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  • Profile photo of nmw

    nmw 20:43:33 on 2016/11/09 Permalink
    Tags: , , actualization, , , , , , , , , , , interaction, , , , , marketplaces, , real, 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 10:08:07 on 2013/03/04 Permalink
    Tags: , , , conceptual, , , idealisitic, , , , , , , math, , , , , , , , real, , , , , , , , stereotype, stereotypes, stereotypical, ,   

    Everything I Feel is Related to Nothing at All 

    Some people — especially creative people — are able to think of ideas. Some of you may have thought of an idea recently, or perhaps you are thinking of an idea now, or maybe you will you think of an idea soon. That is cool — there’s nothing wrong with thinking an idea, any idea, really.

    Ideas are not really dependent on language. After you have thought of many ideas, people tend to give them names — such as daytime, nighttime, yesterday, today, tomorrow, happy, sad, hungry, tired, bored, whatever. The reason we do this, most of all, is simply to communicate the ideas we “have” in our heads. Yet the words we use are imperfect, because the stereotypical concepts do not the do the specific ideas we have right now, at this very moment, justice. We use the words simply because they are “good enough” — because there is no better way to give an impression of the unique idea that we have right now (indeed, if there were, then the idea would no longer be unique).

    There are similar examples of this way of looking at things. For example, I say God (if such a thing exists) does not use numbers / mathematics — because for something “all-knowing”, there are no multiple cases of anything: Everything is unique. Likewise, a baby babbling speaks much more eloquently than an adult who only forces each unique insight into uniform, standardized, “grammatically correct” pigeon holes. And here’s another similar bubble for me to burst: There is no evidence that gravity and/or any so-called “scientific laws” (e.g. of physics) existed X millions of years ago, or that they will continue to exist for another X million years. If we observe that things change, we just change the so-called “laws” — e.g. the salinity of the oceans have changed, so we simply change the books.

    So when I crack a book because I want to read it, that doesn’t mean anything else at all. If you tell me that many people also read another book, then — well, I just don’t care, thank you very much. This or that link has been clicked a thousand times? To be honest: I couldn’t care less! ;)

  • Profile photo of feedwordpress

    feedwordpress 19:46:11 on 2013/01/28 Permalink
    Tags: , , , , know, , , , numeracy, real,   

    Is numeracy a sufficient condition to be considered a geek? 

    I was recently listening to some woman gush about geekdom, and she was going on about how numeracy is definitely a necessary condition in her estimation….

    My first thought was: Does this woman even realize that the whole notion of numbers is pure fantasy? There exists not a single number anywhere — they are nothing more than made-up ideas. (sorry to pop your bubble, woman :P )

    This brings me to the question: Are all geeks simply la-la dream-world lunatics? Or can you be a geek and at the same time be somewhat in touch with reality?

    Inquiring minds want to know…. ;)

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