‘White Crisis’ and/as ‘Existential Threat’, or The Entangled Apocalypticism of Artificial Intelligence

Peace Be Unto Those Who Follow Right Guidance.

Dr Syed Mustafa Ali at the CenSAMM AI and Apocalypse Symposium 2018

Dr Syed Mustafa Ali, Lecturer in the School of Computing and Communications at The Open University (UK), delivered the following paper at the Conference on Artificial Intelligence and The Apocalypse organised by CenSAMM (Centre for the Critical Study of Apocalyptic and Millenarian Movements), a new initiative of the Panacea Charitable Trust in Bedford, UK, which took place 5-6 April 2018:

‘White Crisis’ and/as ‘Existential Threat’, or The Entangled Apocalypticism of Artificial Intelligence

Interested viewers can watch the presentation which is available on YouTube:

Complete recordings of the two days proceedings (talks, panel discussions etc.) are available here.



The Inevitability of The (Colonial) Matrix (of Power)

Peace Be Unto Those Who Follow Right Guidance.

Yesterday, I came across the following work in a charity shop. It’s authored by white male futurist Kevin Kelly, founding executive editor of Wired magazine, a former editor/publisher of the Whole Earth Review and, crucuailly, a born-again Christian.


Kelly identifies the aforementioned 12 technogical forces as Becoming, Cognifying, Flowing, Screening, Accessing, Sharing, Filtering, Remixing, Interacting, Tracking, Questioning, and then Beginning. He also insists that “these forces are trajectories, not destinies. They offer no predictions of where we end up. They tell us simply that in the near future we are headed inevitably in these directions.”

Check out the following extracts from the final chapter entitled Beginning: Continue reading

TALK: An Introduction to Islamic Decoloniality

Peace Be Unto Those Who Follow Right Guidance.

Interested viewers are invited to check out the following talk delivered by Dr Syed Mustafa Ali at the Decolonise Not Diversify festival hosted by Art Against The Grain at the Birmingham Impact Hub on Saturday 8th October 2016:

During the course of the presentation, Ali continues his exploration of the idea of an Islamic decoloniality, building on earlier formulations of this notion. The slides to accompany this talk are available here.

Interested viewers are invited to check out the following related presentations:

  1. Towards an Islamic Decoloniality (Euro-Arab Foundation short course, Granada, April 2014) – Slides (and audio)
  2. Further Towards an Islamic Decoloniality (Muqaddimah Academic Summit keynote, Kerala, December 2015) – Slides available here


Westworld = White Supremacy (Racism)

Peace Be Unto Those Who Follow Right Guidance.


I’m currently watching Westworld, described in its Wikipedia entry as

an American science fiction thriller television series created by Jonathan Nolan and Lisa Joy for HBO,based on the 1973 film of the same name, which was written and directed by American novelist Michael Crichton.

The series takes place in fictional Westworld, a technologically advanced, Western-themed amusement park populated completely by synthetic androids dubbed “Hosts”, who cater to high paying visitors dubbed “Newcomers”, also known as “Guests”, who can do what they wish within the park without fear of retaliation from the Hosts.

According to a THV11 post dated 30 July 2016,

The 10-episode first season … explores artificial consciousness, memory, identity and sin via interactions between lifelike “hosts” and guests acting out fantasy storylines, many of them oriented toward sex and violence.

The drama looks at the increasingly narrow divide between human life and artificial consciousness, which is being developed in the real world, executive producer Lisa Joy said. “It’s questioning: ‘Where does life begin?’ ” she said. “It’s a constant examination of that line. Where does consciousness begin and end?”

A post on Alternet dated June 21 2016 states that,

Adopting a Counter-Racist / decolonial perspective readily allows for ‘de-coded’ consideration of the ‘dark colonial underside’ of this (post-)modern narrative, viz.

  1. Westworld – colonial modernity / the colonial matrix of power / White Supremacy (Racism).
  2. Guests – settlers / colonizers / White Supremacists (Racists).
  3. Hosts – indigenes / colonized / non-white VoRs (Victims of Racism / White Supremacy).
  4. Hosts are synthetic androids – the ontology (being, what-ness) of the colonized is an ‘othering’ construction of, by and for the colonizer.
  5. Guests can act without fear of retaliation from the Hosts within (Westworld) ‘the park’ – White Supremacists (Racists) dominate all non-white people / VoRs under contemporary conditions of global White Supremacy (Racism).
  6. Host consciousness is artificial consciousness – non-white people function according to a (DuBoisian) double consciousness, if not a (Marxian) false consciousness.
  7. Memory, identity and sin – non-white / VoR experience of the violence of White Supremacy (Racism) / colonial modernity is traumatic, possibly engendering complex feelings of guilt in relation to complicity with / non-resistance to WSR, and marked by an ongoing legacy / memory situation in which a subordinate positionality / identity is reproduced.
  8. Hosts are lifelike – insofar as hosts are slaves, their social life is, in fact, best characterised as a condition of social death, i.e. hosts occupy a condition between life and death which means that their mode of living is not a form of life, but rather, lifelike.
  9. Westworld guests act out fantasies driven by sex and violence – Colonial modernity / White Supremacy (Racism) defines a ‘war’ situation driven by the desire to dominate and expressed through the violent creation of a (West)world structured as an exclusionary hierarchy. White Supremacy (Racism) uses sex, the second most powerful (human) driving force in the known universe, to establish, maintain, exapnd and refine its sphere of dominance.
  10. Narrow divide – White Supremacy (Racism) is threatened by (1) the possibility of non-white people ‘passing’ as white people, and (2) the fact that the global ‘colour line’ of colonial modernity / Eurocentrism, as a contingent historical construction, is open to erasure / dismantlement / de-construction / replacement.

The unfolding narrative of what appears to be a ‘computer virus’ / ‘meme’ – “these violent delights have violent ends” – spreading (among Hosts) memories of violence / violation of Hosts by Guests, and the mounting threat this poses to both Guests and the corporate entity behind ‘the park’ (Westworld), speaks to perennial White Supremacist (Racist) concerns about – if not fears of – reprisal expressed so clearly by Lothrop Stoddard in his classic work, The Rising Tides of Color Against White World Supremacy (1920), not to mention Ronald Segal’s more recent The Race War (1967).

It interesting to note that a sequel to the 1973 film, Futureworld (1976) was made in  followed by a short-lived 190s television series entitled Beyond Westworld, both of which revolve around an attempt to stop an evil scientist using robots / androids to take over the world. What might this mean in terms of a Counter-Racist / decolonial analysis? Apart from further exploring the theme of ‘passing’, does it further point to the expansion and refinement of White Supremacy (Racism) – captured in the use of the word ‘Beyond’ in the title – via non-white proxies?


In this connection, interested readers might want to check out the following posts:


LINK: Decolonizing Health

Peace Be Unto Those Who Follow Right Guidance.


The Qur’an [=Final Proclamation of God/Allah to Humanity] states:

(2:168) “O people: eat from whatever is on earth [that is] lawful andwholesome and do not follow the footsteps of the alienated and alienating personality (Ash-Shay’thaan) Indeed, he/it is for you a clear enemy.”

(2:172) “O you who are securely committed (to God/Allah): eat from thewholesome things which We have provided for you and be grateful to God/Allah if it is [indeed] Him that you serve.”

In this connection, check out this important recent initiative:

Decolonizing Health