001 – Sunday, September 17, 2017

New York — Good morning. The new iPhone approaches; the reason there is no iPhone 9 is because iPhone 7 ate 9, FYI. No one cares about the iPhone 8, though people should care if they’re in the market for a new phone.

Not that people should settle either; the iPhone X is a beautiful machine. I wish to own one; I am resigned to having to wait a while, like everyone else. I expect a lot of people will use Face ID—most people who will go through the trouble and the motions to own a $1000 phone will also use all the features, even the problematic ones. Not that I think Face ID is problematic; I’m only relaying the news from the street.

It’s creepy, I’ve heard, to own a phone that’ll scan and map your face, which will be processed as mathematical data by a neural processor, a learning machine. Your phone is about to get to know you in a new way; if you’re alarmed, as I’m told you would be if I say it this way, then I apologize. There is no reason to be scared of a phone. It’s just a phone. It’s a phone and it’s nothing. $1000 is a lot of money for a phone, and not.

Regardless, what is important to remember is the ongoing procedure, our uneasy alliance with the machines, that is, the fusion technique, the Japanese word mecha. Read this New York Times piece on the future of suburbs — there will be drones in the air, and automated cars on the road, and soon, it seems. People my age flee cities to the outskirts.

I’ve decided to stay in New York; tomorrow, I may decide to live in Tokyo or, less likely, New Jersey, but I reserve the right to change my mind; for now, today, I choose to remain in New York. It’ll be interesting to see people I know leave the city, perhaps for good; I will see them again, it is no thing.

But the city itself will lose some vitality, some goodness, as certain people load trucks and head for the bridges, American music on the radio, driver and co-pilot westbound, because their presence in New York made it easier for me to decide to live here.

To be clear, to decide is to claim a future, and the one in question involves a different New York, an alternative version of the city that’ll feel different to me as it unfolds moment by moment, as I breathe, as I decide from one moment to the next whom I shall be, then forget all about the vision, the delusion.

What is clear in remaining egoless is returning to a natural state in which our minds and bodies are calm, not restless, amplified, not disturbed, so when things happen, when things change, when people change, when we ourselves change, we remain calm and transcend suffering by detaching from any abiding idea of who you are as a person.

You may be a writer today, but you might be an assassin tomorrow night; it wouldn’t require an absurd set of circumstances. Someone can take your money, and lock you out of your accounts, and your phone, and simply say it’ll all be returned to you if only you grab the revolver in a brown bag behind the Whole Foods dumpster and shoot person X; some people might call the cops; others will weigh the gun in their hands. Those individuals who call the cops will undoubtedly be disappointed by the state’s lack of response to cybercrimes.

What to make of Equifax? On one hand, my credit is already a trash heap, and I have ten identities, to date, so I am unbothered; not everyone feels this way, and I get it. Pitchforks and torches for the executives who failed then sold stock in a minor but odious payout before news broke regarding the breach, publicizing the crime and subsequent and cascading failures, something like one hundred fifty million Americans’ personal data out in the world.

There will be hearings. There will be apologies, the copping of pleas. Hopefully, there will be legislative changes, updates to the law; credit reporting agencies are apparently under-regulated in the United States—I’m shocked, too—but some senator, Schumer maybe, master showboat who remembered lately he too is a New Yorker by choice, anyway maybe he was the one who evoked Enron.

Do you remember what happened with Enron, and the principle players? Neither do I, not entirely; I have to look it up—apparently the founder of Enron died shortly after being convicted in federal court on charges of “conspiracy, fraud, and insider trading”—he was facing twenty-five years in prison. So yes, there will be for Equifax a reckoning, the watchword of the Republicans, as the circus turns.

I do not advocate detaching from the news, and I don’t tolerate people who brag about doing so, or needing to, if bragging is the right word, but I don’t hold it against them either.

Much is left to be decided in America. Hurricanes spin off the coasts while fires rage in the west; people are still killing themselves with opioids and other designer drugs; second-place statues are dragged away in the night, and protests form from city to city. Human rights is black rights.

On Tuesday, I will attend the Oslo Freedom Forum in New York, sponsored by the Human Rights Foundation, to hopefully find people who know human rights is black rights. Kaepernick can’t get a job but I’m supposed to root; I refuse to support football. This photo disturbed me, though of the two sports, I’ll watch basketball. It’s more exciting to me now, the game.

After you’ve committed the assassination and returned the revolver to Whole Foods, you receive a text message tapping your wrist with a six-digit passcode to unlock your data and return your life and financial solvency to you. It’s that simple.