Tuesday, 13 May 2008

What do you do? What do you dream of?

Entry for 12 July 2006

"To be, or not to be" wrote William Shakespeare in Hamlet in Act III, scene 1, "that is the question: Whether ‘tis nobler in the mind to suffer the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune, or to take arms against a sea of troubles, and by opposing end them."
To die; or to be suspended; and by ending death "to say we end the heart-ache and the thousand natural shocks that flesh is heir to."
‘Tis nobler to defy the claims of death on our mortal minds and to take arms against its eternal hold, and by opposing death end it.

Hamlet’s question "to be or not to be" is probably the most widely known phrase in the English language contemplating life and death. For me, as an activist in preserving and extending life, it is the definitive question. How serious we are about answering it, reveals what we are doing about it.

The modern question: "What do you do" has become the ancillary, although the most socially repeated question in the English language. "What do we do for a living" has become the sin quo non for our lives. So much so, that what we do for a living characterizes our life’s role. To be, we must do!!!!. Madness.

But, "What do you do for living?" With the "a" taken out of the sentence, it is a totally different concept and a less taxing question. What we do for living relates to mental and physical pursuits our curiosity, sense of adventure, our health and vitality, our pleasure and fun, and our mental well-being.

All three questions cause us to shed pretense, but to claim affiliation and purpose. To be—to live—is what we do.

It is our talent, our business and our pursuit of well-being which we must carry out. The refinement of this built-in talent currently separates us from other life forms. It is our native, intrinsic talent, calling for the creative challenge to do something—anything—as long as we are "doing." To be, we must do. If not, we are busy dying.

Some of my current friends, I've never met. Most of my communications with them are alphabetical letters arranged into words written in strings of algorithmic codes.
some of the time I don’t even know what my friends look like, or what they are feeling. Feelings are sometimes difficult to express in written words for fear we may come off weak or soft, vulnerable or naive.

When I think of our culture, I see it as a body of electronically connected data filtering messages into its appendages. Out into the capillaries of culture, our technology has become far more exacting and more robust than our biological bodies.

Our biological bodies are far too inadequate to keep up with our ideas and the new landscapes we venture. From the telegraph to telecommunications, from the Net into Space, it is no longer just the written symbol—the word—being transported, we are the new transportees.

My own future body design, similar to that of linda carters (wonder woman) lol is engineered like a finely tuned machine and designed in the form of a human biological body, for aesthetics sake.

The outward appearance is merely an illusion, a type of logo for mental association and visual recognition. Soon we will have bodies that do not age, are easily upgradeable, have meta-sensory components, gender options, 24-hour remote Net relay, and upload into cultural hives.

We will have bodies that appear biological and bodies that have no form. I can remember many years ago envisioning various types of designs for mobility, as early as childhood, wondering how I could split myself in two parts that could simultaneously perform tasks of different natures. This came from trauma I was experiencing at the time and stems from a intrigue of oxymorons, a desire for contradictory interests, and enthusiasm for enormously flexible and transportable mechanisms and ofcourse Dr who.. Im a child of the 70s.

Mobility has catapulted our evolutionary desires by affording us opportunities for exploration. Mobility has catapulted our ability to arrange words in ways that intensify meaning providing emotional leverage. The human body is more than an appendage; it is a network of words and ideas pulsating across time.

Our words about living and doing are emanating throughout the digital landscape—from Hamlet to AI and A-Life—with distinctive cultural jargon and digital acronyms, riffing on techno jive.
Cultural slogans change and myths merge, but they never disappear. They, like us, mutate.

Get real, whit, What’s the craic? sound like throw away phrases—knockoffs from the earlier times of Lay it on me or Where you coming from?

They may seem flip, but not really. They function as a means, like an impulse which alerts us to pay attention, if only for a moment. These singsong slang-statements are impulses firing off from one mind to another in archetypal discovery of another person’s point of view. Views are like vistas. Both expressing landscapes, one internal the other external.

A poem perhaps, to dream perchance to sleep?

Within the internal vista where I come from, the broad attainable space for ideas and innovation is bright and full of possibility. Human creativity is the most fertile space I have ever laid eyes on.

But it’s out in the unknown that I really feel at home. All that space—the infinite space of discovery and the space for ideas, like the vast space between stars my we boy and I stare at with equal wonder.

But here in this landscape, we have the sun, so its intimate too. The way light touches our senses, turns colors rich and bright, kind of rubs a certain way, and we start feeling ideas as part of our own being— half buried in memory, like a dream we can’t quite remember. And as thoughts slip through our fingers, its like sifting all the neurons of our minds that we may ever leave behind.

Gets me to feeling nostalgic, for something I may never have envisioned, or something I thought of long ago, or something far away, or the future. Or something so unique, I don’t want to stop thinking about it.
I just want it to be, and then to become.

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