Not Signed-In
Which clippings match 'Chaos' keyword pg.1 of 1
18 OCTOBER 2016

HyperNormalisation: our retreat into a simplified version of the world

"The documentary is inspired by the unpredictable events of recent times – from the rise of Donald Trump to Brexit, the war in Syria, the endless migrant crisis, and random bomb attacks. It seeks to explain both why these chaotic events are happening, and why we and our leaders can't understand them. Curtis's theory is that Westerners - politicians, journalists, experts and members of the public alike - have retreated into a simplified, and often completely fake version of the world. But because it is all-encompassing, we accept it as normal.

HyperNormalisation explores this hollow world by looking back at 40 years of events, and profiling a diverse cast of characters such as: the Assad dynasty, Donald Trump, Henry Kissinger, Patti Smith, the early performance artists in New York, President Putin, intelligent machines, Japanese gangsters and suicide bombers."

(Holly Barrett, 22nd September 2016, Royal Television Society)



20169/11 • Acid Phreak (pseudonym) • Adam CurtisAfghanistan • AirBnB • Alexei Yurchak • Anthony GiddensArab Spring • Arkady Strugatsky • BBC documentary • BBC iPlayer • Boris Strugatsky • Brexit • British filmmaker • British National Front • Carl Rogers • cartoon villain • chaos • chaotic events • chatbot • civil rights movement • Corrupt (pseudonym) • cyber activism • cyberspace • Damascus • David Frost • Declaration of Independence in Cyberspace • delusion • digital rightsdisruptive innovationdocumentaryDonald Trump • Eli Ladopoulos • ELIZA (natural language processing) • fakeness • functioning society • Gulf War • HAC (pseudonym) • Hafez al-Assad • Henry Kissinger • hippies • hypernormalisation • HyperNormalisation (2016) • intelligent machines • internet utopianismIraq • John Barlow • John Lee • Joseph Weizenbaum • Judea Pearl • Julio Fernandez • late communist period • Lester Coleman • liability theory • Lionel Ritchie • machine fetishisation • Mark Abene • Martha Rosler • Masters of Deception (MOD) • migrant crisis • Muammar Gaddafi • Muslim Brotherhood • New YorkNigel FarageOccupy Wall Street • Outlaw (pseudonym) • paradoxPatti Smith • Paul Stira • performance artists • Phiber Optik (pseudonym) • powerlesspretence • random bomb attacks • retreat into simplified views of the world • Roadside Picnic (1972) • Ronald Reagan • Royal Television Society • Scorpion (pseudonym) • self-absorbed baby boomers • self-fulfilling prophecy • Soviet UnionStalker (1979)suicide bombersSyria • Tahir Square • techno-panic • techno-utopiaterrorism • time of great uncertainty • Timothy LearyTron • Uber • Vladimir PutinVladislav Surkov • War in Syria • Yakuza


Simon Perkins
13 OCTOBER 2011

Dead Island: a holiday paradise gone mad

"The player is drawn into the world of Dead Island on the brink of a mysterious epidemic that suddenly, and without warning, breaks out on the fictional island of Banoi. As a guest of the Royal Palms Resort, the player's stay was supposed to be a dream holiday; a luxurious getaway to the beautiful beaches of a tropical paradise. But faced with the reality of a zombie apocalypse, there is only one thing left to do: Survive."

(Deep Silver Inc.)



2011apocalypse • atmosphere design • Banoi • beach • Bedlam • CGchaos • co-operative play • Dead Island • Deep Silver Inc. • dream holiday • epidemic • escape the island • fictional island • first-person • first-person action • game • gruesome zombies • holiday • holiday paradise • horrorhotellighting • luxurious • madnessmysteriousmysterious outbreakopen worldPlaystation 3 • Royal Palms Resort • RPGslasherstory-based experienceterrortexturingtrailer • tropical island • tropical paradise • uninfected • vacation • VFXviolencevisual effects • weapon customisation • Xbox 360zombie • zombie apocalypse • zombie outbreak • zombie-slasher


Jade Oakley
11 AUGUST 2011

The Republic: justice is a necessity and a requirement for civil society (in spite of the selfish potential of individual gain)

