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      CommentAuthorWillow Bl00
    • CommentTimeNov 29th 2007 edited
     (50.1)
    Life is shifting.

    How, with all your background and theories, do you think we'll handle this?

    I know it's a rather vague question, but one I'm interested in, and how you all run with it.

    Here's another TED video to get brain juices flowing.
  1.  (50.2)
    I've always had a suspicion that future shock really happens to cultures, not individuals (although, as writers, we've all gotten mileage out of the latter).

    The pathology of politicians and other arbiters of authority is that they start thinking of themselves as the static institution, and not as people. I think people have systems to weather change. The status quo is never quite as hardy, for simple and obvious reasons.

    Dieback is something else entirely.
  2.  (50.3)
    So do we hope to make adapting a value? We already value Keeping Up and it's just adding to the madness.

    People either adapt or live in the woods (sometimes both). I do like this idea of Future Shock being a cultural thing though, and will think about it... more responses tomorrow.
  3.  (50.4)
    I think adaptation has to be a value, doesn't it?

    However, I'm okay with living in the woods. I always fancied being Wise Man Of The Forest.
    •  
      CommentAuthorAriana
    • CommentTimeNov 29th 2007
     (50.5)
    Warren, you just fancy running around naked with antlers strapped to your head. That's not exactly the same thing.
  4.  (50.6)
    And further to that idea of future shock affecting cultures rather than individuals, I'll throw in something David Milch said last year, just for consideration:

    “9/11 is big,” Mr. Milch, 61, said to the unusually large crowd in the room. He was lying on the floor — a bad back is his curse — next to a microphone. He was just getting going. “What part of 9/11 is big? If the future continues to reinterpret the past, it could be argued that 9/11 provides irrefutable proof that unless there is some other way that we learn to deal with our technology or deal with our brothers and sisters, it is goodbye as a species. That genie does not leave that bottle.”

    He went on like that for a while, then said: “A dying culture, intuiting that it is dying, postulates an alternative reality: The Indians postulated in the ghost dance that they were impervious to technology, that when a bullet hit them, they went up to heaven. Does any of that sound familiar?”
  5.  (50.7)
    SSSSHHH ARIANA SSSSSHHHH
    • CommentAuthorKinesys
    • CommentTimeNov 29th 2007
     (50.8)
    (Mental Note: find out more about TED and Sir Ken Robinson)

    Future shock happening to cultures... Hmm. Certainly would explain what's been happening in my country of late. There is at least 30% of americans who aren't ready to live in the 20TH century, much less the 21st.

    I feel like there are 2 basic strains of thought in day to day american philosophies. The inheritors of the prisoners, the political dissidents, the people seeking new opportunities and all the rest who came to America with the idea that it would be a place where other people would leave them the fuck alone and let them do their own thing.
    Unfortunately the other strain is that puritanical strain of Americans that are here because they were kicked out of europe for being dour humorless uptight pricks. Thanks a lot Europe!
    It doesn't take a genius to see how the history of this country has been written by struggles between these philosophies. Maybe Culture Shock is the one weapon we can really use to our advantage. But then again, it seems that culture shock is one of their great motivators. It creates outrage and fear each time our culture gets dynamic or undergoes a full-on paradigm shift.

    I'm just a afraid that us peace loving, leave-us-alone types are going to be forced into a culture war. No fuck that. We are already in one, the only question now is whether it will turn into a shooting war.

    I fear it will.
  6.  (50.9)
    Warren's only down with the nudity and the horns if it comes with a free lifetime supply of Red Bull. Adaptation without stimulation is a no-no.

    :D
  7.  (50.10)
    Honestly, after thinking for a bit, I don't know that we'll go into future shock. I think the people that continue adapting technology will fill more specialized roles and break off from society. I've always felt that the progressives eventually win and become conservative, but it seems to me (with NO research, mind you) that the number of people fighting to 'move forward' (subjective term, I know) is decreasing, or that they care less and less about progressing culture as a whole.

    please help dissuade me of this, or how we might continue to progress. Or are we getting to be at the right saturation of technology? I certainly don't think so...


    And thank you for the mental image, it's bad enough that I'm not engaging with class - didn't need to start giggling as well.
    • CommentAuthorKinesys
    • CommentTimeNov 29th 2007
     (50.11)
    Well really, who DOESN'T fancy dancing naked in the woods with antlers strapped to one's head. I mean seriously.
  8.  (50.12)
    I don't. There are bugs, and sun, and poison ivy, and twisted ankles.

    I lie. It sounds lovely. Can they be moose antlers?
    • CommentAuthorrobb
    • CommentTimeNov 29th 2007
     (50.13)
    paraphrasing Ken Robison from the video:

    "public schools didn't exist before 19th century industrialization. then, primary subjects taught were those which would get you ahead at work"
    but, it's a touch better than child labor, which existed prior to that. the children should thank the machines for the invention of recess as well as pop quizzes and the notion of what we consider "childhood."

