Flying with Aeroflot Russian Airlines from Heathrow Terminal 4 to Moscow, reading about Moscow traffic. We expect 50% usual speed because of reconstruction of the main ring road, parks, benches and more. So it’s better to use the Garden Ring Road (?). I remember last time it took us about an hour to get around the exit by the Kremlin.
Also in the news, Chechnya is investigated for harbouring homosexuals, after denying human rights reports of over 100,000 gay men being detained and tortured. Putin is on their case, probably making sure the gays get an extra beating. The Chechen president denies even having homosexuals in his country. Angela Merkel of Germany asks Putin nicely for abuse to be investigated and stopped. It makes a great story. That’s the news, but they alwasy miss something. More on this tomorrow.
It’s over 3 hours to Moscow, and all the meals contain meat. So I eat the side dishes as I watch the film Jackie (featuring Casper Phillipson as JFK, our friend who was in Tiger Lillies Perform Hamlet). It’s an interesting film, but I’m not knowledgeable about JFK. I’m glad they are making an effort to focus on the difficulty and insanity of her life after the assassination. Caspar is a lovely and kind man, and in my opinion the best Hamlet in Tiger Lillies Perform Hamlet (there is more than one because actors are busy people!).
browsing in disillusion
In Sky Shop magazine are some latest Russian recommended gadgets to make life easier. It contains an overwhelming number of cutting edge devices, such as automatic abdominal exercise device, back massager, a UV-C light that kills 99% of bacteria, a visor that improves sleep an massages the eyes, a handheld scale that weighs luggage, water purity tester, Ultrasonic and Ion Facial and Beauty Device (eh?)….etc. For €139 you can have a nitrate measuring device for food that also shows the radioactivity levels. The Soeks Ecotester reminds me that we are getting closer to Chernobyl, and radioactivity is undoubtedly still a concern for surrounding Russians these days.
And what the hell are Smart Socks? The more I see development in the ‘technopoly’ (Neil Postman), the more helpless it feels to be human, that algorithms have the potential (if they don’t already) to know what you want and need better than you ever will (really?). We are no longer aware how aware the ‘internet of things’ is of us. I am planning to quit Google (for a little peace of mind), if that is possible, perhaps with a more discreet email account. Google and Facebook are winking at me, emailing me that I have a flight to Moscow a few minutes before boarding, automatically without me listing it anywhere. Facebook: ‘Hi Jonas, the weather is cold in Moscow today, wear a coat!’ makes me feel pathetic, what about you? I’ll give up Facebook eventually (with added determination). Would you keep Facebook if it could help you decide who to vote for in an election??? This might be the last age of deciding things for ourselves as much as we do, compared with the new days, within in a vastly more automated framework.
technophobic within ‘technocracy’
I’m trying to accept this kind of world. Medicine is improving and becoming more consistent in diagnosis, treatment, monitoring and safety. Road safety will probably improve, if not be completely controlled by one algorithm, why not? People make mistakes, algorithms can do much more than drive cars! Google is already doing it. In 10 or 20 years a lot of us may not even need to take care of ourselves, which seems like we could be more free. That’s what we believed at the start of industrial revolution. But we can potentially become the new cattle, for our energy and raw resources, because there is no other use for us. So, I want to make the best of it and keep my own mental facilities such as memory in order.
When we land, people applaud the landing, something I’ve not heard since last year in Bulgaria. Even though the software landed us, we don’t have to take it for granted. Who is we? I just mean, the ‘hypernormalisation’ of our lives and software.
Palmira Business Club is a new hotel next to Moscow River, complete with the most wonderfully confusing lifts I’ve ever used. On the small screen you push a button, choose the floor, and then a large letter with an arrow appears, saying ‘A’, ‘B’ or ‘C’, to show you which lift to use. There are no floor buttons in the lift. If you make a mistake, start again. Here we are on the south side of the first ring road, not far from Yotaspace the venue. And there are 4 different dried meats in the fridge.
Eating normal pizza in the 5-star hotel restaurant (‘Carpe Diem’), but there is TV with constant commercials and trash music videos on. House and funk music score a gloomy meal alone, with my laptop, by a stage where there was earlier a soprano sax player accompanying a backing track. Well, he sounded like a backing track himself.
Tomorrow I’ll not stop ranting, but will write lots about the gig.