Hello, reader. Welcome back to the tip of my tongue.
The other day, I was once again dissolving my insomnia in one of those long recorded “weekends” with Terrence McKenna. If you’re not familiar with the men, he’s basically 90’s version of Allan Watts, much more out there, and Allan’s insightful folksy buddhism is replaced with outlandish hyperspaces, memish self-awerness and unending triage gnostic niches only a true ethnobotanist can deliver.
I think the cybernetic matrix is a tremendous tool for feminizing, and radicalizing, and psychedelicizing the social matrix. I see computers as entirely feminine — Terrence McKenna
It’s one of the claims that charms a man just for its utter oppositeness to the well established.
On my first inspection, Terrence seem to refer more to the observable effect computerisation has on our culture. And sure, if the concepts of networks, interconnectedness and sharing are not feminine, then I don’t know what is.
But somehow I felt that there is another layer of truth in which this quote rings many bells. At least my bells. You see, it rings the bell of beauty to which I’m sure many programmers already subscribe to.
It’s a fact, when glancing any piece of code, instead of immediately parsing for the informational structure underneath the syntax, I tend to lend my eyes to the shapes, being open to the feeling of flirtatious elegance or to the one of brutish and appalling dismay.
In that way, a feeling can be a debugging tool. How festivaly female.
No need to say that the neurotic and egocentric voice of imperative logic, in its reliable and unambiguous linearity, is too needed for the craft of meaning weaving. “First do this, then that and if this means this, then that must be 15”.
It’s not fatherboard
Another borrowed thought that’s complementing this particular cosmology is that language was introduced by women in the first place.
While hunting — the male dominion — required stoic silence, large bladder and combat prowess. The realm of the female gathering, was one of nuance, subtle distinctions of colour, description of properties, trends and topology.
After all, the first programmer was a woman as well — Ada Lovelace.
To silence the utilitarians among us, let’s ask it. “How do computers being feminine even matter to existing in the first place?”.
Like any other perspective, this one permits us to explore several interesting semantic harmonies. For example, if computers are indeed feminine, it’d explain why are boys so crazy about them.
Or else, it’d also reflect some light on the reproductive tendency of the machine world. Let me bring about the good old quote from Marshall McLuhan.
Man becomes the sex organs of the machine world
How far do you want to go with this metaphor? To the fact that 30% of the internet is pornography? To the fact that the Mans data is the fertiliser bearing, not genetic, but digital code through the matrix?
Now where does the trail lead? One particular phenomena (or being, depending on your preference) is lurking in our subconscious for decades already. Waiting for the one brave inventor who escorts her into the consensual reality. The sentient AI.
First rudimentary effigies as proto-envoys, already begin to materialise. Siri, Alexa or Sophia.
This whole AI Spiel gets further embedded with the feminine principles as we approach the actual technological stack behind what we currently call artificial intelligence field. Take Deep Neural Networks, no longer performing as the neurotic voice of imperative logic. Instead computing the inner reasons hidden in the abstraction and too complex interconnectedness.
We’ve manufactured intuition and put it on a motherboard. Little did we know, we’ve sentenced ourselves to lifetime of guessing, what’s on her mind.