Tag Archives: culture captures – old school

Hard Drives, History

Early hard drive

The very first production hard disk was the IBM 305 RAMAC (Random Access Method of Accounting and Control), introduced on September 13, 1956. This beastie stored 5 million characters (approximately five megabytes, but a “character” in those days was only seven bits, not eight) on a whopping 50 disks, each 24 inches in diameter! Its areal density was about 2,000 bits per square inch; in comparison, today’s drives have areal densities measured in billions of bits per square inch. The data transfer rate of this first drive was an impressive 8,800 bytes per second. (source)

I just checked: 64GB SATA III MLC Internal Solid State Drive costs $95.00. Ha! I’m waiting for the cost to come down a bit.

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“The stage is too big for the drama”

God was invented to explain mystery. God is always invented to explain those things that you do not understand. Now, when you finally discover how something works, you get some laws which you’re taking away from God; you don’t need him anymore. But you need him for the other mysteries. So therefore you leave him to create the universe because we haven’t figured that out yet; you need him for understanding those things which you don’t believe the laws will explain, such as consciousness, or why you only live to a certain length of time — life and death — stuff like that. God is always associated with those things that you do not understand. Therefore I don’t think that the laws can be considered to be like God because they have been figured out. Richard Feynman

It must be obvious… that there is a contradiction in wanting to be perfectly secure in a universe whose very nature is momentariness and fluidity. Alan Watts

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Catastrophic Image

The Shadow that the Future Throws
Text based on a conversation between Nathan Gardels and Ivan Illich in 1989

Now, nearly two decades [after 1969] later, a woeful sense of imbalance has dawned on the common sense.

The destruction of the ozone layer, the heating up of the earth’s atmosphere, the non-reversible and progressive depletion of genetic variety, the ability to discuss what shall be a human being through genetic intervention – all these things bring to consciousness, even to a non-philosophically inclined intelligent official of the World Bank, that we now face the banquet of consequences of our Promethean transgression.

There is a generalized sense now that the future we expected does not work and that we are in front of what Michel Foucault called an “epistemic break”: a sudden image-shift in consciousness in which the once unthinkable becomes thinkable. For example, it was simply not thinkable that a king could be beheaded up until the French Revolution. Then, suddenly, there was a new way of seeing, a new form of language that could speak about such things.

For most of the Cold War, atomic bombs were commonly considered as weapons. People like myself were little understood in our arguments that such bombs were literally unspeakable; that, epistemically, they are not within the realm of speech because they are not weapons, but acts of self- annihilation.

It is no longer tolerable to the common sense to think of nuclear bombs as weapons, or of pollution as the price of development. The disintegrating ozone layer and warming atmosphere are making it intolerable to think of more development and industrial growth as progress, but rather as aggression against the human condition. It is now imaginable to the common mind that, as Samuel Beckett once said, “this earth could be uninhabited.”

So, what is different than when I first wrote about Nemesis is that the common sense is also searching for a language to speak about the shadow which the future throws. What is new is not the magnitude, nor even the quality, but the very essence of the coming shift in consciousness. It is not a break in the line of progress to a new stage; it is not even the passage from one dimension to another. Mathematically, we can only describe it as a catastrophic break with industrial man’s image of himself.

Now, nearly four decades later…

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HAVE MOM & DAD ORDER NOW

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