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Living in the Material World

While the events in Charlottesville have had major ramifications both politically and socially, and while the violence is terrible and abhorrent, I was surprised and strangely pleased to see the reason for the rage was something physical. Monuments built long after the Civil War to reinforce the idea that the idea that white rule is still a force in the south and elsewhere deserve to be removed and put in a proper historical context. We still can’t view Disney s “Song of the South” because we can’t seem to find a way to put it in a historical context, as a moment in time that we may not be proud of or wish to replete. This is a topic whose time has more than come and it deserves to be examined. Yet, in an age where the only discourse seems to be over memes, tweets, and posts, it was almost refreshing to see action and rage over something in the physical world. While I am too in no way condoning violence, it is good to see people taking action in the physical world- that we understand live action is still an option and perhaps the only way to make real change in the world. We can overcome, but perhaps not by tweeting.

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Its a small world of things

It was with a sort of dread I approached the gates of  ( It isn’t my favorite Disney Park) when my daughter stopped and said, ”what’s that?” pointing to what looked like several enormous potatoes suspended in the air. It turns out that these were to be the floating islands of Pandora that were being built as a part of the coming “Avatar” attraction. I like the movie Avatar and the idea that the entire planet of Pandora is connected, the planet as a single organism. This idea is not unlike the Internet of Things, that everything will be connected to everything else in one large meta organism. It was odd to think of this at a Disney property, people who are known for understanding the interconnectedness of an organism. That a theme park can work like a living entity, predicting needs and providing services before we know that we need them. For example ponchos are moved to the front of the stores when rain is in the forecast, characters “magically” appear on the edge of crowds to disperse groups of people and increase traffic flow. Perhaps Disney is our working model for the internet of things and the true prototype of the world of tomorrow that EPCOT was intended to be.

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