Here’s an issue for the mind awash in the digital image and it corresponding “emotional” content: As the mind receives this content it is acted upon by it and it responds in kind.

There is no deliberation.

We have no time to think but instead we are thought.

In the time before writing and speech there was action serving necessity.

In the time of speech there emerges a separation–a becoming of distinction.  There are stories and explanations and instructions.  Stories told in one place must physically travel for there to be a concatenation of “being” that illustrates likeness.  But this “communication” must have been rare to be sure.

In the time of writing there is a deepening of human self.  There is the self as written symbol.  I exist in my physical form, in my ephemeral and ghostly utterance (here now and yet gone unless captured by another mind), and now I exist in a symbol.  My self as written.

But still, it is rarely shared or “communicated.”

Printing turns the world and the self upside down for those that read and write and can gather to hear someone read the written word.  The selves are let loose upon us.  They are not ours but they sound the same.

But in all of this, time moves slowly and we deliberate upon the form the self takes.

In some sense, the digital throws us back upon the mind that “opens” and receives the “field” of options in which we are to be actors.

Except the only action is reception and so is not properly of/from us.

And instead we become the field as it is presented.

And we do not deliberate upon it as it washes over and into us.

Our great god overfloweth and the gift is great and awesome.

And we are only unworthy.

We are no longer those beings who grew into the written mind.

We are primitive again by necessity; by our relation to the signal (ever and newly baptized in this river).

We must grasp at a glance: kill or be killed; flee or fight; friend or foe; pain or pleasure.  Now now now now.



photo credit: mriggen’s photostream

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Douglas Storm is a host and producer for Interchange on Bloomington, Indiana's community radio station WFHB. "Why then do you try to 'enlarge' your mind? Subtilize it..."

2 Responses to “Think On’t” Subscribe

  1. focus May 15, 2012 at 7:40 pm #

    your “now now now” makes me think of the insistent, persistent pervasiveness of our daily doses of technology–the smartphone to be precise.
    Before the advent of cell phones (I am old enough to recall those days) you had to just deal with the fact that, at times, you couldn’t get hold of people. In emergencies this was unfortunate. In almost all other occasions it just wasn’t a big deal. Answering machines helped improve the lines of communication but still left you with choices and freedom. In my early work days I had to carry a pager. It was restrictive. Cell phones weren’t around. If I went anywhere and got paged I had to find a payphone and have correct change. I felt this restricted my freedom to go places, being tethered to this pager. The advent of the cell phone seemed like freedom! I could go anywhere and still fulfill my duties with the pager. Then the pager went the way of the dinosaur and the phone became smart. Smarter than me at this point. Because now that anyone can reach me anytime, anywhere, about any trivial thing, I see that I had far more freedom before. The insistent ring of the cell phone has trained me as a modern day Pavlov’s dog–I must answer the call. Return the email. Answer the text. It interrupts at any time at all and disrupts far more than a pager did. Answers are needed NOW. Disturbingly I find that now I need those answers NOW as well. The meaning of the medical term “Stat” has been overwhelmed by this instant access technology. All is now “stat” so that in reality the true “stat” situation gets lost in the noise. Can’t get someone by email, then text. They don’t answer the text, then call. If they don’t answer the call–the frustration sets in. What could they be doing that is more important than taking my call? Well, I could think of a lot of things. Sorry for the long, ranting post. Lots to think on here Doug–something you do quite well is to get us thinking.

    • Douglas Storm May 15, 2012 at 8:00 pm #

      A rant longer than the post! Love it!

      1762–JJ says “Man is born free; and everywhere he is in chains.”

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