August 29, 2014 Essays

Soon, we’ll be sending each other postcards & letters. Then we’ll have to invent a new courier system. #Circular #22ndCentutyRebellion
– Me, talking to @little_oracle, this morning

I’ve tried to write about this before, and I always end up sounding like that old person who yells at kids to GET OFF MY LAWN! But there’s got to be a way to say that something has been lost without sounding like Chicken Little. There’s got to be.

I want to hand you something. Something I made. I want to play music for you, and have your skin actually vibrate. I appreciate that technology is often / usually invented to make things easier / quicker, and it certainly does have the ability to bring people together. But still … there’s no vibration.

Every era has people who decry the changes, the speed, the sound, the smoke in the sky. Every era has its utopian vision, probably more than one. Every era has its optimists and pessimists. Where do I fit in to this story?

There has always been technology. William Gibson was right when he said we can’t return to a pre-technological state, and that even if we could, we wouldn’t like it. Our eyeglasses are technology. Our histories are recorded / preserved by technology. Our very lifespans are technology, aren’t they?

So why do I keep feeling this way, that despite the gains, despite our gradually escalating omnipotence, we are becoming lonely gods who soon won’t be able to hear the sun singing anymore? (We still can, you know.)

So what do we do? As artists? As technologists? As shamans? Can we make the story of Two-Hands-Touching last? I’m pretty sure we weren’t made for this hyper-saturated world? But can we make it all more sensual, just the same? How should we start? Dinner around the table with friends, old and new? A kiss beneath the first snow flakes of the year?

People talk / argue about The Singularity as if it is / could be some time in the future. I think they are missing the point. It already happened. There’s already no one driving the bus. And we’ve let our tools blind us. Tools, which could have been / should have been helpful. But which, really, were just there to numb us, and keep us apart.

Small moments or unfathomably large, eternal moments. Also known as human moments. Will you stop everyday, notice them, participate in them? I am trying to. We might already be doomed. I don’t know. But I’ll keep trying. I hope you will too.

The movement of the stars doesn’t depend on whether we use couriers or email or newsletters or just sing the damn stories.
-Me, once again to @little_oracle, this morning

Written by Tara