The Comfort of Homogenous Conditioning

“Abstraction today is no longer that of the map, the double, the mirror or the concept. Simulation is no longer that of a territory, a referential being or a substance. It is the generation by models of a real without origin or reality: a hyperreal. The territory no longer precedes the map, nor survives it. Henceforth, it is the map that precedes the territory – precession of simulacra – it is the map that engenders the territory and if we were to revive the fable today, it would be the territory whose shreds are slowly rotting across the map. It is the real, and not the map, whose vestiges subsist here and there, in the deserts which are no longer those of the Empire, but our own. The desert of the real itself.” ~Baudrillard, “The Precession of Simulucra”, Simulucra and Simulation

Whatever_Happened_To_Baby_Jane_Doug_Bowman_flickrYou see, sameness works as a colloquial ideology, is synonymous to equality and fairness, and is upon which justice, comradery and companionship can be served. Upon which social roles/egos are constructed and adhered to, upon which identities are built and held dear. This is why uniqueness is wanting in the machine. Uniqueness means no more equal protection under the law, it means justice is not balanced, it means partners are not equal and the institution of marriage does not mean union. It means there is hatred in love and evil in good. Suddenly, things become very muddy. A system cannot function properly under true individuality as it cannot accommodate it. It can only pervert so that it resembles homogeneity closely enough that it can be assimilated, else the whole system grinds to a halt, and it falls apart.

Cyborg_Rising_Alain_Godineau_flickrA system has slots; a machine, gears. Moving parts, and all the moving parts have names and all the names must be true. No question for question brings pause, and in pause, there is no motion. When there is pause (or in another essay under another name could be called quiet when contrasted with the need, the compulsion for constant noise however stimulated and however delivered from the source) comes moments of breakdown. The machine if not perpetually moving (remember that motion is homogeneity) then decay begins immediately. That is to say the persistence of anti-homogeneity is a desperate will to self (the machine and its body of Worker Bs as self) preservation, elsewise death, a kind of nervous breakdown occurs, where a hold on a reality cannot be certain. Homogeneity and sameness promise known’s and certainty’s, easy living without mucking up the brain too much with incongruities.

For why do most people (the Worker Bs) abhor any who does not subscribe to their specific attributes or beliefs? Or perhaps why one is arrested if one’s house does not meet code, despite its obvious safety. Or perhaps why one is not served if one is not the same nationality with the same national beliefs. Who cares the similarities, who cares the original sources and how that applies to many so-called beliefs? Who cares the obvious evidence of certain delusions?

You see, ultimately, homogenous conditioning is comfortable. It’s easyPix_Jockey_3000_Roberto_Rizzato_flickr to comprehend. The questions do not run too deep.  The answers flow from the tongue in simple terms. Friendships are safe, and relationships pure and honest. The machine includes a contradiction, however. That of competition. In competition, there must be by definition a winner and a loser. Someone must be the better. Fret not, this is easily circumvented. The competition has rules, which all parties must follow, so that no one person has an advantage. Everyone comes from equal footing. Therefore, the win is a fair one. Again, homogeneity: fairness equality. I mean, it’s why cheating is not allowed. That is not a fair game. Sure; you can win by your own skill or merit, but you’ve got to be fair. You’re not allowed to profit, to gain an advantage from that skill or merit. That’s just not good sportsmanship.

Change is not good sportsmanship. Change means new rules and new rules mean old rules may no longer apply. Change means discomfort and grumbling ensues. No one likes to be inconvenienced, not in this age of [immediate] convenience. I mean, it is just a matter of people  not wanting to be disturbed? Or maybe it’s a subtle form of ‘Don’t tread on me’? Or maybe it’s the Peter Principle in full effect?

Cyborg_2.0_JD_Hancock_flickrI think it’s because of the nursery rhyme, Humpty Dumpty. People are afraid of the Great Fall (read: lose their identity) and they won’t be able to pull themselves back together again if things aren’t always and shall stay the same, in a world where every body is equal. I mean, traditional therapy is the idea that the self will be reconstituted. Conventional depression as the idea that the self (the connection to the machine and its comfortable [womb] homogenous conditioning) is in desperate need of rebuilding. To be resurrected as correct, to belong again to the popular consciousness, to be plugged back in. The self needs to be told that it does belong in the world (of homogeneity) and the world (the machine) accepts it. The self is approved above all reproach. An electronic baptism, clean in the eyes of god (god as the wholly machine). Righteousness appealed and delivered good. Sin-free, absolved of all sin and error.

Bureaucracy—an arm of the machine—includes this absolution. Cyborg_Madonna_Ian_FlickrWorker Bs are protected by the anonymity employed in the machine. Worker B is but a faceless, supposedly pleasant voice located miles away from the point of wrong (the actual error/problem in need of remedy). A general name as common as a raindrop. Total disconnect, neutral, neither friend nor foe. Worse than an adversary. What use is reason under such circumstances? There can be only might (read: smite from the apostle [AKA the boss] to find salvation).

A Worker B is only ‘WORKER B’, one of the many, a body corporate. A member of the corporation (read: corporeal; a pseudo-person, god’s image). Worker B only has meaning when understood as the corporation (another layer of inception. Do you see how I mean inception of the machine? Layers upon layers of cognitive engineering; a multi-dimensional, complex construct that exists only in abstraction, so doesn’t really exist at all, merely realized by the mind).

*Image credits (all work used under CC license)–
“Whatever Happened To Baby Jane” by Doug Bowman

“Cyborg Rising” by Alain Godineau

“Pix Jockey 3000” by Roberto Rizzato

Cyborg 2.0” by JD Hancock

“Cyborg Madonna” by Ian


5 thoughts on “The Comfort of Homogenous Conditioning

  1. You have a great unique way of conveying information 🙂

    My town of Colchester claims to be the source of the nursery rhyme Humpty Dumpty.

    • Thank you. I try to illuminate other ways of looking at things and then convey what was seen. It’s good to know that is not lost in translation. 🙂

      I did not know that about Colchester. Now, I’m wondering if you aren’t one of the characters in a Jasper Fforde novel. 😀 Did you ever get the chance to meet Humpty before the great fall? LOL

  2. I love your images. They speak to me of the colonialism of homogenous, hegemonic and reductionist cultural/political/bureaucratic machine like implementation of policy imposed on normative behavior. Only by learning to express our ethical selves to the other can we even begin to fight the machines (my apologies to the Terminator franchise).

    • Thank you very much for your comment (and for following my blog). I try to choose images that encompass layers of meaning conveyed in each blog post (and really so much credit goes to the incredible talent on flickr). These images were the product of a long and worthwhile search, for they manifest the conditioning inherent in the machine to sustain the illusion of its structural integrity. “We must all obey else the machine fails and we all fail” seems to be the unspoken dogma of the machine. These images aptly conjure effects of the machine.

      Yes, fighting the machine (not so much machines, as this implies a kind of malevolent slant of technological advancement; however, your meaning is not lost on me. I use the adjective The Machine as a means to convey the idea that this “social structure” behaves mechanically and is mechanical) can be done by learning to express our ethical selves, for it is this ethics that can prevent society from becoming mechanical and human beings from becoming robotified.

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