While out walking in the woods, I imagine meeting some mythical creature, and wonder how I would document the encounter. I only have my 35mm camera with me, no DAT machine (let alone a video camera), so it would be a stills visual-only record, with no sound. However, even if I did have full motion video and sound, soon even this would be not enough to prove I met a unicorn. In the (near) future, computer graphics and sound technology will have become sufficiently advanced such that photography, film/video and eventually even audio will no longer be admissable as evidence in a court of Law, since anyone's voice or photograph or even moving image could be synthesised, superimposed, removed, edited. This digital revolution, driven (as most technology is) by military applications and the Virtual Reality Sex industry, will herald a change in how we perceive things which are shown to us 'at a distance' in the way we have become accustomed to placing our inherent trust in television and radio as being genuine depictions of reality.
When Hollywood began taking over all news broadcasts worldwide, funded by the large media conglomerates and corporations which were by now running the world, people eventually had to shed their Faith in television and any remote audio/visual representation of events. Instead they only believed what they saw, heard and experienced with all of their own senses as Truth. The world became a larger place once again, as the only reputable reports of foreign lands came from first hand contact with trusted individuals. Without trust, people could never believe what they were told by the media, however 'real' the footage appeared.
UPDATE: It seems that a supposedly 'primitive' tribe have already evolved beyond us in this way. In this excellent article (very long but well worth reading to the end), Dan Everett shows how the Amazonian language of Piraha undermines Noam Chomsky's dogma of a universal grammar:
"the Piraha accept as real only that which they observe, their speech consists only of direct assertions".
In the future, once the people of Earth had relearned all the basics of human existence, such as a clean renewable energy policy, correct nutrition, sustainable development, responsible population control and fairer distribution of wealth to eliminate poverty, they began to evolve again.
At first it was only a few enlightened individuals, who started having these 'glimpses', and they mostly kept it to themselves, largely from not knowing what it was or from fear of ridicule. Some of them, however, began to discuss it, but not just in the old ways, they were somehow becoming linked up in channels that transcended the old Laws of Physics as were known at the time. They discovered, from direct experience, which is always the strongest and truest form of evidence, that things this blatantly clear could not be mere coincidences and were more real than that generally accepted as 'reality'. Folk had long known about the bonds between mother and child, and especially between some twin siblings, but it was never really investigated by the conventionalists. That sense of being stared at. A pulling on invisible threads, a tactile something in the air.
The early 20th Century scientist and visionary Albert Einstein had been curious about what he termed 'action-at-a-distance', but little experimental work was carried out until much later. The military spent time conducting some very bizarre research, failing to understand most of it and not realising that its quicksilver nature was deftly eluding their evil aims.
As time and developments progressed, this spiritual evolution continued. The ecstasies washed over people and they knew not what was happening, but they kept with it, for it was the best thing they had.
Then people started being able to actually send messages to one another, as well as feelings of wellbeing. They found it was only possible with people they were emotionally close to, and who were in some way connected to them semantically, those who had a meaning in their lives. Some people they just couldn't reach. Some people were painful to try to. Some people just didn't matter any more.
It became fashionable to eschew the use of computerised email for all but the least personal of communications, and instead use this new form of E-Mail ('Emotional Mail') for direct spiritual sharing of thoughts. It had many advantages: it was free, and could be conducted anywhere that one could concentrate the mind, and it was private from the prying eyes of a bewildered, crumbling government. Most importantly though, it was so intense and joyous that once the ability was discovered, people would often sit enraptured in union with various newly switched-on friends for whole days, quite forgetting their daily responsibilities. Luckily, people soon became aware that this was counter-productive, and so learned to be more focused with their tasks and to save their minds for quality times when the work was done.
As ISPs became obsoleted by ESP, the mainstream media caught on and, realising its own impending demise, tried to beam footage directly into people's brains, sometimes with disturbing results. They never grasped the most important thing, that there is a natural way for things to unfold that doesn't rely on their selfish market economics.
People even stopped travelling so much within the physical plane, when they realised they could get things done from one place, and by expending far less energy. This helped conserve the scarce remaining supplies of the old fossil fuels, and gradually began to reverse the climate change that had come very close to destroying all life on the planet.
Perhaps I spend too little/much time doing things to earn money. Discuss.
This whole website is a labour of love, as are most of my musical projects. Maybe I should take some people's sound advice and start requesting payment for my efforts. (Donations welcome :-) I also work (too?) hard at my day job, possibly sometimes to the detriment of Real Life. And although I don't have a TV, I do tend to waste a lot of time doing pointless things when I have so much I really should be up to; how I wish I could be productive most of the time!
Note to self:
Work less hours for The Man, more for Me, and get paid for them!
Enjoy the rest...
Why do I still feel like a child, not a man? I'm 35!
What I like best about walking in the countryside is being alone. Either completely on your tod or alone with a few friends, whichever, there is a great joy in just getting away from all the annoying folk we have to share this planet with who we sometimes wish weren't there, or at least didn't make as much noise.
