Tuesday, September 21, 2010

River City

I had an iPad/Alexa/DSLR/DaVinci dream in 4K/3D last night.

Am I the only person out there who gets weary of all the shuck and jive going on in the creation of culture?  Blogs that are promoting technology, selling dreams to sell themselves by association?  Tweets that are just personal brand building?  I have to admit that, at times, I find it extremely discouraging that the new normal for making ground-level culture seems to often be so cynically capitalistic, particularly when we have so recently seen on a large scale just how likely this mindset is to fail and leave us all to flail on our own.  I'd like to think that we are all more than personal brands.  Don't get me wrong, I love technology and know that there are extremely liberating aspects to what is happening right now.  But just how real are these "relationships" that we claim to be building in the ether?  Are we all just salesmen?

Every time I log into my Blogger account, there it is, the monetize button.  Is that all we can aspire to now, to be little Mad Men?  Is that all culture makers can aspire to, being productive sub-units in Adam Smith's dream?  It seems to be an unquestioned assumption now, internalized by even the most ground-level culture makers.  My hope is that people will realize at some point, you are doing it all on your own anyway, create your own path and do what feels right for you.  You don't necessarily have to follow the "new" rules any more than you need to follow the old.

And for heaven's sake, please stop buying technology and throwing it away, replacing devices every few months.  Somewhere, there is an extremely poor person disassembling your "recycled" piece of technology and most likely getting poisoned (and poisoning their local environment) doing it.  Really, it's not ok.  The questions I ask myself are:  Can I do what I want without the new upgrade?  Will I make any money off of it?  Not perfect, I know, but at least it keeps in check the mindless upgrade beast that lurks in all of our hearts.  OK, no more cranky posts for a long, long time.

On a positive note, I'd like to mention a blog that I've found that I like quite a bit by Brad Bell.  It's really quite nice, beautiful and an interesting mix of technology, film, social concerns and their intersection.