Category Archives: Technology
There’s a widget for everything, now. Or, as they say, “there’s an app for that.” Whoever they are. There are widgets for every possible interest or sport. If your life revolves around Scottish curling (and why shouldn’t it?) they have a widget for you to track those all-important scores 24/7. Our culture has largely given up on human progress (in favor of entertainment), and is instead engaged in finding a tailor-made escape from reality, with the help of advertisers who are all too willing to produce a feedback loop allowing you to avoid what you don’t care to hear about. (Listen to the audiobook Brandwashing and the even scarier The Filter Bubble to hear how people are encouraged to stay ignorant of their neighbors by ever-increasing customization and personalization, which facilitates antagonistic groups to believe they are superior, which in turn leads to violence.) Now, I’m all for entertainment. People have to unwind or they’ll pop like (any day) I expect Glenn Beck to do. You can’t blame them. People are bored silly by real news, and so they seek out all the mind-bendingly moronic special effects which clueless directors like J.J. Abrams foist on them. And these days you have to actually crash the Enterprise into the city where someone lives in order to keep them from nodding off. Blaster battles and supernovas in outer space just don’t do it, anymore. Or as The Filter Bubble puts it, “A squirrel dying in front of your house is of more relevant interest to you than children dying in Africa.” Wow. Maybe this is why Kim Jong un shoots off so many fireworks. And what happens when our attention spans reach zero? Maybe that’s when someone truly nuts pushes the button to end it all. (Never fear, Glenn Beck will volunteer for this, as a self-fulfilling prophecy.) I predict we may all, indeed, end with a bang AND a whimper…but please not before my final coffee at Starbucks. (We are programmed to march in lock-step there too, and need this caffeine kick in case NBC and CBS and ABC provide no new ass-kicking accident or scandal to rubberneck that day. Or as the song goes, “Kick’em when they’re up, kick’em when they’re down…We got a bubble headed bleach blonde who comes on at five…she can tell you ’bout the plane crash with a gleam in her eye…we can do the innuendo, we can dance and sing…when it’s said and done we ain’t told you a thing…all we know is that crap is king, give us dirty laundry.”) Starbucks should team with BuzzFeed and hit people three ways from Sunday when they enter their stores. As it is, they are too lazy to provide condiments like ketchup for the bland, dry egg sandwiches they said they’d never carry again. In the meantime, why do so many young people believe that the new Star Trek movie is the best ever (and not derivative)? For the same reason that many watch The Apprentice instead of trying to learn what “derivative” means…or “derivatives” (noun), those financial instruments of corruption employed by friends of The Donald after kicking your ass to the curb.