    --and the rest of this is US-centric, which is Robinson's audience there, so sorry everyone else--

    "according to unesco, more people will be be graduating than ever before in history"
    there are also more schools than ever before in history. yes, degrees are devalued, so what (beyond massive individual debt for more grad students)? isn't the gross benefit the increased number of labs' research (paid for by increasing tuition)? more research = more competition = better peer review = improved results. so whether or not you agree with what schools are teaching, the advancement in technology and medicine counterbalances the increased static and number of graduates waiting tables.

    that greater numbers of researchers in america studying those leftover 19th century primary skills are foreign, many whom eventually move back to their homes and better their sciences might or might not be a bad thing globally. considering america's chief export is arguably intellectual and creative property, the demographic shift in math/sciences is not a major worry yet domestically. from what i understand, today's college enrollment is shifting away from the sciences and into the creative. american, and i think all, schools are good at producing creative and talented people. they give fidgety little bastards something to react to and drop out from, or earn an MFA. simply because we do not label those C and D student's talents "intelligence" does not mean it's disregarded. i've never heard of anyone chastising hollywood directors for their lack of a phd or guitarist their inability to diagram a sentence let alone read music. academically stupid but creative people thrive too.
    •  
      CommentAuthorAriana
    • CommentTimeNov 29th 2007
     (50.14)
    Honestly, after thinking for a bit, I don't know that we'll go into future shock. I think the people that continue adapting technology will fill more specialized roles and break off from society. I've always felt that the progressives eventually win and become conservative, but it seems to me (with NO research, mind you) that the number of people fighting to 'move forward' (subjective term, I know) is decreasing, or that they care less and less about progressing culture as a whole.


    Of course, if Warren is right, and it's the culture (not the individual) that goes into future shock it's probably of some value to remember the three stages of (biological) shock:

    Stage One: as low blood flow is first detected, heart rate and respiration increase, in order to maximize blood flow to the most important parts of the body.

    Stage Two: in which these methods of compensation begin to fail, and the patient becomes confused and disoriented as the brain begins to be deprived of oxygen.

    And Stage Three: When it's really too late to do anything about it, and the patient dies.
    •  
      CommentAuthorExploder
    • CommentTimeNov 29th 2007
     (50.15)
    from what i understand, today's college enrollment is shifting away from the sciences and into the creative.


    I'd say it's true that what America has to offer globally is a country-wide degree in liberal arts. I know maybe two engineers and about thirty graphic design majors. Between them there's a history of Helvetica and an argument about kerning, so it's unlikely that they'll be part of a wave of cultural momentum spurred on by technological improvements. That being said, it's a frightening thing to consider that, though the tech will emerge from some other part of the world, the inspiration will come from America. 2 bots 1 cup, anyone?

    I don't know that future shock is really something that needs be worried about. With the prevalence of horrible, horrible things on the internet and the apparently overwhelming desire to see them (speaking from looking at how memes develop and spread), you've got a kind of barrier system where groups of people who are unlikely to be shocked experience the future sporadically, almost as if they're at the front lines of the culture, absorbing the future as it comes and taking the brunt of it, relating the experience to others and preparing subsequent cultural groups for the terrifying possibilities (or probabilities or absolute truths). I suppose that something like the singularity would be sufficiently powerful enough to cause a cultural inability to cope, though presumably humanity has progressed into such a state that culture itself may even be a thing of the past at that point. Just fragmented individuals tapped into a Jungian hyper-consciousness transforming into beams of light. Or, you know, whatever.

    Antlers and fire-dances and peyote visions sounds like a good alternative to the singularity, though. Fuck being post-human, I wanna be proto-human! All guttural glossolalia and Maori war stomping.
  9.  (50.16)
    I'll chime in only to say that a persistent idea of late has been the seemingly recent trend of excessive popularity of caffeinated energy drinks (at least here in the states...and, admittedly, I'm not immune to this trend) seen through the lens of social groups operating as a single living entity. Sort of a mass-scale adrenaline fight-or-flight response. Just a random thought.
  10.  (50.17)
    Adapting is an innate quality, I think. If we couldn't adapt, we'd all be dead by now. Our problem isn't the ability to adapt, it's the want. I said it earlier, but it bears repeating: The human animal is the only animal who dwells on the past. We are comfortable with our pasts because we lived it. The future is unknown, and you know the old saying...

    I do believe I've just performed an experiment in circular, non-linear logic...

    Adapting ISN'T the problem with dealing with future shock. The only reason we even have future shock is because of fear...Sad, isn't it?
    • CommentAuthorKinesys
    • CommentTimeNov 30th 2007
     (50.18)
    I suspect that the Protean worldview and mindset is an evolutionary jump. I also suspect that the ability to adapt and change oneself inside is increasingly going to be necessary in the time to come. But i don't suspect that the people who can't do it are going to go quietly. After all as Mr. Lizard always: "Evolution takes no prisoners."
  11.  (50.19)
    Willow:

    "but it seems to me (with NO research, mind you) that the number of people fighting to 'move forward' (subjective term, I know) is decreasing, or that they care less and less about progressing culture as a whole."

    I've been writing and thinking about this a little bit recently. It seems to me, from some angles, that we're in a period where the idea of forward motion, progression and cultural momentum are viewed as a bit... quaint. We're in a period where, in fact, there is no such thing as cultural time. It's the Long Now, to steal a phrase, instead.
    • CommentAuthorrobb
    • CommentTimeNov 30th 2007
     (50.20)
    are they fighting for progressing culture or just trying to catch up with whatever happened three seconds ago, to gobble up the knowledge before it's obsolete in another three minutes? now that people are gettng accustomed to choosing their own media and scary big aggregate feeds of information all spinning different colors of the same things... they don't have time to process it. who has time for the future?