Flannery Correspondence

May 16, 2010

Dear internet diary

Filed under: Ideas — BrianOFlan @ 05:17

I’m glad I have you to talk to.

It’s like talking to myself only I’m actually talking to the zillions of internet users who are trying to filter out some signal from the noise.

There’s so much noise.  People updating their Facebook/Myspace/Gmail/Twitter statuses (statii?) with inane banter.  Who cares what you’re doing right now?  Stop telling the world you about your day.  Doesn’t anyone have something remarkable to say?  Something purposeful and powerful?  We have communication lines spanning continents.  We can cultivate an audience from billions*.  When in the history of the world has anyone been able to draw on such a crowd?  Has it ever been easier to change the world, lead a movement and live with the widespread significance by serving millions of fellow humans?

Why would anyone settle for a public internet status like, “I fell off my bike today”?  (Expect a comment, “Dude, I bet your butt hurts.”  Respond with, “No way, man.  YOUR butt hurts.”  Receive the customary, “LOL” or “ROFL” or “OMGLOLROFLMAO!!!”)

We are perfecting ways to neglect profound opportunity with shallowest distraction.

Oh, sweet, dear internet diary, web log of mine, only you understand me.  You hear everything I tell you without arguing.  But how do I know it isn’t just so much more internet noise?  More bits for the great static hiss, the tidal wave of senseless information-gluttony washing across our overwhelmed minds.

  • What if people are the most important thing on the planet?
  • What if family is worth the risk?
  • What if facebook friends don’t count unless you interact with them like actual friends?
  • What if everyone is just a gypsy and everything is either a castle or a ruin?
  • What if all the jobs we are supposed to get are less scarce than ever (therefore less valuable)?
  • What if the most value is hidden in those dreams we used to believe in but everyone always said, “that’s nice but what about a career”?
  • What if retirement is a myth?  What if the goal isn’t idleness or ill-defined “not-working”?
  • What if rest and entertainment didn’t require distraction?
  • What if work and play blurred, if hard tasks were satisfying and fun things were productive?
  • What if we re-connected “living” to “a living”?
  • What about how you live?  Where you live?  (Why is your living such a separate compartment of your life?  Life, living, don’t waste either.)
  • What if money wasn’t the point — if it were rather more like plant food?  Nobody spends their time trying to grab as much plant food as possible.  We just want good plants to grow.
  • What if the best ideas could be captured rather than stifled or lost?  When’s the last time you said, “what a great idea … but I don’t have a pen and the light’s already out”?  What’s more important, four seconds of sleep or a thought explosion that changes the world?
  • Is altruism possible?
  • If you know something is true and important, why keep it in?
  • Can you help people without coming off like a crooked salesman?
  • Can you help anyone without actually being a salesman and selling good things to them?
  • What if you could say exactly what you mean, no more and no less?
  • Is Reason compatible with Will?
  • What if love were sincere for a change?

Aren’t those the things we could be figuring out?  Aren’t they worth global conversation?  I bet there are more things, other important things.  It is not a comprehensive list.

Dear diary, my blog, public internet billions, if only you could respond.  I wish you would brainstorm worthwhile questions with me or else help me work out each one until the new questions emerge.

Oh well.

* Internet population exceeds 1,802,330,457 as of 2009-12-31 according to http://www.internetworldstats.com/stats.htm.  That’s 26.6% of the world population.

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