Wednesday, May 02, 2007
My recently completed reading into the social effects of the cell phone and text messaging in japan pushed me into a thought experiment.
Complexity is of course the nature of human existence. We are a species dependent upon reading the faces, actions, sounds, eye movements of another human to determine friend or foe. We are built to decide if we should grunt a greeting at the human across the river or hit them in the head with the thighbone of a musk-ox.
I think modern human life is sooo much more complex than grunt or hit and that as a un-natural evolution of the species, humans have developed the medium of instant electronic communication to remove the constant caveman evaluation techniques of human content which allows us to focus on the actual communications. This has also become necessary with passage of time/technology which have grown complex beyond imagination. We can no longer depend on a raised arm with open palm as a sign of friendship.
This thought experiment explains to me why the science fiction picture phone of the 1960's never was developed… there simply never was an overriding societal interest forcing production. The picture phone of the future, which by the way, I remember using at the 1964 New York world’s fair, was never adopted because it was not desired by real humans. It is and was easier to communicate without staring up the nostrils of the communicatee through the wonders of tv. With email, text messaging, and regular phone, you are not required to present the proper face and body language to match the message you are transmitting verbally. Your thoughts and voice can be absolutely consumed with empathy for the other person, while you eyes are on the television. A massive additional layer of social requirements are removed from consideration—the message is what counts, not the dollar value of the clothes of the presenter.
This is why the net surges and will continue to surge as the communication medium of choice, employers can and do fire employees by email to avoid nasty, face to face encounters---or in some islamic countries you may divorce your wife by cell phone text message if both the signal and the message are clear.
New lovers can get to know each other without the primitive mating instinct getting in the way….no lying display of plumage on either side. As a result, adult mating behavior may accidentally arise where physical advantages are for once outweighed by mental capability through the medium.
This is why there are extended social networks on the internet and anything else that will carry a message without demanded visuals. You tube for all it's hype is for the most part the execption and is filled with a massive quanity of "look at me I'm stupid" material for the most part--- It is no wonder that in a nation such as Japan, those who wish to escape their own extreme societal demands of regulated, polite by rule interaction, do so through phone text messaging. Are we gaining or losing---we have intense, interested and varied communities through electronics---they just don't happen to be in the hut next door but they are no less valuable to the species me thinks?
As a failed, frustrated architect i always prowl for what i consider to be interesting buildings or architectural concepts. My tastes are random and aligned to no specific discipline---i tend to modern, alternative, or old whole earth style shelter. But for the most part, true functional modern appeals the most---a city housing process that never caught on but always, always appealed to me was
capsule building or otherwise known as 'the Metabolists'. Their vision of a city of the future inhabited by a mass society was characterised by large scale, flexible and extendable structures that enable an organic growth process. Each unit pre-fab or prebuilt trucked to the site, identical in nature to be interconnected and stacked in an artistic fashion allowing for privacy and affordability, or with a specific theme such as the ability to walk anywhere in the city. In displayed example from the capsule tower, the bathrooms, apartment "control panels" and much of the interior design was seemingly based on aircraft interiors....this style always reminds me of Ripley's apartment in Aliens 2---a complete stand alone item----Kisho Kurokawa's 1972 Capsule Tower is to be demolished---what a shame--this apparently is a natural have or not have taste in living/building....i have always felt that modern designed architecture was the solution to housing----but then again i enjoy the arcosanti concept so go figure...if you are at all interested in this concept go here for more information because as time goes on the last surviving examples of this style that were actually built are about to be destroyed--- http://www.treehugger.com/files/2007/05/icon_of_modern.php
books, books, books
Well i am just about done with the long emergency by james howard kunstler---as i imagined it is all death all the time,as a sole theory. If you are easily depressed, or worried about the future--don't read this---but if you're that guy who is depressed that you have not yet been able to survive the nuclear war to become a wasteland roaming, handsome hero---then this is the book for you. Let me tell ya, this guy really, really, really hates any surburban environment at all---which i agree with in part due to lack of taste--- and i also agree that lack of thinking has screwed us, all of us everywhere----but i have'nt seen a solution offered yet in kunstler's book---other than a 'somebody should do something about this stuff i that don't like but it's too late to do anything anyway!!!' attitude. Kunstler believes that we should have stayed in the cities after WW2. People basically fled cities because they became crime preserves, with no viable services, no public transport and rotten housing or if a major city actually offered the previously mentioned housing,safety,jobs and transport, the damn city was then---just too damn expensive to live in. Cheap gas and cars helped without a doubt to build suburbia, but that was NOT the main reason...it was a backlash to what cities represented in the 'historical' mind of the real working class--- Cities were originally created to hold captive a large, cheap, expendable, labor force in continual poverty and sickness as a continious source of cheap, disposable, labor for the factory owners. People felt that, remembered that---deep within them---- My people worked the mills in the northeast and were nothing more than human machines housed in cities because it allow the industrialists to control the work force and determine where the money went, as in to them---so bite me in regards to your 'living in the city fixes everythin' theory Kunstler---people go where they can afford to live, where they feel as if they have a life of their own and where safety, decent housing and jobs are. Right now in the US, only Yoko Ono can afford to live reasonably well in a major city center as an adult.The rest of us don't make enough MONEY, dude.
i've decided to investigate a film with a cult following, and since i have a tendency to get wrapped up in these things, be afraid be very afraid. i'm searching for a good used copy of the big lebowski, by the cohen brothers, as in "the dude abides". A film based on a slacker friend of the writers/producers/directors. i've of course seen the movie previously, but i really want to examine this film with "new eyes". i've heard and read small snippets of information that fans of the film, have actually started a 'church' based on the philosophy of 'the dude'....which intrigues me to no end and as far as i am concerned the phrase "the dude abides" is as good a philosophy as any and better than some to found a church upon and a complete religion on...budda, jesus, Muhammad, and 'the dude' it seems somewhat fitting....i'll keep you posted i might even this late,turn to religion--mainly because i can't imagine 'the dude' hitting me with a pointer----http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Big_Lebowski
and thus i publish