all costs— and if not, then, it is what it is.
With the constant activity of virtualization unleashed upon thought, restrictions upon autonomy and the capture, storage, and distribution of false reality outstrip (sub)conscious denial, scientific study, and Eastern antidote. Screens — capitalist pop psychology openly perceived, capitalist pop science openly perceived, capitalist pop wellness campaigns openly perceived, how-to programming and iNtern-et screening and streaming, the academy and reason and political news, in general tranquilizing shots in the arms — in point of blatant facticity reveal a far more pop-ular opiate epidemic than the one executed by the polypharmacy industries narrowly perceived. Oh how the exiled long for the gods that no longer reside! Viralization, narcosis through other words, anesthetizes and innoculates as plague clarifies: the sick counsel the sick, the sickening capitalized cattle sickness sickens, the sick at all costs for free remain clean, safe, and happy through the anti-biotic of pop-ular “thought”. The they has itself respirated the virus masked as cure — the null hypothesis — and nullified itself as such. With the pride of the smart surface stare, following followers follow. I becomes i.
With the most extreme form of objectification comes the most extreme empty subjectivization — for instance a pantomimed virality promulgating by consumption falsified bastard image and word, the uprising of a supreme programmed subjectivity superficially with no limit controlling its own identity and destiny — for a liberty well executed on-line in the super-market. Defying gravity like a helium balloon, the falsely animated object little less than the angels floats to the heavens, capturing, storing, and distributing the world-picture — until its altitude outstrips nature, until the hollowed object contains its expansion no longer. It is the collective murder-suicide of essence. Pop goes the weasel.
With man’s consumption and deflation, he believes he daily revitalizes through one or another antidote that rationally compensates for his vir(tu)al estrangement. But try to subjectify an object. Witness its animation. Now believe in it. What remains still alive within the capitalist mass hysteria propping up data-driven best practices gathers a constellation of glimmering blinks perceived by those carrying ancilia who have without ressentiment transcended vir(tu)ality. Condemned to trudge through the mad maelstrom with unpopular and untimely shields foisted against the masked programming of thought and the submission by smart-phone blindly approaching the cliff edge of the finite real, they heed the call to genuine thought. Screening eyes glued down and shut, the programming of the they threatens the gravitational extinction of the originally concealed. But the call to think the real real still calls, and most clarion given its nearly completed killing, through and above the manmade world that will soon cross the final event horizon of virtualization laid out by the transhistorical programming of the statistical field.
Alea iacta est. Soon vir(tu)alization leaves no refuge. For now the escape of harmonious concentrational tabulation falls away into nothingness for those thinkers who have transcended asceticism, den-ial generally, for the freedom native to the few tribes vir(tu)alized not yet. For the one being capable of becoming himself, happily and successfully negotiating with the devil creates but one solution — without gradation for hereafter there is not.
With the formal verification of statistics as program, with its programming in the seventeenth century, with the gradual programming of the ensuing centuries, with John Graunt’s analysis of Bills of Mortality, the stat(e) sets sight upon the pop-ulation, generating the sight itself, fixing its masked gaze by objectification, by picturing, by setting forth the previously iNvisible already visualized, clarifying as program the nascent subjective objectivity revealed by the etymology of the statistic, by the state, and delivered over to the burgeoning scientific imagination that has since been stripped of all iMagi-nation outside the confines of capital. Statistics is formalized alongside epidemiology and demography. With the measurement of the people it is born in death with the population. Measuring has no impact on the measured as virtualization impacts not its im-posters. So the projection of the already-known verifies itself elsewhere, it always finds what it seeks, its message always arrives like the well-followed follower, scientists’ to be sure, and the mathematical program already projected soon intervenes again through the formal verification of probability theory as program. First statistics constructs the pop-ulation through life tables, counting death. Then probability theory secures statistics, with Girolamo Cardano’s analysis of games of chance, unleashing normality and capital upon the populated through the regulation of chance, its administration, mastery, fixation, and asphyxiation, through the simulated empty fantasy of binary code. Now, team, family, remember. When waiting online always live exceptionally through unique performance and consumption. Never forget: you are worthy of self-care. Happy Friday.
With the already-known always ready-at-hand, programs form in advance of their programming and co(u)ntagion. Quickly the field of app-lication — of what? of whom? the compulsion to repeat? (010101000111) the death drive? — broadens, with the computer for instance, like a random sample. Retranscribed through extrapolation, safeguarding the future like Cronus, minimizing chance, forecasting the future, generating it, projecting the measured into the unknown, generating certainty, wearing the mask properly, popularly, politely, (phil)anthropically, probability theory programs margins of error that mask, that save face at all costs. The an-nihil-ation of spontaneity, of the future, unfolds rigorously through irony — by clinging with dear life to the error, to the vir-us, to the known-unknown, acknowledging the unknown-unknown while colonizing it, while generating it through computation. Anything can be computed, even that which cannot. Garbage in, garbage out: “overhead, without any fuss, the stars were going out.”
