BB #50: Blog Bubbles

BrainFireThere is no question ‘the urge to write is strong in this one’ but these days I’m weary (on many levels) of writing structured blog posts. At the same time, after so many years of writing for presentation, it’s hard to relax one’s own rules enough for a major style change. But it’s what I keep reaching for.

Seeking that, as well as catharsis from a world that has either gone mad, or — at the very least — is driving me mad, I realized, a-ha: Brain Bubbles! While intended for off-the-cuff passing thought posts, many turned out as collections of related (or unrelated!) thought bubbles.

So pop the cork and let the bubbly flow…

Unfortunately, given the state of the world, and the state of my mind, many of these bubbles won’t be of champagne so much as of vinegar, wine gone sour. Or maybe the sort of bubbles from farting in a pool.

I’m lettin’ the nasty out, is what I’m saying. Better out than in!

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At the same time, on a very weird level, I’m experiencing a kind of satisfied glee, not just that the GOP is reaping the rewards of its own behavior over the last handful of decades, but that Donald Trump proves I’ve been right all that time, I’m not the crazy one.

In the social laboratory of our culture, an experiment has been going on, and the current political (and social!) environment is the result. In particular, the interweb turns out to be a powerful factor in what’s going on. As just one example, consider what Twitter has meant to, and for, Trump.

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We’ve seen media stars leave Twitter recently due to the venom they’ve experienced there (cf. Normani Kordei and Leslie Jones). Twitter, the first choice of a Presidential wannabe, is famous for its ugly underbelly, and the company has long been under pressure to change that.

Instead, their identity leans towards allowing hateful content under a “free speech” ethic while simultaneously reacting quickly and overly decisively to corporate copyright requests.

This wild, wild west aspect of the world-wide web has apparently moved NPR to remove the comment section from their posted articles!

The reason is simple: Shit wins!

No matter how big the pool, or how small the turd, no one wants to be swimming there. The logic applies to all public resources. It doesn’t take too many stupid assholes to, as they say, ruin it for everyone.

So I applaud NPR for this and hope other online outlets do the same. Those who feel the need to comment on an article can link to it and comment about it to their heart’s content on whatever social media platform they like.

Because, really, maybe only the people actually following you care about your opinion. The rest of us will learn to live without it.

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Speaking of shit metaphors: I’ve long thought Trump’s entry into politics, and the way he’s dominated the conversation ever since, is not unlike someone crashing an art showing, taking a dump on the floor, and calling it art.

One thing is certain there: Everyone will be talking about it.

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A huge problem, I think, is the disconnect between words and meaning. Here’s a YouTube video that says it very well:

(Although YouTube just made me watch a 60 second commercial. Fuck you, YouTube.)

It isn’t just hyperbole reducing the impact of words, it’s a complete disconnect between what is said and any real meaning at all.

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Speaking of YT, I read an article where the author explained why they loved watching other people play video games. Apparently, and I had no idea, this is a major thing on YouTube.

There seems to be some value, at least for some, in the social connection aspect. Someone who suffers from depression mentioned that it helped her, and the author’s point was about the social value of this idea of watching others, not in person, but on a screen, have fun.

Okay. I guess. But I couldn’t help but reflect on a pair of science fiction novels by Isaac Asimov: The Caves of Steel and The Naked Sun.

In these (written in the 1950s), a society of humans living on another planet has grown towards extreme avoidance of other humans. Most live alone attended by any number of indistinguishable-from-human robots and communicate with other living humans only via screen.

It got me thinking about how much prescience there was in some of the science fiction greats.

We prided ourselves, when the date rolled around, that it hadn’t turned out like Nineteen Eighty-Four said it would. Or did it? Think about the political and social system described in the book and compare it to the current one. While we were congratulating ourselves that it didn’t come true, it seems to have snuck up on us.

There is also Brave New World (with its soma) and The Time Machine with the Morlocks and the Eloi. There are so many eerie similarities.

That’s the thing about science fiction. It’s hugely predictive. Many articles I read focus on the SF hardware that’s come true (Star Trek communicators, for example). Few focus on how social dynamics have also been predictive.

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That’s all the bubbles in the bottle for now. Until next time…

About Wyrd Smythe

The canonical fool on the hill watching the sunset and the rotation of the planet and thinking what he imagines are large thoughts. View all posts by Wyrd Smythe

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