digitalamericarickykujath

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What can we do?

After the class today, talking about the economic crash, the housing market, all of it, it made me think. Is there anything we can do? How do we get out of this cycle?

I honestly don’t know if we can. It feels like unless something catastrophic happens we will stay in this cycle, this “situation” it seems like our society and government only supports virtual businesses, shaky investments, and the “system”. It seems, to me, that our only way to change it would be to change the government. But how can we do that? Elect representatives that have our view? I don’t think that would work because I’m willing to bet that a great percentage of the population doesn’t even see the problem. We know there is something going on, but might not know how to fix it.

I see this ending badly.

I can’t think of a peaceful resolution to this. We’re trying to fix it, make things right.  I mean, life will go on, society will always exist. I just feel like something is going to happen.

After thinking about all of this I can’t even offer an educated guess on what will happen, let alone a solution. I feel like were stuck and the only thing that can save us would be a complete network shutdown. A reset (as Tyler would say). Maybe the second time around we can get it right.

 

I might be so pessimistic because of what happened in my life. I bought a house in 2007 (yep, right before the crash). My realtor said “yea, housing value does not, ever, go down”. I was in the navy at the time and had very stead income. I got out and got an amazing job. Then, in 2008, it happened. One day, after seeing all this on the news, I was driving down my street and noticed like 9 of the 20 houses for sale. I realized it had invaded my life. MY life. Not even a week later I was laid off, not enough business. I fought and scraped to make my mortgage payments. I was making it, but barely. Then one day I got a postcard from the county telling me my housing value… when I bought it it was 150,000. the postcard said 85,000. My jaw hit the floor and I began wondering why I’m trying so hard to save something that’s not worth it. I’d have to keep scraping by for another 10 years to get down to 85,000, that’s 10 wasted years. I made a choice, and still think today it was the right one. I walked away. It slaughtered my credit score but I was happier. That being said, I hope the system does get reset. Maybe then my credit score would reflect how “creditable” I really am. :/

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ME!

I have no Idea if this really deals with the class, digital america, but the video we all watched today dealt with the idea of the “self” and it’s driving me crazy… So I’m gonna vent.

(these are all just my thoughts and ideas)

You are whoever you are. I feel like looking for “yourself” is the most pointless endeavor you could possibly imagine.

By looking at yourself and trying to figure out who you are you must, inevitably, label yourself. With a label come parameters. Each person is infinitely different. You can’t fit yourself into those parameters. There is no “kernel”; there is no inner self. You are whoever you are right now. You can’t peel back layers and get to the middle, there’s no middle, there are infinite layers.

I feel like the harder you try to find yourself the farther you get from yourself. The more you label yourself into a block, mold, an idea, the more you confine yourself.

I think another thing that follows this line of thought is honesty, specifically when it comes to honesty with yourself. This has come up a number of times in the Psychology classes I’ve taken. Most people, on average, think they are above average (http://www.sciencentral.com/articles/view.php3?article_id=218392713).

“You are not special. You are not a beautiful or unique snowflake. You’re the same decaying organic matter as everything else.” Tyler Durden. (Can you quote a character in a movie?)

 

What then? If you’re not looking for yourself, or trying to find yourself what should you do?

In my opinion, live your lives. The choices you make define who you are. The things you do define who you are.  Just be.

I’m gonna stop here because at this point I’m just ranting 🙂

Gibson and the Movie

The movie today put the article we read into perspective really well.  Even if the movie is an extreme and just a minimalist perspective it seems to sum up, what some believe to be, our most likely future.

In the article we read for class Gibson seems to foresee a world where we cannot distinguish between virtual and real. Until today I couldn’t understand how that would be possible. We’ll always have something to connect us, a link. That being said we’ll always have a way to get away, disconnect the link. But in the movie we saw today it was not that simple.  It totally encompassed their lives and without the virtual there was no “real”.  People were needed to provide power and were enslaved to do so within the guise of freedom. Enslaved under the illusion that you are your account balance, your avatar. When in reality those people were nothing more than batteries.  It didn’t seem like anyone could just walk away.

In Gibson he begins talking about implants (be them chips or “goo”) which, to me, sound like the easiest measure of control. In the movie they talked about almost the same thing in the form of apps. Apps that can help you eat healthier by altering your thoughts or apps that help you dream better were mentioned. It seems like the illusion of comfort, or ease, or efficiency will be the way we’ll find ourselves under control. Things will just get “better and better”.

It seems to me that this future is possible. I cannot say likely or that I agree with the idea. I haven’t seen another possibility to compare. All of the movies, articles, etc I have come across picture us as batteries in the future. Endlessly powering the existing measures to keep us under control and doing so voluntarily in order to keep providing whatever “they” feel like we need to provide.

Gyros

I left class and had an experience that made me think and from that I thought of what prof Goldberg said about inspiration which lead me to post.
I was at paradise palms and hoped that they would be serving gyros. They hadn’t had them all semester yet, but I thought i’d drop in and see. To my surprise they were there today! I hardly post on FB, but since we had been talking about it I thought i’d post a status update. “Gyros make me happy!” Before I had my gyro in hand I had 3 comments and 2 texts about how amazing gyros are. A text happened to come from an old friend I haven’t talked to in quite a while.
In class I seem to focus on the negative part of the impact of technology on our lives. But getting reunited with an old friend really made my day. We used to be almost brothers and have know each other since we were 13. We lost contact because of him joining the army, me the navy, and me moving, etc. This made me think how powerful of a tool FB could be. Really looking at it, it’s a tool that connects everyone. In a way it’s amazing, in a way it’s not. connecting everyone has many good and bad implications and we could discuss the moral and philosophical implications for years (and probably will) but for now I’m thankful for it. I thought I’d see if there had been more newsworthy reunifying stories having to do with FB and found a few. The best one I thought was this (http://www.thegrio.com/news/facebook-reunites-father-and-son-after-25-years.php). A father and son reunited.

Later that day:

Prof Goldberg brought up a good point over email.  Is this reconnection, happiness, and ability to share these feeling and emotions with the world instantaneously worth having the whole experience digitized? Everything I felt, said, expressed was done so via some sort of electronic means. they are all real interactions and encounters, but they are all also virtual. This interaction seems harmless: Great Gyro, *press post*, talk with friends. The ability to do this opens up so many doors, some people are living on Facebook sacrificing daily real physical interactions with other people for virtual ones. Is this ok? Who judges? I can’t say it’s not ok, who am I to say that?  I guess in all actuality we all decide by use. We keep using things like Facebook all the time they will continue to be prominent. I’m not saying any of this is not ok, I don’t even have any idea whether I think it’s ok or not. I guess in the end we decide whether it’s ok to live online, actions speak louder than words.

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