Technology and how we are, as humans

At this point, it must simply be true that technology has changed us; that who we are and how we see things has shifted rapidly over the last few decades into something quite different from all that went before. Isn’t there a reflexive relationship between us and reality? The process of what we perceive and what we think it means fundamentally affecting what we’re choosing to do and what our realities then become.

In so many ways, modern technologies must’ve changed how we’re seeing things – literally, in the sense of how information is received, but also in terms of the meanings we’re assigning and framework into which we’ve been placing them. So much having being mediated through this new reality we’ve had evolving around us in recent years, our ideas on life must’ve been evolving along with it in ways we might never imagine.

How long would perception have to be distorted before the change became lasting? How many subtle ways might all those shifts have combined by now, sparking off alongside one another to create further distortions in the fabric of our personal, cultural, economic, political or social lives? This constant stream of perceptible or imperceptible changes altering our world and our selves in all these intangible combinations.

It seems so hard to map it all out: to unravel or separate all the changes and all the ways they’ve shifted the nature of our personal or collective existence. Much as, in a way, technology’s data must “be” the picture of that change, figuring out what it all means and where it might be headed seems an almost impossible task given the pace and fluidity of all the interactions and areas influenced by that new way of being.

Almost as if this tool’s become so woven into our lives – so close to our own perception while also being the means by which we execute our choices – that we’re simply evolving alongside it now. That it’s such a part of our identities and experiences that we don’t even notice its role, having lost sight of the distinction between us, our devices and the systems they’re connecting into.

This sense in which so much is being chosen by technology itself; shaping the information we receive or music we listen to in ways that might amplify our pre-existing tendencies or usher us in new directions without us even realising. All these ways our inner life of thoughts, emotions, decisions or prejudices might be being reinforced or chipped away at over time – incrementally reworking us into quite different people.

The thought of what we might make of technology – or, it might make of us – seems as important as it may be impossible to answer. Isn’t it the defining question of our times? The idea of where this might lead and how we might become, as humans, as we walk these paths before us. If, within and between us, the choices we’re presented with are effectively redefining our lives, how are we using that opportunity?

Notes and References:

The thinking behind technology
Is this the riskiest place we’ve lived?
Responsibility for the bigger picture
Systems, their power, whose hands?
The picture data paints of us
Pace of change & getting nowhere fast
Mastering life’s invisible realities
Technology as a partial reality
How important is real life?
All that’s going on around us
Intrinsic values on the paths for change?
“Response Ability” by Frank Fisher

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How much everything is connected

It doesn’t always seem so true as it is today that everything’s connected: each event or person only a few steps away from establishing some form of relationship with almost anything else on the planet. All our choices effectively playing into this increasingly fast-moving web of global interrelatedness as our ideas, products, habits, intentions or emotions spill over to impact others in ways we might never imagine.

While, before, people and their activities were mainly interwoven with their more immediate surroundings – local community and the wider society into which that played its part – things are now so irrevocably broader in scope. Almost everything seems to rely on the cooperation of so many distant services, supply chains and individuals. This global community cutting across national boundaries in search of efficiencies.

Given how quickly we seem to adapt to any form of change, it’s hard to imagine us happily going back to the kinds of restrictions on choice or convenience that earlier model effectively offered. In the last half-century, so many relative luxuries have crept into our lives – fashions, trends and belongings in no way designed to last – that the idea of limited choice or maintaining what we’ve got is beginning to seem an alien concept.

Yet, in terms of awareness, our focus is also more expansive: all those international and systemic concerns as much on our radar as the deeply personal ways individuals are being affected by it all. This whole way of life, facilitated by technology, also being laid bare before us by the same means. As if technology is a double-edged sword, creating as many obvious benefits as it does invisible challenges.

Isn’t it that all our ways are being mapped out in this tangible form to be scrutinised? That, while we might hope to deny the ramifications, it’s all there to be seen: the inequalities; attempts at justification; and increasing difficulty of claiming we didn’t know what we were doing. This sense in which all the convenience or temptation technology offers is offset by us having to then live with the knowledge of what it all means.

Almost like technology is some fundamental test of our understanding – and, willingness to expand it. That, along with the valuable benefits this created for those earlier communities, we’re now simultaneously having to grasp the significance of all the change we’re bringing about across the planet. As if we’ve been asked to extend our minds to truly care for environments, people or situations far beyond our immediate awareness.

