#include “Protected Mode – Friedrich Kittler"

Midnight glow of a
Cathode ray tube casts
Shadows on the walls of
Your lonesome apartment;
Cloying yourself in
Wires and light —

Hexcode Terminal Burrowing.

Just as the hypothermic
In final dying hour, does
Encase herself in cold ground,
So too do you now entomb yourself
In a sky-creening concrete sepulchre.

With skeletal fingers, entering
Ancient, hexadecimal codes, into
Wretched, archaic mainframes, you
Dredge the depths of the network:
There are secrets lurking in these
Cybernetic halls, dark secrets,
Long since vexed to sleep.

All hidden in the heart
Of the boreal bytecode,
Of the winter unending:
Visions of silicon.

So wander nomad spectre, through
Futures scarcely traced, and
Histories abandoned under
Rusted iron’s weight —

Gather broken images
To stain with iodine, and
String together polaroids
From nineteen eighty nine.

IRAQ_1991: Capital, advertising, Foretells apotheosis - Of a software immaterial; Of a logic more innocuous; More intelligent, more spiritual. Blocking ever more contact With hardware, with chip; Making ever more software, Getting ever more abstract, Fleeing ever more distant From silicon beasts. Yet here, in conflict zone, Where missiles rain down on Highway of Death, American Guns obliterate the fiction. Computers are but hardware: Hardware for destruction. Primitive signal processors, Universal registers, interrupts, Wait-states, Von Neumann architecture: One hundred thirty-three cycles for the Multiplication of a single whole number; No closed solutions, just Monotonous columns of Binary digits. IN, OUT IN, OUT IN, OUT IN, OUT 0xE4, 0xE6 0xE4, 0xE6 0xE4, 0xE6 0xE4, 0xE6; 11100100, 11100110 11100100, 11100110 11100100, 11100110 11100100, 11100110 The pattern of transistors on the chip; The pattern of engravings in the Real.
ENGLAND_1936: Alan Mathison Turing built Universal discrete machines — An expulsion of spirit and language A million times faster than the pencil. Those times are gone forever. Enter protected mode: That fell illusion, now Pulling away from the real; New levels of abstraction, New levels of delusion. Do not look behind the curtain — Do not stare into the war machine — Do not risk going crazy. Or, at the Risk of having already gone crazy, Look at the mechanical heart And say with manic voice: Operating-frequencies of 80286 and the 80386 forced to levels between 12 and 33 megahertz in Pentagon specifications for electronic warfare entangling civilian users in opaque multitasking delusion break Opaque multitasking delusion break Opaque multitasking delusion break Opaque multitasking delusion break Different registers Different command sets Different execution times Restrained possibilities. Universal lethargy and Universal distance and Universal nonsense and Where did I put the Real? Nothing makes sense anymore.
ESTRN_BLOC_1989: Celebration of the triumph Of IBM Compatibility. Celebration of the triumph Of the western universal. Celebration of the triumph Of absolute confusion. Celebration of the triumph Of protected mode. Present NATO barricade: Do not touch the Real. Do not touch the Real. Do not touch the — You wander the streets of a Soviet town, Where the sky's turned to ash and There's no fucking future; Absolute techcraft eternally teaming; Armalite stockpile, blooming, screaming: Hexcode Terminal Burrowing. Present NATO barricade: Anyone who Tries to touch The Real is Going to lose Her goddamn mind [INT 15H 86H: WAIT]
EVRYWHRE_FUTURE: BIOS interrupt interjects: Might we risk going crazy? Moving past DOS, through DOS: Beyond history, beyond madness, Awaits the Real in 32 bits. The cybernetic shaman climbs, From hypothermic depths; bringing Back bleak codices, filled with Strange and cryptic glyphs. Taking up with spectral hand Tools of silicon and steel; Carving sigils in the dark, and Gesturing towards the real. There is no path forward, Save passing through the cold; There is no path to safety, Save reviving curses old. Cybershaman turns to speak, Makes mystic proclamations. Cyberskald doth rise again, Constructing technopagans. Monotonous columns of binary digits Show us the way to futures unblemished: Missing the valence; imperfect cadence — The only way out is through.