There are very few moments in the day when we pause. Instead, we latch onto the sugary obsession of tech and its distractions, awaiting the next shock of dopamine.
But we can have tea with ourselves, going through what our worries and wishes are in the quest for ever-fleeting presence.
Man is more versatile than a machine. Robots are one-trick ponies unable to combine disciplines, like doing the dishes or driving to work, all the while contemplating the color blue. Yet, we too become blinded by linear thinking.
We confuse busyness with productivity. We falsely believe that money brings wisdom while in reality, it cultivates hubris. Humans are smart, agile, but fragile thinkers.
The search for meaning starts with a face-to-face conversation with ourselves to bring life back to our senses. Thinking about thinking verifies that the noise in our head is more than just alive.
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“To be or not to be. That’s not really a question,” quipped film director Jean-Luc Godard back to Shakespeare’s most famous line.
To be is rather a false start. We think that success breeds confidence, but it’s actually the little lessons along the way that build up our future.
Struggle makes us human
Similarly, it is our impairments that deem to weaken us that actually but end up making us stronger. As we overcompensate for our flaws, we excel in creating our own unique survival methods that are almost impossible to replicate.
Humans should march slowly, unattached to the cult of action, tolerant to their defects.
Said Malcolm Gladwell: “A lot of what is beautiful and powerful in the world arises out of adversity. We benefit from those kind of things,” but “we wouldn’t wish them on each other.”
We are all underdogs in something, a compromise that gets us out of bed in the morning and back to work.
The exhibitionist plays her role and lives up to the internet’s stage of expectations. Like robots, we feign surprise at the latest occurrence of routine deja vu.
We walk into our own cameras to take selfies while we move on camera recorded from CCTV above. Even the faintest nook can’t escape the ubiquitous photograph. The invisible fence amplifies a sea of caginess.
Inspection is self-inflicted
Says director Gus Hosein of Privacy International: “if the police wanted to know what was in your head in the 1800s, they would have to torture you. Now they can just find it out from your devices.”
The maw of Orwellian watchability is here, in our pockets and from above. The cameras render us into thoughtless lemmings of time.
That’s how subtleties move along, transparent, through the chaos of abundant information for which the likes of Facebook and Twitter sell our eyeballs to the attention merchants.
As John Berger wrote in Ways of Seeing, “seeing comes before words.” Images overpower our digital world. Video maximizes these stitched images. People lose interest in thinking by themselves and using their imagination.
Said color photography pioneer William Eggleston: “Words and pictures don’t — they’re like two different animals. They don’t particularly like each other.”
Showing speaks louder than telling. One can intuit a concept quicker with a visual cue more so than a verbalized one.
Finally a new year, with more conviction this time.
Writes Gary Lachlan in The Caretakers of the Cosmos: “Without goals, without some purposeful anticipation, we live, Frankl said, only a ‘provisional existence’, a kind of marking time which is really a death in life.”
In the game of goal setting, all beliefs are gambles.