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Culture Life & Philosophy Tech

Bottled and unbranded

No one cares about your personal brand. It’s not your responsibility to dedicate thumbs to impression management.

The screen begs for cracks.

Authenticity thrives in abundance — people want to appear real (re flawed) as they are in life. That’s why filters are dead, and lenses are all the rage.

You exist to shock, stand out, to make people laugh and cry with the silliest and rank of faces. Every day is Halloween, drowning in masks dead and gone.

It’s hard enough to cultivate authenticity in a world that rewards conformity. Don’t dumb it down.

Refuse to be a punchline for sameness. We’re all weird. The unique shall inherit the earth.

Caption this to your next selfie: “Don’t take it all so seriously.”

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Culture Life & Philosophy Tech

Warm among ice

A typical day invokes more pessimism than positivity.

Surrounded by a vortex of bad news reshapes our experience into a tiny nothingness. The elements of a meaningful future disappear into the mist.

But there’s been a revolution in consciousness. The sound of serenity and decency has regained their purchase on our imaginations.

“Do thou, too, remain warm among ice.”

Moby Dick

We all have subconscious influences. But curiosity always outruns the discipline of fools. No one goes into the arena thinking they’ll lose.

The emancipatory power of optimism and doing good creates a haven of durability. Don’t fall for darkness. Learn to work in graduations of failure.

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Culture Tech

Nothing is random

Discoverability will forever be twisted in the maw of internet algorithms.

Nothing is ever truly random. We are data’s significant other with a bullseye on our back.

Facebook has been triangulating our data for years, matching our likes with the highest bidder. Designers, copy-writers, and marketers work together to create internet ads that strangle our attention into a click-hole.

So here we are, next up surrounded by the internet of things to feed the system of ads. We invite zero ambiguity — we tell the system what we want, and it reports back.

Look around — we’re well-trained click monkeys forever melting into a spiderweb of Times Square.

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Science Tech

Dancing with the algorithms

We dance with the algorithms, yielding time-saving results. How else are we to discover all these gems in a sea of content? How are we to land on the right words in a swamp of choice?

From Spotify to Gmail’s suggestive text, we accept the computer’s recommendations to curate and speak for us. We allow the recipes to crunch down our tastes and our speaking patterns, essentially doing all the homework for us.

Playlists generate themselves; emails answers themselves. 

Yet, just as humans are poor decision-makers, the symphony of algorithms is also flawed. 

“An algorithm is an opinion embedded in math,” writes Cathy O’Neil in her book Weapons of Math Destruction (Amazon).

The computers and their code are often in over their heads, impractical, and sometimes stupid. Just ask Facebook — it takes a human to quell the dangerous idea virus that is fake news. 

The algorithm, written by humans, also requires human moderation. 

The ultimate balance of power is the intermixing of human neurons with the speed of computer nodes. Connecting humans to computers will supercharge decision-making in a fast-paced world. 

Thoughtless algorithms seem to know us better than ourselves, for now.

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Life & Philosophy Tech

Life as protest

The revolution is in consciousness — passing and going into aliveness with a jolt of caffeine.

We can fool the brain into thinking that we’re more jazzed up than we are.

But one’s attitude and perspective don’t change overnight. We grow into ruthlessness through restlessness.

The audacity of hope is an oddball talent.

We once looked to religion to save the world. Now, we look at a few individuals who take big chances.

Entrepreneurs want to be gods.

Elon Musk basks in the simulated world’s glory, where he exploits his mental software to rewire predestined code. Always in overdrive, Musk creates endless opportunities to break the mold.

We can control our destiny if we’re crazy enough to believe it.

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Life & Philosophy Tech

The art of doing nothing

Relaxation is an art, antithesis to our ‘always on’ culture.

But it takes work to do nothing. Those tiny hits of dopamine are addictive.

The route to super-consciousness is paved with roadblocks, the least bit unplugging from the maelstrom of 24/7 news and unnecessary push messages.

