A Step of Resolution
How many goodly creatures are there here!
How beauteous mankind is! O, brave new world,
That has such people in it." - William Shakespeare
2013 has arrived good people, and with it comes the slew of resolutions and speculations surrounding the new 365 standing dauntingly before us. Where will we go? What's the next apocalyptic date we need fret about? What's trending for 2013? I wonder what will happen this year on [insert personal TV addiction]?
I entered my thought process on writing this blog entry in much the same light. I drove into work thinking of how I could string together emerging technologies into a vision of a bright 2013, but something was very wrong with my train of thought. I was easily going through the motions, piecing together a fluid entry, mixing in some humor, and coming out with a light foray into the coming world, according to me. Upon the realization that I was doing this came two rather jarring thoughts. The first was that I really don't care about any of the new "stuff" coming out in 2013. The second was the realization a rift was forming in my view of the coming year(s), and in myself.
I want more. I want more experience. I want more from this life that I am taking away from it right now. This idea runs counter to the traditional thoughts in my mind, as my life is following the set path bestowed upon me in youth. You know what I am talking about, college, job, marriage, kids, retirement, death...the slow burn of modern life. While that template surely provides some excellent experience, no one ever told me what to be thinking while all this was happening. Apparently I am just supposed to go with the flow, letting these experiences fill in the blanks of my underlined requirements.
I am not cool with that.
None of this comes from some need to travel abroad in order that I become worldly and much better than the average American. I don't desire a break from reality. No, I just want more from it. This doesn't mean some drastic change in the way I am living, only the way I attack the world around me.
For the past few years, I fell prey to the technological anticipation. I viewed the beginning of each year as an opportunity to geek out over the bright and shiny distractions about to be made available to me, and I thought I was happy with this. I was part of a huge community of people who thought the same and that was cool. I was hip. I was cutting-edge. I was pointless. This new year brought the realization that this superficial shell was bringing me no closer to who I wanted to be. In fact, it was taking me further from where I wanted to go.
The rift came when I realized it wasn't so much the tech that was getting me down, but the content provided through that tech. The social networks, the news outlets who no longer reported any news, the App-stractions that mindlessly pulled me away from the human experience, and a slew of other mind numbing attractions. They are all so bright and shiny on the surface, but so very hollow underneath.
By partaking in this constant stream of pointless information, I was making my life equally as pointless. I had fallen prey to the internet memes and the constant barrage of "New and Improved." I had fallen and was perfectly fine staying there, but I couldn't point the finger at tech. This situation was one of my own making.
Now I need to unmake it.
There is no running away from tech, not if you want to have any type of career, so I am not going to do that. What I am going to do is attempt to establish direct lines of dialogue with technology, humanizing links if you will. And no, this does not mean social networking, I said humanizing. I want to experience information that provides links into the human condition, into our very nature.
"Doesn't this mean talking to people?"
Ummmm...no. Have you seen individual people lately? Not the most enlightened bunch of sentient beings. I need to immerse myself in the philosophers, those people looking at humanity, not people. That being said, I am looking for information from a category of people nearly extinct, hence the need for tech, it gives me the reach.
I'm looking for enlightened minds to help me broaden my horizons, to help me see things clearly, regardless of bias. I want Socrates, Emerson, Nietzsche, Huxley on a consistent basis. I want my cup runnething over on the regular, not constantly thirsting. To me, this means one, very fundamental, change. Instead of grazing through the pastures of well tended drivel, I have to seek out the exact blade of grass I want and do everything I can to understand this blade in its every form. This means no more browsing, but active searching for information, actual yearning for it. This works for me, as I have some serious obsessive tendencies.
How do I achieve this? Gone are all the sites that report popular news. Gone are all the apps that stream trends. Gone are all the games not delving into the human condition. Gone are all the time wasters, the Angry Birds, the Blueprint 3D's, the Space Avengers, and the thousands of other paint by number experiences. Gone are the syndicated TV shows dealing only in death and horny fat man wet dreams. Gone are the films made only for casual glances. Gone are the easy reads and static characters. Gone are all the superficial experiences painted as realities. Gone are all the publications with photo-shopped pictures and small captions purporting hard-hitting news bought and paid for by an agenda.
What's in? Passion. Originality. Curiosity. Humanity. I want to read/play/experience information that comes from people who still give a s%&@, and I want to produce the same.
I do this not because of some inherent flaw within our culture (though arguments could be made), but because I don't want to be mediocre. I don't want to fall prey to the glitz of this world we live in. I don't want to succumb to the pressures of distraction, foregoing actual human experience for the next bright light that will surely fade. I don't want to continually grasp for inspiration inside mediums occupied by minds merely making a paycheck.
I want to be an individual. Not the special person coddled by kind words in their youth, but the person possessing steel within their very bones. I want to be an original. I want to love my life. I want to look back on it and laugh because it was insanely different than what I expected. Fortunately for me, I have support, and for that I could never thank her enough.
Welcome to 2013 people, let's make the decision to be better this year. Let's make the decision to not kill innocent children. Let's make the decision to understand, not hate. Let's make the decision to be more human. Hell, let's make the decision to understand what that means.