Healthy, wealthy and wise

I wonder why we, humans, don’t tend to do what is right, what is healthy, what is positive. I mean our bodies struggle and try to cope and try to stay healthy but why is it that we abuse our own bodies and disregard our friends’ wellbeing. Even people who come from affluent families where resources and money are not short develop self destructive habits and behaviors. I believe that this happens because when we are children we are not made aware of our value and of the power that exists within us. Therefore most people grow up believing that there is not point in trying to control their body and mind for they themselves are nothing significant, and they don’t even consider an attempt to exert a positive influence on other people.  But if they were told about their value, if instead of every negative, demeaning, dehumanizing thing they had to experience or see or hear, if instead of that they were encouraged, told how beautiful, smart, intelligent, talented, creative, capable of loving they are, they would have started to believe that and they would have seen it within themselves, and similarly if they were taught to welcome other people into their hearts and minds without focusing on differences they would not feel threatened or fear anyone who does not look or sound like them. If we can create this kind of environment where all people can see the potential that exists within them then people would realize that they, we, us, you and I, are the key to other individuals’ happiness, indeed, the key to the universe. If we do not strive to make another person, a stranger, feel valuable for what they are how can we ever find peace or feel at ease around anyone. We cannot. But this is not happening and I don’t know how we can make this happen. I am trying to do what I can but I wonder how we can break this circle, this pattern. One of the problems is that people who should not have children do indeed go ahead and have them and then they don’t teach them any valuable, positive, meaningful, enriching lessons. Their children grow up without their own mind, without their own direction, without their own definition of peace and love. They grow, they grow, and while growing they are completely unaware of their own potential to change the world. And what do they do, what else can they do, they have to try to find some kind of meaning. We are all intelligent human beings and we need something to occupy our minds and the problem is that if we are not taught something or if have not read it or experienced it remains unknown to us. Therefore we do the only we know how, we do what everyone else around us is doing. If we have not read, seen or experienced anything else we do what we can to make our lives meaningful. And oh no there is no meaning in life. One has to be a hero in order to realize that. The only meaning that our lives have is the one that we give it. We make our own meaning. And no it’s not in drinking, smoking or gambling. We are a gift, to ourselves, and to each other, and unless we realize this we cannot be happy for everything and everyone around us will be seen as a potential threat, as a potential source of conflict. But that is not true. For all of us are trying to be happy, to love and to be loved. Oh it’s all so simple if we could see we could actually be happy.

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Disintegration of cinema, disintegration of humanity.

