Uncategorized

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 Has a revolution been replaced by the retweet?

 

p

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

 

Advertisements
Standard
Uncategorized

Alone again, electronically

I have a an old friend with whom I have a long and rather confessional-like  relationship, in short we are the one who knows where the bodies are buried for the other- the person who knows those dark truths and will never share them.  We have known each other for years and I was quite taken aback when he mentioned that he was on Grinder- a gay meet up app. Shocked- I said, “ I didn’t know you were gay” – to which he replied-“no-no-  I’m not- I just use it to chat with other guys. I spend so much time at work it’s almost impossible even chat with other guys my age and that’s what I use it for” It seems that the conversations can be seldom about sex and are often more about connecting with another person. The drive to electronic connection seems to have destroyed the emotional connection-making us less and less personally connected and more cyber-lonely. Polls rank the United States the loneliest places on earth (1). It seems we may be evolving into a world with many “likes” but no loves.

 

faust-750x350

 

With a nod to Gilbert O’ Sullivan; you can hear “Alone Again” here

 

1 “America Is The Loneliest Country In The World – Is It Because We’ve Abandoned The Traditional Family Structure?” Infowars. Accessed June 01, 2016. http://www.infowars.com/america-is-the-loneliest-country-in-the-world-is-it-because-weve-abandoned-the-traditional-family-structure/.

Standard
Uncategorized

“A society is judged by what it mourns”

Gorilla Coffee is one of those places etched in my memory of Brooklyn, great coffee and a great place to hang out with people. I was getting the former to do the latter when I noticed the tattoos on my Barista (this makes me wonder if Barista is gender specific Is there a Baristo and a Barista? But I digress). In the crook of each elbow there was a bird pierced by an arrow. This unusual tattoo was mirrored on the other arm and I had to ask the meaning. “ They commemorate sailors lost at sea” was the reply. Now, I don’t know about you but I don’t think there are all that many sailor lost at sea these days, but, alas, there holding my coffee I was proved wrong.
Of course people get tattoos to mark life’s passages, entrances and exits yet we don’t seem to carry this physical reverence to the digital world. In the electronic world there is nothing more to mark a passing than pushing the delete button and emptying ones recycle bin on the desktop. An e mail love letter, a Facebook friend or an electronic diary can be deleted with the push of a button. Do we think so little of our digital memories that we see them as worthless and make no notice of their passing? Have we no sense of morning in our digital world? Bertol Brecht once said, “A society is judged by what it mourns”. If that is the case we must hold our digital reality in such low esteem that like smoke rings they can be wiped away with just a wipe of our hand with no thought to their passing or existence?

daniel_hertzberg_disposable_electronics_final1

Standard
Uncategorized

Looking forward, looking back..

It goes back a few years ago I was reading “Conversations with God” by Neale Donald Walsch and I was fascinated by the idea that the God, that which is, could not know itself fully without something that it is not, in short being everything God could not experience itself as something separate from itself. Walsch goes on to say that God then split itself into infinite forms so that God could know the world that is not itself and thus experience itself. It is this ability to step outside of one’s self and see one’s self that came back to me the other day while looking at my Facebook page. Is it possible that the idea that God had for knowing himself is really a metaphysical selfie? Isn’t a selfie just another way to know and document ourselves in the world and to share that information? Perhaps God is more tech savvy then we thought.

narcissus

 

 

 

Standard
Uncategorized

It’s easy to remember and hard to forget.

In the movie “Gigi” there is a song sung by an older couple as they remember the day when they first met, The man sings “We met at nine”, and his wife counters, “We met at eight”, he returns “I was on time”, “No” she replies, “You were late” to which is says, “Ah yes, I remember it well.” It’s a lovely duet and it makes me think about the news that now Google is saying that perhaps we cannot forget what we have remembered. You may recall a court ruling in Europe said that someone could protest old links and stories about themselves and petition to have them removed. Google, said they would oblige people’s wishes to be lost from the internet as we have discussed here before. It seems that now it is not so easy to remove the links that bind us together. While the whole situation is interesting I find myself thinking about stories of people who have a photographic memory and are incapable of forgetting. Imagine the curse of remembering everything exactly as it happened. I recall hearing how someone was listening to a lecture and one of the other attendants sneezed and that sneeze was now an indelible part of the lecture- there was no ability to edit or choose what was remembered or forgotten. Imagine keeping every photograph that you have ever taken, unable to throw out the bad ones or photo bombs. For what will we be held accountable when everything we do is recorded and retrievable? Will there be a hierarchy as to what is more important and what isn’t? And what about the physical space of our cyber memory, will our online past soon be so large that it will take up more space than we can give it? There are more questions but unfortunately I can’t remember them right now…..

A link to an article on the issues around internet forgetting
http://qz.com/230417/google-cant-seem-to-decide-whether-to-forget-things-or-not/

Standard
Uncategorized

It’s the end of the world! Where is Google when you need it?

I am sure that the readers of this blog are fans of “The Walking Dead”. For those who are not viewers suffice it to say that it’s about a virus that turns most of the world into flesh-eating zombies and the few not bitten by zombies have to find a way to survive. Strangely enough these apocalyptic scenarios seem to come around every generation with varying degrees of seriousness. The same situation could be said of Gilligan’s Island, “No phone, no lights no motor cars, Not a single luxury” (well minus the flesh-eating zombies but they did have to put up with the Harold Hecuba production of Hamlet). We seem to be strangely fascinated with the awful truth that our way of life has removed us from the skill of living. Sure we know how to go to the store to buy a loaf of bread but who knows how to bake a loaf of bread? And even if we did, what do we do if the electricity or gas is not working. How long would it take for people to have to re learn the skills of farming and hunting, building shelter and fire? As the internet makes information more accessible it also serves to take us farther and farther from the ugly truth that while we are working so hard to earn a living we have lost the skills to maintain our life. We can only hope that the day of the zombie apocalypse or Alan Hale singing “Neither a borrower nor a lender be. ” ever comes to pass. We certainly wont be able to ask Google for answers.

Don’t think that I could post this without a link to the video……

Standard
Uncategorized

Lost in the Stars?

It has been with a strange fascination that I have been watching the developments in the disappearance of Malaysian airlines Flight MH370 While, of course it is a terrible tragedy, I have been strangely thrilled to see that in this day and age there is still a place for wonder in this modern society. Has all of our connectedness removed our ability to be amazed at the wonder of our world? Do we really think that we can track every movement in our world- and what does it mean when we cant know everything. Is our ultimate goal to be a sort of an omniscient God- all powerful as long as there is a place for us to plug in?

For a brilliant take on the role of wonder in our world check out Terry Gilliam’s 1988 film “The Adventures of Baron Munchausen”.

godsocialmedia

Standard