Apocalypse past, present, future….
Is there not charms
By which the properties of youth and maidhood May be abus’d?
The idea that technology amplifies the “extensions of man”(McLuhan 203), in both psychic and social communication, is very useful when analyzing the current explosion of social media in scale and popularity. In The Medium is the Message Marshall McLuhan predicts the coming of the Internet and Social Networks indirectly when he states: “The restructuring of human work and association was shaped by the technique of fragmentation that is the essence of machine technology. The essence of automation technology is the opposite. It is Integral and decentralist in depth, just as the machine was fragmentary, centralist, and superficial in its patterning of human relationships”(McLuhan 203). The shift from fragmented centrality to Integrated De-centrality is a momentous shift in the patterning of human relationships. I would suggest that we are witnessing the formation of a global consciousness/awareness, through social networks, that is unprecedented in human history.
Of course, change of this magnitude would not be without consequence. Like all change it is not always felt in the conscious mind first. I would argue that the conscious mind of man has not fully felt out the parameters of what a global consciousness represents. To this end, some feel this change occurring around them but cannot ‘put a finger’ on it. I believe the people who cannot grasp this change would view the evolving world of Mankind through the eyes of an apocalyptic. I would point to McLuhan’s musings on the nature of speech: “What is the content of speech?”, it is necessary to say, “It is an actual process of thought, which is in itself nonverbal”(McLuhan 203). Therefore the social network is not so much the mere linking of ‘ties’ and ‘nodes’ thorough servers but rather the enlarging and acceleration of already existing patterns of human communication, interaction, and thought. I prefer this definition of the social network as it is much more fundamental to human nature and posits the social network firmly as medium. McLuhan states “Indeed, it is only too typical that the “content” of any medium blinds us to the character of that medium” (McLuhan 203).
The irony of this inability to see the true nature of the medium or social network is that it flips the roles of man and machine. If we view the Social Network as an organic extension of the individuals Neural Network (Brain/Mind) the power to control and manipulate said network is safely within our grasp. However, if we view the Social Network as the evolution of an electro-mechanical framework the primacy of power rests with the Non-Human factor. Thus, the Technological Apocalypse. The end result is a call for the days of yore. The picture below is a perfect illustration of this yearning for the old ways and expresses the belief that the Analog world will once again reign supreme.
Per Wikipedia the above Monument is the Georgia GuideStones: located in Elbert County, Georgia, USA. A message comprising ten guides is inscribed on the structure in eight modern languages, and a shorter message is inscribed at the top of the structure in four ancient languages’ scripts: Babylonian, Classical Greek,Sanskrit, and Egyptian hieroglyphs. The structure is sometimes referred to as an “American Stonehenge.” The monument is almost 20 feet (6.1 m) tall if the buried support stones are included, exactly 18 feet (5.5 m) otherwise, and made from six granite slabs weighing more than 240,000 pounds (110,000 kg) in all. One slab stands in the center, with four arranged around it. A capstone lies on top of the five slabs, which are astronomically aligned. An additional stone tablet, which is set in the ground a short distance to the west of the structure, provides some notes on the history and purpose of the Guidestones. This image is especially striking to me in that this form hearkens back to the imagined slabs of the Bible upon which the 10 commandments where written. This form therefore signals a break and renewal of covenant with God. In this case the form of the medium is literally the message. The shift in thought from decentralized monolithic ideas/power to distributed networking has shaken 1000’s of years of human belief in the centrality of power. This is a seed change as the monolith is viewed as very large and character-less owning to its single purpose while the network is dynamic and full of character where each point is integrally important to the creation of the whole.
