Oct 26 2019

Panic Attacks

I try to be upfront about the fact I’m clinically depressed and anxious and under treatment for it but am not so badly disabled I require medication. If you met me at some random and brief length of time you wouldn’t know unless I told you.

I understand quite well what an anxiety (they used to call it panic) attack feels like for me. I get dizzy and unbalanced with a profound sensation of falling and an overwhelming urge to flee which I can mostly overcome but sometimes not. I don’t run away mind you, a stately amble is about all I can muster, but my mind is consumed with plans and actions to get out of the situation and find someplace to hide and calm down.

My clinical anxiety is entirely irrational, but there are real things that concern me like the decline of Civil Liberty and Freedom in the United states and the Rise of Economic Inequality. It’s important to know the difference.

The Internet is a great breeding ground of irrational anxieties and Conspiracy Theories, consider the anti-Vax movement (Here’s a gun. Go kill the rest of your family and yourself. It will be quicker and more merciful than the lingering death you propose and won’t make me sick too.). One of the latest and most ridiculous is ‘Deep Fakes’, simulations and edits so subtle as to be undetectable.

You ever see Rogue One?

Now given the essence of theater is willing suspension of disbelief the tolerance for guys wearing masks and playing women is totally understandable and the best they could do at the time. Yet modern audiences are sensitive and skeptical of trips to what is called ‘uncanny valley’, the computerized simulation of Actors.

And they don’t do it very well. Why do you think Andy Serkis has a job?

Rogue One had Disney/Lucasfilm money behind it and was top of the line CGI with the best and most expensive software and hardware available with the highest priced and most talented and experienced Artists in Cinema and that was the best they could do. Impressed?

The concept that some 400 pound Bozo in his Mom’s basement using Dad’s old Dell and freeware (because who wants to spend $10s of thousands when there’s plenty of stuff that works good enough for a TV Studio) can fabricate recordings any better.

The problem is ‘good enough’ isn’t in this context. It’s like self driving cars, a problem that will never be solved. Still, you can build a Roomba, it operates on a different concept and doesn’t seek to duplicate.

And ‘good enough’ is. Using tools that were current in Gutenberg’s day it’s absurdly easy to spread lies and slander with sufficient credibility. “A lie can travel halfway around the world while the truth puts it’s shoes on,” Twain. False documents didn’t magically appear with the computer, they’ve been around a long time. Compare and contrast Rudy Giuliani waving around printouts of 4chan Conspiracies and his cell phone and Joe McCarthy doing practically the same thing in the 50s.

Heed the lessons of Marx (Karl, not Groucho)- The 18th Brumaire of Louis Bonaparte.

Cody’s Showdy