Here Thar Be Monsters!

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15.3.17

ADHD - Alleged Digital Hyperreality Disorder

Age has its advantages.  Since I rounded 50, I've noticed I am much more patient now.  Whenever I am surrounded by idiots in traffic, my first impulse is not to jump out of the car and start shooting.  Now, I'm perfectly content to use a knife.

It's a good thing too, since any more it seems idiocy is proliferating.  People are literally becoming incapable of making simple decisions without a device to tell them what to do.  Even the smart ones still rely on authority figures to think for them, though the authority figures rely on devices for guidance, as well.

The world is being conquered by gee-gaws and apps and not only are we voluntarily submitting, we are obligingly running out and paying for the latest sparkly things in a box and downloading the newest version of the old Magic 8-Ball to make decisions for us.

It's rather frightening.  On the occasions when I lower my shields enough to wander into a location with more than 4 people in a herd, I am astounded by the complete lack of interaction with one's surroundings exhibited by most folk.  Of course, there have always been places like New York City, where people assiduously avoided human interaction, but this is different.  At least the Yankees would occasionally look up to see where they were going.  Now folks are so absorbed by their digital masters, they can't tear their eyes away from the pretty pictures and sparkly lights.

It's a form of hypnotism.  Any hypnotist will tell you that the target must be willing to be controlled, and that is certainly what we see today.  People would rather have virtual discussions (granting a certain level of non-existent intellectualism) with people they have never met living thousands of miles away, than to simply look up from the screen and say hello to a living, breathing human being standing directly in front of them.

It's extremely rare now for anyone under 30 to be able to hold a conversation.  At best, on the incredibly auspicious occasions one can elicit a spoken word, these zombies talk in 145-word bytes.  And that's only if they can be distracted long enough to form a complete sentence.  If such a miracle happens, you can watch the zombie's eyes being continuously pulled down to their god-in-hand, hardly able to rip their minds away from the magic incantations scrolling across the screen.

When I was in the pink of youth, the whole purpose of a work week was to have enough dough in my pocket to gather with friends, take in cultural events, raise (more than) a few glasses, and TALK.  If we went to a movie, we actually watched it (having paid for the privilege) and then - gasp, horror - would sit around and discuss it.

Don't know if you've been to a movie lately, but even dating couples sit through the flick with only the barest of attention given to the Big Screen and their partner, but as they leave the cinema, they are once again buried in their blinky lights.  They don't even have a hand free to hold their paramour.

I know, I know...even Aristotle complained about the Youth of Athens 3,000 years ago, but I think he would be horrified at the complete disconnect between living a real life and some virtual estimation of it.

I sometimes wonder what would happen if it all switched off tomorrow.  Can you imagine the sheer panic?  Literally no one would have a clue how to navigate without GPS, or find a meal without Zomato, or hold a conversation without "social" media, or form an opinion without first checking the Political Correctness gods?

Would they know how to express an emotion without "emojis"?  Hell, would they even know what a genuine, human emotion was?  How would folks react if they didn't have their little boxes to insulate them from real human interaction?  Would they know the basic pleasantries of civilized interaction?

What's worse than all this is the fact that humans are being trained literally from birth to depend on gadgets.  Toy cell phones appear in cribs now, with real, functioning devices placed in children's hands by no later than 3 or 4 years old.

When I was a child, I sat around listening to adult conversations, learning about the larger world that I had only just become aware of...Now, children sit in corners playing digital games, oblivious to the world until the wifi signal is disrupted.

This "life" was once the stuff of sci-fi horror movies, like Invasion of the Body Snatchers.  Yet, here we are watching come to life - such as it is - moment by moment.  Our families and friends are slowly taken over by flashy things, becoming robotic shells of emotionless zombies with cartoonish swirls in their eyes.  When one looks into their eyes, there's no "there" there.

For millennia, humans have wasted kajillions of dollars and lives in wars trying to take over other countries.  No longer needed.  Now just hypnotize the natives with blinky things and walk right in.  No one will ever know the difference.

It is a sad commentary that...oops, sorry, text message...

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