The Jubilee offers a way out of oppressive expectations, even if they are our own. This year, I’m practicing a digital jubilee by archiving my inbox, deleting my RSS subscriptions, and unfollowing most everyone on Twitter. These, of course, will fill back up as time passes, but now I have a recurring way to purge.
Finally, you realize that life is not a scene from Currier and Ives, but a portrait of four people doing the best they can.
Everyone knows how to behave in a library. You keep quiet or whisper. You respect people’s personal space. You don’t interrupt people who are reading or working, learning or studying. And if you need to have a full-volume conversation, you hit a private room.
Such a great idea. Yet, why leave it to just those in an office? What if there was a room in our homes where Library rules were respected. Perhaps a den or living room. Sounds like a great solution for a home with at least one introvert residing within.
It’s an era of controlled deprivations and detoxification, of fasts and cleanses. Perhaps everyone should make a weekly ritual of twenty-four hours of undocumented life. Periods of time in which memory must do all the heavy lifting, or none of it, as it chooses, the consequences being what they may be. No phone, no eclipse glasses to mitigate the intensity of what lies before you. The only options are appetite, experience, memory, and later, if so inclined, writing it down
With the internet, twitter, and texting we now have almost instant gratification of our desire to seek. Want to talk to someone right away? Send a text and they respond in a few seconds. Want to look up some information? Just type it into google. What to see what your friends are up to? Go to twitter or facebook. We get into a dopamine induced loop… dopamine starts us seeking, then we get rewarded for the seeking which makes us seek more. It becomes harder and harder to stop looking at email, stop texting, stop checking our cell phones to see if we have a message or a new text.
“The Luddites of the late-18th early-19th century broke into textile factories and smashed the mechanical looms not because they didn’t like machines, but because they saw that the mechanization and industrialization of the textile industry posed a catastrophic threat to their work, family, community and culture. Luddites knew good and well how, by saying ‘yes’ to the elaborate promises of growth and efficiency that accompanied mechanization, they would also be waving goodbye to an entire way of life. Their thoughtful destructiveness was an effort to guard and nurture the things they loved most.”
The age of the password has come to an end; we just haven’t realized it yet. And no one has figured out what will take its place. What we can say for sure is this: Access to our data can no longer hinge on secrets—a string of characters, 10 strings of characters, the answers to 50 questions—that only we’re supposed to know. The Internet doesn’t do secrets. Everyone is a few clicks away from knowing everything.
As of today, I have migrated all of the posts from my old site, Practical Opacity, to here. Those posts have been filed under the category of the same name. Practical Opacity formed the basis of what became my book, enough, and it is a theme I’m still very much actively interested in exploring. Therefore, I have gathered all of the items into the same place.
Since this is now becoming not simply a site for my book, but an active place where I continue to post material that explores these themes, there may be other changes as well in the nearish future to best reflect these ideas. Not the least of which is a change to the current domain. I will try to make such transitions as simple to you, Dear Reader, as possible.