Homage to Homage to Keyboard Cat

How to Hex a Corporation

I would like to learn how to hex a corporation.  So I’m stealing this from Jared’s personal blog.

Once released, the Curse may only be removed by rectifying the wrongful doings of the Encircled.

Lizzy told me about a wrongful doing last night. She’s in Library School / I-School.  When she’s done, she wants to work on permissions.  All the little screens and boxes I don’t read and mindlessly agree to when starting up a new gadget.

But Lizzy let me know that even if I read them I wouldn’t understand them.  There’s no requirement to make them comprehensible or written in human language.  She wants to make them written in human language and unmissable, so that we know what we’re agreeing to.  For instance, agreeing to:

1) let the app we’re downloading turn on our phone camera
2) allow the downloading app to take continuous photos of us
3) let the app beam the photos to hazy third party.

Me (emblem of naivete in this exchange):  That’s legal?

Lizzy explains that the law is from the 80s, so everything they can think of that’s newer than the 80s is legal.

Me:  How horrible, how do they use the pictures?

Lizzy explains that (almost more horribly) we don’t know if they are actually taking the pictures.  They just mentioned it.  Just in case.  So maybe they are doing it.  Maybe they are thinking about it.  Possibly WORKING ON IT?

But, if Lizzy had to guess, the photos are probably in my profile. With everywhere I go (from GPS) and with all my emails that have been read and my Google searches.

This must be part of why detail seems so distasteful to me right now.  The corporate permissions I click through without reading are illegible and fuzzy but as a consumer I provide so much detail and I am so legible.

I suppose there’s learning and subverting the tools.  Don’t know if it is naive to even think about catching up.  Hexing the corporation.

But, I’m grateful that Lizzy is in I-School, and for her school project, Homage to Keyboard Cat.  Thanks, Lizzy, for letting me feature it here:

I love taking the Internet meme Keyboard Cat and making it into a object, with material heft and song-squeezability.  Hard for me to put it into words but I want to write something here about the “sensuous qualities” of medieval maps.

And the shift in maps when cartographers started rendering the detail needed to control terrain and extract profit.

That is, I want to write that squishy Keyboard Cat, is like reverse-engineering a medieval map out of a Google map.

The medieval map stuff  sourced from David Harvey’s The Condition of Postmodernity, which also says:

“The relative powers of working-class movements and the bourgeoisie to command space had long been an important constituent element in the power relations between them.  John Foster, in Class struggle in the industrial revolution, for example, recounts several incidents in which local mill owners found it difficult to control their work force because the local forces of law and order were prone to sympathize (if only through kinship connections) with the militants, and because it was difficult to summon external assistance with the requisite speed.

In the massive railroad strike that shook the East Coast of the United States, on the other hand, a different story was to unfold.  The railroad owners likewise found themselves facing a local militia reluctant to act.  But the telegraph not only allowed federal assistance to be summoned with great dispatch, but also facilitated the transmission of false messages to the effect that workers had returned to work in St. Louis or Baltimore, and the strike was collapsing at different points along the line.  Even though the press played an important progressive role during this incident (being rather more pro-labour then than now), the superior power to command space gave the capitalists an added advantage in what was an uneven but tense power struggle.”

Information / time / space asymmetries, you would like to prevent us from hexing a corporation.  Since, now, no distance is big enough to prevent force from being summoned from somewhere.

But, thinking that in Egypt, there wasn’t a force anywhere in the country strong enough to put down the protests. Or there was, the military, but it was “prone to sympathize”.

Maybe.  I know I’m simplifying things.  Yes I am ready to hear about my naivete.  Just wondering where I’m at.  And if we can become more prone to sympathize with ourselves.

What do you think satellites? What do you think GPS?  And you Google Sketch-Up model of Vladimir Tatlin’s Monument to the Third International?  And you beloved-and-helpful- Anne-Boyer’s-blog?   And you Keyboard Cat?

From Anne Boyer’s blog:  “A total revision of the world so that it may more accurately reflect the contents of the world”

Monument to the Third International

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4 Responses to Homage to Homage to Keyboard Cat

  1. Michelle Puckett says:

    lauren, this is lovely. i am rooting for you in your corporation hexing endeavors. i am prone to sympathize. xx

    • Lauren Levin says:

      Thanks so much, Michelle. Your sympathy is felt! Really looking forward to the series you and Amber are starting. xo LL

  2. thesunthesunthesun says:

    Hey Lorn,

    I’ll respond in kind about THE HEXX, but what does “a total revision of the world so that it may more accurately reflect the contents of the world” mean? I’ve been sleeping on it, and it’s giving me bedhead.


  3. Trish Spotts says:

    “prone to sympathize” is the first time I’ve ever considered a benefit to conscription.

    as for all the permissions stuff, this is why i make up fake names in comment boxes & lie all the time when filling out my personal information. it is totally weird & paranoid & causes huge problems if you forget your password (what is your birthday? I have no idea.) BUT I figure it might screw things up a bit with their ‘filing system’. Glad we’ve got Lizzy looking out for us.
    My brother once saw his FBI file & it had all sorts of wackadoodle stuff in there. phone taps (the downside to having drug dealers as friends) & records of all of our pets & apparently a record of a neighbor calling the cops when my brother was 7 claiming my bro had run over the neighbor’s daughter with his bicycle. (which my brother admits to: “she wouldn’t get out of the way!”)

    have you ever used the “street view” to look at a google map of your own address & seen your car parked in the driveway?


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