when i walk
listening to a song
most always i can hear.
when a loud noise
like a truck
i don’t seem to hear
for a daily (24/7)
restorative niche ness…
perhaps if we could take charge of our
we’d have less people
the same day i was thinking this as i walked with the truck – Howard shared this technofiles piece that he had written in 1998. the section below seemed especially fitting/resonating. like i heard it just them because – focus. or he told it just then because – focus.
“Fat Bits” was the name of the pixel-twiddling tool in Macpaint. I think I sat down for three hours without getting up, as soon as I started playing with Macpaint and discovered Fat Bits.
Fat Bits was a kind of trance. Hours would go by, and I could keep my consciousness focused at the pixel level. It was a variety of abstraction exercise. My consciousness began to change. The Gutenberg trance begain to change into another one. In some ways, the changes were instantaneous; in other ways, the changes took years. Yes, the screen became a kind of reality, an extension of my mind. I started spending most of the day there. And as I learned to use it, I learned to exercise my cognitive faculties in ways that took advantage of the screen-mind trance. Abstraction requires a certain amount of somnambulism: forget about all the detailed underpinnings, once you’ve clumped them into an abstraction; continually strive to change your focus to the next level of abstraction, where you can clump abstractions together to create the even higher levels. it’s a breathtaking game, but you have to remember you’re playing it, or you run the risk of forfeiting part of your humanity.
If you want to identify the culprit who shunted the human race into millennia of symbol-intoxication, it was the person or persons unknown who created the alphabetic-phonetic alphabet in the vicinity of Sumeria, around five thousand years ago.
I speak now directly to others like myself who are admitted, even enthusiastic, technophiles. For that reason, I don’t want anyone to mistake this for an orthodox neoLuddite rant. I lack the certainty of the true believers — both the orthodox technophiles and the convinced technophobes. I confess up front that I know of no theology or ideology that will answer the questions I can no longer avoid asking.
Where are we going? Do we want to go there? Is there anything we can do about it? I have written this because I hope we can think together about where these questions lead. Perhaps there are solutions that can only be found by many of us, working together.
Thinking critically about the technosphere we inhabit, which defines who we are and dictates how we live and die, is scary — like thinking about performing surgery on yourself. Your internal denial alarms are going off already, I know. But I urge you to repress the urge to rise to the defense of penicillin and civilization, and consider how I came to rethink my attitudes.
You’re reading this on the web, after all. I do all the HTML myself. I upload it to the server. I do a little PhotoShop, a little Unix. I’m not an archgeek, but neither am I totally unaware of how this new stuff works. It is possible to think critically about technology without running off to the woods — although, I must warn you, it is possible that you will never be quite so comfortable again about the moral dimensions of progress and the part we all play in it. I know that I’m not.
then the end of same day.. this..
Children are used to living an emotional richness that can’t be captured in words. They don’t worry about trying to organize their lives into neat little narratives. Their experience of life is more direct because they spend less time on interfering thoughts about themselves.