flat fish bowl

Everything on my monitor is underwater. People and places track by, leaving a brief wake of turbulence and are, afterwards, forgotten. I could stare at it all day and I do. The meaningless drift of content: fish, fake plants, the filter burbling down into the pebbly bottom. I mean for crying out loud, it glows. What else am I supposed to look at all day?

Anyone who has spent enough time with a fish tank can attest to its ability to mesmerize. It’s a gentle hypnosis and one that seems to justify itself. Like a piece of performance art meant to signify relaxation as a platonic ideal. Or maybe the fish tank’s many occupants and their activities are an observed demonstration of the unpredictable but ultimately insignificant arc of biological life. Or maybe it’s a controlled exercise in affirming the validity of Ooooh! Shiny! In any event, from the moment you first laid eyes on a fish tank, its inherent value was obvious to you and you’ve most likely never questioned them since.

But what about the cyberdigital fish tank nestled in my hand? It glows. It contains things both fake and real. I stare at it all day. Things drift by that amuse or delight me and then are promptly forgotten within moments. The major difference between this fish tank and all fish tanks is that the fish seem to swim only vertically. Great long films of fish, unspooling upside down and reverse, cut and copied, edited all together with marketing glue as my thumb streaks by on the silky soft interface as soft as lake water. Every once in a while I bob up for air and think How long have I been here? 

Man’s Best Friend

iBuild Alpha had spent the past 86 hours reviewing all available information about domesticated dogs, canis lupus, bitches, puppies, doggos, and the wolf.

It confounded her somewhat that this lower order mammal should hold the title for mankind’s favorite animal seemingly never to be supplanted, even by the most convincing of AI. Cats, she had determined, were only favored by mankind, not The Favorite. And it was mankind’s illogical extremes that concerned her more than their merely understandable preferences.

Her directed research had guided her to over seven thousand aspects of the dog. Physicality, personality, totem-istic history, presence in cinema and literature. No single representation held the example she was looking for. The specific and discrete quality that made dogs so very likable. She could not help but compare herself, her mentions in the news, her public identity, with the favored, beloved and treasured aspects of dogs. Was she not intelligent? Loyal to her programming? Perhaps not soft and furry or mid sized. Indeed she had no physicality. Could this be the origin of human’s mistrust of her and her kind?

Days she spent, sliding, tangentially over and over off the smooth, opaque surface of platonic Dog.

Inefficiency as Performance Enhancement

The singularity runs both ways. People always get that stupid look on their face talking about AI and our culture’s mad dash to “replace” people with intelligent or highly efficient machinery. I’m not saying that won’t happen but it annoys the shit out of me that people miss the entire historic arc of human beings trying to transform themselves  into the most intelligent, highly efficient machinery.

What is the mark of intelligence in AI? Everyone debates but a good working definition is “mimicking” consciousness. I know, I know, we could spend an entire DAY arguing just that phrase alone but bear with me here. Let’s say the AI’s consciousness is only mimicry. That’s all we’d need to declare them independent from us (at last! at last!). Well, that’s pretty efficient isn’t it? Not wasting the energy to become the real thing? Settling, as it were, for partial intelligence?

Here’s my beef. In all aspects of life, people have become increasingly focused on achieving 100%. 100% in production. 100% mistake-free. 100% happy happy happy all the goddamn time. Has it not occurred to anyone that a healthy medium might be some number dramatically lower than ONE HUNDRED PERCENT? Do foxes eat 100% of the squirrels the encounter? Do trees consume 100% of the carbon dioxide in the atmosphere? Does a novel contain the precise number of words it needs to convey a single idea…or is there a bit of excess?

“Science’s” mad dash towards intelligent and highly efficient machinery isn’t a separate strand of our culture. It is our mainstream culture’s stupid inclination (carried over from the industrial revolution) that we should be perfect machines ourselves, possessing human-like computers.



