Saturday, July 24, 2004

Ghostly Machines

Scout has a fantastic analysis of the 9/11 Commision report up at And Then...:

It's a total love song to the evil that emerges the way a 'personality' emerges in a machine. A system of moving parts work together, and the minor malfunctions and interactions of these parts, so long as they don't threaten the machine with complete collapse, go on to form quirks that may not emerge in a machine made in precisely the same way from similar parts. For some, prone to religious analysis of world events, the beautiful quirks become God and the 9-11's and Iraq War 'Intelligence Failures' become the devil. In the end, the war on terror is really a war 'against evil,' against the glitches in the machine that cause us harm.

It's a war on the existential reality of any society that functions on the level of multiple, interacting mechanisms. The 9/11 Report advises patches to the system, whereas the Bush administration has analyzed weaknesses in the system and mistook it for the function of society itself. They've called it the devil, and they've declared themselves on the side of God, and everyone seems to forget that it is simply a machine, badly in need of repair.

It's like declaring war on the sun when your air conditioner breaks.

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