too much information

‘The fact is, there are very few political, social, and especially personal problems that arise because of insufficient information. Nonetheless, as incomprehensible problems mount, as the concept of progress fades, as meaning itself becomes suspect, the Technopolist stands firm in believing that what the world needs is yet more information’

‘Attend any conference on telecommunications or computer technology, and you will be attending a celebration of innovative machinery that generates, stores, and distributes more information, more conveniently, at greater speeds than ever before. To the question ‘What problem does the information solve?’ the answer is usually ‘How to generate, store, and distribute more conveniently, at greater speeds than ever before’
This is the elevation of information to a metaphysical status: information as both the means and end of human creativity.’

Neil Postman,Technopoly p 61

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canvas

I’ve been feeling very uninspired recently but something just clicked there.

Firstly it was the canvas my wife had painted based on one of  Cézannes paintings of the Mont Sainte-Victoire. Cézanne did different paintings based on different views of the mountain. Another famous example of this sort of thing is Hokusai and his 36  views of Mt. Fuji.
Maybe the most famous example though was my attempt to draw 36 different views of Samson and Goliath on this blog, which I’d actually forgotten about and should get back too.

But that’s beside the point. The thing I realised tonight is that this laptop is really my canvas. Up to now I’ve been thinking that the notebook or page is my canvas when in reality it’s often only a small step in the final of goal of
putting it on laptop.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I’m not sure why I hadn’t realised that before. Or why it’s making me think now. Perhaps it taking a step back to realise that it’s just a tool or a support frame despite the way it can seem like  more.

don’t leave all the windows lying open…

The Nutella jar lying open, cheese half finished on the bread board, half finished cups of tea and crumbs all over the show. This is a sight frequently witnessed in our kitchen, all over our house. Half finished jobs, the products of a hyper-active being who doesn’t seem to be able to focus.

That person is yours truly of course, the messy pup. But this morning I wondering if this habit of leaving things open and unfinished might be related to the way I use the computer,

Right now as I try to concentrate on typing this I have one window open on ebay, where I am watching an auction and hoping that someone swoops in at the last minute and buys my box of unwanted Penguins,
another window open on a discussion forum about cold radiators as I try to solve our permanently cold bathroom radiator,
below there is a window open with my scanner as I try to scan in pictures of books,
a tab open with postage costs open and a Microsoft Paint window open.

And that is a simplified version of all the balls I’m trying to juggle at once. Normally Facebook might be open, Hotmail and possibly The Guardian website.

If you lived like this for most of the day, with different planes of thought and trying to get jobs done all at the same time but getting none done then why wouldn’t our brains think the same when it comes to the kitchen or the other jobs in our ‘normal’ day?

Maybe the mess of the kitchen is a reflection of the way my brain is being trained by to much computer and internet use. Perhaps I should make it a rule to only have one box open at a time and to do whatever needs done before closing it…

doodle-nt day 1 – Facebook

So I’m going to put my Facebook addiction to bed for at least 40 days and try to use the time for drawing/doodling instead, just experimenting and seeing what comes up. H___ gets a bit frustrated sometimes that I can’t do some nice paintings and sell them but I don’t have the skills and wouldn’t even know where to start.

I find a bigger problem is that the way I see the world isn’t something you would necessarily want to hang on your wall. Sure we all dream of sunsets on the west coast of Ireland but my daily experience is computer addiction, Lisburn on cloudy mornings, damp hedgerows looming over me on the tow path. What I’m trying to say (without offending the good people who call this place home) is that I don’t find this place beautiful and as such it makes it hard to be inspired.

Partly I blame computers and the internet. They might be tools or objects made by men but the amount of information and visual data that pours from the screen seems to have dulled my sight.

My imagination has been captured by the computer and I don’t like it!


online life offline riot

What’s been going on in the last few months?

It’s all kicking off or something.
Anyway, yesterday morning I was thinking a bit about the nature of these riots over in England and was wondering if the medium of the internet had become the message.
The way these people was acting in public seemed to echo the way things are online.

unpoliced
individualistic (though in a mob)
anonymous
‘free content’
mobile
fragments

Well it seemed to make more sense early yesterday morning.

It’s seemed that the online troll had taken his behaviour and was treating London like he might the internet. Surfing up one street, then surfing down to another street, then ‘downloading’ some free content (like plasma TVs or bling) and being nasty, aggresive and anti-social believing that it doesn’t really matter, you won’t be policed or stopped because nobody knows who you are.

That’s one of the reasons I reckon anyway. In the old days parents (if you really believe in such things) gave moral guidance, then kids where raised by TV and the few TV shows on the few channels you would get in your room, but in the last decade or more perhaps the internet and web has been raising kids and giving them habits, ideas, morals and ways of looking at the world.

where would Jesus shop?

Technology has stretched our boundaries out so much that we live in what feels like a global village. Perhaps you are reading this in another part of the world  and its morning while here in Northern Ireland where I sit presently and part of me believes that if you are, then we are connecting in some way as my neighbour but more. You are almost my friend. Technology has created this world in which I believe that it is possible to be friends with all 6 billion plus people of the world. Thinking about this makes me nearly mentally ill. We are finite creatures, we are limited and if I can’t know my wife, this person who I should know how could I know you?

Yet this is the world we live in. Facebook,iPhones,cheap planes.

So it feels that everytime I make decision, an ethical decision that it has worldwide implications and may effect someone in India or Peru or here in Belfast. How are you supposed to stay sane in such a world and not go crazy?

So perhaps its time to start thinking in terms of our literal neighbours more, people we can physically touch within physical limits. Like a church parish or townland because something is wrong if I have some random person reading this and feel connected yet I don’t know the name of the alcoholic neighbour two doors down or why the Portugese family two doors up moved out.  How can we live in our homes online?Why am I doing this and not going out to my local and having a pint with some man who lives within walking distance?Who are you reading this?Will we ever meet?

So it is that we should think about where we trade our goods and how we farm the land locally.