I have come to believe that current cinema represents our fragmented state of mind. What I mean by this is that audiences and filmmakers do not share similar interests and filmmakers know this. Or to be more specific audiences are so diverse and their ideas about current trends (fashion, food, religion, science, technology, social norms), about what is current or what is cool, change so quickly that filmmakers cannot anticipate it. Sexuality, religion, morality, ethics, philosophy, psychology anything can be and is questioned. Views and ideas and trends can change many times before a film is finished. Thanks to the technology which most filmmakers embrace, ironic. Filmmakers, or more specifically, producers, distributors, financiers, guarantors don’t know how to entertain the international audiences. They don’t know what unites all audiences. What do they do. They follow the good old saying “If you can’t dazzle them with brilliance, baffle them with bullshit.” Unfortunately the same applies to independent filmmakers. Films without any social, political, moral, or intellectual consequences. No views expressed. Senseless nudity, senseless violence, senseless aggression, senseless use of technology. Nothing that requires intellect, nothing that forces you to think. There is no question that ‘Film’ is no longer ‘art’. It is not even entertainment. It is a time passing brain toy without any purpose, without any meaning, without any value. It contributes nothing to our growth for it has nothing meaningful to communicate. Filmmakers understand this, action, violence, comedy, sex do not have any meaning of their own. Story is not just events. It is how they are arranged and what characters do to reveal their humanity. Film is not just about ‘reality’, no, it’s not like the reality we perceive. Film is more. Scenes do not show us what happens. No. That’s not why we watch films. Scenes have to investigate, look for, find, determine and explain new ways or states of what it means to be human. We don’t just show actions. Dialogues and actions have to be more than just your ordinary experiences. Ordinary experiences have no meaning. We go to films to learn about that meaning. Or we read books. There has to be a meaning that is communicated through performance and through action and which is missing in our daily communication. Film has to show you a particular unknown reality and reveal to you why some people do strange or stupid things and provide you with an insight about how some people live or why certain things happen or why certain secrets exist. Revealing that new dimension of the reality, that is the craft. It is the problem. It is about knowing how to look at the ordinary worlds, see actions, see people, and then get beyond them and determine why they happen, what they mean and how they might change and where they will take us in the future. That is what most filmmakers don’t know how to do. And they don’t know how to do it and they don’t want to spend any time on trying to do that. Can I meet someone who wants to do that. Please. Aare you out there. They just report and create clichés because they are not in touch with current reasons for current trends, for current thinking, weather it be why people use drugs and party or why oil is so important or why it’s more important to use your ipod than sit and talk to your parents. Filmmakers do not think about these problems and they create clichéd and meaningless films. Filmmakers have no point to make, and the ones who do are too afraid to communicate it because they know that the executives will not like it because the international audiences might not agree with it. There is a great opportunity for us, filmmakers, to develop new types of stories. Stories where we are focusing on the uniqueness of our humanity. What is ironic, and what most filmmakers do not comprehend, despite the fact that they think that they are out there and happening and that they are being cool, and in touch with current culture, is the fact that the disappearance of the importance of religion, patriarchy, new sexualities, new rise of feminism, etc. reveal our true humanity and suggest future definitions of what it means to be human. Our current revolutions are removing old layers of inhumanity and primitiveness and bringing us closer to the source of our humanity. Closer to the source of our existence. We are getting to know our instincts and our rational thinking and we are starting to understand why we are afraid of each other. Alas no one is interested in our humanity. But why don’t we want to see smart films. What does it all mean. We know that there is something wrong with current films. But we keep watching them. Why. Some say it happens whenever new technology takes over, it’s the 3D and CGI, they are to blame. And we have no choice. We want to be entertained and that’s what we go and see. Maybe. We want to be free to abolish the old world views yet we are unable to deal with the new world and the direction in which we are travelling. Our intellectual and technological growth is decreasing our moral values and the moral void is filled with meaningless technorama which is desensitizing our senses and because of that very process we are led to believe that it is ok to do whatever we please, that it is ok to be desensitized. Religious fanatics have to become ‘extremists’ in order to amplify their religious power. They have to become more imaginative more resourceful, more wild. And what do we do. We do the opposite, we do not try to understand them. We judge them, without determining, defining, understanding and acknowledging their problems, fears, values and the reasons for their perceptions. What do our films do. The same thing. Blow things up man. We must create new definitions of humanity. Social, political, economic. Our current behaviors perpetuate wars, hatred, greed. Isn’t it obvious that we are doing something wrong. Filmmakers, artists, focus on redefining what it means to be human, compassionate, loving, friendly, caring, giving. We have to do this because our current definitions are not working. Focus on these terms and define them. Teach us, the world, how to use technolgy and be a better human, don’t use it to extend our old, bad habits.

Science fiction and advertising

Sci-fi reality.

The sci-fi genre seems to be extending its reach into the advertising world. I have seen quite a few TVCs with various sci-fi elements. Sometimes we have futuristic comic book like heroes flying around with a jetpack and sometimes it’s the very nature of the presentation of different segments of a particular commercial that resembles or suggests a modern, futuristic, or non contemporary environment.

So I wonder what is it about this genre that makes it so appealing to the creators of TV and on-line ads.

I guess you could say that ‘the modern’ kind of ads are a good example of technology that reflects on and refers to itself through the sci-fi worlds of adds.

