December 30, 2008.
This Information Age, which has created that binary world that computers own, with its reactive environment, its "off/on/off/on" rhythm, has done two things to humans.
It has erased time, and has created this "immediacy" of all information, thus giving us no time to ponder over an event or an item. We simply react, in a nano second, to the initial stimulus. In that instantaneousness of reaction, there is no time to check veracity.
This seems to mean that all information is evenly weighted; both truth and fiction are accepted as "so", and without question.
Without thoughtful analysis of what presents itself to us, we aren't really getting information at all. Instead, we're just drowning in data. Our editing function doesn't have time to kick in, in such a highly reactive environment. No time to check up on anything, as the next item is already unrolling.
A corollary of this instant society, where time has been erased, and the "off/on/off/on" instant action/reaction/action/reaction scenario is in full play, is that no one can possibly pay attention to all that data all at the same moment. Shouting and repetition, along with streaming bands of synopsis print, below and above the shouting heads on cable t.v., have become the norm of reportage, just to catch a shred of our overloaded senses. Attention deficit disorder seems a natural outcome to the pressures of immediacy of response. Noise catches our wavering ability to assimilate data.
So, here we are, at a time when everything that worked in the 20th Century is collapsing, and we are at the mercy of constant repetitive shouting, of a deluge of data (is that a synonym for unsupported sound bites?), where we are drowning in the scenarios of fear...no time to do anything except react..."off/on/off/on"...now there's a cycle to consider!
If we choose to remain in this fear ridden act/react mode, then how will we generate that creative spark that ignites positive change and lights the pathway forward? Instead of blindly following a pattern suited to machines, let's allow thought to intrude. That means some serious "time out".
There is a door in every wall, but it takes patience and inspiration to feel it out, and creative thought to open it to the next adventure. If we're all caught up in that reactive cycle, we'll be stuck there.
At the close of a year filled with global turmoil, in all aspects of the social order, let's allow ourselves the gift of time. Let's allow our creative selves to come up for air, and to think our way into the "real" 21st Century. It is supposed to be the Information Age, right?
December 30, 2008.