With the tabulation of death and chance, the uncertain certain and certain uncertain, the generations of normalized distributions explode through the population and the enframed reality that in-cases it, limiting the possible to the normal within demarcated silo. For example, the smart-phone (social media (openly perceived)) program of ins(t)an(e)ity and pandem-onium grossly normalizes (the once subversive and/or stimulating) throughout the echo chambers of the collective encephalitis driving (psycho)the-rape-u-tics openly perceived. Critical it is for the contemporary citizen to perform its humanity by hygiene security theater, by vir(tu)alization. The hygienically-inclined openly perceived, especially the bourgeois scientist and its essential servants, execute the program through the asceticism — we would really prefer it were otherwise — of the benevolent proclamation, of the digital manual specifying behavior, of the capitalized consumption with no price, of the fad-driven politics that knows well good from bad — that is, the asceticism of the mass-produced psycophantic acrobatic performed within the trigger-warning-approved (i-home-air)Pod. Suddenly, like all self-proclaimed exemptions to the rules of the program, and it is this self-identification that constitutes a major manmade conceit of vir(tu)ality, under the banner of scientific and unscientific the-rapies the cleanliness concerned becomes the very bigot it denounces in the prior self-promoting masked breath. It is for their own good. The backward fear the other. We save it.
With statistical masking then, the mask saves face at all costs — or rather, the masked face saves the masked face at all costs while accumulating organic fibers, carbon offsets, and first-responder donations. The masking masks ought match the masked’s masked mood, that of statistics, for masking masks. Masking masks masks masking masks. Programming programs programs programming programs.
With the formal verification of statistics as program realized through the security of probability theory, mathematics reveals its masked destiny: to organize life, to manage demographics, to fuel, collect, and organize epidemics, to administer and optimize life insurance, to generate homo sapiens by means of natural selection, binary and quaternary (A-G-T-C) code, program infection and transmission, and screen-sharing. The data mining of birth and death, life itself, of man as species, as numerical mass, as algorithm, as technological fabrication, as televised news fee-d, objectifies man no further, the scientist confesses to I.T.s masked the-rapist, than does optimization of polic-y and re-search. For statistics count. Math measures. Two plus two is four. Man’s objectification the new subject, the fallen balloon, limits to the laboratory, as I.T. does correctly with all science, as I.T. did with the novel coronavirus in the Wuhan Institute laboratory, to the confines of the computer, to random selection and extrapolation. The objectified bears no burden of objectification as the Wall Street — including now much of San Francisco, Los Angeles, Hollywood, Midtown and Downtown New York, and Brooklyn soon-to-be suburban domiciles opened vir(tu)ally to the dev-il himself with nary a Blink — programmer bears, or rather, bares, no burden of I.T.s important work alongside all other programmed programmers used by the smart-phone (social media) in gradations of occupational and/or profile enthusiasm. It keeps a sous-vide vacuum-sealing mask upon the spoiling. Perhaps the programmer becomes stressed, realizing not the annihilation of its soul, its deser(va)tion of exorcism. It does seem rather nice doesn’t it — the the-rapist, the psyc-hi(at)rist, the ac-count, the masked face on the screen, that is, the programmer? It does important work, yes? Is it too in the program?
Programming the game in part is the manmade conceit missing the everyday point: one side of the screen does not miraculously possess immunity from masking programs. When has the rotted Apple turned rotten? Pretending otherwise constitutes the same conceit as that of the prosecutors’ programmed prosecution of (Derek) Chauvinism. The trial, the absurdly tedious video game, the program, has appropriately by other scientists (for hire) been reduced through defense-prosecution-judge to the mechanics of asphyxiation and the weight of Mr. Floyd’s heart: his thirty-gram trans-cendence of the ninety-five percent certain statistical mean, his abnor-mality, his exclusion from the program, and, of course, his inclusion. Thirty grams has displaced twenty one as the weight of the soul in this case. Which scientists go around weighing human hearts? Which data-driven apparatus accounts for all unatural death in the United States through the electronic forms of medical examination? The CDC — the Calculating Death Collectors. So when it says it’s safe it’s safe. Only then. And when the Defense Department demands, enlistment follows. And so the stream streams, the scroll scrolls, the staring stare stares. Guilty verdicts preceding appeal mask the mass incarceration program measured, executed, and justified by the statistics program. Cue the pot banging. Cue Stalin’s relevant apocrypha. The screen hallucinates sanitary legality within safely demarcated silo of massified herd. For ninety five percent of all statistics are made up and all models are wrong. But indeed how useful they are!