We crave novelty

Chasing the rectangular glow for entertainment produces intense cognitive clutter. All the engagement makes us less happy in the end.

Distracted into busyness, we begin to decay into inanition. We miss the events unfolding in our day, permitting evil to spread as a consequence of blindness.

When we’re interacting in excess, we miss out on recharging and thinking. Disconnection is the only way to put the mind back into the mix.

The goal is not just to relax, per se, but to be free from collecting screen souvenirs. What we want to strive for is long-term serotonin.

We fight for the present to turn idleness into concurrent exploration. Time ticks to the clock as the mind does to the brain. Breathe and stop, we can stave off the ludic loop.

Surrounded by accelerated context, moments of silence seem to be the only way to make anything click.

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Culture Life & Philosophy Social Media Tech

Our fragile, famous lives

The cafe was the original newsfeed, a meeting place to exchange ideas and to find out what the heck was going on in the world.

The cafe was a place, other than a detached home, where Arabica beans filled people’s minds with sparks of aliveness. 

Exposure to high thought influenced great art. 

But then fame happened — the instant gratification of smartphones converted authenticity into the thrill of collecting views and hearts. 

How one in today’s age wants to be naked and famous yet maintain their privacy is lunacy. Fame and confidentiality is a zero-sum game. 

The cuckoo has been tik tokked into the dizziness of freedom. Infotainment sends the chicks back to the nest, amusing themselves to death through the “wisdom” of devices.

In a wreck of people and data, the clouds beckon us to pursue self-constraint. In a world devoid of scarcity, there arises a pandemic of sore thumbs.

Quarantined in such loneliness, the uncertain future compels us to go big on the internet stage. The domesticated strive through wires while Zooming in their underwear.

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Culture Life & Philosophy Tech

Lost in translation

If you know a language, you can say exactly what you mean. Nothing gets lost in translation.

If you use Google or any other artificial-intelligence translation services you lose the subtleties, the cultural verbiage that makes the difference between saying you had a good day versus a great day.

The listener/reader of your words works harder to comprehend what the foreigner is trying to say. All attention goes into the beat of those retranslated lines.

Sure, spitting out something is better than nothing. The immigrant gets kudos for trying out the language in his new home country, except maybe in France.

But the most accurate exchange is the deepest exchange, where what’s being said gets communicated right into your eye sockets or ear lobes.

Of course, if the intention is to keep the conversation murky, just use SMS. Emojis, in particular, always seem to get misunderstood.

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Culture Life & Philosophy Tech

Let go to grow

The internet is a thing of convenience.

Now that we’re all stuck in our cubby holes, we may think it makes sense to over connect with our peers.

But sometimes we have to step away and ‘let go to grow.’

So we pick up new hobby horses. Instead of tweeting, we send a hand written note to an old high school buddy.

When we hurry slowly, the birds outside grow a little louder and appear more beautiful. Nature calms us down and resets our noticing engines.

Let go to grow

Technology compels us to hustle. And while it helps push things along, what we see is that overdrive makes us blind.

Minds are fragile to begin with. And while they be plastic, there’s a limit on the number of neurons we can grow. The web will always be more infinite and exhausting.

Life is connected to many things we can’t see and in ways we are just starting to understand.

We don’t have to strive to be always on. Instead, we bask in the incomplete.

Categories
Life & Philosophy Social Media Tech

Inward and outward, all at once

We do nothing until it’s too late.

You’d think such calls for immediacy would drive us into action.

Passivity begs a slap in the face.

The way to light life back up without a disaster first coming into your path is to avoid the contagion of disengagement.

Television and social media are low bandwidth activities that dull the brain into inanition.

Get unstuck from the madness that is pure entertainment.

The urge to create turns loafers into participants

It takes energy and discipline to escape the lure of doing nothing.

Detach yourself from the comfort of the stream.

Instead, decide to entertain yourself on the broad view of what you can do.