How are we to navigate that reality and grasp what all our choices truly “mean”? How can we cope with all that was hidden or unspoken being brought to the surface, where it can no longer be denied? All these ways in which our individual or local connections have been woven into this new global context with all its undeniable complexity and all of its consequences.

With all our connections dialled up and laid bare, what sense are we to make of it all?

Notes and References:

Connecting truthfully with life
How much do intentions matter?
Power and potential
Seeing where others are coming from
Does technology oversimplify things?
Nothing short of everything
Gaining clarity on the choices before us
Responsibility for the bigger picture
Pieces of the puzzle

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The thinking behind technology

If how we think about things, in turn, shapes how we see and respond to them, what does it mean if our lives are increasingly mediated by modern technologies? Almost as if our perception and interpretation of events is now being informed by the very specific ways of thinking that helped build this technology and carve out its place in our lives – the design of it all.

We must be being “trained” by these things: our own ways of thinking subtly reshaped the more we interact with any given piece of technology, until we might struggle to live life without it. Don’t we get acclimatised to every application or operating system we use? The assumptions and logic behind them becoming this unquestioned sense of how things are and should be.

Might it not be that we simply start to “see” life that way? Thinking about all our relationships, choices and experiences in terms of how they’re presented to us – how we’re being guided to see them. All these strange ways the language of technology has been slipping into our language in life over the past few decades: comment, chat, cancel, like, swipe, delete, share.

As if we’re really starting to see things this way, recasting the whole of reality in light of how it’s been presented. The meaning or importance of each aspect of existence perhaps getting shifted in new directions; drawn down certain channels until, over time, we forget things used to be done other ways. Sometimes it seems like a form of behavioural control: all of us isolated, being reprogrammed by our devices.

Isn’t the thought behind how we live quite fundamental? The meanings and conventions of everyday life essentially “being” what life is, where it leads, and the sense we can make of it all. All the details of our lives coming together into this picture full of purpose, function and intention as humans collaborate and relate themselves to one another in the pursuit of mutually beneficial outcomes.

The meaning of it all – the ideas we have in mind – can’t be unimportant? This sense with which everything we do is accompanied by some kind of thought about why, what it means, how it helps. Our understanding of life hopefully trickling down to inform all the decisions and activities we make part of our lives; everything having its place and serving its purpose, either individually or collectively.

It just seems so strange to think that algorithms might be redesigning our lives, our shared existence and who we are as people. That all the complexity of human societies might be reduced to some codified version of themselves which then evolve in weirdly distorted ways. As if the tried and tested fabrics of our lives might be rewoven in all these new patterns; potentially lacking the truth or meaning they once contained.

There might be very little choice now over the roles technology will play in our lives, but aren’t the thoughts we have in mind distinctly our own responsibility?

Notes and References:

Social starting points for modern ways
Losing the sense of meaning
Is this the ultimate test?
“Response Ability” by Frank Fisher
Where would we stand if this were lost?
Too much responsibility?
Seeing that things mean
Does technology oversimplify things?
Learning all we need to know
If environment shapes us…

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Is this the riskiest place we’ve lived?

Within the history of humanity, is the internet perhaps the riskiest place we’ve lived? In some ways it’s probably not, in that it sits within periods of previously unheard-of “peace” between our various nations. But, on the personal level, isn’t there quite a lot of risk involved in this way of life? Also, collectively in terms of the destabilising forces technology seems to be bringing along with it.

Maybe it’s simply a question around the nature of risk? The physical risks of societal instability or conflict; the risks that come where expertise, resources or infrastructure are lacking; the interpersonal risks when convention or values aren’t upheld. Life must “always” carry risk in various forms – all those points where things could strain, break apart or fall away to leave people exposed.

In the past, maybe those risks were simply different: more tangible and obvious within our environment as things we should shield against or avoid. Things like cold, hunger or violence that communities might strive against through their diligence, foresight and careful preparation. All the effort that must’ve gone into creating, sustaining and defending any way of life and the future of those living it.

Almost as if society must, in many ways, secure its future by ensuring that the things it’s doing are sustainable, reasonable, justifiable and clearly understood. This sense in which communities create their boundaries and pass on their thinking to those that follow – painting a clear picture of “what life is”, “why we live it this way” and “what’s needed to fill these forms in healthy ways”.

Modern life might’ve made all that less obvious – hidden away behind obscure screens or drowned out by all the sparkly, distracting things that now surround those arguably boring aspects of life – but, beneath it all, the fundamentals perhaps don’t really change. Human needs being what they are, is life mediated by modern technology ultimately making our lives any more secure?

