Don’t Be Evil

Has technology made us equal?

A game of ‘let’s pretend’?

It’s been almost 20 years since I’ve first logged on to the Internet.  Back then, the Information Superhighway. These days, a seemingly clogged cyberjunkyard. Where’s Wall-E? This is year 16 or 17 for me, maybe. A relatively early adopter. Give me a new toy and I’ll play with it. I jump at being able to dive in, shovel-first, to the latest and greatest sandboxes. Building sandcastles that ultimately wash away with the tide. Rebuilt the next time I visit the beach. Monuments built only to turn me in to a gutless wonder. Any real intent?

I’ve experienced many growing pains. I’ve seen things come and go. Good ideas at the time. Lang’s ‘Metropolis’ became little more than long-ago technicolour talk.

Images stand clearer than my footprints, washed by water.

Cleansed. Destroyed. Purified.  Chaplin’s ‘Modern Times’.  ‘The Scream’. I’ve been charmed, excited, seduced and  fooled by ‘importance’ only to have it become obsolete months later.

I’ve bathed myself in baths of bytes.

Still, the painter’s products (such as they are) stand in majestic silence. Plato’s Phaedrus. Images now words.

Distorted portaits. The new Dorian Gray.

Aye, there be dragons here.

The devil you know, y’know?

Beowulf and Grendel. Perhaps Jekyll and Hyde.

Monsters. External/Internal.

Breach.

Stitching.

Is the medium still the message? 

Are we still distracted by the Internet? Is there a new message?

How do we experience the world in the 21st century? Have we defined what is the new century? Is there a new consciousness? Or are we still asleep from touching the poisoned spindle? Who is the new Prince to bestow his kiss and awaken us from our long slumber? What will be that new world?

To quote McLuhan in Understanding Media, “it is the medium that shapes and controls the scale and form of human association and action” (p. 9) Gutenberg’s printing press introduced literacy and the idea of  linear thought. The Internet is not really linear (design-wise, yes, in terms of pages but socially not really) and is bubbly-wubbly. Clouds. Optics. Is it an illusion? Hot media? Cool media?

Light has no content; the message is nonexistent. It is either on or off, and that which reflects the light is a separate medium altogether. Which has content. Internet pages. Are they silent, like Plato’s paintings? Page not found. Error message.

The new intelligence. Not really artificial. Binary. 1 and 0. New thought patterns. Not random. Information as message. Information as medium. Information as knowledge. What is knowledge? Is it the new message? Not from us, not from humans. A primitive brain. Mechanisation, lineal connections. Moving to creative configurations, the new algorithmic structure. The simultaneous becomes electric. The new current. Light will have content.

The medium doesn’t really exist. It’s just an on-off switch. That’s learned to spell.

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~ by hooklineandthinker on July 10, 2011.

 
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