Blaffa's unfinished tech debate


Murat and I have had good talks this entire trip. It's funny, because both of us basically feel that we aren't going to get sick of each other, even though we know where there tension centers are, and they pretty much don't get activated unless we get cranky from hunger or weariness, which are passing things. Somehow along the way, most likely from our childish ability to Make Shit Up ™ , we have developed a second language that to anyone else either just sounds like crude immaturity (which it is) or semi-funny inside joke material. Usually when we get around foreigners (from our lingual state of two) we either refrain from speaking our newly evolved native tongue, or give the story behind the mystery. Or we do neither, actually, blabbering vulgar koans in some oblivious intensity of brain melding, or using our alien discourse as code; a litmus test of philistines and tourrorists, or even just plain old shock value.

Sometimes we don't really discourse about anything meaningful for periods. Murat and I have remarkably compatible understandings of the wicked man world (Al-Ameriqaeda) and the beautiful and amorally terrifying natural world, whose knowledge of we humans are rapidly replacing with knowledge of the constructed world and all its technological hamburger-helper. In fact, we began this trip discussing my latest thought plot extension on the whole “technology makes us stupid” idea because the idea needs to be balanced out. Everything has a price and a benefit. For all the knowledge that is lost when we get a new machine/toy/tool to make life easier, or more convenient, we allow more of our time that would normally be spent in the daily toil to be spent furthering our intellect, our knowledge of ourselves and potential purpose in the goonyverse. That is one avenue. We can also just create more free time to be lazy and self-serving. And in the process, we will become more and more dependant on those tools and machines. My addendum to this whole cognitive discharge is the idea that everyone has a different concept of what they are willing to let go (for whatever reason, be it laziness or convenience, which can create more productivity, or at least the illusion of it) and what they want to do “the old fashioned way”. Some people try to do both, i.e. know how to make fire with a flint stone but still carry around matches. The blending equation for this old knowledge vs. new knowledge is different for everyone. But as Murat points, that might not mean that it is subjective. Perhaps a judgment call can be made dealing with intention, degree of willingness to be ignorant and dependant due to laziness. I must turn the lens around and onto myself if that is the case. When I thought of this idea, it was easier to see the dividing lines at the extreme ends; t.v. microwave boobheads vs. unrealistic idealist primitivists. Maybe what fascinated me more was the gray area in the middle, the people that are mindful of the dilemma but functioning in both worlds, finding some sort of personal balance between old and new knowledge. Retrofuturism?

It is useful to examine Proffessor Murari's conception of the real cost of using tools and technology, and weighing the benefit against that cost, especially since that cost is almost always a negative on either the environment, knowledge bases, and social dynamics. Perhaps the harder task is assessing the benefit, potential and real, of those same tools and technology. Unless you want to be an extremist, and I think they all be put to death by the way, dividing lines must be struck in the sand somewhere, everywhere. A lot of the tools we are able to use do not get used in a manner that contributes to a benefit to society or the environment. But it is possible to change that…..ok, abrupt change. I will have to finish this on the Playa. Time's run out and it's time to go. We thought we should put up what we could even if it is unfinished. Maybe it will spark debate. Send us thoughts to our new ThoughtPlot message forum. The link is on the main page.