Or perhaps the sci-fi elements neutralize or completely remove (direct or indirect) references to a particular race, socio economic class, gender, etc.  Just as it is possible to omit such elements in the cyberspace (well almost, although it is possible to identify certain ethnic groups by the language used, etc.). It is interesting to note how one genre can alter our perceptions of how we communicate. It is a new and sophisticated tool which unites audiences and makes them believe that they are members of a large techno world where race and gender are not important and it suggests that the companies whose products are being advertised are modern and sophisticated.

Perception, class, growing humanity

Perceiving, with our own senses and intelligence, what the world is about is what is important. Deriving information from many different sources without assessing it and determining if it is  true is not the right thing to do. Agreeing with everyone because it is easier than thinking on our own is not the right thing to do.  We must step out of our area of expertise, whatever it is, and we must try to determine, imagine and analyze the consequences of our actions and inactions. The world as we know it exists because many different systems, all of them developed by us humans, interact in order to create a higher reality which is beyond the reach of mental powers of most individuals, primarily because there are no physical traces of it in the physical world, thus significant intellectual awareness is required in order to pick on and define the key invisible concepts .  Each system has different level, think of them as levels of seniority, command, hierarchy (economy, politics, international relations, religion, media messages, etc.). All of us exist within this system but most of us don’t perceive it therefore most of us are not aware of how our actions or inactions shape our own future and futures of other individuals. We share this system. We share everything. Unfortunately we are not aware of how much we share because we are not aware of the system and its intricate web of socio economic technological emotional elements. One of the key things which we share are stories or narratives. All stories (newspapers, TV, radio, film, books, comic books, cooks books, commercials) address the same set of ideas. Some of the ideas contained in this set are fear of the unknown, love, hatred, greed, happiness, family and many others. All stories address one or more of the elements from this set. Different stories have different settings, different props, different wardrobe, different characters. They are details. Story details are not really important, yet they are what we focus on. We cannot help but focus on the details because they the elements which we are not familiar to us, which are foreign and which we don’t understand. The elements which are familiar we don’t have to think about. The mind accepts them and integrates them into our being. But we don’t know how to deal with the unknown. What do make of unknown unfiroms, or foods or individuals who cover their faces, for example. And because we don’t know how to deal with them they can be seen as a fear, the basic instinct fear. It causes anxieties and discomfort. Stories have a great potential ,but as mentioned in my earlier blogs anything or anyone which is unfamiliar scares and makes us believe that we exist in opposition to that object, location, or person. Thus each one of us exists within our own universe which is made up of ideas, objects, places and people we know and care about, however this does not include all human beings because we cannot be familiar with all beings, places and objects. Our universe consists of a small number of individuals whose beliefs and ideas we share. Most of us are not open minded, compassionate, flexible. We develop borders and criteria and filters in order to deal with our anxieties caused by our irrational fear of the unknown. We use many different (personally developed) criteria to determine which people and ideas to include into our universe and which ones to exclude.  And this is why we assess (probably unconsciously) narratives (and narratives means all imaginable narratives including newspapers, TV commercials, magazines, books, comic books, films, product descriptions, etc.) and focus on cultural elements (they can be emotional, ideological, or physical) which are different to what we find acceptable thus this is what prevents us from relating to ‘other’ cultures, groups, communities, etc.  