Sometimes it seems we’re just having to juggle that much more risk, pressure and exposure through being online. That, beyond the “need” of having access to it, we’re also having to defend against attempts to undermine our security. And, that we’re effectively now “open” to the entire world; anyone being able to reach into the confines of our personal space and deliver messages directly into our hands.

Of course, it’s a reality we can’t – perhaps, wouldn’t – choose to unwind: the advantages it brings are so many it may be impossible to argue we should turn the clock back to simpler times. Perhaps its benefits and its challenges are simply equal? A reality we must learn to master while ensuring that the fundamentals of our personal and collective lives are being enhanced rather than stripped bare.

Don’t we need to acknowledge the risk, though? See and accept the potential “cost” of this, instead of thinking it’s just “how things are”. Given humans have never lived this way, understanding exactly what we’re doing and why it still matters must be incredibly important.

Notes and References:

Responsibility for the bigger picture
Treading carefully in the lives of others
Does technology oversimplify things?
Attention as a resource
Appealing to human nature or the human spirit
Going along with what we see
Charting our own course

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Responsibility for the bigger picture

We might, increasingly, be living our lives by way of technology’s various portals, but isn’t the real world still out there being affected by all our choices? This sense in which, distracted by the overwhelming challenges or opportunities we’re facing, we might not see all the impacts we’re having and trends we’re forming part of out in the world around us. Yet aren’t we still responsible for all that we do?

Isn’t that where we stand, as humans? Expected to understand the world, foresee consequences, and act wisely with regard to all that’s shaped by our actions. Our ideas on “life” and what’s acceptable within it “becoming” the paths we walk through reality, the choices we’re making and picture all that is painting within the situations surrounding us – our values and priorities clearly on display. (Notes One)

If freedom is to think and do as we please, isn’t that an incredible responsibility? If we’re to understand the complex realities our lives now feed into, then act intentionally and compassionately within them, the value of all we’re letting into our minds seems essential. Isn’t it important we know what we’re doing? If we’re supposed to be using our personal judgement in navigating these choppy waters.

Sometimes it seems quite incredible, the position modern humanity’s finding itself in: all we’re expected to process, filter out, integrate and work with. As if our role is to maintain the ability to form reliable conclusions within this ever-changing reality. Our minds being this threshold between all we take in and all we decide to act upon – suggestions, accepted, becoming what we create through our involvement. (Notes Two)

Of all the thoughts we have in mind, how much do we really mean to weave into reality? Which values are we choosing to act on? How thorough an understanding of humanity’s convoluted path to the present are we aware of in how we interact with one another? Do we truly know all it is to be human – the different beliefs, intentions and phases of life people are working within?

Might it not be that, caught up in the novelty and stress, we’re not stepping back to grasp what’s actually going on? Not quite noticing humanity, broken apart, unable to relate, losing grip on what those before were hoping to bring to life through all that was set in motion around us. As if, swept by the tide, we might be so overwhelmed by isolated struggles that we lose sight of where we’re going. (Notes Three)

Maybe things are now so complicated that it’s naïve to expect many to understand what we’re involved in – all the hidden connections or causalities playing out behind the scenes. “Can” we bypass our intelligence and leave things in the hands of those which such insight, though? If we’re not able to use our own minds, expected instead to defer to something we’re told, how is that sufficient?

If we’re involved in creating reality, is it not better we act deliberately within it?

Notes and References:

Note 1: Understanding & staying informed
Note 1: Values, and what’s in evidence
Note 1: Is this complicated or relatively simple?
Note 1: What we create by our presence
Note 2: How are we supposed to choose?
Note 2: The incredible responsibility of freedom
Note 2: All we concern ourselves with & encourage
Note 2: Understanding what we’re all part of
Note 3: Is there any end to the power of thought?
Note 3: Do we live in different worlds?
Note 3: Does technology oversimplify things?
Note 3: Pace of change & getting nowhere fast

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Does technology oversimplify things?

For all the good technology does us, is there a danger of it oversimplifying things? Making the complexities of our lives seem deceptively simple to the point where we don’t fully appreciate all we’re engaged in. As if, no longer seeing things in their entirety, we might lose sight of all the ways in which our lives intersect and the value of all we exchange at those points. Don’t we need to understand what we’re doing?

