Tag Archive: influence

We live in an age, somewhere post modernism, after the demise of meta-narratives, somehow knowing where we are not and desperately trying to figure out where exactly we are. This short sketch is an attempt to struggle with the “exactly where we are”. I propose three common denominators for the age we live in, Digital, Networked, and Anthropocene.

Without a doubt two of the most significant developments during the late 20th century was the personal computer, which Taleb signifies as a Black Swan Event, and the web, another of those Black Swans. The Web made it’s debut during 1989 and it spread to offices and homes by 1994. Digital cameras arrived on the scene in 1990, cellphones during 1977, cellphones with cameras during 1999, chatrooms opened it’s doors during 1980, Facebook launched 2004, Twitter 2006 and an ever increasing list of portals where digital data is created and stored. The mere act of using the internet during 2011 will create more digital data about an user than the user him-/herself can generate. The dawn of the digital age broke over the earth during 2002 when more digital data was generated than analogue data. 2011 will see another 1.8 zettabytes of data created, 33% more than 2010, or in other words, the equivalent of 57.5 billion 32GB Apple iPads filled with data. Enough to build a technological wall of China, as long and as wide, but twice as high. We truly live in a digital world.

One of the mainstays of the digital era is the hubs, nodes, linking datacables, and wifi signals that create a vast Network of 1’s and 0’s. The network(s) that underlie the digital world is not merely a bunch of microchips and optic fibre, but creates an environment which allows not only digital communication and data creation, but for interactions in the “real” world with very “real” implications. We use networks to order our lives, from buying food to organizing social get togethers, from insiting revolution on the one side of the planet to exploiting the planet on the other side, from building community with family and friends vast distances away to destroying communities close by. Today more than ever before do we realize that we are part of a vast network, both digitally and naturally, where technology matters but networks far exceed the virtual world. It seems there might be truth in the saying that when a butterfly flaps it’s wings in America, it creates a tropical storm in the Orient, a truly networked society.

Last, but not least, is the realization that we live in a day an age, a biosphere where the activities of man(!)kind is shaping the very space we live in. It’s been suggested that a case can be made that we are living in the Anthropocene, a new geological age or even a new geological epoch alltogether. If the suggested Anthropocene is an age it falls under the epoch Holocene. If not and it is recognize as an epoch in its own right, it follows on the Holocene that started approximately 10 000 years ago after the end of the Pleistocene and falls under the period Quaternary, which started an estimated 2.6 million years ago. The term was coined by ecologist Eugene Stoermer and widely popularized by the atmospheric chemist, Paul Crutzen. The Stratigraphy Commission of the Geological Society of London deemed the proposal, to formally accept the Anthropocene as part of the Geological Time Scale, as having merit and thus the proposed addition of the Anthropocene is currently being studied. Accepted or not, we are living in an age where (wo)mankind has an ever increasing impact on the world around us.

The age we are experiencing at the moment often leaves us gasping for air, scrambling for descriptive words. There might be many such word and concepts out there, however, I want to welcome you to… the Digital Networked Anthropocen (DNA).

A start!

Thank you. For taking the time to read this blog.

Welcome. To the start of a new journey (in the very least for me.)

In the blog, Life Matters, Ricus Groenewald begins with why he started a blog. This, together with the reader’s time spend reading the blog, gives direction and creates responsibility on the part of the blogger. Ricus points out to write for the sake of writing is a waste of precious time, for the blogger and (almost more importantly) for the reader.

The reason to write, writes Ricus, is to influence the thought processes of the reader. This in turn leads (hopefully) to a change in the reader’s approach to life. This might come across as being arrogant; who is this person that wants to presume to change my mind and by extension my life? Ricus wonderfully counters this point by asking for comments on his posts as it can then “enrich our lives”.

The change in paradigms (in other words thought processes) and the influence it has on lifestyle is therefore not a movement from the reader’s construct to that of the blogger but rather a cross pollination which is constructive to both the blogger and his/her readers.

I begin my blog with reference to Ricus’s because I have a great affinity for what he says. Any good blog must strive to influence (and to be influenced) and at the same time be worth while of time being spend on it. This does not exclude the humorous or the brief; it does not limit itself to prose or the elaborate philosophizing of nothing; it doesn’t strive only for the lofty or the mundane. Achieving something that is paradigm shifting and time well spent only means that whatever is written; is done so with integrity, with honesty and always seeking Mystery. For it is in this Mystery that we find Each other, each Other and the something OTHER; it is here where our paradigms evolve and sometimes even devolve; it is here that LIFE happens.

So please, visit me often, read, influence, be influenced, celebrate life, seek Mystery!