Monolith Vs. Network Visualized
This research project is looking at the way in which apocalyptic fear’s, fantasies, and projections change and stay the same throughout important historical periods in American history. To this end I will produce a video montage analyzing the way in which we talk about apocalyptic events looking for commonalitites using images, speech, and music depicting the events of 9/11, The Cold War, and 2012. I will begin by analyzing the threat of Nuclear War during the Cold War era, followed by a more contemporary apocalyptic event, 9/11 (and the War on Terror), and ending with the looming 2012 phenomenon. I will frame this video with Marshall Mcluhan’s idea in the Medium is the Message of the transformative nature of media and how new forms of media decentralize and expand upon already existing patterns of human communication and social interaction. Thereby showing the fundamentally different ways in which apocalyptic events are experienced and portrayed in the public sphere of media. My source material for 9/11 will include amateur video, speeches by George Bush, Rudy Giuliani, Palestinian Citizens, Colin Powell, Louis Farrakhan, and Toni Blair. For the Cold War I will use News Clips, Photo Stills and clips of Speeches from: Ronald Reagan’s “Evil Empire”, Nikita Khrushchev”We will bury you”, and JFK “Ich bin ein Berliner”. And finally for 2012 I will use amateur Youtube Videos, David Wilcox speeches, Jesse Ventura’s show Conspiracy Theory, and the EndTime Update.
This is the first track for my final project, I edited down the JFK Ich Berliner Speech and combined it with my own instrumental- Enjoy!
Here is the Url where I posted it, wordpress wouldn’t let me upload directly- http://www.looperman.com/tracks/detail/117266
Diet in america is incredibly complex since we are a migrant country. Things have fused and diverged. As Eric Schlosser elucidates in Global Realization McDonald’s is indeed a sign of capitalism and democracy, it signifies the success of democracy and the ‘mastery’ over the natural world capitalism has allowed. Therefore it is as much political propaganda as it is successful business. Perhaps, political propaganda and successful businesses are more closely connected than we care to admit. Anyways, the idea that McDonald’s is manifesting some type of Global Realization is disturbing- This means that the infrastructure that McDonald’s needs to support its operations is also being imported globally. That Sucks. The world is better off holding on to it’s diversity of culture.
This is a picture illustrating the belief of the Theosophical Society that each planet in the solar system hosts life for a given amount of time then is ‘destroyed’ to allow the cultivation of new attributes unattainable in that current sphere of life. This ‘destruction’ refers to their ’rounds and races theory’, which is, in my opinion a little misplaced. Anyways, this process is part of the life cycle of a larger entity- the solar logos, the nexus of this solar system, which is subordinate to en even larger universal hierarchy of entities. All of this galactic machinery is supposed to manifest the perfected human soul as they believe this is the ultimate goal of life itself. They believe that the soul of man is the dream of God and we are connected to the creator in a much more personal way then popularly believed. While I can poke holes in the science of this school of thought (10 planets?) I am compelled to point out that this is essentially espousing a belief in the workings of a cosmic evolutionary process. I believe our modern science does not think in such grand scope, yet. Below, is a zombie apocalypse picture. I think this illustrates the most ‘in’ apocalypse right now. People have resonated with this idea of biological warfare or accident turning people into zombies for quite a while, however it has reached a fevered pitch as of late. This idea of the walking dead seems to be closely tied with the fear of modern corporate culture sucking the life out of its workers. Ultimately, I believe this is a re-imagined reiteration of events such as the black death, influenza, small pox, etc. Unfortunately, I don’t see major biological fallout as anything we can avoid. The human species is vulnerable to sickness and disease. That fact alone pulls the matter into the realm of probability. We can look to the bones of history for proof. Anyways I think the whole zombie thing is part of an amplified marketing stunt to sell movies and books. Anyways, we, as a species, survived influenza and the plague so this is probably just a way for the species to stay aware of the possibility for future generations.
I love SmartPhones! I am an old computer nerd- old meaning I used to program in Pascal, DOS, and C++ on desktop machines that couldn’t even process the simplest app on my HTC Glacier. I love keeping up with the specs of the new phones, the RAM, the storage, the processor speed, the operating system. Why? Because these are the benchmarks COMPUTERS used to be defined by, now its my freaking phone. Amazing! Here’s a cool video about the future possibilities of the SmartPhone.