Masking blue light filters, the widely proclaimed creativity of technical programmers and Pfizer researchers, acts of loving-kindness, the politely composed text message, the self-caring positivity of the well-crafted email, the listening anal-yst, best regards, they all mask, they evade responsibility to save face at all costs. Hygienically for money the they retains its mask for the soul it may some day discover. But it has already vanished. Only in judgment will its popped abscess, its lanced bubo, reveal itself. To the devil with it! Why didn’t school, psychotherapy, and off-ice migrate outside the interior rather than outside real reality? Because normalization practically knows no bounds: there is not enough space for every one. Working outside would be too pleasant, for we prefer the represented representation of the representation now. Thinking for one’s self remains possible through regurgitation of scientific authority as long as autonomy is self-identified. Certainly not here the outside could be authorized. Better to remain locked down by smart-phone. The (social) Medium itself, masked by overwhelming accumulation of cur-ated content, is the message. Orders order orders. Time times time. So popular image and word arrange and represent instant enjoyment instants cut serially so fine that beyond any antidote and amulet presence is devoured by representation. Vir(tu)alization’s relentless continuous consumption of the present throws out of joint past and future. Debarring inhabitants from presence, this great confinement by means of screen serially kills time, leaving behind serriated landing posts accumulated and represented for the populations of popped balloons plugged into the simulation of their continual ascension.
Masked masked individuals — the objects merely, of course, described, of course, by data set — together crown exceptions . My psychotherapist and my programmer individually make good unlike the rest. For the horror images of vir(tu)alization ratio-nalize at all costs for free. Reasonable performers save face by means of mask while spreading vir-us, while speaking and respirating to compute-rs — those at home, those at work, those in pocket awaiting surgical insertion laid out in advance most recently by body modification and hands-free technologies. So the falsely animated bal-loon ought wear two masks over its face and nine over its soul? But does one look at the they or the peeping hole camera after removing its masking tape? In any event whatsoever, at all costs, it plugs-in, turning virtual for most hours. How many hours is it screened before becoming screen entire? What else is mask but screen?
Masked incidentals codified within correctional institutions — cue any rationalization that follows a very unlikely engagement, “i am not in jail, jails are over there, i have never seen one in the flesh, i am an abolitionist after all”, school dismisses at once upon entrance, bourgeois and would-be-bourgeois parents-students-teachers (prosecution-defense-judge) value schools and home-work, even the so-called smart ones, they are well-educated to be sure — objectify beyond themselves beyond belief through severe hygiene regimens. Expensive soaps, daily show(er)s, weekly therapy, self-care alerts, severe sanitation generally, vir(tu)alization in other words, cleanse the contagion of submission. Psycophantic rituals of toleration and solution through an automaticity that (Amazon) primes the fallen balloon into significance stream the thoughtlessness amongst objectified programs politely, reasonably, and statistically enchained in the cave.
Programmed at the end of the 17th century, before all these madnesses spread through Nature to cure other madnesses, as statistics fixes its gaze, as things become fixed by statistics, as things are fixed, as patient is fixed, as the instant gratification of the statistic fixes healthy virtue, the herd is immunized against what was once heard. Statistical gaze becomes watcher. Subject becomes objectified upon his arrival upon that pinnacle that is also nadir. His foundation now lacks foundation, nothing makes sense, or rather everything does, vertigo is unleashed by the simultaneity of gigantic and tiny, isolation and connectivity, individual and herd. Arrived with his scientific objects, armed with data, the newly crowned subject finds himself trapped by his accumulations. They are his no longer. By his representations he vanishes into his objectifications, his standing reserve. He is had at the very same time he is no longer called upon, watched over, and summoned into the open. He becomes himself responsible as objective measurer, as representer, of all things, of those things that used to disclose themselves alongside man himself. He appears now in the masked picture masked, in the masked table masked, to measure himself masked, to be measured masked as a masked thing to be measured — as a calculating calculation masked in the profitable Escherian diagrams of data science.
Programmed not yet in Ancient Rome, the community gathered in baths. Frequency of bath correlated with quantity of private property as it does now openly perceived. Most bathed in public once per week in reasonably priced facilities before the hygienic industries of individual bathroom construction, deodorant, and toothpaste were laid out in advance of themselves by scientific objectivity. Cleaning was ritualized. It required attention, prayer, and belief. It invoked connections with the worlding of the world. Bathing occurred publicly. Still there was a public. The psychologized confessional had not yet emerged, its ground plan soon would in advance of itself, there was far less clutter and far more time — just not when it came to lifespan for there was no need. Accumulation had not yet outstripped the accumulator. At times, it is whispered, men and women even bathed together without fornicating. Libraries and gymnasiums awaited them upstairs alongside their slaves. But when we abolish, or rather, one abolishes, the dichotomic fantasies of the teleologies of (data (computer)) science, the correct reveals itself for further questioning: prison, hiring contract, virtual time card, direct deposit, extended lifespan, suffrage, accommodation and capitalization of lifestyles alternative no longer, airplane, and psychiatric therapy represent difference. In only the most conceited sense do they represent progression, one of the most potent masking programs of the contemporary. There is but one teleology no matter what thermodynamics entombs. Chickens do come home to roost, clucking through the finish nowhere in the infinite labyrinths of human denial masked and programmed throughout the echo chamber silos of the herd enframed.
