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Daily Prompts Politics & Society Social Media Tech

The pointlessness of constant self-grading

We obsess with gauging the temperature of our present reputation. The numbers are public, ticking up and down like stock prices.

The internet is the grandest stage of them all, where we endeavor to present our best selves. We strive to prove our self-worth by using likes and followers to gauge our fame and pepper our egos.

A virtual reputation is never finished, stuck in progress, held captive by the screen’s anesthetic. There’s always one more person to attract and appease online. Social media is a vehicle for magnification, intending to reveal the real world. 

Yet, the perpetual chase of approval remains illusory. There is no need to install an elaborate series of checks and balances on fame’s usefulness.

Our mood, needless others’ temperament, is as fickle as the weather. Vigorous grading is neither suitable for the person nor the whole. 

If we measure ourselves by vanity, we’ll spend our lives running on the hedonic treadmill., prematurely ceding to external judgment. We close the world by opening our hearts and taking significant autonomy to remake ourselves into who we think we are. 

Categories
Life & Philosophy Politics & Society

Don’t adopt other people’s anxiety

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.

Humans are a strange and contradictory animal who can barely see through the apparition of fear. The brain’s chemicals are so easily triggered and duped.

Society is just the storyteller. It’s the citizens who exacerbate panic.

To avoid falling ill to anxiety’s publicity machine, we need to convert the abstract energy of positive motivation into something with meaning. We have to put a mental finger on the synchronicities between facts and hope.

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 folks that refuse to buy into the algae of stress.

Keep our perspective. It’s a passport to freedom.

Categories
Politics & Society Tech

Collisions of thought

It’s not about how much information we consume. One can suck all the information out of the Twitter firehouse and learn nothing. 

News makes our brain fat. 

After all, it was Aldous Huxley who forewarned that we’d drown in excess entertainment and not care about anything else. Writes Neil Postman in Amusing Ourselves to Death

“Orwell feared those who would deprive us of information. Huxley feared those who would give us so much that we would be reduced to passivity and egoism. Orwell feared that the truth would be concealed from us. Huxley feared the truth would be drowned in a sea of irrelevance.”

Neil Postman,Amusing Ourselves to Death

TV and social media silence thought — our opinions quickly become someone else’s. The attention merchants intend to monetize on such passivity through ads. Retweets are endorsements.

But we can still take a proactive stance on the balance of ideas thrown at us.

An ambient awareness keeps the excess noise at bay as we learn to listen and absorb the world’s texture. Our goal is to replace the enormous dent that screens instill in our thoughts with a perspective we call our own.

The more ideas collide with one another, independent or externalized, the tighter authenticity clicks into place. The thinker makes their own rules.

Categories
Culture Poetry Politics & Society

Nobody strange

She was out there, in ideas and intentionality.

By high school, she had already separated from the herd. She refused to abuse herself into the maw of conformity.

College was a continuation of being different. The more she resisted, the more natural it came. Listening to herself ranged beyond self-absorption.

But then the internet came along, and she found herself a social creature once again. She joined a tribe of like-minded others on Twitter. Web 2.0 flattened the world, vitiated maps of their territories.

Just as fast as niches became mass, destroyed by the stylization of the hipster, she withdrew into rebellion once again.

She ceased shoulder-surfing and went off the grid to depart the maelstrom of information and the celebration of indifference.
She developed a type of buoyant skepticism to defend herself against the easy access of the mind and harmonized tastes.

“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

The illusion of immediacy burnt the truth and convinced her that no one knew anything. The constant bombardment of shocking news entertained others into inanition.

She revolted against weird and felt compelled to reinforce normalcy. She morphed into a fully formed and groomed individual.

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
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
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

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.