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Metaphysics & Psychology

The Shallows: Even a deaf-blind person cannot fail to notice we are on the verge of a crisis

The Shallows: Even a deaf-blind person cannot fail to notice we are on the verge of a crisis 1
Photo: Empty Zone Illustration by Jason Shawn Alexander

Even a deaf-blind person cannot fail to notice the tectonic shifts of the universe. We are on the verge of a global crisis not only economic, but also social, cultural and scientific. Materialism and consumerism are sliding us into the abyss.

The intergenerational whining of fathers and children is well known. Since the time of the castration of Kronos by Zeus, in each generation before, the sun was yellower and the grass was greener. The devil was hidden in inventions. 

But each new formation carried an objective element of development. They invented the printing press – so the circulation of pornographic literature overtook knowledge products. Books became cheap – women began to be pecked for their passion for romance novels. Radio and television appeared – many of the past generation remember the cackling “don’t look at night, don’t look too much, everything is harmful.” It’s the same story with computer games about addiction and the provocation of cruelty. ⠀ 

Conversation about the end of book civilization can now be confused with geriatric lamentations “back in my day.” But this time the fathers could be right for once. ⠀ 

Technologies were at the service of humans when they expanded organic matter and strengthened it. A shovel in the hand is useful, but a severed hand with a shovel sticking out of the stump is questionable. As soon as the mechanics replace the living, Skynet begins bombing Los Angeles on Judgment Day, and no John Connor will come to the rescue. ⠀ 

Many prominent researchers of the caliber of Nicholas Carr (“Shallows”) consider the point of no return to be the late 2000s, when social networks coupled with the iPhone and affordable wireless Internet. The book, even a primitive one, forced people to build stories in their heads, remember, imagine, and create complex scenario arches. A desktop computer, with all the dangers of sticking, is a tool for creativity, development of imagination and spatial thinking, which also requires overcoming the barrier in the form of special skills. You can’t even take the TV with you, you have to lift your butt off the sofa. ⠀ 

But ubiquitous gadgets have completely broken the brain, literally sucking out and transplanting the brains from the skull into an iPhone and tablet: – short clips and fragments of information tear up the thought, simplify speech; – pandering to likes encourages the most wretched forms of content, which compete with each other to satisfy the inner monkey; – virtual communication atomizes society, when you are in touch all the time and at the same time lonely; – the brain, softened by Google and stories, becomes lazy and cuts out the function of long-term memory, a constant loading of new information blocks the assimilation of what has already been seen;

Thus, technology has reached its critical limit, encroaching on the sacred, what makes a person human – complex contextual thinking of multidimensionality and connectivity. In one format or another, it was always inherent to everyone, even peasants had to memorize prayers, fairy tales and ditties.

Therefore, Android is the most suitable, common name for the most popular mobile operating system. Flow of content, bursts of dopamine, stimulus itch, living one day with likes and stories – that’s dehumanization for you. The machine defeated man without firing a single shot in an invisible world war, leaving the corpses of the plankton-dwellers of the metaverse demanding bread delivered and spectacles on the battlefield. Skynet would be jealous.

Such a picture clearly does not contribute to either scientific discoveries or the creation of works of art that were previously in demand among the elites. Now the powers that be are tearing up the remaining resources and are busy with propaganda hypnosis of the masses, reduced to the state of teenagers aged and tired from birth. ⠀ 

Neoteny in biology is the phenomenon of inhibition of the body in a child’s form, such as an increase in size of a baby. A wolfish, kind, playful puppy is our dog. Man is a neotenic of a quick-witted and hairless baby monkey. Physiologically, youth is associated with speed, renewal, curiosity and play. Therefore, the organism on the move remains young, which is fixed by evolutionary mechanisms with all the equivocations towards Darwin’s nonsense. ⠀ 

Now let’s imagine the 8 billion population of homo, which is fried daily with the same flow of information that their ancestors previously received throughout their lives. A kind of invisible radiation from every blue screen and radiation sickness from cradle to grave, liquefying the brain against the backdrop of a dull offline, fragmentation of the family and degradation of ordinary human relationships. ⠀ 

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Discounts, giveaways, black Fridays, new items, trips. Marketing is pressing on the infantile pedals with might and main. Play dating, play abortion, play war – at this rate, sacred things turn into clownery, 30- and 40-year-olds remain children: cowardly, helpless and suggestible. And, moreover, children with empty eyes and hearts devoured by technology, who flowed from the 5th to the 11th field. ⠀ 

They are contemplators, but not creators. They are consumers, not producers. Their life has turned into a charade, and, getting off the information needle, they are bored, empty outside of plowing and survival, they have forgotten what a real game is. They howl at the moon when their buns and cutlets are taken away and the brand of rags leaves the market.

They are ready to take antidepressants from letters and pictures on the Internet. They easily throw accusations and threats, because there is a complete illusion around them. They are ready to kill each other en masse, because there are simulacra of Baudrillard around. They meekly listen to the absolute evidence of modern Goebbels, because the neural networks responsible for critical thinking have long since died out.


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