This is an introduction to a repost of a repost of a repost. A reminder to myself that the only constant I can embrace is change.
“Today I saw a group of young children practising Tai-chi in a sunny park at Edge Hill university ground – a good sign that there is always hope despite all the darkness that is portrayed around us by people motivated by profit and power.
It’s much better than failing to remember I’m sat with people who want to share ideas and experiences, and not just plug myself into a convenient digital drip of data. Cute kitten pictures and rants about the weather will not be the future I want us all to be involved.
I’ve had a hard couple of years recently. I dreamed a dream that made me ill, because it did not come from me – it’s been like wearing a suit that doesn’t quite fit – even though you like the cloth and the colour, it just doesn’t work if you have to wear it all the time. I almost sold out my principles and beliefs for a few pieces of silver. There are always people who will do that. This world needs all sorts of people with all sorts of traits.
I believe in a way of living I find hard to express sometimes. It’s also hard to be consistent when there are so many competing internal and external influences on the actions I could take. I have lost touch with people who I thought I would never be without, but that’s because we all have paths, but each of those people I still carry a small part with me.
Before people decide where they are going in life some people develop a fixed plan. My inner self, my inner child, struggles with this because I still drown in the possibilities I see. As I’ve aged I have become trapped within systems not of my own making – a job, a home, a lifestyle. My beliefs are all under pressure.
I’ve been lucky that I can keep my mind’s eye open and find patterns and connections which do not restrict me.
I have my reasons. I have my changes.
My actions and my words are my only real possessions.
I can sleep at night. Mostly.
Every journey starts with a single step – but I for one do not have to have a full realised definition of the end in mind. The journey is the reward. Be careful who you spend it with. Embracing my own capacity to change and develop is so much more fulfilling than trying to remain constant in a universe defined by fluctuations.
Knowledge is pleasure. Knowledge is pain.
And finally here is the repost. Sometimes seeing clearly is not helpful unless I can find a way to make it motivate me to make a change. Today was another day I changed.”
“Coherent when I can be, but surrounded by my imprecise and wandering thoughts – because that’s the where I am trying to move from, to move forward, to continue to create myself. Information and options for opinions funnelled by pervasive capitalist neo-imperial corporations. A showman’s democracy. Virulent verbosity sweetening the delivery of daily denigrations.
Subtle and persistent Amero-Eurocentric prejudice. Homogenization of viewpoints. Collective history of corrupted snapshots. People hooked on “Government®” supported oligarchal opiates. The “Hype©” corporate machinations, probing and producing. Man recreated as marionettes for sustaining credit based – resource greedy – consumption. Fear and miscommunication. Institutions built on illusions and the presentation ideals. Preventive versus repressive methods of societal control.
An international village built of hollow words. Promises that can always be deferred. Rhetoric easily rearranged. No fear of karmic kickback or ecological enmity. All sides becoming less distinguishable from the other. Prisoners of ourselves – limiting our own actions. Fear what we do not understand. We do not always understand why we fear. Relentless march of technology. Development urges. No mass collective decision. No decision on coping. Society supporting those with power. Free floating few with masses of material possessions.
Worship with modern mantras to Mammon. Daily dragging of drugged mind-blinkered minions to temples of the ephemeral persists. Separate from what we are informed of every day as the events in the ‘real’ world, despite all the convoluted connections I have grasped upon before this word, we have our own experience, and the capacity to make mistakes.
Collectively we make mistakes; collectively we have the capacity to learn. We also have the weakness of not sharing our mistakes, and repeating them again and again – not just in our individual lives, but throughout history. We forget. What choice is there for living breathing souls? What window can the soul use to express itself when the eyes are made blind? We can breathe, we face the changing world, we sleep, we eat, we dream, we love. All we are our thoughts. I am all of what I’ve been taught. Then truth be told I thought my only way to prevent returning my soul to a cage was to teach myself afresh.
Becoming the hollowed out rag doll, eye sockets burnt clean by the glaring light of a manufactured forced future, no-one would have screamed for me to stop. It’s hard to see what alternative choices there are. Life’s a masquerade. A world of let’s pretend. Where pretending never ends. There is no difference between my will and my act. What I resolve on, is as good as done. It’s just a choice. Between love and fear. Happiness and healthiness are not rights.
Your freedom to live life isn’t guaranteed. These things are not inalienable. They must be strived for, and recreated every day. All the tears we could be crying. Cry for what is lost? For our inner-child and future children that we injure? Should we pity ourselves? Or would that be a form of dying? We don’t need collective sympathy. Yet empathy, an ability to ascribe from art, from the attitudes, the actions of others, feelings and attitudes present in oneself, may aid me now.
To use laughter and the world can love life with you, or just to smile and leave people wondering what you’ve been up to. To mix the antidote of observation, with the humour of self depreciation. To pray that while I may only be one, I am not just another number. To find those days when I help at least one soul remember. Stir enough souls, and a storm may form, which will sweep away fragments of the meshes on our collective minds, our hopes, and our dreams. Freedom, like happiness, is a point of view.
Where I go, how I join the collective web of souls, each action, and interaction, where I invest my time and energy, and how I respond can all make a difference. Our interdependence is so great none of us is without influence. Would you care to connect with my stream of consciousness ramblings? Yeah that’s right, simply put this is my space to open my mind.”
