Being my Random and Poorly Connected observations on new media, because if all the other kids jumped off the Brooklyn Bridge I SO would too.
Ms. Betty's Utility Room made a comment about oldschool diary type blogging and the concept -and the phrase- ran 'round my darlings faster than pasta d'oglio through a colostomy patient. "Hm," is what I thought. This is what I did: I took a gallop 'round the WWW to re-introduce myself to the tenor of the virtual times. Lo and behold, I discovered that NOW is so bloody immanent, among the technosceti, that it's 'then' before the author hits 'post'.
As soon as I hit 'post', it'll be so last week.
What will this mean to you and me?
The impact of new media on people socially, from what I've seen, is not very evident here in rural Whatcom County. It is primarily a leisure entertainment medium for folks here anyway. People may be more cognizant of things like yiffing and whatnot but they certainly don't discuss it over coffee at Dutch Mothers. They take it as seriously as they take anything else they encounter in media, which is 'not very'. Like the Jerry Springer show. It isn't very nice.
It's impact on business is real, though. Around here it's common to see grungy old farmers driving their tractors while yakking away into a cell phone, and those same sitting in the Dutch Treat cafe, eating their appel pannekoekken, wearing wooden damn shoes and tapping at their wireless laptops as they monitor their investments. Honest to God, I shit thee not. The internet means speed and speed is money in the agriculture business. One thing a dutch farmer is not is stupid. Thats why we still have so many successful family farms here as opposed to the rest of the United States. Ain't that a trip?
Speaking generally, where there is meat community involvement, there is less interaction with any type of media. Outsiders around here resort to the net (IF they have access; some idealist groups forbid it) for a sense of community unconstrained by personal history. Online you get to be a new you, but none of your status, accomplishments or creations follow you offline. Offline you still have zits and smell and everyone still remembers when you peed yourself in first grade. All you have is a very detailed fantasy life with a killer 'random' option. What can you do when the electricity is OFF is still a very real measure of success here. How many saleable game objects you have doesn't mean jack shit while you're watching the doors and windows freeze over and trying to keep the fireplace going...or keep your log truck on the road, or keep the cows milked when it's 20f.
It certainly brings the migrant kids and the poor kids into the library, though, and thats always good. The library is free. During the day you cannot get online. Each terminal has a bunch of kids huddled around it playing games or doing homeschool work. And the ones who have to wait their turn? Read. All these kids are red hot, self-taught technogeeks who are (and I'll make a leap and say they're growing up pre-radicalized by) coming along on the margins of society. They are going to be the ones running things in ten years. Fuck YEAH.
The internet was supposed to create a new human.
Yes, well. It was supposed to create a paperless society by the year 2001, too. I don't see any new humans (although I might not know one if I saw one. If you are a new human, do the 'comments' thing and let me know will you. We'll chat.)
Now posthuman? I really like the idea of 'posthuman', even though it sounds kind of...prosthetic. I know one person who claims to be posthuman. But no new humans yet. Meat constants continue to define the paradigm.
Crap; I used the word 'paradigm'. Someone stop me NOW.