blind man can see it

So if you read this blog you know i am all about peak oil and fears of resource depletion.  like the james brown tune in the blog title, the fact that we are depleting natural resources at a furious and unsustainable rate should be so obvious that a blind man can see it. we are banking on the fact that other fuels substitute in as we deplete the earth's oil and coal and natural gas but i worry that the scale at which the global economy operates may result in massive dislocations instead of a smooth substitution.

but perhaps equally important has been the sociological changes that have resulted in the last ten years with the advent of the smartphone.  suddenly, we are constantly connected, constantly informed, constantly distracted.  our necks now permanently tilt downwards towards a screen.

we might like to pretend that societal institutions like the family, religion, civic organizations, are still alive and healthy, but they're not.  family, in the old judeo-christian sense, feels like an outdated construction along with it requisite morality.

my theory is that every piece of communication is a tie, or a bond.  so if in the past (meaning pre-2007) our ties and bonds were in real life, with the occasional telephone call or email, now there are thousands of communication data points intersecting with our lives every week from many sources (facebook, instagram, texting, snapchat, 24/7 workaholism, etc.).  the family, and the old school institutions, have been diluted to the point of irrelevance.  everyone is constantly tired, because everyone is constantly on and working, even kids, to the point of screen addiction.

i say all this not to scare or bemoan, but simply to recognize that the sociological changes we are going through are so massive that a blind man could see it.  i believe this is on par with the advent of the city in the 1800s and the attendant alienation and anomie that first was "discovered" as a sociological consequence by Durkheim and Simmel.  we are different now, and i fear that short of trading your smartphone for a flip phone, there is no going back.


always reachable

we are now in a zone where we are always reachable for work.  i am constantly connected to work by phone, text, email, and Square dashboard.  there is never a time when i am not connected.  i have toyed around with the idea of shutting off my phone and just turning it on every hour to see what comes in.  but i always have one foot in emergency mode because there is never a time when an emergency might not come in.  i guess we have all become doctors on-call.

my phone was stolen three years ago and i waiting for a week while it was replaced.  it was the best week.  i felt so much less stressed, less neurotic.  it's hard to imagine the 80's and 90's now, a time when i would only get news with the morning paper and the evening CBS news.

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