Posted in The Neo-Luddite and Technology

 A man walked down a street with 99 phones in a wagon. Google Maps thought it was a traffic jam.

Simon Weckert used cellphone signals to deceive Google servers in Berlin for a digital art piece posted on Feb. 1. (Simon Weckert)

https://www.washingtonpost.com/technology/2020/02/04/google-maps-simon-weckert/?itid=hp_hp-more-top-stories-2_google-maps-jam-415am%3Ahomepage%2Fstory-ans

http://www.simonweckert.com/googlemapshacks.html

Posted in PEACE GROOVES

Ending Online Defragmentation

Over the past year, I have:

deactivated 4 twitter accounts,

deleted 2 Facebook pages,

canceled 1 LinkedIn account,

deleted 1 Pinterest account,

let Google Plus die,

canceled 3 photography site memberships,

canceled my Amazon Prime membership and am no longer shopping on Amazon,

am no longer posting on or checking my Facebook account,

deleted both Etsy and Square Online stores for my inlay business,

deleted multiple apps from my phone,

unsubscribed from multiple email lists (ongoing),

unsubscribed from multiple Yahoo groups as Yahoo Groups has gone away,

And

removed many notification permissions from multiple apps on my phone (ongoing).

As a result, I am:

happier,

feeling less all over the place,

writing more,

feeling more centered,

having fewer interruptions,

praying more,

updating my resume,

dreaming again,

finishing art projects

and …

anticipating some thing(s) amazing just around the bend.

Posted in The Neo-Luddite and Technology

The LORs Prayer

Our Godgle who art online, hollowed be thy name,

Thy thingdom has come, thy will being done on earth as it is in cyberspace.

So weave us this day our daily web,

And forgive us our sims as we forgive those who simulate against us,

And lead us not into discontinuation but deliver us from the believable,

For thine is the programme to devour the story, forever and ever, Amen.

Posted in Leaves on the Poet Tree (Poems)

Detente of Discomfort

this world of love hate
a presence on the web
leads to reconnections
with old friends
affirmations of life events
and yet tis so easy to
forget the one necessary
thing
to become distracted
to lose oneself to the
fear of hacking
(a strange word, so like a bad cough when you think about it, disease?)
to join the endless narcissism

i go back and forth
to keep or delete my account
that is the question
and others
to remove myself
from it all and return to what was before
would i miss it?
is my life so much
better now?
or have i merely succumbed
to the virtual voices crying out
when what i really need
who i need to connect
with
is the one of flesh and blood right here
before me?

for now it is enough
to keep these questions
ever before me lest
i forget who i was
the days before i
was snared by the web
trembling here with
the myriad connections
in a kind of
detente of
discomfort

Posted in Longreads and Essays

Midweek Essays – I Magi Nation

The world I live in leaves nothing to the imagination. The aisles in stores are filled with every product imaginable.

My imagination is usurped. I am made to want them for they seem magical to me. There are all manner of these other outer unmagic boxes, large and small, of all shapes and sizes, flashing and streaming, sparking within, present now, but temporal, not the divine spark within.

Creativity is lost when a child does not learn the art of making a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. For someone has placed the peanut butter and jelly together in a jar which seems to me the ultimate in laziness. My life is prepackaged, boxed up, prepared for my consumption.

The news leaves no secrets. Everything must be revealed even down to the smallest detail. The blow by blow of any given tragedy is expounded and expanded upon. The devil is in the details. We know something has happened but we don’t know exactly what has occurred. So we visit and revisit the scene of the crime and the yakking reporter until we know the full story and even then we don’t really know because the camera has moved on to the next possible bit of morbid excitement.

In our incessant search for the truth, we have lost the sacred realm of mystery. Perhaps some things are better left unknown and alone.

In my despair I believed that the magic had gone out of the world. Longing for dwarves and dragons, elves and wizards, princesses and fairy tales, wishing they really existed, or if so, why they had gone away and to where and whether I could follow.

I forgot the magic in me, in you, in the space around me, the world of the magi in me, my I Magi Nation.

For you see I wanted magic to be real because I believed it to be above all else the power to change things.

It is.

But not in the way I was thinking. To snap my fingers and make things right in the world, to heal it of its wounds and wounded. I sought to be great and forgot that I already am, not because I am recognized or known, because I am known.

I am great because I am, and I am a magi, not greater than you, for you, my friend, are a magi too.

And the unicorns and creatures of fantasy exist because they were birthed by the magic box which resides in all of us. Someone opened the door and the creatures came pouring out of a pen. A book took them to a million other magic boxes in the world, mine, yours, another child’s, and all of us believed.

Perhaps the box of circuitry and screen is our attempt to take the magic box inside our head and make it tangible, to reflect back the worlds that exist within, to make imagination real.

