Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Avatars, Cyborgs, and Intellectual Imposters

Social Media Disease #3

A Billion Neos?

In The Matrix, before he takes his waking pill Mr. Anderson assumes his known existence is real; that what he perceives as “he” is, in fact, him. Once so rudely extracted from his Duracell pod, however, Neo learns that he was in fact experiencing life inside a virtual reality; a digital projection of himself inside a computer simulated world: the Matrix. His entire existence was as a digital avatar; a rendition of of himself where everything, his hair, clothes, all of it, was a virtual manifestation how he wanted to appear in his world.

This isn’t far from the character hundreds of millions have created to represent themselves online. From OK Cupid to, of course, Facebook, our digital “brand” all too often has little connection to the physical existence; the flesh and blood human being securely encased, hidden, and safely protected from prying judgmental eyes inside the Pod of Reality.

Sunday, October 29, 2017

On The Hobgoblin

I can’t believe I feel required to type much of this. Yet I know I must. The internet has become the place where reactionary farts reign supreme and, despite being the greatest informational tool the world has ever seen, where thought goes to die.

I was recently pondering “consistency” with friends and we discussed the unshackling benefits of throwing old ideas and beliefs out the window in favor of nurturing your own growth. As Emerson put it in Self-Reliance:

Friday, October 27, 2017

A Mea Culpa

I’ve known exactly what I was going to call this post for several years. Obviously what follows wasn’t delivered by an unexpected lightning bolt from clear blue skies. It’s been simmering for years. Some weeks hotter than others.

As I've said maybe a dozen times by now, something was very, very wrong as far back as 2010. That May, I took an abrupt cyber-sabbatical when the splinter gnawing my core became acutely painful. It didn’t last. The avatar fought back. He won. That’s too bad. I couldn’t understand it then, but have a very good idea why now. For a man who talks about it so often, the ego is strong in this one! Again to be fair, while that was written in 2010 for the blog, the effects stemmed from and were intensified largely (though not exclusively) by Facebook. Aside from toothless stalking threats, I had little idea of what else I was dealing with: my avatar and the Dopamine Drip.  In retrospect this was the first significant twitch in what’s become social media grand mals.

Cyber Space Monkeys

Social Media Disease #2

We are the 21st century's Cyber Space Monkeys. We have to understand and remember this. When social media first hit us a decade ago, there was no manual. No blueprint. No book of social media etiquette. Nothing to warn us of side effects and consequences. That’s because we are collectively writing it. Right now. They'll be studying us in 100-years but while our descendants will have the benefit of hindsight, we’ve been stumbling along blind making predictably ignorant mistakes along the way. God knows I was. And in some cases I was remedially slow, almost clinically retarded, in seeing it.

Facebook exhumes skeletons from the friendship boneyard and obliterates the natural order of things. Over the course of several thousand years, we instinctively figured out that everyone isn't entitled to accompany us thru every part of our lives. People change. We evolve. Grow apart. There's nothing wrong with that! Old friends and acquaintances would once silently fall out of our lives out of neglect. We'd lose touch. Why? It was no mystery. Friendship actually required effort to be maintained. And for many of life’s bit players the effort outweighed the reward. It was an inevitable bump in the road. We knew and accepted it.

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Our Virtual Salinas

The Social Media Disease #1

What follows is just the beginning and I’m under no illusion that the overwhelming majority of you still possess anything close to the attention span required to read all of it. Check back when you see "The Dennis Doctrine" for my thoughts on that matter. Unicorns, rainbows and shit. Promise!

Anyhow, this took an incredibly long time to even start and runs in a lane parallel to The Dopamine Drip. As I sit here this afternoon, I still don’t know exactly where to take it, even after two and a half months of psychologically sorting out what’s happened to me, and us, over the last decade. But, I’m on a deadline now. So, as Mickey Knox so eloquently put it, “Let’s roll the fuckin’ dice, Wayne.”

When Avatars Attack

A Recycled Prelude

An excerpt from an earlier post. This tells of what turned out to be a personally profound moment that took place in Phoenix on Halloween, 2016 just before Trump's election. It sets up nicely what you'll see sprouting here over the next several days and/or weeks. 

Facebook Avatars Escape The Matrix

Jeff and I went to a tiny Halloween get together at his apartment complex and toward the end of the night, the host’s neighbor stopped to chat. Seemed like a decent kid. Personable. Pleasant. Mid 20’s. I didn’t think anything of it. Suddenly, while he and the token liberal/anti-Trump partygoer were having a nice conversation, the liberal gun slinger decided to show off his ideological marksmanship and, out of the blue, yanked his Progressive Facebook Avatar from the Matrix dropping it, meme guns a-blazin’, into the Desert of the Real. The Trump supporter naturally reacted in kind and it predictably, and quickly, devolved from friendly polite banter into The Battle of Arizona and almost a physical fight.

Friday, October 6, 2017

"Unity" Via Division: Releasing Duality's Kraken

Unity Thru Division is rhetorically disguised tribalism on parade. It's subversively releasing the Kraken of Human Duality: the parable of Krishna's battlefield, Revelations, and the egocentrically externalized God/Devil concepts; several interpretations of the same message.

It's not, and never was "prophecy". It's the inevitable written as digestible mythology; probably part of the bloody evolutionary process needed to determine the course of a species divided and fueled by an infantile sense of self-awareness: the ego and its toddler-like perception that the world (all of "creation", really) revolves around it--self-interest and self-supremacy.

Friday, August 25, 2017

Nazis, Hippies, and The Bloody Political Purge

No writer achieves success advising his readers to ignore him. I’ve come to define “success” differently. In this specific case it’s maybe a good idea, especially if you're ideologically pure or identified uncomfortably with my previous Talking Dead post, to click elsewhere. While I don’t mention it often in this post, it illustrates the tangible effects of our cyber mobs and political zombies. It’s also full frontal Toddzilla and amounts to taking the final shot on my aforementioned bender while at the same time serves to purge the one thing that’s been inexplicably safe: Zombie Politics.

If you click, you and you alone are responsible. Consider yourself warned, Snowflake.

Thursday, August 24, 2017

The Talking Dead: Cyber Mobs 101

Research shows that in 2017, for wildly different ideological reasons, the sooner a writer invokes Adolph Hitler, the more people read it. #TheMoreYouKnow

This needs to be read, so…Hitler. Hitler. Hitler. Hey! Hitler over here!

A Brief Relapse and The Last Bender

I’ll begin this expansive multi-part project with two quick anecdotes.

Over the years, I tried to stop smoking several times. Whenever I found success, I’d kill it by letting myself have “just one”. Yep.  “Just one” Swisher Sweet always turned into ten then another pack of Marlboros.