I was listening to a Hal Sparks on a progressive radio station in Chicago a couple days ago. Like all good progressives, Sparks is a delusional civilization apologist who believes that global post-industrial society reflects the material bloom of the creative human spirit—the global machine is our manifest destiny. He is also a flaming technophile, the kind to whom the “fetish” connotation of the term truly applies.
He began his program by singing the praises of twitter. There are those who insist that twitter (electronic social networking in general) is simply a tool for deepening our narcissistic self-absorption, and that the content of a typical tweet lowers the bar for banality. But not Hal. For Sparks, “twitter is about community”.
We are designed for life in tribal society where we would have regular meaningful interaction with a sizeable number of people, Sparks says. But most of us, as we trudge through the daily grind of work and family, have meaningful interactions with maybe a half dozen or fewer people on a regular basis. Twitter (and facebook and etc., ) allows us to transcend the limitations of physical proximity and establish true community with numerous others.
Exchanging electronic signals with anonymous strangers is community.
Fresh water comes from a machine.
I think I’m beginning to see a pattern here.
“By 2050—earlier, probably—all real knowledge of Oldspeak will have disappeared. The whole literature of the past will have been destroyed [and] exist only in Newspeak versions, not merely changed into something different, but actually contradictory of what they used to be.” --George Orwell