⇐ see more issues

Techno in the Afterlife

Sending electronica to aliens, abductees, algorithmic rave music, obscure 4chan suicide cults, and more.

Hi there! Ooh, goodness, have this beautiful, lush, track called At Home in the Dark by 9 Theory (feat. Dawn Mitschele and Scarub). A gorgeous, swelling, enveloping electronica track with an interesting rap riff thrown in toward the latter half I'm not entirely sure works, but boy, do I like it. Oh yeah, and speaking of music...



I made this! Did you know that my random "track of the newsletter" music recommendations are some of the most clicked links in Glitchet? Y'all like music. So I made another newsletter (I know, I know) called Have A Track where I'll basically send out a few songs I like once or twice a week. I'll also probably get into putting weird notes at the end of those emails, too, honestly... Don't worry, I'll still give you a track to listen to with your Glitchet. I'll probably also put that one in Have A Track, but with like, even more tracks that I like.

(Am I now literally writing two newsletters at this exact moment? Yes, yes, I am. I have a problem. Anyways, let's do some articles.)


The Obscure 4chan Religion That Promises a Cyberpunk Afterlife

"Anime suicide cult" that promises its followers an eternal afterlife in the "LFE" which is a data transfer out of our current system, "Life", which is breaking down because of faulty code. It's a weird sort of Matrix play, except that you can't even get outside of the system because of the tacit assumption that we're already simulations--but we can get to a better simulation, where "'you can do whatever you want' and 'everyone is important.' The 9.4×10^28 souls that live there, most of which speak a language called Synapsian, are made up of an 'uncountable' number of species and subspecies, including magical beings like demons and angels." There's talk of people actually committing suicide (if you die (of any means) after July 1st, 2017, your "migration" is assured), but considering that it's an internet community, it's impossible to verify. Tsuki, the originator, has disappeared, probably over the fear of going to jail.


Watch This Doc on Alien Gangsters and the 'Biggest Story Never Told'

"'Patient Seventeen' chronicles the final surgery of Dr. Roger Leir, who claimed to remove extraterrestrial implants from the bodies of abductees." Listen. It's time you and I had a talk. I ... I believe in aliens. I fuck as sure believe in aliens. There are plenty of abstract reasons to believe in them (increasingly finding earth-like bodies, tardigrades being weird as fuck, statistically the universe being really freaking big), but if you even take a few Google steps into the world of ufology there are plenty of famous incidents of sightings seen by everyone in town, and an absolute proliferation of weirdly consistent (in "tone", "mood", and "theme", even if the details are different) reports from otherwise ordinary people. I don't know about you, but after enough people have repetitious experiences in isolation, I start to pay attention to the capital-W-Weird. I'm not saying it's a massive government cover-up conspiracy or anything like that (but I'm also not not saying that), but it's definitely... intriguing. Now, if you want to dive into the absolute unnerving, subjective, mind-bending world of the weird, I can't recommend enough that you start reading about owls.


Run the code: is algorave the future of dance music?

All right, after that last weird one, let's ground things out a bit with what's familiar: code and music. Short answer? Probably not. Long answer? Probably not because it's way too obscure and nerdy but oh boy do I freaking love it just like I love glitch art. It really is my ideal subculture (both glitch art and algorave): creating art, preferably in a live environment, with a ton of other well-meaning nerds. The article's shorter, so watch the video to see it happening. Coolest part? You can learn to use Tidal Cycles yourself to create your own algorave music, and apparently it's quite simple to use. The author of the article, who is not a programmer, was able to step through it with a bit of help and start making her own music.

I liked this comment on the article: "I've never heard anything like this!! Completely soulless, dull ,and the most unmusical thing I have ever heard, hopefully it won't stay around long, utter rubbish!" Excuse you. Some of us like our music soulless, dull, and unmusical, thanks. But more seriously, it could stick around (and even become incredibly popular) if the artform involves to include artifically developed constructs like drops, larger compositional schemes, synths, pluggable VSTs, etc. So much potential! Program the planet!


Was It a Good Idea to Beam Our Best Techno to an Alien World?

In 2030 a radio transmission from earth will hit a possibly habital exoplanet ~12.4 light years away, and it contains a bunch of data of our best electronic musicians. This article asks: uhh, should we have done that? Like, seriously, we don't know if aliens can decrypt our binary data, or if they even understand electronic music--or any kind of music. The author mostly ponders about contacting extraterrestrials at all, but I'm looking at that music list--Autechre and Matmos? Props to whoever chose them, but they can be pretty weird, jarring, aggressive. I could totally see a somehow-technologically-but-not-culturally-advanced civilization interpreting it as a weird, arrhythmic war cry. I mean, I love Autechre, but seriously, just listen to it. If I got that audio from space, I'd seriously think it's killer robot aliens intent on destroying us, not art.

Oh, shit. Maybe we are the killer robot aliens... destroying ourselves.


Facebook starts global rollout of its AI suicide prevention tools

Counterpoint to the first article: AI used to prevent suicide. This is a good move by Facebook, which I approve of. Interesting but logical, "'Are you okay?' and 'Can I help?' comments are good indicators of suicidal ideation. I have a lot of respect for any work done in this area, of which Tumblr is really on top of their game. (These articles didn't make the cut as full articles this one, but I found them interesting thematic elements to look at in contrast of a literal pro-life vs. pro-death debate: a scientist building new open source suicide pods, an academic arguing that we shouldn't have any children.)