Just One Day and So Many Fools April 1, 2014Posted by voolavex in Social Issues.
Tags: April Fool's Day, autopsy, beta, Internet, Luddite, rewards, Rummy, Rumsfeld, spying
March went out with a short squirt. April 1st is chilly.
I imagine most cogent people have some sort of love/hate relationship with the Internet. I do. In our 15 year romance we have spent far too much time together. I have found and met many people I would like to know better. I have shopped online and thus no longer cruise the shops in general (sort of sad too). I play far too much Angry Birds. But the downside is the information and lies I find everyday. And I have figured out that it is possible to know too much about everything because everything known is not always knowledge. (Bet you wish you had used that one Rummy).
Having been a Luddite spin doctor in the 80’s I know the value of the media and I also know how it is manipulated and used to make or break almost anything. Put another way – the Internet has turned this mechanical spinning into an acid trip. We can eliminate the word “discovery” from our reality (assuming this is one) because there is nothing unknown under the sun or if there is you will know it in a second. If this were coming from people with any sense of proportion or vestigial dignity – it might be okay – but it is a tabloid covered world. And we are all susceptible to it. If you say you are not you are probably deluding yourself. Be careful – someone with take a picture of you in this state of mind and upload it somewhere and your dilemma will soon be the object of worldwide ridicule. Viral.
Full disclosure: I watch TV and I like TV. I am torn between really enjoying the dramas I like but then wondering if they are actually training films for a specific audience. I know I will not be quite as squeamish about autopsies. “Victim or perpetrator – it seems we are being watched.” This does not come as a shock to me but I wonder why it comes as one to so many others. As a species we are not a very nice lot. The Internet is a dream come true. We covet and envy and want what is usually not easily available to us. Technology, countries, oil, money in large amounts, sex. As the ability to “spy” gets better and better and easier and easier – we have embraced spying with a vengeance. But, in the words of Tom Lehrer – “always be sure to call it research”.
Do the terms beta version, beta testing, focus group slink by you so often you no longer pay attention? Not a good idea. We are being made part of a global family of guinea pigs. Every time a bank or grocer or credit card gets a swipe from your “rewards” card – believe me they first reward themselves. None of this comes to me as a shock. Occam’s Razor – usually the simplest answer is the right one. If any of those aforementioned places really wanted to reward us they would give better interest rates, sell goods at much better prices and dispense with the little plastic cards. Businesses, the governments of the world, religions, arms dealers and even nice folks are finding out things about you that you thought were secrets locked in your own head. Wrong. We can fight it or yield to it but we have become so delighted to have these little perks that they will continue. We will no longer be as surprised as we once were and we will soon eliminate naiveté from the world. It still exists so enjoy it while you can. There is a preciousness to it – it’s in the eyes of a newborn creature but it doesn’t last very long. In a not too distant future it will vanish and as we look back and try to regain the feeling it gave us – we will realize that for the last 15 years or so – everyday has been April Fool’s Day.