I’ve been thinking about the individual physical changes in posture, behavior and the social impact of mobile tech for about ten years. For all of the data it dangles, it delivers a lot more in social engineering than it gives in personal freedom. Many people would say they are “chained” to their phones. That might not be far from the truth.
This post is prompted by a quote…
“Like all of his teammates, John struggled with depression, anxiety, and technology addiction.”
Many of you are cynical.
I’d like if your cynicism was informed cynicism, not just a jaded nihilistic indifference to all but your bank balance and the sujet du jour. These days is a bank balance even a “real” thing? Is it not just a print out of fake charges applied to fake money in a fake “bank” with no actual money (value/currency=unless credit is the new/old currency) anywhere in the chain.
Sorry for the diversion. You may think a statement like the one above is “selling” something and it gets you a bit uneasy. Which it is, if you accept the buy/sell dichotomy. The notion is that there is a generation of young people bounded completely by a technology and it’s not a “truth telling” technology. It’s a layer of social engineering masquerading as a magic wand.
You may say it was the same ten years ago, when we started Adventure Therapy Ireland. OK, it was. That was the reason for starting it. Back then when I spoke to “influential” people about nature, humans as biological creatures and the need for physical exercise in youth, people simply smiled, nodded and thought; ah go fuck yourself, there is plenty of opportunity for those things, it’s just there, outside. We’re not “buyin it.” Go somewhere else for your grant aid, soft love and hippy dippy crap.
That was then. Now it is fully apparent, even to the most blighted fools. You get up in the morning, head off in the car the ten minutes to school, get picked up the same way to be transferred back to the TV and in between it’s texting your buds about the online game you’re playing.
All beautiful if you want a population of brain dead worker ants, but people are not cybernetic, yet. They are physical, emotional and mental. The brain is supposed to be the pinnacle of evolution. If it is, why are all these systems in place to dumdum it out of people? I sell technology, but I’m not ideologically blind to it’s faults.
The stats are stark. Worth reading – but then again none of you read the material I’m looking at (except those slightly older people who’ve been there, seen it before and nod, knowingly). Intelligence mandated by standardized tests. Conformist taste. Materialist mindset; new model each year, same as the last. Your core news feed comes from Google, a 20 year old device designed to control your attention, replicate your preferences and serve you “for profit” information. “Don’t be evil” might be a touch ambitious. “Don’t touch those cookies, m’lud.”
With respect, many nowadays are little more than widgets with fidgets. They can go outside. It’s there. Free. Fresh.
Wildness, all around. But it’s outside that self imposed bubble world, conformity and comfort zone…hence an unconscious”fear” of its strangeness.
Two millenia ago a guy called Plato talked about a cave. He wasn’t the first, nor the last. Some of those ideas evolved into epistemology, phenomenology, empirical science and a few other little gems along the way to here. There is more than a little background to this stuff. Vision quests, boy scouts, coming of age ceremonies, travel, probably history itself is the story of “journey.”
It’s not all about taking money from parents and babysitting their progeny for a week in the woods. In fact that is probably not the reason for most of these outdoor programs. They are experiential education in nature. There is quite a bit of “action” involved. Passivity just won’t work.
Your parents are just as dull as you imagine. They started all this “fear” nonsense. They’ve not climbed Carrantoohill, gone kayaking on the winter Dee or camped rough on Ibiza. They’re sitting in the other room watching big brother season 70, horse laffing at the idiots on the other side of the tube.
It’s all a dupe guys, nothing more than a program – a means of keeping you thick, tired, stupid and afraid. It just seems so obvious.
So here’s the hard sell – nature is free. Open to all. No age limit. Not even dress code (although nature can change her mind about that). There is more wisdom in a battered boreen than a mountain of textbooks. How much can a twenty six year teacher actually teach you about reality, having gone from school to college and back to school to teach you the same stuff. It is a circle of dead information transmitted in a loop.
Nature has a cycle, but each time it evolves, changes, renews. This western capital death spiral we are currently living out is a decaying model founded on ruinous emperor’s new clothes nonsense, physical destruction, hierarchical control and intentional apathy – only designed to cover the stink of a rotten core.
Only you can change, not them, you. They’re playing the monkey status game till the branch breaks.
Remember that life is movement, action, change, learning, evolving, growing, taking chances and meeting opportunity – it didn’t devolve to narcissus and his mobile phone.
“How could they see anything but the shadows if they were never allowed to move their heads?”
― Plato, The Allegory of the Cave