We focus on what is different because we are programmed to do so in order to survive but we are completely unable to notice this process and eliminate it. As a result we fail to notice the shared humanity because we focus on the cultural elements. We don’t say wow despite physical differences (differences in environments, wardrobe, etc.) and despite psycho/social/emotional differences (differences in how loud we speak, how close we stand when we talk to each other, what we eat and drink and how and where, what family means to us) we all feel the need to love, to be loved, to express our thoughts, to express our feelings.  No, we don’t do that. We focus on the differences as if they were something bad and the greatest problem is that in doing that we are denying the greatest natural and inevitable construct of ‘difference’, the universe itself. What is the universe but many different things put together but at the same time they are one. By refusing to accept what is different and by refusing to acknowledge our ancient fear of ‘the unknown’ as an irrational idea we perpetuate hatred and continue to replant the seed of hatred. When we focus on and accentuate the elements which can separate us from the others we are giving them an opportunity to feel isolated and indeed an opportunity to do the same. It is funny how naïve the working, middle and upper classes are and the upper class is not the same as the elite class. The most important difference between the working, middle, upper and the elite class is that the working, middle and upper do not depend on the international markets and consequently on international relations, politics, policies, and trade agreements and communications, logistics, and transportation problems,  as much as the elite does. This means that they cannot begin to imagine how the elite class business owners view the world. It is a place where all people are ‘users’ of either services or goods because they are how we humans satisfy our needs and wants. The billionaires look for ways to merge markets and consumers and resources and products in order to minimize production and transportation expenses and maximize the perceived need for their product (constant advertising presence) and increase audiences. This affects their business practices as well as the products. That’s why Sony, Coke, Ford, Toyota, Microsoft, etc. are what they are.  They don’t care who their consumers are. The more the merrier. Bill Gates would not be as rich if he limited the computer hardware and software sales to the United States. They don’t care if you are Chinese, Russian, Australian, Norwegian, French, African. In fact they don’t care what you do with their product. For all that CEOS care you can buy their hardware and software and nuke their country, they don’t care. They don’t have to live in it. The notions of nationalism, politics, voting, etc., are ways in which to organize stupid masses and create, manage and classify consumers which can be exploited thus creating an organized and unchangeable socio economic structure in which anyone who does not control a significant portion of the international markets or who has no influence over international policies, international communications, and international transportation, or international supply and demand channels has no choice, he or she has to be a user. That is what I call the Social Economics of the Global Scale and it is what you need to learn and practice if you are to manage a billion dollar empire. Although you might find it hard to start unless your parents have at least half a billion in various locations. The unfortunate thing is that what I am describing here are advanced concepts which require knowledge acquired through external sources and imagination and self knowledge, most people don’t have much of any of them, thus they focus and comment on what they can and what they know, indeed on what they are given. They comment on differences (physical, emotional, clothes, appearances, social interactions, objects, etc., all irrelevant as they have no effect on the higher reality which controls the world) and politics and policies as presented and interpreted by the media machine. Yes created and interpreted for there is very little reporting going on. Media is now an interpretation of events but not the actual event itself. But more about that in my next article.