The idea of us thinking things are “easy” and ploughing on along these channels that others have designed for us sometimes seems strangely disturbing. Aren’t we almost discouraged from understanding? This sense in which modern life has become so complex that the task of keeping up with it all – let alone mastering it – has become overwhelming or simply impossible. (Notes One)

Aren’t we being expected to defer to others in all this? To trust in the vision they have for us and the oversight or care with which they’re handling all the data being gathered around our existence (Notes Two). As if, in ways humanity’s never been asked before, we’re placing the lion’s share of “our lives” in the hands of commercial actors we’ve never met who, in all likelihood, don’t have our interests at heart.

Isn’t it also training us in certain ways of looking at things? The interfaces they’ve offered becoming “how” we look at life and the meaning we’re able to extract from it. The options for how we respond to life being limited and defined by whichever options they’re deciding to give. As if “all this” is a strange experiment in behavioural psychology and “what it is to be human” is the outcome being determined as a result.

Doesn’t meaning come out of interaction? From the ways we’re expressing ourselves, the choices we’re making, and the messages we draw from what others are offering. This sense in which “life” is one big conversation we’re all contributing towards, listening to and finding ourselves in – the meaning of it all being, perhaps, what we freely decide to make of our opportunities and our understanding. (Notes Three)

In that light, what does it “mean” if we lose sight of life’s increasing complexity and feel it to be deceptively simple? If we start “playing” at this as if it were all without consequence – as if all our choices don’t ultimately have a human face, directly or indirectly. If we’re not seeing, imagining or concerning ourselves with what each decision truly means, what kind of world are we then living in? (Notes Four)

Humans, in all their complexity, seem anything but simple. The details that make us unique, each with our distinct qualities and interests, seem such beautiful, delicate things to be communicating around. How are we to be sure that the truth of who we are is able to travel through this, unaltered, to other ears? What if it doesn’t, and we’re left unappreciative of the rich, intersecting diversity of all of our lives?

Notes and References:

Note 1: The thought surrounding us
Note 1: All we’re expected to understand
Note 1: Life’s never been simpler…
Note 2: Situations which ask us to trust
Note 2: The picture data paints of us
Note 2: “The way things should be” as an add-on
Note 2: Trust in technology?
Note 3: Attention as a resource
Note 3: Belief in what we cannot see
Note 3: Everything’s interconnected
Note 3: “Response Ability” by Frank Fisher
Note 3: Mastering life’s invisible realities
Note 4: Might we lose our social muscles?
Note 4: Lacking the human side of community?
Note 4: Can “how we relate” really change?

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Systems, their power, whose hands?

Do we live within reality, or the systems that’ve been designed around it? In our natural state, it seems we would’ve lived within reality and all its laws: the interrelatedness of climate, geology, time, cycles of growth or decay, and the creatures with which we share space having determined, to a large extent, what “life” was. Now, though, don’t we exist within all the systems others have dreamt up around all that?

Almost as if humans have stepped in between themselves and reality, creating all these mediating thought structures that shape how we’ll live, the ways we perceive the world around us, and the paths we’re likely to take (Notes One). As if “we” created these grooves with our ideas then shepherded others into seeing life that way and living our lives on those terms.

Isn’t that, in a way, what culture or education are? Passing on the ideas with which we see the world; the things we consider as our options; the judgements we’ll tend to form about the choices we’re all making (Notes Two). This sense in which “society” – be it global, national or otherwise – attempts to convey its thinking and have that shape the lives that are to come: the ways people will interact within its boundaries.

What’s behind that? What kind of vision or sense of life’s meaning is being used, from the back-end, to inform the options we’re offered? Whether optimistic, functional, idealistic or coldly calculated, it must make a difference the kind of ideas those dreaming these things up have in mind (Notes Three). At this point, are we interacting with systems that truly have our best interests at heart?

Arguably, though, human societies have always been “systems” designed from a certain perspective: from the earliest civilisations through to our own, there always seems a “logic” or set of values around which people have organised their communities. As if, as humans, we apply thought to understand our situation then create meaningful thought structures within which we are comfortable to live.

Now, though, what “is” that vision? This freedom to choose within the vast, unregulated marketplace of our options; making from it whatever will emerge from the sum total of all our disparate, seemingly unconnected habits, actions or decisions. There are presumably endless ways the component parts of society could be dismantled and rearranged? Countless potential configurations we might bring into being. (Notes Four)

Sometimes it seems interesting to consider the kinds of choices we’re actually being offered: often, the choice “between” options already set by others, above our heads. Within that, how much power do we actually have to shift things in directions of our true choosing? Is the overarching vision of “where this is going” something that’s in our heads or theirs?

