Comedic vs. Serious

“…changes to their profiles appeared to be more influenced by a desire to entertain those who visited them or to relieve boredom then by a desire to reflect changes in the author’s idea of their self.” Page 290.

Comedic vs. Serious

This quote refers to the website My Space, and how some individuals use this site not to reflect their own personality, but to reflect their own boredom, or what they believe others might think is popular. I have never had a My Space account, but I do actively keep a Facebook account that I try to make not so much about my personal life as about things that will make my friends laugh. In general, I use my Facebook page to entertain my friends, not to carry on philosophical discussions with them. However, I believe that even though I do not usually engage in commenting specifically on personal details about my life, politics, or religious beliefs on my Facebook page, it can be used to reach out to people through laughter and by making them more comfortable with you, they will possibly more comfortable about discussing more important topics such things as politics or religion with me, in person. It may sound strange, but I feel that if you are able to make someone laugh you will feel more at ease around them, thus giving you and them the ability talk with one another more freely and without fear. It has been my experience that people who try to make others laugh tend to be open-minded to the ideas and beliefs of others. I hope this is true of me.

In spite of being motivated by the “desire to entertain” there still occasionally are produced unfortunate results. I have found that if people think you are more interested in making people laugh than in being right about a subject, then you will be thought of as having a relaxed attitude on important issues such as religion or politics.  This is one of the issues that I personally have run into, and though I sometimes want to use my Facebook page to reflect my own personal beliefs on issues, it is much harder now because of issues that arose when I did use my account this way in the past.

When I have used my account in a way that reflected my own political beliefs I found that many of my friends were very confused not to mention occasionally a little hostel at these changes to my usual postings. When I explained to them in person what those posts were about they understood and the problem was solved. With that I decided that any cause or public issue that is truly important to me should only be discussed in person. This way the people I am talking to will have an easier time understanding the points that I am trying to get across because they can ask questions, hear my tone of voice and see my body language, which is impossible to get across on a Facebook page.

 

Shooting Fish In The Barrel

Ultimate Dog Tease

Kittens On The Beat

Das Beer Boot

Shared Luggage

“With reference to Kenneth Burke (1966) we might view narratives as ‘equipment for living’. The way narratives are structured as plots with characters makes a transition from the fictional to the real world.” pg 29

Shared Luggage

What does the “equipment” for living look like in today’s society? In the ancient past it was stone tablets, and today it digital tables, smart phones. Where before you had to be relatively rich to be able to even read and then you had to travel long distances just to look at these stone tablets, now the ability to read is there for anyone with a wish to learn it, and as for traveling, most every college student has a smart phone in their pocket and a iPad in their backpack. It is amazing the power of technology with regard to narrative stories in today’s society. They ability to share stories and experiences now just by touching a screen we can send anything to anyone, there is no longer a need to travel long distances in order to read a giant, heavy, stone tablet in a language that very few people know, you can simply Google with a translation.

This new form of “equipment” for living is able to pass narratives around to anyone anywhere at anytime. This gives most of the population a head start when it comes to problem solving for life, by sharing past stories, such as those form the bible and sharing new stories and narratives like those of the author C. J. Box and his stories of heroism. It is narratives such as these that are what we use as emotional equipment, but it is trough the use of new inventions like the smart phone and tablets that we are able to take that emotional equipment anywhere and share it with as many people as we like, making, inventions like the smart phone and iPad in a way our physical representation of our emotional equipment. In this way, the iPad can be considered a tangible narrative.

How Real Do You Feel?

“This dehabilitating of perception tends to occur as a result of certain psychological conditions, such as when the participant’s attention is intensified and is directed toward sensory pathways; when there is an absence of controlled, analytic thought; and when the participant’s attitude is one of receptivity to stimuli rather than defensiveness or suspicion.”

In Char Davies article “Changing Space: Virtual Reality as an Arena of Embodied Being,” Davies discusses the marvels of virtual reality. It seems, however, that Davies’ Osmose creation is creating an immersive interactive environment for participants who’s “attention is [being] intensified.” In a way seems that her programs are designed to rewire participants’ normal sensory pathways causing them in some cases to experience intense heightened emotional states such as extreme feelings of euphoria or great feelings of sadness. At first glance this does not appear to be terribly strange, but my personal impression of this new immersion in virtual reality is that it is causing strange side effects that resemble the effects of drug use in some of the participants.

Throughout the article it talks about the tremendous effect that this concept of immersion into the virtual reality world has upon participants’ emotional and psychologically states. It is apparent that these extreme effects may just be an unintended consequence of the system itself, but I believe that it would be worthwhile evaluating and comparing the effects of drugs on users with the effects of the virtual reality on its participants.

There is a link between the reasons that people use either drugs or virtual reality: to escape from the real world. They prefer a fantasy life that is problem free to a real life that has problems and consequences for your actions that you will have to deal with. You can have a million, although unreal, friends, you can be a size two model where in real life you might have to work to stay thin, you can be the best version of yourself without any effort needed or the worst version of yourself without having any consequences.

Massively multi-player online games are the closest thing to being fully immersed in a virtual reality setting for a mass consumer market. So even though players may not fully immersed as they would be in true virtual reality, it is close enough to draw in the people who are looking for this kind of escape route from the real world.

Words Without Love Is Noise

Words Without Love Is Noise

“God created love to propagate the human race, but, unawares, man began to love simply to love. By the same logic, although man talks to accomplish something, unawares, he soon begins to talk simply to talk…”

This statement at the conclusion of chapter six, “Art and Satellite,” I thought was particularly interesting. It makes you think about how so many people nowadays no longer talk to truly accomplish expressing anything in their lives, but to simply talk to be noticed. In this way, this quote relates to the film we watched in class, In to the Wild, where the main character uses words in what appears to me an attempt to find happiness, but not to truly express his mind. At one moment in the film we see his parents trying to give him another car, claiming that his is unsuitable. What they really mean is that his car in unsuitable, not for any safety reason, but because it reflects a lower social status in their eyes than the one they desire for their son. The words regarding status are never explicitly spoken; they are only implied, however. The son tells his parents that he does not want another car because the one he has works just fine. What he seems to want to tell his parents is that he does not want the pressure of the status symbol that his parents are attempting for force on him.

We see the parents and the son talking not to fix the many problems that are so prevalent in their relationship, but talking simply to hear themselves speak, or to mentally erase the importance of what the others are saying. In this way they “talk simply to talk” not to accomplish anything that truly matters, merely to discuses the ownership of a physical object, not the ownership of one’s heart. It soon becomes apparent that when a person begins to talk without the goal of trying to accomplish anything, they will begin to lose the ability to fully realize love in one’s self and others.

In the film it initially appears as if the son and his parents have lost the ability to love each other because neither side is willing to listen respectfully to what the other has to say, and because neither side is willing to speak their minds about their true propose. It is only when they are separated by physical distance that they begin to love again because their meaningless words are no longer in the way of their ability to recognize that beneath all of their words, and “talk[ing] simply to talk” is unimportant compared to the truth that goes unexpressed in their conversation about the car, which is that they love each other.