But it is a poor substitute for that treasure which we already possess, the land which was given to us at birth out of which all other lands come, filled with all of the creatures that ever existed and those still waiting to be birthed, a place with no boundaries where the wise reside;

I Magi Nation.

Originally posted August 2012

Posted in Leaves on the Poet Tree (Poems)

This Confusion

Conclusion:
this confusion
is a result of collusion
with distraction
inaction
slipping with no traction
constant inundation
of useless information
and the latest sensation

do i still have a choice
to seek the still small voice
find some wondrous way in this wicked world
to rejoice?

sore eyes
from reading more lies
the devil in disguise
scratch the surface of scratch and find the same skin
when the truth is within
it’s time for a blackout
again

peter picked a peck of pixelated pixels
and now peter is becoming pickled
perhaps a heart prickled
prescription sans the
screen’s tickle
will save a soul from
the sickle

(i don’t mean to be fickle)

but me thinks
like the baby’s umbilical
i must cut the parasitical
in order to be birthed back into the biblical

i know it seems illogical
to turn back the chronological
and resist the
technological

it’s miniscule
a minute molecule
but you say i’m stupid
to buck the rule

ok then
i guess i’m a fool

which begs the prescient pregunta too
yoohoo!
who
(or whats) fool
are you?

Posted in Longreads and Essays

Twitter Incites Brawl – Toward Forward-Looking Sociotechnological Praxis

When email first came out there were many instances of people hitting “send” in a fit of rage and regretting the mouse click later. Such technological remorse continues to occur today. With the public, instantaneous nature of modern technology it is easy to lose sight that our words, whether via blog, email, or twitter, can incite violence or encourage peace.

This was made particularly relevant in a brawl that occurred between the Xavier and Cincinnati basketball teams. Before the game, players from Cincinnati called out players from Xavier via twitter. This set the stage for a competitive game between cross-town rivals to morph into a fist-flying, foot-stomping gang bang. While there is plenty of blame to go around from undisciplined coaches to unsupervised athletes, it is important to reiterate that words regardless of their medium have the power to hurt or heal.

There are many who feel that our technology is fast out-pacing our moral capacity to handle it. A mathematical way of putting this could be: Is the amount of time and energy we are putting into developing our moral capacity equal to or greater than the amount of research, development, and time spent with new technologies?

In an essay entitled “Children of Invention,” Morton Winston, a professor of philosophy at the College of New Jersey and a former Chairman of the Board of Directors of Amnesty International USA, wrestles with this question:

“The fact that a particular device or technology, is available for human use does not, by itself imply that we ought to adopt and use that technology, nor does it tell us how the technology should or should not be used. We can and do make moral judgments concerning the various sociotechnological practices associated with different products of technology. We accept some uses as morally legitimate, find others morally questionable or problematic, and we take steps to restrict or out law certain other uses to which these devices may be put.

Moral reasons are those that involve ethical principles governing notions such as fairness, justice, equality, duty, obligation, responsibility and various kinds of rights. In most ethical decisions, such reasons contend with other nonmoral reasons for actions based on prudence or self-interest, efficiency, and economy. From the moral point of view, ethical reasons ought always override nonmoral reasons for action.

As individuals, we are the consumers and users of the products of technology in our everyday lives; as workers or students, we belong to and participate in institutions or organizations whose policies and practices can affect our health and well-being; and as citizens, we all must be concerned about the ethical issues we face because of modern technology.

Many potential threats to human well-being have been identified, and others no doubt soon will be. Understanding these problems requires a level of scientific and technological literacy that few of our children are achieving in standard curricula.

The notion of responsibility that we need to cultivate is not the backward-looking notion of responsibility as liability, which seeks to allocate blame for past harms, but the forward-looking sense of responsibility in which each of us and every organization and institution “takes responsibility” for future generations of humans and the nonhuman species with whom we share this planet. This notion of social responsibility, although it is voluntary and discretionary, places real demands on us as individuals and members of communities and requires that we think carefully about the decisions and choices that we make.”

While the use of twitter by young men to incite a brawl may not rise to the moral implications of the use of other technology, like for instance the nuclear bomb, it is a reminder that any technology however small is only as “good” as the human who uses it and that we must have the moral capacity to use it responsibly and wisely if at all.

December 2011

Posted in Peace Quotes

How much of my soul is mechanical?

Automaton Soul

“It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has exceeded our humanity.”

Albert Einstein

Posted in Leaves on the Poet Tree (Poems)

When We No Longer Can Wonder

image

when the siren song of the screen usurps the centering of the soul,
when we bow down so low to the pixelated god as to kiss nothing,
when the magic of the machine becomes the only thing worthy of our worship,

then the shreds of our remaining humanity will wonder at what became of our wonder,
and the final thought of our satiated mind will be a mourning of the loss of our ability to kiss or engage in the art of a gentle touch