Monday, January 10, 2011

The Speed of Fear

Listening to all the talk today around the Arizona shooting has made me start thinking to what degree our technologies have played any part in the unprecedented polarization in contemporary American politics.

Here's what I mean. Everything in the modern world happens instantaneoulsly everywhere. Since so much of our world is mediated through various screens throughout the day, my experience of the world has become really weird.

It seems to me this has caused many to feel incredibly overwhelmed and completely misunderstand the nature of the modern world. For example, in the flesh and blood world I live in me and the people who see politics differently tend not to hate each other. We might yell at each other inside of a bar, but it won't be long before we're buying each other drinks, reassuring each other that the most important factor in relationships is not political affiliation.

It seems to me the hyper-world has to be balanced with the embodied world, if for no other reason, to keep a sensible grasp on the difference between the way the two function.