WHY ARE WE WIRED?
Tom Gaiser | 27111701
Wired? Are we so connected that we begin to loose our own self identity? Who am I that I must define myself by my online relationships? Am I a page on Facebook? Or have I become the repository of a zillion apps? Are people apt to meet friends in real life only to share physical space while meeting more friends online. If cyber is space, is it outer space or inner space or in-between space? Really, it is a matter of the sustainability of the human soul. Man has been concerned about the sustainability of his soul for a while. Well, the Greek philosophers had no problem with man’s soul. Drama and comedy certainly dealt with man’s follies. Shakespeare made the human condition dense with substance. Then came the Industrial Revolution. Charles Dickens warned us. For the first time in human history a product of man’s invention would begin to control us. Even in war it would no longer be man against man, an honorable way to lay waste upon our selves. NO, we’d have machines do this for us. Now philosophers, like Sartre and Ortega y Gasset would write of the dehumanizing of the human soul.
But wait, there was a new revolution. What about freedom? Freedom to do as we please. You know, free spirit, free speech, free sex, freedom of choice. The soul was set free, yay to that. Our parents could have nothing to do about this. Family and work required sacrifice? Yes, that is a question. They would define work and family, and religion for that matter, as a goal, something to honor, not a sacrifice. Because it was all about sustainability. Why as a family did we grow our own vegetables and poultry besides cooking our own meals. Ever heard about the book “Chicken Soup for the Soul”? Why did the wash “go out to dry” rather than into the dryer? Why did my father teach me how to repair the house and service the car? Well, it had something to do with maintaining a budget. It also had something to do with maintaining the soul of the family.
But let’s get back to the wired phenomena. We all, well, I hope at least most of us, have seen the photos of landfills full of obsolete PC’s or the poor people of some poor country disassembling electronic devices for their poisonous innards. (At least the latter is an effort to recycle.) But what about the constant need for the latest electronic device? And why are we so dependent on these devices for our social well being? I believe it is all about judgment. Truthfully, there is a lot of good with this new age of information communication technology. I can see my daughter’s new hair cut from half way around the world, as well as talk with her for free. It’s through an app called Tango. That is good for the soul. And certainly the instant access of information about how we can sustain the world as well as research for our school and work projects revolutionizes knowledge. Even the latest issues regarding the Green Revolution are disseminated through the electronic media. But that’s just it, electronic devices are tools and the “media is just the messenger”. It is only when these electronic devices consume all our time and when the messages obscure our own thoughts, that the sustainability of the human, each individual’s, soul is in danger.
LET’S BE WIRED FOR THE GOOD OF IT.