Investing in our own humanity, the theory of differentiation, emotional and physical perception of the difference and the boundaries of our mind and body

How do we know when enough is enough.  Can we develop a reasonable, fair, universal method which can determine what is a reasonable amount of money and resources to have. How can we determine what is enough. And likewise how can we determine when we can work more in order to achieve more and have more pleasant lives rather than being a slave to our bad habits (alcohol, coffee, smoking, TV, video games). Let us say you are a billionaire who can afford to do anything you can imagine. You can get any education you want. You can work in any industry or in any creative field. You can travel and do anything you want and you can buy anything you want. You want to go to the most remote regions of the world and explore them. You want to go to the most beautiful beaches and scuba dive and discover new worlds, you want to explore the highest mountains, you want to fly in airplanes, you want to sail around the world, you want to purchase latest technology and play with it. You want to buy cars and cameras and any equipment which you find entertaining and interesting and which stimulates your mind, imagination and gives you pleasure. You can own any peace of land anywhere in the world. You are a great scientist and you work hard and you make discoveries and you want to advance science and invest your money in your area of research. Or you are a great artist and you want to invest in the arts and schools and education and places which can promote the arts. You want to live and experience everything that the world has to offer. You want to be the greatest human who has ever lived. You want to experience everything that can be experienced and achieved. But wait. We have to ask a question, are they the things that make me a valuable human being. Why does doing what I want make me a better human being, or a valuable human being, or useful human being.  How can I enjoy any place and any activity in this world while there are people who are being killed by other people and while there are people without any food. The only way any one of us can want that life of a billionaire is if we completely ignore the reality and pretend that this is how the world has to be. We accept the fact that the world operates in systems and classes and that all of us belong to different classes and different systems and that we are entitled to and have the right to enjoy our wealth. What nonsense. Each one of us is responsible for the well being of all the other beings whose existence we perceive. The moment we decide to ignore this we fail as human beings. And we do decide to do this.  That is the reason why we are failing as a race. The scariest fact my dear reader is that I have no idea how to begin to resolve this problem. How do we determine what amount of money and resources is enough for one person to be happy. What is reasonable and rational.  I am so worried because I cannot see any answer to this question and because I cannot see anyone asking this question.  And I don’t know what to do. Do you. How do you deal with it. The problem is that there is nothing and no one that is making it a requirement for any of us to care about any other individual and unless we make it a requirement a large number of people will continue to suffer because there are so many who are suffering that it will take all of us before we can help everyone who needs help. And it will be a long time before all of us want to help anyone who requires help. And our natural ability to care, our sense of compassion is not doing a good job. Why shouldn’t we experience everything we can afford. And if one can afford anything one wants why shouldn’t one experience everything. I believe that the problem is obvious, but formulating a logical solution and presenting in an acceptable way so that the ones who do indulge can see it and accept it, is hard. So far it’s been impossible. It is obvious that indulgence means that one does not have to use his or her brain in order to think about the world and his or her place in it. The senses are overwhelmed and emotional and all other types of intelligence are reduced to nothing for there is no need to think outside the universe which you control and define.

The question which we have to ask is why do we need to be entertained. Why is that we are happier when we are not thinking about anything of any significance. Why is thinking hard. Why do we think that thinking and caring are hard to do. Perhaps the harder we work the harder we play. But why do we have to work so hard. Why do we have to think that if we own an empire we are a better human being, when the evidence suggests the opposite. We would not have to pay taxes and make donations if no people had to work in our own factories for a minimum wage, the people who cannot afford to take care of their own health, food, children. So if we want to help humanity, we do not need money. We need humanity. Instead of investing in shares, banks, technology, we need to invest in areas which develop humanity. We need to invest into our own humanity because as long as we don’t see the link between our own actions and inactions and how they affect the real world we will not be able to make the right decisions, for what is right for us is not always the right decision for the world. It is not what we experience and how much we indulge our senses that make us better human beings, it is what we do in order to discover, create and establish new ways to  share our humanity, emotions, feelings compassion with other human beings that matter. In order to do this we have to step away from our instincts and instinctive thinking. We have to use technology in order to explore and extend our humanity and not in order to satisfy our needs, for no one benefits from that, and especially not us, for we fail as a human being.

