Friday, February 19, 2010

Hegemony & other reasons why I am an entrepreneur...

Hey Ellwood, this blog post you are currently reading is an unbridled endorsement of Jasper Fforde's recently released novel Shades Of Grey, which my fiancé Audrey Kerwood gave me for my birthday. In his distopian future, Fforde depicts the hegemony as enforcing dominance on the basis of color perception. WARNING: Pookas once seen might lead you down a rabbit hole.

Click here to buy now because THIS IS NOT AN AFFILIATE LINK. That's how much I want to explicitly demonstrate my whole-hearted endorsement of this instant classic.

Shades Of Grey paints a ruling class-structured society, post decline. What remains is a deteriorating shell of infrastructure, The Corporation has become the collective culture. Munsell is The Name, and His society usually rewards whoever is cleverer with loopholery.

Follow the money. The infrastructure required to sustain a society based on cleverness is what Fforde paints. To my mind's eye, Jasper Fforde's society works fluidly. He shows me the dynamics required to sustain the greatest show on Spaceship Earth, the marketing of Reality.

In Jasper Fforde's Shades of Grey, your status in life is tied to how much color you see, and a conspiracy to manufacture consent withing a color-ocracy, a consent on a heirarchy measured against your ability to see color and loopholery.

The first ripple of memes through the ecosystem I saw swarming around avant garde reviews of Shade Of Grey comparing Jasper Fforde to George Orwell. A second wave of memes, albeit much smaller, compared Jasper Fforde to Herman Melville, teasing that Fforde was torturing his readers on the nuances of ruling class ettiquette the way that Melville educated his readers on the nuances of whaling. So it goes. If I had better chops for that sort of thing, I'd compare Him to Vonnegut. The third wave of reviews I'm reading now compare Jasper Fforde to Karl Marx. This interests me greatly.

Read this Marx and then I'll explain why...

“The ideas of the ruling class are in every epoch the ruling ideas, i.e. the class which is the ruling material force of society, is at the same time its ruling intellectual force…The ruling ideas are nothing more than the ideal expression of the dominant material relationships…”
--Karl Marx, Ruling Class and Ruling Ideas

Marx wrote this essay Ruling Class and Ruling Ideas a few years before his legendary Communist Manifesto, a book I have never read. However, as a memeticist I am fascinated by the semantics of the era. Please note, I am using semantics to mean "the change of meaning over time." Consider these ideas as archeology of thought on the birth of hegemony.

Because it was about this time that the word HEGEMONY was born. Poof, a new perception of world order dawns on the masses. A perception some say was a previously tightly guarded secret. Beware, there are fnords amongst us.

I devoured this book. I don't want to give away spoilers by mistake.

I hold that the sustainability questions Jasper Fforde raises are an important missing puzzle piece in a lot of different discussions around resiliency. I asked Dave Lakhani about how the hegemony might engineer two-groups, encompassing more than HALF of the population, these two groups calling each other idiots. How might the ruling class manufacture this fluid stasis?

Don't think of an elephant.

Topologists are asking, "what makes fluid ecosystems statically indeterminate?" I think we need to spark that discussion before we can better grock in what ways might we make the world work for 100% of humanity, in the shortest amount of time, without disadvantage to anyone.

To this end, I've been making an inquiry into Magic.

To your resiliency,


~Dr. Ben
as in
Benjamin Garth Siddhartha Mack

"I hold that magic increase as we decentralize power."
~Howard W. Campbell
thank you for noticing me,
in an attention economy,
that's what makes my stock go up!

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