Categories
History Poetry Politics & Society

Back to black

The cement of society amounts to a thin place that refuses to be exploited and homogenized.

The world is flat once again, as nation-states, cities, and towns have gone back to their most nativistic urges.

Globalization was never ruthless enough, spread unevenly amid the digital divide, and invariably vulnerable to the power-hungry few.

The market shifts back to impulse over cooperation, as people gravitate inwards and head onwards into deeper provincialism.

The only penetrating force — Amazon Prime — brings the people to their doorsteps.

Once dormant, the balance of power re-emerges to run the show.

God, the great fashioner designer in the sky, weeps below at the unintelligent design.

Algorithms and artificial intelligence — human products — jam the world of competence and comprehension.

The past is as present as the future, with those ignorant of history daring to repeat it.

Categories
Culture Life & Philosophy Politics & Society Psychology

The script, the story

How many of us are just acting our way through life, adapting to different settings like chameleons?

Situational elasticity lends its hand to the collaborative truth, that people inject each other with signaling serum. The slightest twang, the tinkle of dimples, the cleanest tucked-in shirt, belt, and Prada shoes – we try to demonstrate to others ‘this is who I am and this what I do.’

All life is a stage

All life is a stage, epitomized through the internet and curated social profiles, with many people reaping the psychological benefits of expectation. We become what we collect, mirror images of our Pinterest boards.

Don’t get it twisted. We should follow the route that builds up the most confidence. We just can’t expect all these visual cues to convert to reality. By nature, we are fickle beings magnetically tugged to our natural impulsiveness.

Most people lead lives of poor self-maintenance: laziness, negativity, and force of habit. Authenticity requires self-control. The edited self is known to burn out, slip, and go off-script.

To act is life. Like a veil being lifted from our eyes, we choose to narrate beyond the avatars of attention.

Categories
Life & Philosophy Politics & Society

Don’t adopt other people’s anxiety

gif by Luiz Stocklergif

We rely on other people’s testimony. It’s no wonder, therefore, that their anxiety becomes ours. We then cognize every piece of information to fit our nervy narrative.

Worries spread like viruses. And they provoke an unwarranted shock into mass health scares, money problems, and job pressures.

A strange and contradictory animal, humans can barely see through the apparition of fear. The brain’s chemicals are so easily triggered and duped.

To avoid falling ill to the pitfalls anxiety’s publicity machine, we need to create stronger meanings out of the abstract energy of positive motivation. We have to put a mental finger on good feelings.

People who can stay light and grounded without falling into the trap of the mind’s filmic productions know how to separate truth from fiction.

It’s the obedient clerks that manufacture all the negativity. It’s the interested that refuse to buy into the algae of stress.

Categories
Culture Politics & Society Social Media Tech

Face the facts

gif by Falcao Lucas

To weave through a world when there’s no anonymity and everything is discoverable — we are one google away from all the answers.

But it doesn’t matter how much we know. People cognize to fit what they want to believe, regardless of the facts.

We tend to throw all the information we don’t want to hear into a deep hole.

The more we deny the truth, the more it snowballs into a series of lies, rubber-stamped onto black screens of irreality. Call it the disinformation highway.

Upon further reflection, we should be forced to deal with what’s no longer pleasant: the real world.

Disagree with it. Run away from it. But live with the doubt that we could be wrong on many issues. Tribes are meant to be broken.

Categories
Culture Poetry Politics & Society

Nothing strange about it

via tumblr

Out there, in ideas and intentionality.

She ceases shoulder-surfing and goes off the grid to depart the world of sameness. 

The buoyancy to defend oneself against the easy access of the mind.

“What if our capacity to imagine has been so badly damaged by the information climate of our times that destruction is all we can see?”

John Freeman, Dictionary of the Undoing

Burned out by the illusion of immediacy and convinced that no one knows anything. Once shocking, it was they who rendered it normal. 

Categories
Arts Politics & Society

Pets feature in ‘Say no to tear gas’ protests in Hong Kong

Hong Kong residents are trying to encourage the police to avoid tear-gassing their pets amid all the chaos in Hong Kong.

According to Hong Kong-based photojournalist Alex Hofford, Animal Rights groups have also been organizing ‘Say no to tear gas’ rallies to spread awareness around the issue.

Categories
Culture Politics & Society

The bullshit detector

gif via tumblr

You know it when you see it. Bullshit rings like a magic lantern, giving artificiality a spotlight.

More people are susceptible to believing bullshit than ever. Politics is mostly bullshit, as is mass marketing. The irrational tries to take all the mystery out of life.

When storytelling becomes manipulation, people lose their heads. Evil spreads like a fungus, as do the false narratives of a placebo.

The only way to change the reality around you is to call it for what it is: BS! Some will get it; others will need a constant reminder of their blindness.

Categories
Culture Politics & Society

No harm in metaphors or similes

gif by nothingisfunny

The brain works like a computer. The reference points are there — neurons resemble digital bytes, the brain is plastic and can keep learning like a droid pumped with artificial intelligence, etc.

Even Steve Jobs resorted to representations to make sense of complex, evolving circuits when he said that “computers are like a bicycle for the mind.”

We think in metaphors and similes to help frame the world. Exploiting illustrative examples streamline communication without having to go into excess detail.

The brain to computer comparison is therefore fitting, as is an athlete who’s “on fire.” Metaphors and similes crunch information into something that’s meaningful.

Save the complexity and nuance for the researchers.

Categories
Culture Politics & Society Social Media

How status and likability affect your health 


Popular people live longer.

As social animals, the number of friends predetermines our well-being and lifespan. The gregarious live long than loners.

But life hinges on authenticity — it is not a popularity contest.

The number of people we know means nothing if there’s zero reciprocation. The other person(s) have to like us back. There’s a real benefit to solid relationships.

Think back to high school: were you amiable to a few trusted friends or sworn to attention?

The same question applies to our behavior online. It’s rare to have both status — millions of followers — and likability. The difference between the two is subtle.

Explains Mitch Prinstein, UNC psychology professor and author of the book Popular: The Power of Likability in a Status-Obsessed World:

“Likability is markedly different from status — an ultimately less satisfying form of popularity that reflects visibility, influence, power, and prestige. Status can be quantified by social media followers; likability cannot.”

Mitch Prinstein

If we’re looking for happiness in the credibility of numbers, social media is the wrong game to play. Happiness links to likeability, not our number of followers.

It pays to be both well-known and well-liked if we want to extend our lives. So how do we start? For one, we can be kind to others, remembering their name, and seek a thread of commonality.

gif via Tony Babel

Categories
Culture Politics & Society

Consuming valueless info

Image of eyeball in neck, neat graphic art from giphy

The tabloids will always outsell good books because people like valueless info. 

Instead of chasing the interesting, our eyeballs fall into the hands of attention merchants who monetize our dopamine-obsessed heads with precision drone strikes. We sell our souls to click on ads

The outcome of a Brave New World is short-attention spans and foolish entertainment. Even in a environment of niches, all this consumption amounts to an escape from the self. Variable rewards increase the appetite for more and deplete the things that matter. 

We need new ideas and different ways of doing things.  Otherwise, we are lost ships sailing to beliefs of nothing. 

gif by tessieng