The theory of differentiation is my idea. I think that we define ourselves and our existence by developing a specific view of ourselves and the universe, and our place and purpose within it. How we develop this view and how we define ourselves is still influenced by our basic instincts and we are not aware of this process. We are not aware how and why we become violent, angry, unhappy adults with bad habits capable of killing our fellow beings, which just like us, want love, peace, and happiness above everything else. We all want love yet we kill each other and believe that if we find an appropriate justification for our dirty deeds we will find our path to the ultimate happiness. However, we fail to realize that because we imagine that our religious and social and political system are completely different from the individual we murdered any rationalization of violence is irrelevant for they are nothing more than our attempt to justify our act of violence and their existence has no effect on the opposing party. By inventing a system in which we can justify murder and torture we distance ourselves from fellow human beings thus we develop political and social systems which permit us to dehumanize fellow human beings so we can commit crimes against each other. Rather than being happy that we are different and that we can exchange views, ideas, objects, food, clothes, traditions, we allow our instinct, which is an undefined fear of anything that is unknown to take over and we develop irrational religious and political narratives in order to justify our actions which we never realized originated from our undefined, unperceived, unnoticed fear of the unknown, only it is no longer ‘unknown’. It is our fellow human beings that we are afraid of. It is them that we want to kill. We want to be richer than them, more beautiful than them, more powerful than them. Yet we fail to see that they are us for they have the same fear, in their eyes we appear to be different and just like us they want to prove that they have more money, that their technology is better, that they can win. We need to prove our value and we need to feel mighty and powerful and we need to be on the wining side, as a person, as a group, as a community, as a state, as a country, as a nation, and maybe one day if we encounter new alien life forms as a race, because we define our existence (physical and emotional and spiritual) by imagining that anything which is different must exist in opposition to us. For us this is the only way to perceive the world. It makes me think that our rise in consciousness must have occurred as a direct result of our highly evolved senses which continued to send more and more advanced and detailed perceptions of the world that surrounds us to our brain which had to select and focus on the most relevant elements. It seems that the most relevant method would be to determine threats to our being thus causing us to consider actions which would require us to perecive and assess our environment in order escape ore defend ourselves. Thus forcing to become aware of the fact that we are separate from our environment and the environment can be a threat. Thus rise in consciousness as a result of constantly overwhelmed senses. I don’t know. It is the instinct that’s enabled us to survive, however, it is no longer valid. The differences are no longer relevant. We must step away from our animal fear. Different skin color or language (sound) are no longer a threat.  All of us are equally valuable. Each nation is valid and valuable. What is the answer. The answer is total physical and emotional tranquility. We must realize that there is no real basis for violence, there is no need for violence. That is when we will realize that no violence can be justified and that is when we will realize that all books, scripts, texts, policies, practices, notions or anything which permit violence or which give any kind of permission to see any other being as less valuable than ourselves are working against us, against our own being for any other being is us. Total psycho emotional and physical tranquility can occur when we feel at peace with the world around us and with the world within us. That is when we exist on the threshold of the two realities. One reality is on the outside and one is on the inside of us, that is we are nothing more than the thinnest possible membrane. We have to see ourselves as a consciousness which exists between the two worlds but which is not in conflict with either of them. It is there to manage exchanges of experiences (what we see/outside and what we feel about what we see/inside, thus we would be constantly growing and changing that is our view of the universe would be growing and it would not be altered by fear and we would not have to limit our experiences because of other individuals). I would like everyone to imagine our body as a see through sphere, but not a glass sphere, rather a sphere that is made out of a see through skin. Completely open to any light or anything that can be seen or experienced or touched on the outside yet perfectly capable of holding its own contents within it. But the membrane is not there to hold or hide or keep the contents within the sphere. It does that but that is not its main purpose. Rather it is there to move us through the world so that we can experience and interact with everything that the world, indeed the universe, has to offer. So the membrane does not have any color. Anyone can see inside anyone. This would be the beginning of what I call the ultimate psycho emotional physical tranquility. Our bodies, bodies of other individuals, the rest of the physical world, united. I would not want anyone to imagine any one sphere as being separated from other spheres or from the universe, rather it’s a vehicle which moves experiences and emotions through the universe. It is the universe itself, or more specifically, it is that part of the universe which has realized itself, it has realized its own value, its own existence, its own beauty and it is not afraid of anything for there is nothing to be afraid of for it knows ‘the others’ as well as it knows itself for the others are nothing more than an extension of it and the universe itself. I think that if all of us could imagine this we would have a good start. There would be no need to perceive each other as anything else than a part of the universe. One endless space divided into many different experiences.  The theory is to develop steps which would help us to free our minds so that they can become clear, see through vehicles which would permit us to absorb and interpret and care about others’ feelings, needs and wants, without any fear of losing our own identity. I believe that humanity needs this. I know that I need this but it is hard to achieve. I know that it might never happen for me but at least I realize I need it. I realize I need to care about all human beings.

