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The Electronic Anima

Science was never really my thing in school much less psychics and Lord knows I don’t claim to understand much about it but find the thought that particles act differently when they are being observed that when they are not being observed. More to the point that particles cannot change when being observed is the Zeno Effect a.k.a. Turing’s Paradox.  Now how one can observe and not observe an object or particle is a question that we won’t delve into here but I do wonder if this holds true to data and information. Does data act differently when we are looking for it or at it? Does data hop up and down like a puppy in the dog pound when Google’s all Seeing Eye turns on it or is it inert no matter what happens to it? Do our drives or our cloud servers react differently to different data?  If metaphysics is the nature and reality of the soul, what is the study of the nature of information? Perhaps we no longer are concerned with the nature or the information as long as we can get it instantly and at our fingertips

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The Marriage of the Dull Science and Senseless Beauty

In my wild years it seemed like a good idea to study Economics. Needless to say this passion passed to less lucrative field, thought the ramifications of economic thought still crosses my mind. This happened recently when thinking of social media and the wealth of data that floods our consciousness every moment. It seems that these two ideas, social media and economic theory,  are coming out of opposite corners in regard to our ideas of value and worth. Our economy teaches us to value things that are scarce- scarcity equals value but the idea of social media is completely opposite, excess is valued, how much quality content can you post. While these Janus faced concepts seem define our world and our relationship to it, it seems that we never stop to think about the ramifications of these ideas. People are confounded by the reality of social media, that the more quality content the better- where is the scarcity, where is the value? How is it that the scarcity we have valued has now, through the new social media, become of the least value. A Facebook page with little or no content wild fade into obscurity while one with a solid supply of quality posts will find an audience. Like content, we have so many people in the world we seem to take them as an exhaustible, expendable  resource. When Chairman Mao was faced with the possibility of an atomic bomb being dropped on China he reportedly responded saying ” China has many people. They cannot be bombed out of existence. …….. The death of ten or twenty million people is nothing to be afraid of.” The most precious thing we have, our time on this earth we seem not to appreciate until we find ourselves confronted with the end of it.

We can only hope that in this time of readjusting ideas of worth and value we may take the lead from this new computer paradigm, that there is value in number and discover the value of the many and concern ourselves only with the scarcity of gratitude in our bounty.

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The Marriage of the Dull Science and Senseless Beauty

 

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Revolution Replaced by Retweet?

Change is never easy and watching the news shows that change is necessary. The nature of this change struck me while listening to an NPR interview with the Aunt of the man killed in a police shooting in Minneapolis. She was weeping and crying saying how the police had taken something from her that she could never get back.  While I was struck by her grief I was shocked by the way she added a hashtag to the conversation, not unlike the ones used by the black lives matter movement. While I do not argue with the validity of their outrage is a hashtag really the best way to vent our anger?   Desmond Tutu once said, “If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor”;  is a hashtag or a twitter post really an outlet for our rage?  Is a social media post the warm cozy blanket we wrap ourselves in to pretend that we are feeling beings, part of a community of people for whom we have a moral obligation to treat humanely? If we are mad, shouldn’t we get mad, shout from our windows, take to the streets and demand to be heard not read and reposted? What will it come to before we realize that change is often not something that can be done from a comfortable chair? Has a revolution been replaced by the retweet?

 

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If you are not familiar with “Network” or at least this scene you owe it to yourself to see his amazing moment.

 

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