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  • Profile photo of nmw

    nmw 20:43:33 on 2016/11/09 Permalink
    Tags: , , actualization, , , , , , , , , , , interaction, , , , marketplace, marketplaces, , , self-actualization, , , , , social network, social networks, ,   

    For some, we get lost in media 

    I opened up a copy of the New York Times today, and in an empty space within an article, there was a blurb that reads

    Social networks put individuals at the center of their own media universes

    — I am not even sure I understand what that is supposed to mean. Let alone the notion of a plurality of universes, the idea that media are not between people but rather like belly buttons for individuals to discover themselves within … I just find it mind-boggling. Then again, according to the surrounding words in the article next to this message, social media are depicted as breeding grounds for “fake news”, as cesspools for propagating mythical stories, for manipulating large populations of suckers into following this or that social media expert, leader, salesman or whatever.

    “Social” is seen as the big mistake, the errant sidetrack from the collapsing foundations of journalism. Four words seem hidden somewhere in between the lines: I told you so. Naive and forlorn like Dorothy in a dizzying whirlwind, individuals end up as victims of lever-pulling hackers, clowns and con-artists. Social media transport hoaxes and fairy tales, yet they are also instruments targeted at novice users, training wheels to guide their first steps in the cyber-landscape. The virtual world is both for the light-hearted at the same time that it’s a wide field of thin ice. Throughout this portrayal, the real world is not embodied in media. Instead, real-world people with real-world addresses exist behind real-world mastheads printed on real-world paper. They carry real-world business cards, not fake virtual URLs.

    Real-world buildings, with real-world street addresses, real-world telephones and such media are the physical conduits for real-world relationships. In contrast (so the argument), virtual facades evaporate into thin air as soon as a video screen is turned off.

    This contrast might be all good and fine, except that it is a lie. None of these things are any more real than the other. Main Street is nothing without the street sign signifying it as such. The reason why we can agree to meet at Main Street is that we both understand it to be Main Street, and this agreement is based on us both understanding how to read street signs. Indeed: we agree on many things, of which such street signs are fine examples. We can also agree on the time of day, to speak the same language, or to answer each other’s questions succinctly and truthfully. Such agreements are crucial for us to help each other reach our goals, whether we hold the same goals in common, or whether each of us is trying to reach our own particular individual goals.

    By reaching our goals, we become not only successful, we also become who we are.  We actually self-actualize our identities. For example: a writer does not simply exist, he or she becomes a writer by writing. A worker becomes a worker by working. A buyer becomes a buyer by buying, a seller becomes a seller by selling, a consumer becomes a consumer by consuming and a producer becomes a producer by producing. As these last examples show, sometimes we can only self-actualize when other conditions are met, and sometimes these conditions also require the engagement of other people. In this sense, reaching our own goals involves a team effort — as, for example, a sale involves the teamwork of both a buyer and a seller.

    Therefore, the real world is not so much a matter of separated individuals as it is the interaction and engagement of individuals with each other in a symbiotic process of self-actualization. We become who we are by interacting with one another. Our goals aren’t distinct and separate, they’re intertwined. We need to think of media as bustling marketplaces for such exchanges to take place, rather than as sterile and inert transport mechanisms. These are not empty tubes simply bridging gaps, they are stages for playing out our roles in real life.

  • Profile photo of feedwordpress

    feedwordpress 10:59:40 on 2013/07/01 Permalink
    Tags: , , , , , , marketplace, , , sefl-reliance,   

    Self-Reliance 2.0 

    imitation is suicide

    Recitations are mundane — there is not one iota of life in them, there is no spark whatsoever. Truths which we hold to be self-evident need not be incessantly replayed in never-ending refrains — lest they become nothing more than a work-song. If we stand still, we might just as well be dead.

    We need to find the song we wish to sing today — no: we need to actually create it. A song cannot be written unless it has already been sung. As we sing it out loud, only then will we discover its beauty. The performance precedes the manifestation.

    It may be ugly or scraggly, it may emanate weakly at first, it may wobble and barely move in a rickety fashion — indeed it most likely will. Such is the germ of all mortal masterpieces: even when they are created in a single day, they are nonetheless polished over and over before they truly shine.

    Years, decades and centuries later they are bought and sold at the strike of a hammer.

    Yet it is not the split second from which their true worth arises. It is the struggle and the toil, the incessant effort and engagement with “what is the matter”, the caring and loving that are given to the object, whether material or virtual. It is the path we take together, a collaborative coexistence, that forms and shapes the traces we leave behind.

    We Not Me

    Crooked as the outline may be, it is nonetheless tracing our path towards our goal. The imperfections are a part of a beautiful effort.

    Putting a monetary price on the artifact is cheap and bogus. Prostitution is not about true love, and neither is the market about true value.

    Nothing can bring you peace but yourself

    Whether as individuals or collectively, we will find peace by finding ourselves. We cannot find ourselves living on rented property, or simply employed as human capital. We must carve out our own niche and respect each other’s spaces as valid and justified places in a mosaic we build together. Do not hang yourself up upon any ready-made constructs. Instead: view every construction as an opportunity to interact more, to collaborate more, to create yourself more, to help others to create themselves more, ….

    Care less about the traffic in the marketplace, about the markets of remnant artifacts — they are merely recollections of bygone days. What is more: these are nothing more than scant opinions. Your life is too precious to be bought and sold at someone else’s whim.

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