Technology, communication, and how we fail to understand and communicate our own needs

I really hate it when people say that ‘technology’ is going to ‘improve’ our ability to communicate. What does that mean. ‘Globalization’ and ‘coming together’, they drive me crazy.
 I mean despite this seemingly limitless number of ways in which to communicate and form meaningful professional and non professional relationships and opportunities to understand our ‘individualities’ (in ‘terms’ of elements that are common to all human beings and which result from particular psychological states, fear, hatred, love) we choose to communicate on a more impersonal level which includes social, cultural and political elements. Such elements prevent technology from being anything else than an extension of our ‘public’ individualities ( I don’t know how many of you are familiar with the term ‘public’ vs. ‘private’ personality. )

I mean the despite the fact that it exists in our homes and our pockets, technology, for some strange reason doesn’t make us feel ‘individual’. Therefore it’s not going to revolutionize ‘what we communicate’ (hatred, fear, emotions, etc.), only how we communicate it. ‘Our’ fear of ‘them’ (the good old ‘us’ vs. ‘them’) and our need to belong to a particular group (party, religious group, neighborhood, class) will not be erased by new technologies and it will not be replaced by it. People do not feel ‘global’. They still believe in their individual religions, social codes, etc.

‘Technological progress’ is a normal occurrence, but the danger is in our belief that our technological evolution can ‘sustain’ humanity without any significant interference from the social and psychological or other cultural sciences, arts, etc. I mean compare our developments in physics, electronics and engineering to our emotional and psychological development. Three hundred years ago we wanted to kill each other with steal balls fired from steal tubes. Today we want to kill each other with laser or microwave or wirelessly controlled supersonic rockets. Emotional and psychological progress. Zero. Technological progress. Hell yeah. Why doesn’t it bother anyone that we are still trying to use technology to kill each other. I don’t know.

I think that technology as an entity is not able to find a correct way to integrate itself into our society and into our emotional states, neither as a whole nor as a fragment. Especially because most ‘users’ fail to understand how technology becomes an extension of their bad behavior, think bad habits. More importantly, they fail to understand how their unhealthy perceptions of themselves and therefore the world come about. 

And there is no ‘magical’ and ‘obvious’ way to make it ‘the’ tool with which a particular social change can be achieved. Technology cannot make us better. We have to improve ourselves.

 We have to invest money and time into our psychological and emotional growth. It should be obvious that as long as we are trying to use technology to manufacture and improve weapons with which to kill each other we should not be investing in weapons research. Ironic. We should be investing into emotional research in order to determine what the hell is wrong with us and why we are investing into weapons when we are mentally unstable. It is a very good guideline, I think. It should be used by Washington, London, Paris, Canberra, Moscow. If they adopted the same guideline at the same time, they would see that I am not naive and that their fear of each other is created and perpetuated by their unhealthy psyche and that is not the fact that ‘the other side’ has the weapons, for the weapons have no mind of their own, the moment we abandon our fears and trust each other, weather the weapons exist or not will be irrelevant.

Technology is nothing more than an extension of our bad habits. Technology perpetuates them. It cannot change us. It is us. We have to change ourselves and then how we use technology will change. Do not blame a gun for being a gun. Blame us for imagining that we need it.

