Monday, January 3, 2011
for auld lang syne
so it's a new year. It feels good and I feel good. I spent my first Christmas and New Years in Santa Fe this year. I discovered that Santa Fe's Christmas Eve Farolito Walk is probably its most lovely well-known tradition.
I could share some photos of the Farolito Walk, and possibly even a video of songs by the bonfire-side, but I feel like my blog is a little too conventional. I've been reading this local blog, as well as this other local blog that I am a lazy contributor to, and I feel like I need to step up my game a little and get a bit more creative with this. My diary is a hell of a lot more interesting than this blog so far, but it's certainly not for the internet-going-masses.
I think that's it actually. There's a weird self-consciousness that occurs in our interactions in the internet world. The various social networking websites that plague our increasingly cyborg-like existences turn people into their own reality TV stars, or at least get them to self-document their lives as if they were on their own personal versions of "Jersey Shore" or "The Real World." As Andy Warhol said, "in the future, everyone will be famous for fifteen minutes." The reality seems to be more like: in this great year of 2011 people will think they are famous so long as they have hoards of Facebook friends and Twitter followers and tweet every time they take a shit or get wasted at a club or watch an episode of Glenn Beck, etc. etc. etc.
But the self-consciousness I refer to is not limited to the aforementioned gradual disintegration of culture and language at the hands of instantly accessible internet applications that can broadcast and stoke human vanity with fewer and fewer written characters. No, the self-consciousness I refer to is a simple product of the high-speed context-less communication new media offers us.
When we have no audible voice, no physical presence, no visual picture, no human context of experience, no human idiosyncrasies, no emotion, and just virtually typed words-- words that are so heavy with different contexts for each special human being-- communication can become a very self-conscious act, and it can become very challenging to effectively express one's self-- it can feel unsafe to explore provocative ideas in such an inhumane medium.
Such self-consciousness can hinder an exploration of new ideas. Learning and experimentation require comfort with uncertainty and the possibility of being wrong, as Sir Ken Robinson mentions in this really phenomenal TED talk that I happened to watch on Christmas with friends:
So here's to the New Year, and all the new endeavors it will bring. Here's to more experimental internet communication. In the meantime, here is some farolito walk documentation: