Have we become input ::::|:::: output machines processing and redirecting information as we attempt to conduct our daily interactions via networked media? Are we traffic controllers or desktop clerks fervently attempting to prevent our inboxes from overflowing uncontrollably? Have we become mobile hospital workstations monitoring our physiology from minute to minute, tracking our mortality by counting the breaths we have left to breathe? Are we the unwitting conservators of our online identities stored on vast cloud-based servers? Is the result of the management of our digital lives producing nothing more than the spellbinding flow of continuous data?
Life can take many twisted turns and circuitous routes over the course of time: overlapping experiences and related situations that may only make sense in their labyrinthine connectedness. There are countless authors who have written memoirs that string together the associations of time, place, and people. But in the age of social media, has the act of writing the memoir extended itself well beyond a literary intent?
Seated here at my desk I write while broadcasting the transmission, revealing the process of doing while I’m actively doing. Why you might ask? Is this some kind of exercise in voyeurism? No I respond, it is an act that is not unlike the everyday actions we all engage in via our media of choice. So I continue to think this through, while writing and thinking and having this conversation with myself at the same time broadcasting while someone out there in the world is receiving the message as it is being thought while performing the message signal at the same time. I would say that this is an act of direct communication from the brain to the viewer, while seated here in my studio wondering how long I can continue to write and think and broadcast all at the same time.
You might hate him or love him, but this arrogant, self-absorbed, reality-resistant mega-star has shaken things up in the political world. To read Mark Leibovich’s Donald Trump is not Going Anywhere in the NY Times, is to realize the extent the Trump phenomenon has upended the status quo of American politics. In many ways, Donald Trump is a prophet for post reality America, feeding an electorate that is fascinated and consumed with the performance of politics, as opposed to its actual substance. The candidates that attempt to sell themselves through actual reality (policy) are losing out to the campaigns driven by mythology (dreams and fabrications): like Trump’s mythic, existential Wall against the “other” that will bring to a swift end the tyranny of illegal immigration.
“We have the freedom to direct technology for the common good, more human, and more social.” – Pope Francis
The Pope just left Washington. We live a few blocks away from the Vatican Embassy, and yes for a few short days, Pope Francis was our neighbor, a resident of the ‘hood.
This is clearly no ordinary Pope. In Popes past, I had always thought of the Church as being an anachronistic entity steeped in the traditions and rules of another era, far removed from the contemporary present. But Pope Francis is another story. He blazed through Washington like a man on a mission, determined to heal, if that is possible, the turmoil of Washington that has reached circus-like dimensions with Donald Trump and the Presidential campaign.
In the media saturated landscape of the 21st century global information culture, it seems that we as humans are losing ground to the FORCE of the attraction of our data, our communications, our screens. The problem is simple: information is seductive, pervasive, and all consuming: and our inability to disconnect is perhaps the great CRISIS of our time. What is this compulsion? It is the need for more and more and more digital information to the extreme where it eclipses our interest in the events swirling around us in the cold reality of our everyday, physical lives.