The Paradox of Intelligence
I’m more and more noticing a fusion of online and in real life happenings. There is a theory called “Convergence” in which all of our technologies, our networks, will – converge. I subscribe to this, as it’s already happening. We have become reliant on our mobile phones, especially smart phones (convergence friendly) and social media. We create online persona(s), tweet our every thoughts, no matter how banal, and use abbreviations derived from text speak into real life speak. Like some Orwellian newspeak I have heard people use “LOL” out in the real world. I shit you not. We are en mass using Facebook as our browser. Our gateway to the world, the universe, the actual literal universe and our microcosmic pub universe of mates and gossip, sharing that mad video of a cat getting bummed in India (LOL) and that thing when that bloke said something on that show that was well mad to that other bloke. Everyone can be a comedian. Everyone can be an expert. Online.
Einstein was a great advocator of simplicity and our own imagination. Surely all great thinkers in history just want us to think for ourselves. It’s not like you suddenly decide you are smart just because you understand Steven Hawking anymore than you’re intellectual because you play fucking Chess. I believe it’s in the ability to understand things that are probably “TLDR” and then extrapolate that knowledge to your own ends or dreams. If understanding the primary concepts of particle physics, enables you to perform some some sort of transmogrification into a philosophical paradigm then I’d say you’re probably pretty smart and using your own brain. Research is often lots of reading and no more indicative of being a genius than having a good memory. That sounds really clever doesn’t it, but would you be impressed if I had said: Read a book and think about life?
Gone are the days when people stood shoulder to shoulder, quietly trying to rack their brains to remember the name of Geoffrey Palmer’s wife in Butterflies. Now the smartphones are whipped out and the vast vaults of internet knowledge come to the rescue. It was Wendy Craig by the way. I continue to amaze my tech hating friend Charlie, from the local, who refuses to own a mobile, let alone get involved with “The Facebook”. I like to leave my mobile alone, take it old school and use my memory when talking about music or comedy well beyond my years. It’s still nice to know my iphone will bail me out though if it’s a really tough reference.
Anyway, it’s got me thinking, I believe the more advanced we become, the more reliant on technology, the more stupid we make ourselves. We are loosing skills from the real world like: interaction, conversation, behaviour – and frankly, doing things the proper way. It’s become digital, interaction becomes interactivity and experiential. Emulative ways of real and satisfying experiences, algorithmic re-interpretations and demographic suggestions.
Because of all this potential wealth of knowledge, people can misuse it (in my eyes) and become toe dipping pseudo fucking smart-arses. Even if this level of knowledge is that Twiki from Buck Rogers is spelled like so and no ‘e’ at the end. Who fucking cares? I mean if you had that conversation in real life and someone picked you up on that you’d probably punch them wouldn’t you? But, no, the grammar police are there and they’re telling you which way is up and often missing the point. If you’ve ever thought about why isn’t there world peace, you’ve only got to go and look on Facebook and see why. Go and have a look at someone like Deadmau5 or Katie Price. There are people that will create an argument and troll the arse of anything from some famous person saying “Hi. ! ;) LOL”.
What’s interesting for me is, I try my hardest not to get wound up by the online activity that goes on. It’s all part of the tapestry of life. I mean people standing on the back of my shoe on the tube escalator really fucking winds me up. Facebook, just a laugh isn’t it? I actually learned the difference between Buddhism and Hinduism courtesy of my friends conversing on my thread only yesterday. That was interesting. Some people put far too many pictures of their dog up, but hey, could be worse. I treat it like my own personal comedy channel and I’m sure I annoy the hell out of people too. But it’s just Facebook. I’m much more annoying in real life, LOL. Why is it though that we need to be validated by likes and the like? Maybe it’s what I like to call the burger and chips theory. When we’re kids, and we are asked what we’d like to eat at a birthday party, it’s just burger and chips. Everyone else likes burger and chips, and damn it we are part of that tribe. One of the first games we learn to play is “Snap!”. The same card, matching. Recognizing and getting recognition at the same time. It’s no wonder that we often have a strong in built narcissism. We learn to fit, we seek mirrors not other worlds or experiences. Not until we are much older. Some never do. However, surely we are all really looking for the meaning of life, or our life. We look for things to resonate. We are often arrogant enough to think no-one was ever made to feel small or hurt or as in love as we are. Just listen to pretty much any music- they didn’t write that song for you, it was for them! I believe we are often more creative when we are put through diversity. It fuels creativity. It fuels fight, desire, drive. What I’m interested in is a world where people seek inner peace. Where we listen to each other with a view to understanding, not just arguing. Why do we have to always “win” an argument? If you slow down and think about stuff, we are all in the same boat. We are often trying to understand the same thing. The guy with the PhD might know fuck all about who will win the FA Cup as the guy in McDonalds could be a qualified doctor from another country. The beauty of the internet and indeed Facebook is it is often our own microuniverse blog, and if we all just chilled out a bit from time to time and stopped taking ourselves too seriously: could just heal reignite the art of interaction and conversation. Symbiotic behaviours that could really lead to a collective consciousness.
Or we could keep doing selfies and cat videos. Or I could keep thinking I’m funny and getting wound up by, no I’m not going to say his name. Arrogance and self awareness rarely go hand. Or as Frankie says: RELAX.