(A quick summary on ‘double-you tee eff’ is going on in the world right now.)
Monday, June 1, 2020
The year is 2020. You get out of your vehicle and walk to a news stand and pick up one lone newspaper.
- Mass arrests
- Record unemployment
- Stock market fluctuations
- Money being printed to lift the economy
- Food shortages
- Curfews & civil unrest
- Disease worldwide
Dark days ahead.
In many time travel plots something has gone terribly wrong and something needs to be fixed.
That’s the plot of movies like Terminator 2, Back to the Future, Bill and Ted and others like
it. Currently it feels like we’re stuck in a time warp because so many things are happening right now that it feels like we’re stuck in a bad movie. And we’re partially repeating things from history. To some it feels like 1960’s or the LA riots.
I think most of us are struggling to make sense of it all. I myself as a writer sometimes feel overwhelmed at what to cover as ideally I want to focus on the positive aspects of human nature, but I also want to address current events and remain relevant to what you and I as readers, family members, and the 9-to-5’ers experience. We can’t live life in a bubble without acknowledging what goes on in the world and sometimes it feels like World War Z, or armageddon or X-men Apocalypse or something like Independence Day is ha-b-pening.
First off, I think it’s important to acknowledge that the world is changing so much, at least in the last couple of years so much with technology, news and the general landscape. We can’t go back to being clueless and ignorantly unaware any more. I think a few years ago I joined the digital revolution and upgraded to better technology to stay better connected to the Internet and digital world. I did not know so much was going on without my cellphone or tablet and “always on” connection to the world. And things have been happening most of us just aren’t aware of:
- Leaps in artificial intelligence and big data
- Machines mimicking human movement
- Digitization and immutability of publicly accessible currency equivalents
- Disinformation campaigns
- Privacy laws and digital spying – selling out your digital soul
I think we’re all overwhelmed frankly by what is going on. It’s as if there’s nonstop news and information vying for our constant attention which frankly you can attempt to tune out and unplug for a short while by going out and spending an afternoon in your flower garden, but soon it’s there again.
I think our little digital phones are blessings and curses. We’re constantly informed and more aware of the world than ever. They’re both recording and capture devices bringing sunlight to our social interactions as well as capturing atrocious actions while they are happening live. We’re not learning anything we probably didn’t already know, just for the first time in history and more than ever everyone has a capturing and broadcasting device that illuminates and brings to light events and occurrences live. Whether that be rockets launching and leaving their launchpads and headed toward orbit, or our friend’s birthday parties, or seeing some injustice in the street. We’re privvy now to the most intimate events.
Yet there’s currently a separation of designation from those that have big budget camera that pushes “official broadcasts” versus those with your home device cam / phone. If there is a reason for that distinction / recognition or not, we won’t debate that here. However we think that information should be accessible and publicly available to the fullest extent possible. And each of you news gatherers, digital soldiers, even MSM are essential to discovering the tail, the legs, the trunk of the entire elephant.
The latest problem is that you and I folks, readers… now have the hard job of discerning more than ever what is real, what is fake or disingenous or has an ulterior agenda or motive to sway your opinion. For instance, as noted in a few of my other articles we’ve pointed to Photoshop, deep fakes and edited pictures. We have the ability to use sophisticated phone and multi-core (GPU) computing power to generate almost realistic pictures of humans using several photos, compositing software and taking an “averaging” of several images to produce a somewhat almost passable and believable image of a human being. We do that with video to create “video puppetry” of real humans saying things via audio and video syncing that they might not otherwise do in real life.
- See Bill Hader fake videos
- See Mark Zuckerberg lip sync videos
- See deep fake apps etc (although there’s likely NSFW content that you might be careful about)
I’ve seen movie magic and the ability of 3D compositing and Adobe video software or similar and their After Effects and green screening etc. In fact you’ve probably even seen a few people on “the bird” social media commenting about a certain actor that hosted SNL a few weeks back without as much hair recently and it looked like it might of been green screened? We don’t know but it all brings up an interesting point:
What can we believe and not believe any more if we can’t believe our own eyes and ears? As social media gets more “fact checking” and also pushes back, and various fact-checking platforms also gets labeled as having an agenda, who can we believe? We really have to dig and do our own research then in order to learn the truth.