Virtual communities, real communities, how do they differ, and why we should care about the difference

I think that there is a problem related to the way in which we negotiate ‘the’ difference between virtual communities and communities that come from the real world. Hmm. Well there is a problem in my mind.
Virtual communities seem to have more relevance in an academic field or any field that depends on somewhat ‘abstract’ terms. That is, communities seem to function better if their elements originate in the cyberspace and are non physical to begin with (for ex. a community about language, among university lectures or a community about video games for online gamers) and they don’t seem to function all that well if one attempts to translate objects (communities) form ‘the real world’ into the cyberspace.
I mean virtual communities do have their value as a mean of communication, however there is a number of properties about ‘the real world’ communities that cannot be represented/expressed when they go online. I guess the problem arises from the fact that physical objects are surrounded by other physical objects (buildings, streets, traffic, location) thus adding to the their role, their purpose and their meaning. And when objects, institutions, buildings, social protocols, events that occur within such physical constructs are translated into the cyberspace some of their values and meanings (signifier and signified, semantics I guess) are changed and they seem irrelevant or less effective when communicating a particular idea. Especially when attempting to construct a particular role for that online community to play in the cyberspace and in the real world.
I guess the problem is how to define the difference (differences) between an online community and a community from the real world. What are the elements of that ‘difference’?

Of course, virtual communities are not meant to be ‘real’ and vice versa. Indeed, some people create virtual communities in order to escape the real world communities. BUT THAT IS THE POINT. We, the users of online communities, must be able to determine the difference, we have to be aware of how certain communities, message boards, networks, etc., represent the real world, thus we must able to try to guess where they could be departing from reality and we must not believe everything they say. That is, we have to know that their views could be skewed and that we are not getting the real picture. This especially important if consider the nature of the internet. It’s global. And it’s very easy for citizens of one country to get the wrong picture about how things are done in another country. In fact, it would be very easy to develop false networks and communities in order to garner support and create chaos.

Power of advertising

How do we determine if it is the amount of advertising that defines the amount of importance we ascribe to certain products, such as films and books, thus if it is advertising campaigns that enable them to influence our thinking and behavior or if they really have a power of their own that is expressed through their content and form and accepted by audiences.

We need to develop a new form of critical review.

We have to review how films are advertised and how much advertising they require. Needless to say, advertisements are carefully structured materials designed to incite audiences, but they are more than that. They are not just teasers, they have already stated that the film in question will good. That is they are not just promos they are interpretations we want to see.

What is blogging

The word ‘weblog’ was coined by Jorn Barger, owner of the Robot Wisdom weblog. You can learn more about the meaning of the word by visiting his weblog.
Is there a formal definition of what it means to blog? Why is it that people like to blog. There must be a reason why one would want to share personal experiences with the entire planet.
They can be seen as a simple one way or two way communication device, however there are certain narrative properties about blogs which give them a form that could be compared to a general fictional narrative form. I guess the most obvious properties are the date and time stamp, the archives section and the fact that most users refer to their previous entries .
The question is, I guess, if ‘users’ create blogs because they need to define themselves for themselves (for. ex. they use their blogs to get more familiar with their own character, perhaps in a subconscious way by reading their own posts) or if they need to define themselves and present that to an ‘online’ community  (perhaps to feel a sense of belonging or a sense of purpose). Many users claim that their blogs are personal journals and truthful reflections. However, I think there are many elements that can be excluded or included and exaggerated or downplayed when ‘we’ write about ‘ourselves’. Assuming that the users want to be honest is not a proof of their ability to write truthful blog entries. I mean they know that their descriptions of ‘themselves’ will be read and that has to influence their mind and how they go about representing themselves. Perhaps all they do is change that first word that comes to their mind or they become aware of the importance of the structure of their sentences, punctuation, etc. and that changes the meaning of their original thought, therefore it changes the reader’s perception of who they are. What kind of effect the writers of blogs want to create, if any. I wonder.
And what if blog entries could be presented in a nonlinear fashion? Would they make sense? Would they be more realistic representations of their owners? Would they form a textual character?  I suppose such characters would be hard to ‘read’ and blogs would have less ‘obvious’ meaning, therefore they wouldn’t entertain the readers. But can they be a realistic representation of  ‘us’ if they need to be understood by everyone.
Perhaps blogs are our first (unintended and unrefined) attempt to bond with other human beings in a technological manner. We post ourselves, like we would a sign, into the cyber space and wait for other users to acknowledge our presence?