“Skeuomorph” – is a derivative object that retains ornamental design cues from structures that were necessary in the original. Examples include pottery embellished with imitation rivets reminiscent of similar pots made of metal and a software calendar that imitates the appearance of binding on a paper desk calendar.
Since the last post I’ve been forcing myself to write down whats on my mind each morning. Some morning it’s hard. Some mornings it just doesn’t happen. Some mornings it really flows. Tonight I just watched a short you-tube video, that really is a neo-modern twist on the original Marxist arguments that used to fascinate me at 17.
Neo-modern, in the sense that to me is a tautological re-iteration of a thousand words when maybe one hundred would do. I’m not a Marxist, I am verbose, and I appreciate the argument. I’m an anarchist, and a humanist, in some very narrow senses. Look up the definitions.
I’m not 17 anymore… But I do remember the internet was slowing forming in the public consciousness when I was at college. I can still read HTML code in source form and know what it’s going to do. I also remember that Tim Berners-Lee released it for the good of all people. A selfless, not for profit, humanist action.
It has achieved so much. And unlike the beginning, like when I first mined some worthless Bitcoins years ago, the wealthy interests have determined that money can be made for ‘teh interwebz’ – and that just like Animal Farm – some sites and ideas are more equal than others. Just try the same search on any other search engine than ‘G©°gLe’ and see what happens. I think I began growing up in a world were material assets and information were critical. Knowledge & wisdom were something I though you had to work at, connect ideas and test them against the world.
This is not the case now. I’ve spent time in classrooms with groups of teenagers who think the the don’t need to know how to work out answers to questions, stood alongside people who wanted answers, and not questions. “I can just look it up on the web, sir”, “Just give us the answer…. meh”
Is the dissemination of information over the web, for free, a destruction of the value of culture? Or maybe even our very souls? The web feels like information, it looks similar to knowledge, and wisdom – to the systems that came before? I mean this in the sense that a lot of things have the appearance of documentaries, or studied and considered approaches. But they aren’t. But we’re so conditioned to accept what seems familiar…
The printing press freed people, developed minds.The development of computing changed human knowledge and thought to one of how to think, and not exclusively about just the facts. The machines can filter down what we need. But do they filter down what we want?
Ironically, as the internet increasingly becomes like shouting in an echo chamber, we are dumbing down again – reverting to a new bastard child of our species’ long long oral history – the internet meme, the click bait, the Top 10 list, the gossip column. Does that make it devolution or evolution? What is the point of the electronic dance of characters and videos?
Am I just too old to see that which is unfolding before me? Am I trapped in a space between what was, what is, and what will be? Does it even matter if I can feed, clothe, and house myself?
Despite everything I’ve said – I don’t think the issue is the internet per-se – it’s this social media phenomenon. I resisted Myspace, then Facebook for years. I use Twitter just for beer research. But I’ve still been hooked. If I didn’t feel caught, why are my happiest life experiences away from the internet? I have to admit for nearly 8 years of my life the majority of my communications with humanity are Email, IM, and text. And then the people I lived with I saw face to face, and people I’d always hung around with.
“I want freedom for the full expression of my personality.” Mahatma Ghandi
With social media it is all about interaction via dissemination. It’s addictive. Get on that band-wagon, be the first, be the best, be individual – and do what thousands of others are doing. We are not unique snowflakes, nor are we the all singing all dancing crap of the world. Social Media is not communication. It is not dialogue. It is exposure. It is information.
I have to ask – Is there some primordial hunter gatherer aspect deep within our brain which is happy to pick and hunt information? Just like the arguments I got into over the ice bucket challenge, it seems that there is a slide to the appearance of appearing to be something, someone, or somehow a certain way.
At the start of this year I had nearly 900 Facebook ‘friends’. I now have a social network of 161… and even that seems a little high. By weening myself back off it, I will slowly rebuild me in the real world. And I’ll be obliged to makes calls, and go face to face. To live in the world, and not just observe it.
I’ve removed most of the details, its just me… my thoughts, and some photos. The only thing appearing on my feed is now people. There is no other marketing. And 7 years ago when I joined that’s all I really wanted. A log, for me, and some close friends and family. I am not a marketing exercise – I don’t even like adverts on TV, the papers, or walking down the street.
Does this make me a bad person? No. It just means I’m trying to find a way outside the feeder/feedee cycle of information. I seek knowledge and wisdom. Drowning in information isn’t helping. If I am not seeking it out – then I truly am a marketers dream.
“Questions are a burden to others. Answers are a prison to oneself” (Poster in “The Prisoner” – ‘Free For All’)
I’ve just flipped over 38 revolutions around the sun. Yet I still haven’t shaken a small irony tonight as I write this. I hoped it would. So I’ll leave you with a video, I don’t agree with it in totality. But it’s far far better soul food than most of the garbage I filter through seeking nuggets of wisdom. It’s worth watching it all. But I smiled and wept inside around 1hr 23mins.
Note to self: Be skeptical. Ask questions.
You might find your own personal natural philosopher one day….but I’m not telling you what to do. I’m just showing what I did. And how I got to this sentence. We all believe in the power of our beliefs. Politics is a questions of beliefs. So do all beliefs have political consequences?