Volume 15, Number 19
March 10, 2009

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This Week

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From the Gallery of My Mind

alev dešimThe Dark Paths of the Net

Hello. I am trying to find something to write about. I may have become somewhat boring over the last few years because I usually write about films or painitings or plays. So for this week I want to try something different. I was looking around campus yesterday and realized that I don't really pay attention to anything around me! I always run through the stairs and hurry so that I am not late for class or so I can find a table for lunch. But yesterday something really weird happened to me. I was running up the stairs of the FADA building, as usual, and I slipped! Luckily, I didn't fall, but I stopped, and that made me realize that a friend of mine whom I knew from primary school was walking just next to me and I didn't even see her. She was in a hurry as well and didn't recognize me either. But I wondered what was happening to us? I noticed that the last time I actually communicated with her was on Facebook! This idea of a "Global Village" is alienating us from our natural context. I mean we stop speaking to each other or listening to each other and simply send smiley's online. I know it all sounds cliche, but isn't this what we are experiencing everday? I never felt like this before, it never bothered me. I believed it was just another way to communicate with one another. But sometimes  I don't even want to get out of the house any more. Why bother?! You can chat, shop and be entertained online. This reminds me of a video clip of a song called "Lazy." I can't recall who the artist was, but in it a man sits on a coach and controls his environment by using simple gadgets. He made himself some toasts and had them delivered by a toy car. He turns on the TV, pulls a wire, and suddenly a handle appears, puts a VHS tape inside the player, labeled "Exercise." He watched the tape while eating his breakfast. I give this example because it is an exageration of our current situation in the world right now. We simply "watch" people or simulated beings do things and then we feel as if we have done that ourselves. There are websites where a person can create a simulation where people can exist in a virtual world and venture into the cyber bar or cyber park and meet new people, do exercises, etc. We are now so used to being satisfied with virtual "exercises" that we don't feel any need to perform REAL ones in our everday lives. A person can come across an old friend and say: "Its been a long time since I saw you." And the friend may reply: "I wrote on your Wall yesterday!" Is it the same thing? Does it give the same result? Well, apparently it does for some, but I realized that it just doesn't for me. I do not want to sound "anti-technology" (which I'm not, I can assure you of that) but we seem to be heading to a future where we won't even wantm or need, to do everyday "exercises" because we can do it with technology. This reminds me of the "Matrix" film, where people were in some sort of womb-like beds, tied to wires, and they would experience the Matrix.

I think, today, we are choosing to be wired down. That seems sad. Why choose to be passive when there are a lot of opportunities to be active? I know most people will disagree with what I'm saying here (I would love to hear your thoughts, so just send me a mail - see its in our DNA now!) but I just don't think we should be the victims of the "Global Village" and become imprisoned by technology.

Well, that's about all I will say this week. Hopefully I will return to the 21st Century by next week. See you than.

Alev Dešim (COMD/IV)

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