Programming masks masquerade, masks save face at all costs, and suddenly in the seventeenth century, a plague arrives in town. Social distancing technologies instantiate most often endemically given the unavailable happiness of the (hello world) traveler: the town is closed, residents shut-in, streets are patrolled, lockdowns ordered. Conceits of voluntary isolation are not yet necessary in the seventeenth century. Food is delivered through Windows by means of pulley-basket systems resembling the Amazon Fresh conveyor belt. Shut-ins are shown vir(tu)ally from behind the window screen to inspectors at meeting times. Attendance is registered. Homes are purified. Some shut-ins, it is now speculated, clean their food, while wearing three masks, by means of humoral blood-letting in accordance with the authorities’ published guidelines. They all laugh about it months later after discovering double-blind studied purification practices aligned with the burgeons of germ theory soon to overturn the deathly exhalation of miasma. They displace elsewhere the purification of their putrefaction while still following the masked authorities’ masked authorities that preceded the outbreak — to save face at all costs. It was believed at the time that town officials had locked all home doors from the outside. Only recently have archaeologists excavated the truth while seeking the pre-arranged evidence of natural selection: the doors were never locked. Shut-ins themselves lock-up themselves. The contagion of mass detainment intensifies.
With the aforementioned developments a potent model of power models itself: the population is manipulated to cure, mask, and poison itself simultaneously. The executor has become redundant: executed, having come forth through sheer coincidence (upon the guillotine) pre-fabricated like a phony phone, the cured, masked, and poisoned object taps the screen, executing itself. Now say sorry and thank the man. Then press a picture. Acknowledge the truth and carry on smiling. For live we must.
And so the statistics program has gathered in more ways than one. Through therapies of psychology, school, and work, through the-rapy, in other words, of scientific screen, mass “thought” spreads virally, massaging into non-existence the an-nihil-ated objects subjected to enframed asceticism for the execution of masking programs. The virtualization of “thought”, its nearly outstripped originality in toto, its massification, logically consecrates the asceticism of the self-reinforcing closed-by-science statistical population program while also rationalizing at all costs this immense bastardization of the actual real. Less the mask of adult practicality, less the mask of desecrated imagination, less the mirrored foreclosed denial chains, less the magical belief in exceptional immunity, the masked program must be faced, after turning round one’s soul, in order to plan and execute a whole jailbreak. Action still has consequence. Principle still endures. Since the contagion of reason and industry the they has achieved weak contentment in streaming the stream and carving out self-identified perversion. So it comes to pass and worse. But those actually dis-lodged from programming need only smile. Thinking thus begins .
And, so, what is it the they must not see amidst the statistical saturation of contemporary life? There is of course the obvious consequence, the degraded will and intellect, the desecrated autonomy, the scientific denial propped by snake oil, the surrender of Time, the ruination of the Word. But what masking programs mask in the last instance is the question without answer. It comes for the they itself through the deafening silence of death. At some point it just became habit. Generation passes by generation. Thought recedes. Programs are adopted. Insanity is glorified alongside mass hysteria by means of virtualization. By mask, by screen, every one constitutes an exception to the program within margins of error at all costs. By hook, by crook, with nary a fuss whatsoever anywhere, screens screen, programs program, masks mask, streams stream. Screen devours life through a death march punctuated not by weak-end respite. With objection, with frenetic adoption, with the pacific excited delirium of the screen stare, the coming forth into the open of reality itself is nearly killed by mask and program, leaving few survivors in the unordered clearing of the incalculable real. But those survivors do endure. Indeed they remain — in the twilight of autonomous thought impervious to co-option and severed from popular image and desecrated screen — to build to the sky a castle wall without door. Soon after consecration the wall disappears, leaving outstretched to eternity the genuine real actual. Contamination no longer requires minimization. For nothing contaminates. These solitary builders have now granted their lives ahead. Surfaces outstripped, they approach death satisfied in the shining beyond the crowded noise.
So it is elsewhere, remembered until not:
Popular populations populate.
Programmed programs program programmed programs programming programmed programs.
Masked masks mask masked masks masking masked masks.
Masks program program masks.
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So be it.