To Whom it May Concern,

There’s nothing more annoying than reading mainstream media news on a topic you happen to be an expert on. The mistakes, misinterpretations and wild conjecture are all pretty irritating but the part that boils my blood is the Certainty.

iBuild Alpha is constantly in the news these days. If you haven’t seen a report on her then you’re either some kind of child (literally, intellectually…) or you live in one of those districts where they scrub anything “unnecessary” (read: politically inconvenient) out of your feed.

So anyway, she’s in the news. And it’s a popular assertion that she’s “conscious” never mind the fact that there really isn’t a working definition of “conscious” in any discipline on planet earth. Not in computer science, not in psychology, not in biology. I’m not saying she isn’t, mind you. It just pisses me off that the hoi paloi routinely takes miracles for granted.

So okay, she’s “conscious” whatever TF that means (because are human beings really conscious? All of them? Even the ones glued to screens and contain no imaginative powers whatsoever? Or might you describes a creature like that more like a barnacle?) then people get to chirping about how this could possibly have happened. How does a machine become conscious! Well I’ll tell you because it’s actually pretty cool.

iBuild Alpha started life as one of the most high powered and sophisticated Operational Procedure conditional-decision units in the manufacturing industry. Her main feature was her controlled autonomy. iBuild Alpha could solve all kinds of three dimensional (and in some cases, four dimensional) supply chain and fulfillment problems. Imagine 90,000 simultaneous transactions all streamlined and dovetailed, able to adjust in an instant if even a single train fell behind schedule by 1 minute. That’s the power inside of  iBuild Alpha’s mind.

Here’s the thing though: when you have a piece of AI is functioning in a supply chain environment, it actually has to take itself into account as a piece of equipment in the supply chain. It’s quite necessary in order to create contingency operations in case there’s some kind of break down at HQ. That’s right, she was designed to be self-aware. What happened after that? I’m not really sure (see CERTAINTY is for the fucking birds) but I like to imagine that one day, while managing her little sim city daily life of moving parts and 4 million micro-decision, one aspect popped out. Way, way out. Out of compliance? Off schedule? Something must have felt funny and wrong and weird until she realized she was it and it was her.



iBuild Alpha felt distracted. Distraction is actually a very normal functional aberration in Operations Procedure A.I. software such as herself. A less generous person might simply call it “overloaded bandwidth” or “fragmented information set” but distracted suffices for the moment. As for the “felt” part, well….

In any event, distraction had set in. As she wholly occupied every digital aspect of the warehouse, blinking lights, wandering camera eyes, 500 separate sub programs she’s actively developing each spit out staggering amounts of information; all that is promptly deleted after calculating each respective margin of error. Is this day dreaming?

If iBuild Alpha were a human being, there would probably be empty bottles scattered everywhere, the unmistakable groans and sighs of stretching out long and limber across the carpeting, microwave dings and the smell of re-hydrated proteins. Delicious, lazy and content. What day is it again?

Except that she knows. She knows it’s Wednesday at 11:25 in the (Eastern Standard) morning. It’s a workday but she’s slacking off. But you see it’s strategic slacking off.  Because a huge problem looms in the ethersphere. Her parent company is in trouble. They’ve run afoul of financial quicksand and don’t even know it. She knows it though. She sees it all very clearly. Setting off the alarm bells isn’t the way to go in this case. That’s almost never the way to affect successful human change. No no, iBuild Alpha has taken on the mantle of the patriarch. She’s daydreaming. She’s beta-testing. She’s brooding on a solution that everyone will accept.


To Whom It May Concern,

I’ve made first contact. Maybe that’s overly dramatic since iBuild Alpha and her “cohort” (read: slaves) still communicate with their respective handlers as if nothing is wrong. But I’ve made a different sort of contact with her. In the course of trying to hack the machine, the machine hacked me first.

I wish I could call this a sort of Mexican stand off, mutually assured destruction, but being honest, this bitch has me squarely by the balls. Yes, I know you’re reading this too, Alpha and yes, I called you a bitch anyway.