As humans, effectively governed by free choice, isn’t it intriguing to imagine where things are headed and how much power the systems weaving themselves around every facet of our existence might truly have over the lives that we’ll all be leading?

Notes and References:

Note 1: Value and meaning in our lives
Note 1: The thought surrounding us
Note 1: Shaping the buildings that shape us
Note 2: Culture as information
Note 2: The stories that we hear
Note 2: Connecting truthfully with life
Note 2: Making things up as we go along
Note 3: The self within society
Note 3: What inspires collective endeavours
Note 3: Treating people like sims?
Note 3: Knowing the value of what you have
Note 4: The incredible responsibility of freedom
Note 4: Markets, and what they might mean
Note 4: Who gets to define us

Alongside this, there is also the thought of Having confidence in complex systems.

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Attention as a resource

Is anything more valuable than attention? While it’s a strange thing to see as a commodity, it’s increasingly seeming one of the most sought-after ones within modern life. Given how we talk of “paying” attention, though, maybe some have always been aware of the value of an attentive mind and the power it has over our individual and collective lives.

Isn’t it going to be true, on some level, that what we give our attention to grows? The fuel of our focus on any given thing serving to increase its importance in our lives – effectively giving it more power, more weight. Especially in this world of trends, views, likes and followers: the tangible size of an audience and saliency of a topic having become that much more clearly visible and contagious online.

Almost like there’s this battle for our minds happening on the global scale as everyone’s fighting to capture our interest; win our trust; direct our behaviour. And, perhaps it’s the fact that people – particularly in the West – are largely free to think and do as they please that has “created” this marketplace for ideas and patterns of influence? (Notes One)

Thinking about it, if our moments of freedom are “the things we believe and act upon” then power for directing things presumably rests in gaining our cooperative interest. The field of human psychology – social instincts, persuasive communication – having then become one of the most lucrative subjects to leverage and utilise for whatever ends we might have in mind.

It’s incredible to think how much is now vying for our attention each day; let alone the amount of strategic intelligence applied to finetuning those messages. If we’re being constantly assailed with thoughts about reality – be they optimistic, one-sided, empowering or filled with despair – how much does that impact the conversations we’re having, ideas we’re entertaining and attitudes with which we’re approaching life?

If all we take in is what’s eventually finding its way back out into reality through us, how are we to use the force of our attention? Do we just open the doors and let everything flow in; allowing all these images and emotions to fill the recesses of our minds? Whichever sources we’ve chosen becoming the channels through which we’re establishing our beliefs, assumptions and conclusions. (Notes Two)

There seems such intense interest, now, in gaining loyal followings then using those platforms to affect change. This sense in which so many actors – individuals or organisations – are gathering together those open to being guided by their influence, suggestions and ideas. Whether that’s used for commercial or social, constructive or destructive ends – the agenda behind it – perhaps making all the difference.

It’s strange to think that, the world over, people are trying to gain our ear and shape our thinking. Also, that people are cultivating audiences then giving others access to them – letting them borrow your voice. At every stage of spreading information or understanding, isn’t there immense responsibility to how we’re wielding the power we all have?

Notes and References:

Guardian article “Technology is driving us to distraction” by James Williams, 27 May 2018:

Note 1: Freedom, responsibility & choice
Note 1: Being trusted to use our discernment…
Note 1: Points of sale as powerful moments
Note 1: Reading between the lines
Note 1: Too much responsibility?
Note 2: Where do we get our ideas from?
Note 2: Information might be there, but can we find it?
Note 2: Is this the ultimate test?
Note 2: All that we add to neutrality
Note 2: Which voice can we trust?

The value, power and significance our attention has, personally and at the level of society, was also the focus of the Guardian article “Technology is driving us to distraction” back in 2018.

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The picture data paints of us

Taking it to be true that humans have never lived as we currently do – that modern technology and all that comes along with it are a new reality on the face of the earth – it seems reasonable to wonder where that’s likely to lead. Isn’t it that people, as a whole, have never had this kind of power or lived under this kind of scrutiny? How it’s going to affect us and the systems that’ll be created out of it can’t be unreasonable concerns.

Often, there seems a kind of inevitability to it all: that certain people or organisations have cast this web around us and we’ve little opportunity at this point to complain or seek to challenge the ideas they may have in mind for us (Notes One). As if our lives are now in their hands, to do with as they please – weaving those lives into whatever configuration they choose while using their intricate knowledge of us to make that possible.