"Now that those who practise justice do so involuntarily and because they have not the power to be unjust will best appear if we imagine something of this kind: having given both to the just and the unjust power to do what they will, let us watch and see whither desire will lead them; then we shall discover in the very act the just and unjust man to be proceeding along the same road, following their interest, which all natures deem to be their good, and are only diverted into the path of justice by the force of law. The liberty which we are supposing may be most completely given to them in the form of such a power as is said to have been possessed by Gyges the ancestor of Croesus the Lydian. According to the tradition, Gyges was a shepherd in the service of the king of Lydia; there was a great storm, and an earthquake made an opening in the earth at the place where he was feeding his flock. Amazed at the sight, he descended into the opening, where, among other marvels, he beheld a hollow brazen horse, having doors, at which he stooping and looking in saw a dead body of stature, as appeared to him, more than human, and having nothing on but a gold ring; this he took from the finger of the dead and reascended. Now the shepherds met together, according to custom, that they might send their monthly report about the flocks to the king; into their assembly he came having the ring on his finger, and as he was sitting among them he chanced to turn the collet of the ring inside his hand, when instantly he became invisible to the rest of the company and they began to speak of him as if he were no longer present. He was astonished at this, and again touching the ring he turned the collet outwards and reappeared; he made several trials of the ring, and always with the same result–when he turned the collet inwards he became invisible, when outwards he reappeared. Whereupon he contrived to be chosen one of the messengers who were sent to the court; where as soon as he arrived he seduced the queen, and with her help conspired against the king and slew him, and took the kingdom. Suppose now that there were two such magic rings, and the just put on one of them and the unjust the other;,no man can be imagined to be of such an iron nature that he would stand fast in justice. No man would keep his hands off what was not his own when he could safely take what he liked out of the market, or go into houses and lie with any one at his pleasure, or kill or release from prison whom he would, and in all respects be like a God among men. Then the actions of the just would be as the actions of the unjust; they would both come at last to the same point. And this we may truly affirm to be a great proof that a man is just, not willingly or because he thinks that justice is any good to him individually, but of necessity, for wherever any one thinks that he can safely be unjust, there he is unjust. For all men believe in their hearts that injustice is far more profitable to the individual than justice, and he who argues as I have been supposing, will say that they are right. If you could imagine any one obtaining this power of becoming invisible, and never doing any wrong or touching what was another's, he would be thought by the lookers–on to be a most wretched idiot, although they would praise him to one another's faces, and keep up appearances with one another from a fear that they too might suffer injustice."

(The Republic, Plato, Internet Classics Archive)

[Plato describes a situation which I think is best understood in terms of the choice between individual and collective benefit. Where it serves our individual interests (as members and custodians of our society) to strive towards a collective ambition. In this way the recent mugging in London shows what happens when this ambition is inverted.]


2011becoming invisiblechaoschoicecivil disobediencecivil societycivilisation • collet • fearforce of lawfree will • gold ring • Gyges • human actionhuman naturehuman willindividual gainindividualityinjusticeinvisibilityinvisible • involuntary acts • justice • keeping up appearances • lawlegallibertymagic • magic ring • moral dilemmamoralityopportunityownershipparablephilosophypiracyPlatopowerpower corrupts • ring • self-controlselfishness • shepherd • social responsibilitysuffering injusticeThe Republictheftunjustunjust power • virtue


Simon Perkins
24 FEBRUARY 2010

Iranian popular theatrical forms through the lens of Mikhail Bakhtin's concept of carnival

"[Mikhail] Bakhtin's concept of carnival as a subversive, disruptive world–upside–down event in which the repressive views, lies, and hypocrisy of the officially run and dominated everyday world are unmasked provides a powerful theoretical concept for any study of Iranian popular theatrical and related musical forms. Bakhtin was concerned with polyvocality and the fact that from the onset of the European Renaissance the voices of the common people were increasingly not heard. The Islamic Republic's ban on the performance of improvisational comic theater would seem to support this theoretical stance with empirical evidence of official reaction. In the European context analyzed by Bakhtin, a writer, exemplified by Rabelais, enacts an important role because he or she reflects the voices of the low, the peasant, the outcast. In Bakhtin's view, the healthy voice of the low, which questions the high–the church and the state–is an important check on oppressive officials in a healthy society.

A full–fledged carnival–such as those in Rio de Janeiro and New Orleans–does not exist in the Iranian culture sphere. By carnival I mean a massive demonstration of excessive eating, drinking, and sexual and bodily exposure, popularly associated with Carnival in Rio de Janeiro, that does not occur within an Islamic/Iranian context. Threads and themes of carnivalesque and grotesque subversion, however, can be found woven through the fabric of the Iranian world. Here the needle that pricks the official religious, social, and political powers most is the traditional comic theater in its many guises.