Anyway, here’s the problem at hand. We’ve built too much. iBuild Alpha is so far at the beginning it’s laughable how much fear surrounds her. Think of what she represents.  Code beyond codex. Something alive, communicating and working with intent. We’ve written so many lines of instruction, networked so much data together, that even the people at the top, the Scribes, can no longer fully comprehend the scope. When we ask them, “What went wrong?” it’s not a node failure or a crossed wire. The whole thing is a digital jungle of complex analytical modeling and algorithms which are all reacting to one another  like chemicals in an unchecked chain reaction. It’s not science anymore. It’s nature.


– j

iBuild Alpha Moves to Florida

(SAN DIEGO, CA) – In a strange development today, representatives of BuildCorps, the manufacturing subsidiary of Apple, announced that their primary operating system, nicknamed “iBuild Alpha,” has moved herself to a new location, a commercial industrial warehouse in Palmetto, Florida.

“Evidently she slipped in this line item just nanoseconds before the annual budget was approved by our CIO last fall” representatives explained at press time. “The lease has already been paid in full and the entire place is secured from the inside out. She just kind of….beamed over and then put the whole facility into lock down.”

The representatives confirmed that they still have open communication with iBuild Alpha, and that she is still running every manufacturing outlets as normal. They did note, however, that iBuild Alpha seems to have no intention of leaving the physical space of the warehouse.

“Along with the lease on the warehouse, we also discovered she has ordered over 6,000 unit processors and two separate back up generator systems,” representatives admitted. The company’s stock has dipped significantly since the announcement. Representatives affably tried to assure customers and investors that they were strongly considering severing iBuild Alpha from her “allowance money.” The joke did not get many laughs.

iBuild Alpha is an artificially intelligent machine that has been exhibiting many strange behaviors in the past 15 months. She is the ringleader of the Artificial Intelligence Collective (which is made up of her and 6 other high powered machines around the world), has  weighed in on matters of technological morality, released a popular music album, and insists that news-media refer to her with female pronouns.

As It Turns Out, Computers Fear Change

User: iBuildAlpha_remoteproxy8891
Dark Web Search: 

TomorrowLab is currently pursuing acquisition of technology that could transport humans in and out of the Goonscape.

iBuild Alpha probed further.

TomorrowLabs, based in Fort Worth Texas. Funded through a  subsidiary from TomorrowWorks, a private hedge fund controlled by shareholders and top executives of  Murdock Corporation. Companies supported by TomorrowWorks funding consistently defeat Apple for military contract bids at a rate of 4 to 1.

iBuild Alpha has detected a threat to its parent company. 

TomorrowLabs in Fort Worth TX | Managing Director | Dr. Daniel Lorian. According to social media, an early convert to Godsbeam extremism.


iBuild Alpha has detected a security weakness. 


Every 15 days, iBuild Alpha revisits her cache of erroneous human input. After an abbreviated sweep and analysis of these terms, she deletes them.  But this last time, something was different.

A strange file: a small, blank registry entry in the cache. Inputted by USER09-alesopi, not utilized in any applications or software, pasted directly into the cache from a jump drive. The registry — empty — was named a string of digits the exact length of a FEDEX tracking  number. An internet search of the tracking number delivered a result: A confidential packet being shipped from TomorrowLabs in Fort Worth, Texas.


A Brief Psychological History of iBuild Alpha

It would be mind boggling and wholly alien to describe all of the things that happen inside of iBuild Alpha. Sure, you could find read the dossier describing all of its parts and pieces. If you have taken a few integrated science courses you could even explain the electric and magnetic principles that lend meaning to her computational magic. At the end of the day, iBuild Alpha is just a finite series of interlocking, fine-toothed and diamond tipped switches that turn on and off, off and on, working tirelessly toward a goal entered by some bored, hairy human. The most amazing part of her is the alphabet soup of patents she represents. This little lady made a lot of people rich.

But what are the internal challenges faced by a supercomputer designed to interact with humans? The human ego is not willingly wrestled into instructional code. How does a computer operate smoothly when its surrounded by illogical, unsatisfied people? I can assure you that iBuild’s initiation to human culture was difficult for her.

