I open the television to what I call the “Tron Olympics” in all my texts to friends, and I marvel at the suits on the Fencers. They take a jab and if proper contact is made, the person hit lights up (!) and a buzzer sounds. I wonder how easy it is to hack that system, or better yet, how easy is it to rig it? It sure looks cool, though, this old warrior sport is newly refurbished, with major concert-style lighting, sound effects and huge displays of emotion; or maybe that’s the camera angle…
The Olympics highlight that fluctuating space, somewhere between life-as-usual and life-in-the-future. I think about this in relation to some very strong forces; primarily technology and myth.
Once upon a time we had divisions in things. In fact, the modern world was built on division. We named things, identified them according to markings, function and context. When we weren’t sure we turned to philosophy or increasingly, science, to help us divide and conquer any shadow spots that were troubling our thoughts. In a way, this is how technology came to be; through separation and examination, through a process that took time, despite any “Eureka!” moments. Myth also gained shape alongside technology. Where the logic sometimes failed the stories of myth soothed our minds and gave us a sense of comfort. Myth also gave us a look inside our relationships with Earth, Creator, with Self and Community. Myth gave us the place where we could speak, witness and tread inside those things that some call spirit, mystic or legend. All of this stayed pretty neatly divided in our society up until very recently, when we started to live in a world of immediate and personal advanced technology. Eventually, we felt pretty confident with this experience of building hard understanding and soft understanding and we enjoyed making new myths and putting them on new devices like radio, television, and then, connected and mobile devices.
Living The Dream
All along, most anyone with ability has placed themselves inside this narrative, either directly or indirectly; from the patrons of illuminated manuscripts of old, straight through to the authors of popular titles of the graphic novel form;here we are: in the dawning of a graphic novel version of our lives. It’s in this breakdown or in this recombinant moment, known as Cultural Singularity when the technology and the myth come together. We can be limitless versions of ourselves in this new cyber world. We can have blue hair and a fantastic body of a different gender. We can immerse ourselves in any programming we want at the click of a button. We can educate ourselves online and we can do that in our kitchen, on a touch screen, while stirring a pot of some previously unknown vegetable we got at the local farmer’s market. We can also kill, maim, and destroy, maybe while collecting potions, elixirs and other sundry tools available to us in video games. But this…you knew. Right? And anyway, you keep the killing and the maiming where it’s supposed to be, inside the fake world? At least you do. Jared Loughner, James Holmes, Wade M. Page, well, their ability to keep them straight is unfortunately on display for all of us. So, does this mean that in this moment we’re all doomed to become deranged, mass killers? Well, no, I don’t think change, even one of this magnitude forces us to a particular course. It does mean, though, that we might want to take a look at some of the easy answers we used to give ourselves, once upon a time, and check them out, under a new scrutiny.
As our power to invent ourselves increases we find disturbing examples of that power gone violent and wrong. Our national government is having issues managing this new reality, too and so are we on a local level of governance; it seems pretty natural, this state of tension between draconian versus enlightened uses of technology. It comes from the ideas of conquering and controlling, or in “taming” nature that built up our imbalanced, unaware collective reality of climate instability and unchecked market dominance and finds its nemesis in ideas like permaculture and home-based solar technology. It’s a new power you see, where technology and myth really can sail together. The issue is not the technology; it’s the myth. The myth is our subconscious. It’s the “everything” (a feedback loop) that we hear from our devices; it’s the way we speak to ourselves and our loved ones as a start. We can’t forget our power, not the violent or angry one, but the one with the critical mind and the eye towards increasing peace for ourselves and future generations. No matter who owns the media or the companies, we all as humans, ultimately control our myth and our technology through our choices to consume, engage and envision a daily world that is to our liking.
The other person is me and I am the other person
How many violent films or games have I played? How many times have I used violent words or gestures? Small in comparison to mass killing…yet, somehow in this graphic novel world, a bit more tied than I might like to admit. This time of shift requires us to deal with our technologies and our myths. Its resolution lies just beyond answers of awareness; either in dealing with psychosis properly, or notifying authorities of violent threats, alone. It lies inside the new world we are all co-creating every day, within the way we shape our Singularity Body, (an interconnected self and world).
I will now go back to watching The Olympics, ignoring the less than worldly coverage and marveling at the jingoism of the commentators. I might do some cheering. I will have a nice dinner and a calming meditation session where I will clear my mind of my anxieties and attempt to find a neutral space to approach the world. I will not, however, put the smartphone too far away or think too heavily on the rare earths inside my handy device.
I will do what I can to understand that as my body has limits, so does the Earth body. I will be thankful for the technology and I will think of the myths I hold to be true. When duly moved to a moment of reverie for this incredible experience called life I will most likely photograph it, and post it to instagram: the daily body 2012, it is not quite the future, but it’s getting close.
Next post? Why gun control is not my answer; the 2nd Amendment, Singularity and NetFreedom
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