"Then the iPhone came out and it was like, ok, this is gonna be great because this is now an accessory .. now everyone ... now, it's cool to whip it out, it's fine. You don't have to bring ordinary life to a halt just to, uh, try to catalog your ordinary life. But then the O. Henry twist on that is that all our lives became so intermingled with all these things, that ordinary life changed. I'm not a hipster luddite snob about it, I upgraded when we became cyborgs. I lost nothing and gained ... a world when we became borg. I prefer it. I don't miss anything from the old world. The only thing that I remember from the old world is a couple people going "Why's everybody on their phone all the time?" I LIKE that breakfasts are documentaries about documenting breakfast."
That's why we text and drive. I look around, pretty much 100 percent of the people driving are texting. And they're killing, everybody's murdering each other with their cars. But people are willing to risk taking a life and ruining their own because they don't want to be alone for a second because it's so hard.
But a judgment like this obviously depends on what you mean by "humanity". Whether I like it or not, the world being created by the infernal machine of technoconsumerism is still a world made by human beings. As I write this, it seems like half the advertisements on network television are featuring people bending over smartphones; there's a particularly noxious/great one in which all the twentysomethings at a wedding reception are doing nothing but taking smartphone photos and texting them to one another. To describe this dismal spectacle in apocalyptic terms, as a "dehumanisation" of a wedding, is to advance a particular moral conception of humanity; and if you follow Nietzsche and reject the moral judgment in favour of an aesthetic one, you're immediately confronted by Bourdieu's persuasive connection of asethetics with class and privilege; and, the next thing you know, you're translating The Last Days of Mankind as The Last Days of Privileging the Things I Personally Find Beautiful
I've long held a pet theory which I call the Background Noise Theory. The background noise theory is quite simple: stupid people, violent people, and people who are emotionally damaged need to have background noise in their lives at all times to drown out their internal critical dialogue ...
Have you ever known people who have to turn on a TV or a radio the moment they enter a room, or can't stand to do work without some sound on? These are people who are desperately afraid of confronting some truth about themselves, so they try to drown it out with constant distractions ...
The noise can also be mental - constant text messaging, video game playing, etc to fill up the isolated islands to downtime in everyone's day ...
When taken together, the desire for and generation of audio and visual noise, what you have is the psychological antithesis of a zen garden. It is the Noise Garden.
what if the moment you want to have with yourself (and that isn't a euphemism) isn't possible just standing at the bus stop, or waiting in a queue, or what have you?
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