In many ways siyah–bazi and ru–howzi embody Bakhtin's notions of the grotesque and the carnivalesque. Gholam–siyah, the blackface clown, the 'low Other,' always wins over his master: the world upside down. Gholam–siyah's extravagant clothing, movements, speech, and lower–class language demonstrate Bakhtin's dictum, 'the grotesque...cannot be separated from folk humor and carnival spirit' (Stallybrass and White 1986, 43). Gholam's bright red costume and conical hat, for example, are probably the closest thing to carnival costume in the entire Middle East. William O. Beeman, a scholar of Iranian linguistics, discusses the blackface clown: 'The clown distorts normal physical movement by jumping, running, flailing his arms, and twisting his body into odd shapes' (1981, 515). This is, of course, part of his repertoire, for sight gags make up much of the comedy of traditional comic theater. This grotesque twisting of the body is also part of the dancing that occurs in the comic theater, especially by the male characters."

(Mass Mediations)


Aranyer Din Ratri • Beverley Minster • burlesquecarnivalcarnivalesqueceremonychaosclowncollaborationcomedy • comic theatre • costumedemonstrationdialogicdisruption • Dostoevskys Poetics • emancipationetiquetteEuropean Renaissanceeventexcessextravagance • Feast of Fools • Feast of the Circumcision • Francois Rabelais • Fyodor Dostoyevsky • Gholam-siyah • grotesquehegemonyhumourimprovisationIran • Islamic Republic of Iran • juxtaposition • Lent • Lincoln Cathedral • Mardi Gras • medieval festival • Middle EastMikhail Bakhtin • New Orleans • outcastparticipationpeasant • Pieter Bruegel • polyphony • polyvocal • protestreligionRio de Janeiroriotritual • ru-howzi • sacred • siyah-bazi • social changesocial constructionismsocial hierarchiessocial interactionsocietyspectaclesubversiontheatretraditiontransformationtransgressionunmasked • Wise Children • world-upside-down


Simon Perkins
08 JUNE 2009

Managing Complexity from Chaos: Uncertainty, Knowledge and Skills

"Complexity, thus, is a complicated and intertwined process. It includes many layers of time and experience. The core of complexity is not something secret, not something never to be known, nor is it (unto itself) a difficulty or a problem. Complexity is not inherently obscurist. But at its core there is freedom of action and the openness of possibility, which we have called 'the infinite empty space.' Organization creates a home (abri) and the road to it leads through the uncanny, through the 'unfamiliar other ... [to] the future [which] is radically open–ended and, as such, ... may surprise us' (Tsoukas 1997: 12, 18). We have to confront 'the unexpected and the unfamiliar ... [the] 'wicked problems' [as well]' (Lissack, 1999b: 117–19, 120).

Complexity is a 'whole' in its own right. Like a poem, complexities are 'not an entirely unique entity ... [and] ... like in poetic reading, [their] reality is not seen as a fait accompli but as possibility ... [just as narrative] meaning is not something already existing in reality–as–text but something emerging from the reality–as–text' (Tsoukas, 1997: 10, 15). Emergence bubbles up 'as an overall system of behaviour that comes out of the interaction of many participants' (Lissack, 1999b: 111).

All the different elements of a system of complexity belong together. No matter how complex, in themselves, they fit together. The unity is not characterized by obedient subservience but as being–in and –for themselves. The elements cohere as a 'totality of complexity.' Different elements can be close or far apart but remain in relationship. The elements need not be identical but they cohere as in 'like,' 'as,' 'link' and 'alike.' Coherence resembles being in 'good company'–in good company there is a lot of listening and communication. In coherence, language is channeled and harnessed in mutual and reciprocal respect. In coherence, there is no one–way traffic, neither top–down nor bottom–up. Interaction is sideways and diagonal: 'interactions require language or some other mechanism of fairly continual communication ... [and] word choice is ... a fundamental tool for the manager' (Lissack, 1999b: 115, 120, 122, italics added). A company director who makes for 'good company' encapsulates a network of complex relationships. Strength is derived from the secure knowledge that all the elements belong and that they belong together. They are complete–they complete each other–force is gathered through the special and complex logos of complexity (cf. Heidegger, 1929).

Complexity is a activity of coherence and a way of thinking. In complexity, the elements of a system commit to one another and the 'whole of the elements' is committed to complexity. Conception (thought) and the conception of life (fecundity) are fundamental forms of complexity, which, as potential or possibility, is chaos. The actions of complexity are complementary when defined by the total of the system. They fill up the holes, gaps and voids; they connect nothingness with complex order. In Greek, 'chaos' means void and nothingness. Filling the void is true added value."
(Eric Lefebvre and Hugo Letiche, p.13–14)

EMERGENCE, 1(3), 7–15


chaoscoherencecomplexity • Eric Lefebvre • fecundity • good company • Hugo Letiche • juxtapositionlayeredorganisation • poetic reading • uncertainty


Simon Perkins

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