Peace and quiet. Ahhh... :-)
Away from traffic, crowds, ugly buildings and houses built too closely together - instead just You, the sky, Nature and Beauty.
Perhaps this is an English disease: as our population soars, so we feel ever more claustrophobic, but still we continue to all cram into the South-East of England. My sister just came visiting from France where she recently emigrated to renovate an old farm house. On her return to the UK, she was oppressed by the hubbub, the frenzy, the manic commute-earn-spend cycle that we are unknowingly locked into. The space and pace of life are so different. Over here, we keep lights on to comfort us; there she switches off all unnecessary things because they run the house off a 4kW wind turbine. We are still sleeping. What will it take to make us change our wasteful ways? A week without soap operas? A National Grid failure? Look what Katrina did to American moral values. We are so fragile...
Article terminated by Rantometer.
"Move away from the
soap box, Mr. Smith...!"]
[UPDATE: Marc sent me a ray of hope - if only we had sane people in charge].
As I wake up more, I am starting to question what I do every day.
I should be cycling, not driving, and using public transport.
olde job of driving an
uneconomical van around the country is not
sustainable, and goes against my
principles. I need my work to make me do more
I need to be based at home, so that people come to me for rehearsals,
music and computer lessons. Carting around a shed-load of gear is no longer
practical. I'd ideally only go out for gigs, socialising and shopping.
Ultimately, I'd like to use a car only for
special occasions or where I'd need to transport lots of stuff.
My current house is poorly served by public transport, with just a few buses coming through our village during peak times only, despite being near to major towns; hence I don't use the bus much (chicken and egg situation).
My ideal house will have:
[UPDATE: shortly after writing this, I found a new home which met some of these criteria that are possible for rented accomodation. The rest will have to wait until I have enough wives to afford to buy somewhere... :-]
As a rebellion against the current generation of lamers and louts, next season's youth will become dapper chaps and elegant young ladies. Punk is dead. The new generation will scorn their grandparents' total lack of good taste (all that ghastly spitting and swearing), and start to redefine new styles of dress and being. Just as in the 1980's gangs stopped fighting and started breakdancing, now rappers will throw down their weapons and instead turn to poetry and prose, duelling with razor-sharp iambic pentameters fashioned from grammatically perfect phrases of fluid philosophical lucidity. Wit will rule the streets. Even the violent ones will at least fight with flair, taking inspiration from A Clockwork Orange and the noble knights of olde, although shunning the designer violence of more recent cinema and American gangsterism. Bling is for pimps - panache is the new way.
Notice how these days our landscape is becoming covered with large rectangular buildings: factories, warehouses, industrial units and those vast palaces/cathedrals of the New Religion of (online) Shopping: logistics distribution centres. They are all interconnected by various links: roads, data/power cables, water/sewage infrastructure. Soon large parts of the inhabited areas of our planet will resemble a network of computer motherboards covered with chips all processing away furiously.
Much as I welcome the use of computers, and the cost-effective policy of mass-production of certain products (only good for some things though), I think we need to keep in check the rampant development of such sites and restrict them to places where there would otherwise be no use for the land. Such places don't belong where humans dwell; like the bland out-of-town shopping parks devoid of character, they encourage car transport, do little to benefit the community and blight the landscape. Beautiful countryside and historic buildings should never be touched to build these temporary sheds of short-term gain.
The best thing about reincarnation is being able to enjoy classical music and art through new eyes and ears. In an ever changing world, it's reassuring that the great works of art are always there, like old friends to cheer us up when everyone else has gone. Hearing on radio Wagner's Liebestod recalled that time when I sat in the box at the work's premiere, clutching the hand of the delightful countess. And no wonder Philippe de Vitry's rich isorhythmic music has such an effect on me, as I hear it again many centuries after being seduced as a young chorister by that beautiful nun in the Abbey where Philippe composed, while my fellow singers rehearsed.
The top scientists in the Bioengineering Division of our underground research labs are close to perfecting their latest developments of Human-2.0beta. Being pragmatic girls and guys, they have eschewed the usual master race traits and instead chosen to just focus on practical matters. The body type is the same, yet they have used nanoengineering and cellular electrochemical processing to add a series of toggleable switches for various things, located conveniently on the left forearm near where you'd wear your wristphone/minicomputer keypad. Here are a few of the new options, which really shouldn't have been left out in the first place:
There is also a very helpful InternalDoctor module embedded within the central nervous system, which monitors for all the popular diseases (new disease updates are downloadable via USB). This was developed to address one of the issues with Human-1.0, namely a multitude of confusing symptoms that could mean any number of different maladies.
Our engineers were, of course, careful to ensure security of the system and prevent unauthorised access. You don't want someone putting you to sleep as you walk out on stage or climb a ladder, do you? Or even worse, secretly turning on body hair growth the day before your modelling career takes off.
We hope to roll out the finished production version ready for 2012, with a high profile launch competing at the London Olympics, just in time for The End.
© copyright Malcolm Smith 2004-05-18 - last updated 2010-11-25 - links verified 2004-05-18