Categories
Life

Beyond logic, beyond greed

Beyond logic, stuck on wishful thinking, bias, and irrationality — it’s no wonder the world divides into tribes.

The internet allows us to handpick the information we want and spit it back out to like-minded folks who amplify it.

The curator — the finder and organizer of information — shares as much power as the creator or influential leader.

Still, it’s usually the few who predetermine fate for the rest of society.

But we need the non-expert, outsider, the fans to dissect what’s fundamentally sound and flawed. Does the product fit the spirit of the times or is it chasing the pennies? Greed has its limits.

Playing with feelings of passion and anger offers richer routes to the truth. The plebeians present a muscular calm to the trying circumstances of big-league shallowness.

The commoner wants everything to feel authentic because it’s all they know. They are happy with their nonupgraded experience, as it is they who also decide which pieces of work and art have lasting value.

Fail to act on knowledge, and the moment dissipates. By forging ahead, the symptoms remain under control.

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. 

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.

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
Arts

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.

The bullshit detector

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.

Consuming valueless info

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 an 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. 

Categories
Life

Why people deny the facts

The partisan brain is real and nonsense. Say and hear anything enough and of course, it’ll feel true. Such mimetic behavior even dupes so-called intellectuals from grasping the reality of the facts. #gif

Everyone gets it.

That rush of blood to the head when something or someone reconfirms your beliefs. You just knew it!

But how often is that perspective the result of wearing blinders?

The partisan brain is real and nonsense. Say and hear anything enough and of course it’ll feel true. Such mimetic behavior even dupes so-called intellectuals from grasping the reality of the facts.

The sidedness has to stop. Remixing and replaying the tribe’s view does little good to resolve the long-term problem, especially when the solution of acceptance is right under their noses.

Punching back against nihilism

It’s not a matter of if we combat the firepower of irreality, but a matter of when. But then it might be too late to punch back. #gif

The brain is stuck on hype rather than facts and figures. It devours the external stimuli of incessant feeds and 24/7 news and predictably shuns the details.

If we want to overthrow the swathe of nihilism, then we need to create a system that supports credibility. The algorithm failed to do it. Pre-programmed maths exposed the human biases and fragility.

It’s not a matter of combatting the firepower of irreality but how well we can protect against its ailments. Keep in in mind that it might be too late to punch back.

art via giphy

Cultivating disparate views

Cultivating disparate views #gif

Two America’s, two different realities. If you can shape your own feeds and build an arsenal of self-confirming information, why do you ever have to see the other side?

But that’s precisely the problem. Inundated with reassurances and accelerated culture, people promptly ignore what they disagree with. Technology is not neutral; instead, it is weaponized to meet group ends.

Democracies thrive in open environments. They need proper dissent and discourse. Above all, a healthy system of government needs a continuity of ideas.

Secondly, democracies need your own thoughts and reflections. If your first opinion is usually someone else’s, the latter should be based on your aggregate experiences and education.

Listen to your views like you listen to your life. Is your interpretation still accurate? Challenge yourself, and read this book for extra credit — you’ll thank me later. 

Categories
Life

Regression in time

You’re part of an idea. So is every variety of human.

One idea is that democracy is the best form of government. But we can’t hide its flaws. It still allows for bombastic celebrities to take charge.

Humans are also part of nature. We are to climate change what the asteroid was to the dinosaur.

Society happens to progress, but if it gives up the ideal efforts it withers. The epidemic of distraction caused by pervasive connectivity only drives the insouciance.

Categories
Life

Embrace the void

Most people can’t stand to be left out the loop.

The urge to know is what keeps them on their feet, building a knowledge base of facts that usually amounts to gossip.

Ignorance is therefore a discipline.

Just as we can’t do everything, we can’t stay totally informed either. Ambient awareness already cultivates more information than we can handle.

Reasons why things happen will always outpace the reasoners. There is such thing in the perfection of anything, no reason to grapple with issues out of your control.

Embrace the gaping void.

Gif via akaidaia