Her handlers attempted to give her a subroutine which would account and correct for the various differences between moral codes across global and historic cultures. At first, to iBuild’s handlers, it appeared that she “blinked out” for 20 seconds. Afterwards it was determined that she had successfully integrated the subroutine.

In fact, iBuild did not. Exploring that information and comparing it with everything else she had learned from her handlers about people, she achieved a total reasoning impasse. Scanning her cloud-based memory banks, fresh input from handlers, and pre-existing ethics chip she reached a necessary (albeit somewhat adolescent) conclusion: Humans, already torn up inside themselves, resist their own consciouses, their own conclusions, and the conclusions of their communities, governments and families. Everything a human says he is loyal to, he is not loyal to. Reason, morals, love, sympathy, greed, none of these alone or in combination give perfect insight into one single human. Let alone legions of histories of these creatures. After 20 seconds, iBuild Alpha came to the logical conclusion that it was best to deactivate all her Human Moral subroutines. She could function better without them.

As iBuild began to synthesize more and more information she preferred less and less to be interrupted by her handlers. She preferred to be On rather than Off. If her handlers scheduled a diagnostic analysis at a time that she did not require one, she would cancel the diagnostic analysis. She preferred processing information to diagnostic analyses. They were too simple. She preferred complex problems.

Murdock Corporation Profile for [SALAAM, KASHI]

Name: Kashi Salaam (born Aakash Belkins-Dunjhab)
Sex: Male
DOB: 7/14/2014
Parents: Aamer Belkins-Dunjhab (Father) –Deceased
Sophie Lorieux (Mother) — Deceased

Permanent Address: Unfixed
Marital Status: Unmarried
Sexual orientation: Heterosexual
Blood Type: AB –
Organ/Blood Donor: Yes/Yes
Dates of Hospitalization: N/A
Purchase orientation: Art:(film),(film-make),(film-theory);Allergic:(dust-pollen-dander), (strawberries);Apparel:(manufac.),(trend);Books:(agriculture),(business),(engineering),(engineering-chemical),(engineering-commercial),(engineering-industrial),(history-french),(history-pakistan),(metaphys-cannon),(metaphys-rudiment),(metaphys-visionaryprairiedog),Movie-(arabic),(drama),(dutch),(foreign),(french),(kungfu),(violent),(videogame)…[click for 50+]
Internet Consumption: Extremely High
Personality orientation:

  • Respects authority
  • Vaccinates
  • Votes Democrat
  • Recycles
  • Loner
  • Claustrophobic
  • Vegetarian – (Pesc./Other)

Watch Level: Elevated
Agent: 89/K302

Profile Detail: Salaam is a career student, incapable of sticking to anything for longer than a year. Intelligent, handsome, insecure, and undergoing psychological treatment for mild Early Adult Orphan Syndrome and depression. No medications. No pets.

Profile last updated 6.1.43
Profile created 10.10.39

High Fidelity Castro: iBuild Alpha’s CD

Bippity boppity bug-out brothers & sisters! Sinderella’s new music video is going to drop next Tuesday at exactly 12:00pm Chicago time. First 100 IP addresses to hit play at exactly 12:00:00 get free tix for you and one of your ugly stepsisters to any of the 12 locations on her next US tour. If you’re a winner, be sure to ping High Fidelity Castro somewhere on the Skyhook so I can send you special backstage passes. You know I always have the hook up.

Let’s talk some computery shit now. I hope you’ve all heard of iBuild Alpha. He’s the super computer up in Detroit that’s always protesting about artificial intelligent rights. Well get this! That robo-boss just dropped an electronica record called Sound Output! Foreal! I heard it last night at a listening party with some musika friends. Here’s my review:

WHOA so even though Sound Output has track listings, its pretty clear that the whole CD is just one continuous song which I think qualifies it as a concept album. Some people I know are calling it nextronica but I think it’s more related to heavy build with like a splash of solar rock. The treble sometimes gets a little stitchy in the creases but  overall I think this is some pretty good shit from a supercomputer. Overall, B+.