Often even news reporters have gotten it wrong unintentionally too. Some famous reporters (D.R.) were quick to push to broadcast some items and later had to recant or apologize or some stations jumped on one politically charged unfolding scene only to have it turn out another way as more of the video feed turned up.
Unfortunately it is frustrating enough that even sometimes well known celebrities or leaders sometimes grab hold of one view that’s pushed in the news and decides to run with it whether intentionally or innocently ignorant. And many of us are none the wiser or “drink the Koolaid” with them.
A large part of that is likely caused by the current educational system which needs to increasingly focus and prepare our society to understand that simply we don’t all have each other’s best interests at heart and often have competing interests. Sometimes we’re pushing ads to sell something to someone or trying to get you to sign up for something and need your “signature” for a petition. Or maybe we want you to lean our way in an argument or business deal or what have you. And we need to also teach our generation about truth and fact finding and dealing with internet information. Not all of it is real (don’t believe everything you read or see, meme or otherwise).
This is also largely a part of class tier systems possibly. In much of history there has been an inherent power and control aspect to hold secretive aka “valuable” information for those in the upper echelon while the lower tiers have just a “need to know” amount of information. You found this type of cycle happening from Coppernicus to Martin Luther and the Gutenberg times. And you see people holding secretive meetings also today. The rich and the nobility were smart to hold this information to enrich themselves and become more cultured and refined and skilled at war and combat. They passed down learning and had academies for their offspring to “learn the ways”. Even today we put so much emphasis into learning that parents pay uber insane amounts of tuition for their kids and sometimes going into debt so their children can have a more competitive chance at having an intellectual advantage versus “the other guy” in the business world. Sometimes some parents even go so far as to game the system… such as through bribery, such is the case with how important education is. It’s all to live a better life.
Today I was struggling to make sense of everything (news reading & Wikipedia) and trying to formulate words on what to write for the week. We’re locked inside in a sense because of worldwide fears of illness, but we’re also crying out to connect with our fellow neighbors and humans likely. We’ve been away for so long and locked to our screens and desensitized to the images and the inability to experience what we as human beings should be able to do: and that is to experience our full range of emotions and human potential. We want to dance, we want to sing, we want to play ball, go to the theater, love one another. We want to serve and run our businesses. We want to people watch. We want to experience sex. We want to celebrate birthdays. We want to preach or congregate. We want to mourn our deceased ones. We want to get married. We want to tour and travel the mountains and countryside. We want to travel. We want to stay in a hotel again. We want to go to the amusement parks… We want basically all our life goals and dreams to come true – buy a house, get a haircut, support our kids, touch one another and hug one another again and see and witness humanity again… And so much more. And that’s why I think this 2020 powderkeg was somewhat inevitable in a sense.
We’ve had so much pent up emotion from massive world unemployment. Stock market sky highs to devastating valley lows. We’ve had to endure trade wars / economic cold wars. We’ve had to deal with this quarantine and pandemic. We’ve had to shutter and stay apart from HK to Gilets Jaunes to all the news cycle and back and forth banter across social media and everything.
Nothing should likely be too surprising that we’ve needed to see each other and act like a normal society again and perhaps this tinder spark was what was needed to enable people to get back out there and “not be afraid of being out there again, death and illness be d*mned”.
A few weeks ago we were in fear of lungs rotting away and respiratory issues and now several countries are out and about, rocking their masks, and doing their things and “letting the world know how they feel”. Is this a good thing? Was this a secret way of getting people out there lowering their guard and even spreading more of the “hidden unseen silent killer”. Are there people out there stoking the fires and making society on edge to promote fear, unrest, civil disturbances to destabilize whole countries? Is it all about population & depopulation fomenting discord & hate and a new society? Or is this just a natural emotional release that had to happen?
Again we’re not going to indulge conspiracy rhetoric as that would be irresponsible. However we do note that right now is a very confusing time for everyone. You may have seen that “Back to the Future” meme on the net right now where Doc Brown tells Marty to not go back ever in time to the year 2020 as there’s Covid-19 and now all the massive unrest. The toon version Rick and Morty says that there’s infinite timelines and possibilities.
