Monday, April 29, 2019

Social Media

The distinction between modern and conventional is increasingly less persuasive.  At one time it was considered antique and backward to employ traditional methods of communication. Yet the so-called popular tools like Facebook and Twitter are rapidly becoming about as dynamic as a hamburger chain store. The extent of the common denominator has done little to augment the underlying talent. The telegraph was introduced in 1840.

With all its contraptions the new automobiles do not propel much better than before.  In fact the former 8-cylinder vehicles may have had an edge. Similarly I recall with approval my old hi-fi sound system.  Certainly I appreciate the ingenuity of Apple AirPods but it's still just music I'm listening to. The clinical purity of technology is addictive but not entirely free of its own hangover. The classics - like rap - are caught in the same web of humanity which has forever existed.  Changing our costumes and customs hasn't obliterated the original five senses: sight, sound, taste, smell and touch. The blunt meaning of technology is the production of goods and services and the accomplishment of objectives. Getting above and beyond our current limitations is a greater challenge than we may be prepared to accept - not because our modification is hopeless but rather because our achievement is already so high. Contaminating that purpose with retail commercialism is a small complement.

The transition historically from the printing press to electronic books - or in my own case from handwriting to typewriter to computer - has unquestionably made the transmission of information easier. Yet neither alteration has of itself improved the quality of the rendition.  The classic Greek authors continue to hold unequivocal and in many instances incomparable attraction. Again speaking for myself the distillation of my thoughts with the mere effluxion of time has proven to be a far greater advancement than any mechanical device or transistor component.

It is a distinguishing feature of wisdom that the muddles of life are reduced to plain expression. Whether creating a rich sauce, a fine cognac or a clear thought, the skill is to reduce the constituent elements to their basics. Nor is it an accident that patience and time are required in the process, neither of which depends on an external device.  This afternoon for example I treated myself to the sublime pleasure of an aimless drive to the city for a car wash and a coffee. The critical components to this manifest indulgence were nothing more than the weather, the time, a coffee and a whim. These are luxury ingredients. Without them I wouldn't have been enabled to relish the drive in the car nor the music on Sirius XM nor the amusement of my own idle reflections concerning my past, the present and future.

The quality of science which principally draws me is its binary nature - or what artistically is conveyed as clarity (black or white), the philosophic equivalent of axiomatic. In nature however these extremes or supreme definitions seldom exist. Reality is forever been obscured by innuendo or other allusive and oblique remarks. Some people betray their obsession with detail and perfection through cleanliness - yet another example of the tireless drudgery to which we submit without hope of victory.  This is not to suggest the posture is useless; rather that its object is guaranteed insurmountable. It is likewise pure fiction that by virtue of any modern device we shall ever escape the metaphoric stench of humanity. No doubt this explains the success of poets in the minds of many. We need reprieve from life's indisputable codes. Or perhaps just a good sleep.

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