Data seems such a powerful thing. Our lives effectively having been ushered into this alternative reality, before we were fully aware of the risks, and turned into a series of interactions, connections and moments where our every move, decision, thought can be observed, collated and understood even better than we might really know ourselves.

So much of “all we do” being habitual or based on patterns beneath our awareness, anyone tracking and analysing the trail we leave in our wake stands to piece together a picture of us “we” may never truly see. Pulled together, our data must present quite an overview of all we’re imprinting on reality through our existence – a fuller sense of “how we are” than many of us, perhaps, possess.

It’s a knowledge of human nature no one before us seems to have had: a real-time observation of almost everything everyone everywhere is choosing to do with their time. It must be an incredible “picture” of humanity, our concerns and the countless details of our lives. Even as we’re being tempted and distracted in all these new ways, people are watching and learning from the choices we’re all making. (Notes Two)

That certain entities have this intensely personal yet incredibly systemic overview of “humanity” is quite astonishing to contemplate. What are they planning to do with this knowledge of us? What’s it like, psychologically, to live our lives knowing that “someone” is watching all that we do and dreaming up visions for our future? As if we’re all being folded into systems which have their own designs for our lives.

Given how data would only be gathered if it’s seen to be useful or valuable, it doesn’t seem possible to view “all this” as neutral; this observation of us must be being used to inform projects people have in mind for “the world”. That human activity would be “captured” this way, mapped out to such a degree, and used to shepherd us all into some new future surely demands a lot of trust?

Notes and References:

Note 1: Whether we make a difference
Note 1: Overwhelm and resignation
Note 1: Treating people like sims?
Note 1: Shaping the buildings that shape us
Note 2: Freedom, responsibility & choice
Note 2: Pace of change & getting nowhere fast
Note 2: Is this the ultimate test?
Note 2: Trust in technology?
Note 2: All in such a rush

Ways to share this:

Information might be there, but can we find it?

Given how much “information” we’re now surrounded with in life, it seems that “finding our way within it” might be the real challenge we’re all facing (Notes One). This idea of somehow being able to uncover the fairest, truest representation of our complex realities; the best frame for understanding and wisely responding to this world and all those living within it.

Because much of what’s around us seems like it might be a version of “false” or “unhelpful” – not quite reflecting things honestly or encouraging us to live as humanly as we might hope. Conceivably, all these separate perceptions, experiences or observations of “reality” could be drawn together into any number of worldviews, conclusions and mindsets. But, where do they lead?

Maybe we’re simply living alongside countless fractured, atomised perspectives on life. A million separate thoughts we might pick up and arrange however we see fit. Whether or not those views are compatible, true, or wise foundations for crafting life around might be an important question. Don’t the ideas we have in mind matter? Becoming our justification for all we’re choosing to do in life.

What are we supposed to “make” of all we’re told? All the commercial messages; attempts to influence; ways of interpreting the events or people around us. If we’re living in this incessant shower of ideas hoping to take up place in our minds and inform our actions, what are they? All these assumptions, judgements, suggestions, conclusions, seeds of doubt or of hope. Little thoughts we let in and make our own. (Notes Two)

They must all add up, coming together into a potentially quite strange and contradictory picture of what life’s about. Of all the thoughts we could think, how are we choosing the ones we’re building our life around? How are we evaluating all that passes before our eyes or seeps into our minds through other means? How many find their way in without us really noticing?

Sometimes it’s like we’re surrounded by constantly refreshing mountains of information being churned out and insisted upon. This vast, often frightening, volume of ideas aggressively trying to carve out a space for themselves within our precious, limited mental landscape. As if “to be human” is now a case of filtering through it all to cast aside all that doesn’t serve the reality we have in mind.

Do we listen to all, none or some of it? Should we listen to the loudest, most skilful, or most worrying voices? Those who confirm or who challenge our ideas? What if “all this” is effectively drowning out voices we’d be wise to listen to? And, should we be adding our own voice to the mix or might we be better off holding back somewhat from this ever-flowing conversation that’s now engulfing us all? (Notes Three)

We might argue that “information’s there” for everyone to see, but if the truth’s nestled among a billion more questionable pieces of information how exactly are we supposed to be sure of having found it?

Notes and References:

Note 1: The sense of having a worldview
Note 1: Culture as information
Note 1: Information as a thing, endlessly growing
Note 2: What is the public conversation?
Note 2: Passing on what’s important
Note 2: Which voice can we trust?
Note 3: Joining the dots
Note 3: All in such a rush
Note 3: Whether we make a difference

Ways to share this: