This talk is the somethin bout nofin that is going on today. As a sociologist I am going to make a virtue out of the pursuit of non-information that constitutes our sense of collective being. Here we exist as the somthin bout nofin.
This talk is a concentrated expression of social observations that have deep rooted concerns about how we choose to live in the constant streams of nofin. From what perspective will this guide us toward the future – TMI? Inevitably, yes. And yet we seem unable to conceive of any alternatives.
There is a character of unreality in all communication. And We are deluded by endless reproduction of information/networks. Illusory mirrors because there is a self-deluding quality to contemporary life. The obsession with NOW. Updates, the cult of being of the moment with little or not time to reflect. At best opportunity to cause offence. At worse uncritical and unfettered response to others.
We cannot go on living like this… Which begs the question, Who is…, oh, it doesn’t matter WHO Mr Ashe is, he represents each and everyone of us and part of us. In this case a memory that persists in the hotel at Adrogue, in our case a Profile that persists on Facebook. Where we do little more than pick up on the pieces of friends and carry on.
The image of the chair isdedicated to every moment of stability. An attractive proposition given our innovative and innovation led age. However, the chair is not all it seems. Its leg is broken and the backrest is damaged. It is starting to showa tragic appearance. It is becoming unstable. What will come of us?
As the chair we sit. We are embedded into showing and sharing who and what we are. Part of the data stream. Whether more or less real. Today we share a checklist of anxieties. Embedded in ideas and frustrations. We are perplexed by whatever enhancements to our lives.
‘we know something is wrong’ or there are many things that we do not like’, but what should we do? One of my goals is to suggest that our networked lives can play an enhanced role without the deterioration of the somethin; where dialogues become nufin.
In commercial circles its about the ‘conversation 2.0’. What is most striking is not so much the substance or lack of. Facebook is here to stay – regardless of any anti-Facebook campaign – I speak of the need to re-gain control and understanding of what we are prepared to reveal. There is urgency of a return to an informed conversation. For respect.
Living on so much information is an abstraction – as a general quality or characteristic of the connections we experience day-to-day. Which leaves aside concrete realities, specific objects, or actual instances. The symptoms are all about us. An inbox full of SPAM, broken connections, un-replied messages, failed wikis, groups, fan pages, dead links, no track backs, comments left hanging; ALL suggest a collective failure of engagement.
The consequences are clear. There is a collapse in our ability to communicate effectively and to respond in kind. The familiar symptoms: OCD status update, information obesity, minor deviations. Anxiety and stress frequently follow where the most frenetic occupy and update.
Despite info overload, I present a positive. Prevailing conditions suggest for the most Wired amongst us any reduction in one-sided dialogues need not be REAL and are self-confirming; where the more we seek to network and embed ourselves across platforms, the more we believe is possible.
The future will be driven by other people’s perception of us. To alleviate the stresses and strains of living in the NOW our prosperity will flow naturally from our networks, from what we see other people are doing. In short, our friends will have our back. Whether they are called Pedro or not.
For you, for me, there has been an uncritical adulation of friending, publishing and making a nuisance of ourselves. To the great web mob we are the admirers, the worshipers of one another, the latest fad, update, thingy, and in doing so become increasingly interesting the more we propose to be doing something. Even if its nothing.
So we live by means of intrusive inquiry –in an age where we will NEVER exhaust the avenues of these resources. We act as though we own our information, BUT we don’t. We can restore the somthin for how we act. This model itself is being applied by only a few and has a tendency to be all self-congratulatory. But I’m encouraged it will soon take hold and become an escape from the nufin.
Up to now, our Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn… lead us to suppose that any information is sufficient. Now is the time that we re-order our lives differently. To find new possibilities for collective purpose. This is done by our emerging and evolving human needs, and accompanied (of course) by our favored technology and social trends. And being at ignite.
Somethin bout nofin (Maz Hardey)
somethin bout nofin<br />don’t read this; it’s not about what happens.<br />slide one<br />with some sociologist or other, Dr Mariann Hardey for #igniteLeeds2010<br />
Something is profoundly wrong. Wrong with how we live today.<br />slide two<br />
WHO IS HERBERT ASHE?<br />‘Some limited and waning memory of Herbert Ashe persists in the hotel at Adrogue, amongst the effusive honeysuckles and in the illusory depths of the mirrors.’<br />- Jorge Luis Borges<br />slide one, two, three, four<br />
…take a seat.<br />I’ve already begun to deceive to you….<br />slide one, two, three, four, five<br />
We have become the perplexed.<br />Whatever remains is our collective purpose.<br />slide one, two, three, four, five, six<br />
Play to somethin. <br />Without losing nufin.<br />slide one, two, three, four, five, six, seven<br />
“A conversation is a dialogue, not a monologue. That's why there are so few good conversations: due to scarcity, two intelligent talkers seldom meet.”<br /> -Truman Capote<br />slide one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight<br />
Where do we sit now?<br />slide one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine<br />
“Everybody, sooner or later, sits down to a banquet of consequences.”<br /> - Robert Louis Stevenson quotes <br />slide one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, ten<br />
Napoleon Dynamite: So, we're pretty much friends by now, right?<br />Pedro: Yes.<br />Napoleon Dynamite: So, you got my back and everything, right?<br />Pedro: What?<br />Napoleon Dynamite: Never mind. <br />-Napoleon Dynamite<br />Eleven, twelveslide one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, ten,<br />
Click to sit down<br />Eleven, twelve, thirteenslide one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, ten,<br />
AT THE INTRUSION OF MASS INQUIRY <br />“…the most participatory form of mass speech yet developed,” the internet.<br />- Judge Dalzell <br />Eleven, twelve, thirteen, fourteenslide one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, ten,<br />