The pseudolife

This is why I have a sense of urgency to map the real world of technology, so that we might see how in our social imagination the near is disadvantaged over the far [… :] pseudorealities create pseudocommunities.*
(Ursula Franklin)

The most important thing happens not over there but in this present. The important thing is to feel, not to conceptualise. Concepts always indicate something over there, it’s very abstract.**
(Yasuo Kobayashi)

Technology makes it possible more than ever to live out the mundane in our own lives and the adventure through the lives of others: reality TV, tweets, instagram – we follow our heroes when we are meant to be one, as Rainer Maria Rilke’s jumped out at me when I read them today:

Why, by god, does one spend one’s life according to the conventions that constrict us like a tight costume and that prevent is from reaching the invisible soul, the dancer among the stars.^

Richard Sennett argues that the first and second industrial revolutions have taken away our hands and our minds.^^

We don’t have to throw away the machines but we do need to wake up to how we are serving machines more than machines are serving us.

Have we got time to spend some alone and connect with the star-dancer we are meant to be, or do we have to make a call, send an email, reply to an text or post on Instagram:

Some of the most crucial conversations you will ever have will be with yourself. To have them, you have to learn to listen to your own voice. A first step is to slow down sufficiently to make this possible.*^

Can you hear your adventure calling you?

(*From Ursula Franklin’s The Real World of Technology.)
(Yasuo Kobayashi, quoted in Julian Baggini’s How the World Thinks.)
(^From Rainer Maria Rilke’s Letters on Life.)
(^^The first industrial revolution deskilled us as machines took over the work of craftspeople, the second made most of us dependent on the computer and the internet for our thinking.)
(*^From Sherry Turkle’s Reclaiming Conversation.)

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