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The Far Horizon

When I was growing up the Chicago Reader was a source of popular culture and cutting edge cartoons. I remember one that was a virtual trip to Comiskey Park- the ball park where the Chicago White Sox played. The cartoon consisted of a drawing of a steel beam that you could cut out and assemble into a column with instructions to hang this from the brim of a hat right in front of your face- in effect wherever you looked you would see a post and not the baseball game. Listening to public radio the other day I was reminded of that cartoon. It seems that Mohammad is the most popular name in the world. It surprised me until I was confronted with the small frame of reference with which I view the world. I don’t know anyone for whom English is not their first language, I am not aware that I know anyone who was not born in the United States. When I look around my office and often around the city I live in I don’t see anyone without the same colour skin that I have. With the internet we now have the ability to find a world view that encompasses the entire world and doesn’t just reinforce the world view that we already have. Google maps can show us not only where we are  in space but show us the world around us. Let us hope that the internet will be used to  draw our eye from what is close at hand and back to the horizon that beckons us onward. The sun setting isn’t the end of a day but the beginning of a journey, calling us.

Rocky

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Looking into the electronic void

It’s no secret my fondness for Manoush Zomorodi’s excellent podcast, “Note to Self”. What I found particularly fascinating was a recent comment in her Informagical Challenge podcast. The challenge was a weekly task to help people cut through the information overload and help them to think more clearly. In the conversation, Zomorodi mentioned her belief that people may see giving up new media with death, that to disconnect to media is in a way to die. Perhaps the new media has given us the fulfillment of a need, if we aren’t showing up on Facebook, or if we aren’t getting messages in our inbox, we aren’t alive. What would happen if somehow we all couldn’t get Wi-Fi or connectivity? Would that push us to a state of terror, needing the constant reinforcement from the electronic world. Since when has Facebook become our second life? Are we really that needy?

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Rejecting the human being and creating the Robot

In the new book by Robin Wall Kimmerer, “Braiding Sweetgrass”, argues that in the natural word we need to revise our idea of what it is to be living and dead. That everything in the universe has its own unique life force which we would be aware of if we opened our minds and our scientific definitions to a larger more inclusive idea of what it is to be alive and conscious. It got me wondering if some day we will see electronic memory to be a true consciousness indeed. As outrageous as it may seem a corporation has the same legal rights as a person, so why not a lap top or phone with the same rights as a person?

It may happen sooner than you think.

29foto

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