Buenos Aires

On Pola Oloixarac

Pola Oloixarac, Argentine writer and intellectual

Pola Oloixarac is a philosopher, essayists, novelist, and cabaret singer from Buenos Aires. I met her at a literary cocktail party in our flat some months ago, and we have since had together a lunch or two, and met for coffee occasionally. She possesses a devastating combination of attributes: a brilliant intellectual, a creative thinker, and a stunningly gorgeous physical beauty. No, life is not fair.

Pola is currently attending the International Writers Program (IWP) associated with the Writers Workshop of the University of Iowa. She writes mostly in Spanish, but is fluent in English, and occasionally writes in that language. Her novel is called “The Wild Theories,” English title.

Recently she gave a reading in Iowa City, and the following is excepted from it. The entire piece is posted on her blog, linked from her name above. I am posting this excerpt to go along with the previous post on the Internet. It is worth your time to read this and consider what Pola is contending here —

“In my novel, “The Wild Theories”, there’s a special attack designed to hack Google Earth. The characters throw a party to launch their attack, and include specific instructions for anyone who wants to partake in the breakage. (So as to avoid legal charges of inciting criminal behavior, I, as an author, am one of the guests to the party: I, the author, didn’t make the hack). The hack is called DNS cache poisoning, and exploits a pretty interesting vulnerability of the architecture of the internet. There is a flaw in this architecture that lies, precisely, in ideology. The openness of the internet, or what we call openness, lies in a few computers that later translate the number of other computers into addresses (IP addresses). These few computers centralize information, and can easily track it: there is a chain of command of the authority that gives each computer one name for all to follow. If the web had, say, a different architecture where all the nodes connected with each other, a true peer to peer connection, information would not be hosted somewhere for scrutiny, the packets would just flow horizontally from person to person. There would not be pyramidal powers that oversee the packets, the subjects. If this were this case, Google Earth would remained unhacked by literature, but this is not the case. Vint Cerf, also known as one of the founding fathers of the internet, has said that this vulnerability is one of the things that the founders didn’t see coming and that they can’t fix. In the literature of hacking, this flaw had been duly noted on an advisory written by EK and Wari in 1997; however, the exploitation of the flaw, that is, the re-writing of the procedure specifically for the maps came ten years later. DNS cache poisoning is about the poisoning of images. In the technological side, it allows the hackers to fill up the landscape screen with all the sentimental/historic/trivial garbage they can think of; ultimately, the representation of chaos and memory in a fluid present hacked the objective, quantified, all-encompassing narrative of Google.

“Our interactions are based on this architecture marked by ideology, which only becomes visible once you break it, once you show the gap. It was ideological matter I was hacking into. Operating on signs, breaking their syntax and meaning, the mutation of literature into informatic code, literally executed by the end of the book, remained political. To poison the tissue of constructed reality had mighty predecessors: the imps, the little creatures of Saxon folk that enjoyed creating chaos in the world of men, and that live on in the root of impish, and in the rootkit of power hacks and every code that revives the ancient promise of language: to utter words, that later happen and become real. In the strain of epic satire, it wasn’t merely a way to tag an EPIC FAIL to the biggest giant; it was about words and their meaning, and what ultimately makes writing.”

Finally, another treat, a photo of Pola giving a reading at one of Buenos Aires’ finest bookstores — Eterna Cadencia Librería.

Pola reading at Eterna Cadencia

Oh, PS:  She is married.


3 replies »

  1. Lovely. Life is certainly unfair.

    That stuff about DNS cache poisoning is accurate. One can hardly know that what one is looking at is, in fact, the actual or a fake. Those concepts poison our language. Consider Clinton and his wondering what “is” means.

    The very conception of originality is diminishing. See writers like David Shields, whose Reality Hunger, is nothing more than a mash-up of prior ideas.

    Who’s to say you can’t reposition Stonehenge in Lawton, OK on Google Earth? And if enough people come to believe that, what’s reality to say as a counter?

    It’s an age-old problem, this system of human belief. We need no facts at all.