moulded by machines

We often change our direction in life and how we would really like to do things to  accommodate our machines.

This became clear to me when thinking about the home recording process. Often I have a melody and clear idea in my head of how I would like a song to be. Yet there is  another involved in the process, the machine.

My banjo does not possess the skill to change the way he sounds, to stay in tune no matter where I go on the fret board and so I change to accommodate him. I must drop the banjo lick high up the fret board and stick to something that will suit him. He has moulded me and my work, my song has been changed. He doesn’t have the capacity to change.

That’s not to say that the end result is always going to be bad, it’s just to be aware that the limitations of the tool colour the sound and feel of the song. It was a partnership, but an inequal one.

What about the computer and the internet? How does it’s limitations alter the way we would like to go in life?
Sometimes the idea that we can connect and network to people around the world seems to offer us endless opportunities, a chance to change the world.

Yet are we being moulded by our machines?Do we realise that we’re being targeted by corporations intent on making money? Or that we’re only really connected to wealthy world?

Are we being moulded into imbalanced human beings, beings that are big on lazy sight and using our brain (to a certain extent) but being denied the touch of real people in exchange for the touch of plastic.

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Facebook, Narcissus + 115th Psalm

Yesterday morning I spent an hour or so staring at the laptop screen with Facebook on and scribbling a bit in my notepad wondering why is it so easy to stare blankly at Facebook?

I don’t really know why.

There is point just before you turn the laptop on when it acts as a mirror of sorts, you dimly see your head reflected back towards you. Then your image is flooded and overwhelmed by the screen lighting up, there is something bigger and more important than you (or your image). There is the computer and being connected to the www, there is the possibilities of Facebook and having your brain stretched by a blog.

I’m still reading a bit of Marshall McLuhan, but to be honest I’m not sure what he’s talking about half the time. However every so often a bit does make sense (just a bit mind), like this bit he is talking about Narcissus

‘The Greek myth of Narcissus is directly concerned with a fact of human experience, as the word Nacissus indicates. It is from the Greek word narcosis, or numbness. The youth Narcissus mistook his own reflection in the water for another person. This extension of himself by mirror numbed his perceptions until he became the servomechanism of his own extended or repeated image……Now the point of this myth is the fact that men at once become fascinated by any extension of themselves in any material other than themselves’

Later on in the chapter McLuhan points out the similarity between the Greek myth and a part of Psalm 115.

3But our God is in the heavens; He hath done whatsoever He hath pleased.
4Their idols are silver and gold, the work of men’s hands.
5They have mouths, but they speak not; eyes have they, but they see not.
6They have ears, but they hear not; noses have they, but they smell not.
7They have hands, but they handle not; feet have they, but they walk not; neither speak they through their throat.
8They that make them are like unto them; so is everyone that trusteth in them.

Well all that rings true for me anyway. Numbness is a good way to describe my brain state while I’m floating about on the internet/www. It’s like I’ve been drugged. It’s like Narcissus staring into the pool, except I’m staring into my reflection in the screen of a laptop.

More importantly, from the point of view of someone with Kingdom values what am I to make of the warning that those who make idols, or trust idols become like them?

If Facebook (amongst other things) is an idol and I’m worshipping at its church with my friends what do I and my Facebook friends become?
How do we reflect the ‘glory’ of Facebook, or technology?
Do we want to become like our technology?