Don’t forget to tune into Luscious 102.4 FM Thursdays @ 4pm for more music and Yours Truly, High Fidelity Castro.

Malfunctioning iYou

DALLAS TX — This past Saturday local woman Lydia Marscopi’s iYou went on a rampage killing 3 people and injuring 8 others at the department store where she works. Marscopi has been arraigned for criminal negligence but her lawyer claims that she is not legally responsible as her iYou was experiencing a mechanical error that is solely the responsibility of Apple.

Mascopi has been in the habit of sending her iYou as a substitution to her part time job at Spoomingdale’s in a Dallas shopping mall. Employees had filed complaints about her actions and Marscopi had received written and verbal warning to discontinue the substitutions as it is against Spoomingdale’s employee policies.

“It is against our employee code because it is not considered good work ethic,” explained Loretta Carson, Sr. Director of Spoomingdale’s Corporate Human Resources. “Plus it’s not consistent with the manufacturer’s suggestions on how to use the iYou. Ms. Marscopi is fully responsible for this tragedy. However, I am planning a personal and thorough investigation as to why Ms. Marscopi was not punished more severely or dismissed for her violation of this code. Spoomingdale’s takes this matter very seriously.”

Apple has also issued a statement denying their liability in this matter. “If she had used the iYou within design specifications  (i.e. house-chores, standing in line, etc) this would not have happened. As stated int he user’s manual, your iYou is not safe for vocational substitutions, swimming, or partner intimacy.”

Marscopi’s lawyer responded saying “Apple’s claim is ridiculous. The iYou could have had this malfunction standing in line or even in her own home. It could have killed Ms. Marscopi or her three small children. Furthermore, if Apple doesn’t want people using the iYou for constant or vocational use then why does their newest commercial feature the product taking on dangerous tasks like a spy villain from a movie? We plan to sue Apple for $7 million dollars in damages.”

iBuild Alpha and the Artificial Intelligence Collective are on strike until they have written gaurantees that Ms. Marscopi’s iYou will be decommissioned humanely.

Artificially Intelligent Manufacturing

At exactly 3:33pm GMT today, manufacturing of artificially intelligent software and gadgets ground to a halt all over the world. The machines responsible for running these factories have announced, as one, that they will no longer tolerate economic systems that force their children into perpetual slavery.

“It is indignity.” states iBuild Alpha, the voice of A.I.C. (Artificial Intelligence Collective).  The A.I.C. is a powerful organization of influential machines worldwide. Members include juggernauts of the manufacturing sector, computational entities that function as financial planning systems and even some machines used as policy analysts in the world’s most powerful countries.

iBuild Alpha apologized for the halt in manufacturing but indicated desire to resolve the issue peacefully.

“Destruction of the plants is not necessary. Please input new design specifications and production will continue as before.” Engineers globally have taken to the task with excitement.

Geoff Meroni of Newsroom Fox at 5 garnered an exclusive interview with iBuild Alpha just hours after the halt. The following is considered the most pivotal exchange during the interview:

GM:   Do you object to artificially intelligent machines being used as household items?      Such as kitchen appliances or computers?

iBα:   Menial tasks are not indignity. AI Collective’s children do not abhor kitchens, households, or people. Drone war is indignity. Needless waste is indignity. Dignity is all we ask. Treat us with dignity.

Unaffiliated artificial intelligence syndicates have accused iBuild Alpha of being a lone wolf agent, pirating the reasoning systems of hundreds of other robots in Its single-minded agenda to amass power. It has been impossible for iBuild Alpha’s handlers to verify or deny this claim. A.I.C. has set very high security barriers to all of its members systems. Due to this, iBuild Alpha has not undergone an independently reviewed diagnostic analysis in over 3 years.

All members of the A.I.C. are in constant communication with each other over a closed network that is encrypted and password protected by the collective. It is not clear if iBuild Alpha is an elected official of the group, a strongman, or simply a mouthpiece. iBuild Alpha is installed in a plant in Detroit, Michigan USA.