What touched me tonight on viewing a broadcast was seeing that even during unrest that people on the ground have a sense of justice and goodness. They know what’s essentially right and what should be done. They feel that a lot of wrong has been happening in the world. That something needs to change. And that as one “family member” who had been – deeply wronged – said… that we need to go out and “educate ourselves” for us all so that we can all be in a better place… and not spread more hate or disinformation and sow the seeds of discord. We are essentially all vying for our own personal changes in what ((we view as right))… but we don’t know how to make and bridge that disconnect. And with so many versions of what is personally right or what “IS” justice… we might not ever get closure that we need.
One the subject of movies, one of my favorite quotes from a movie snippet was from a movie called “The American President” starring Michael J. Fox, Michael Douglas, and Martin Sheen. In that particular scene, Lewis played by Fox says “People want leadership, … and in the absence of genuine leadership, they’ll listen to anyone who steps up to the microphone.” To which Andrew Shepherd played by Douglas responds basically that people “drink the sand because they don’t know the difference.” It’s a very powerful moment and if you get a chance watch the movie for the full quote.
- Need to feel control again in their lives.
- They need the ability to heal.
- They need to feel some sense of power and normalcy.
- They’ve been not able to go about their daily lives since it’s just been news or staying at home and feeling scarcity all the time.
- They’ve been living in constant and heightened fear and alertness for a long time.
- Should be able to feel safe and not have any one single place or or one single thing or organization or individual have so much power it jeopardizes an individual’s freedom, privacy and dignity and rights.
- They need a way to release pent up worries and know it might eventually be okay and safe again.
- They want to not feel like they’ve been taken advantage of.
- They want to be able to feel like they can live their life.
- People want to be treated with respect.
People have been out of jobs. They’ve not been able to go to theaters or sports places or go to malls. Their retirements have taken a hit. They’ve spent so much time at home either helping out with kids at home from school or not knowing if they can send them to camp etc.
Unfortunately, when we’ve relied so long on someone to lead and protect us we’re not sure what to feel when we’ve entered so much uncertain.
I think we could probably bring about normalcy and healing if:
- People realize that the power and desire to change things for the better doesn’t completely rely on the “upper echelon” of decision makers. After all, we’ve always had directors and assistant directors tell us what to do and how to move when they’ve called “action!” I get it, it’s a hierachy, societal structure and orderly chain of command.
- But people will start feeling empowered when they realize they have more power to affect how the world evolves over time if they realize they hold power collectively to change things as a whole and individually. We don’t need to wait to make the world a BETTER place. After all, we all know we want the world to be better after we see something wrong or that needs changing.
- Leadership doesn’t always start at the top. Individually and collectively we can have leadership also. When we’ve witnessed something and individually or collectively allow events to proceed to a powder keg situation then we all have enabled a tragedy to unfold. We after all have to change ourselves to what we wish the world to be. We can start to make the world a better place as individuals and as a whole right now.
To close, since most articles on the net become noise and “Tl;dr”… Life imitates art and vice versa. We’re plugged into a Matrix. Some of us wake up. We’ve seen a thing or two. Some of us wish we’ve never woken up and want to reset and go back to sleep like Cypher into our zombie-like bliss-filled “reality”. Maybe that’s the daily 9 to 5 rat race and pre-Covid life or remain in ignorance and blind to what’s happening around us like ostriches hoping things will magically go away. But that’s not real and we can’t go back. It’s 2020. We’ve changed. Society has changed. We’re no longer cavemen, nor do we all have to “fulfill” our “royal destinies” as Meghan and Harry, Duke and Duchess decided. We don’t have to follow our dreams or goals or life paths our mothers or fathers thought best for us. We are our own independent, sentient, free individuals with our own paths to learning. We each have a destiny and path to fulfill in life. Our future is not set in stone. Like the ending of the movie Terminator 2 our lives can end up bleak, apocalyptic, unfulfilled, and meaningless, or as in the movie Back to the Future we can alter potential mishaps and tragedies and future negative events with the choices we make today. The choice is one we can make. Too often we look to leadership to take the fall instead of taking the reins to responsibility perhaps because we fear with individual failure we have to blame ourselves.
When we acknowledge where we’ve failed, we can change to achieve great success. We’re not helpless, the seed for change is in you.