IT Pilgrimage

A Journey From IT to Freedom

Posts Tagged ‘Life’

Generation Next We Need The Dark Knight

Posted by IT Pilgrim on July 23, 2008

Bats Flying Over Austin, Tx

I saw the new Batman movie last night, The Dark Knight, and I thoroughly enjoyed it, but I have to say, it made me think. Don’t worry, no spoilers here. Think back for a moment to the original batman, the movies and the series, which a lot of us saw as re-runs. Think about how the Joker was portrayed in all the previous movies. What does it make you think about? This version is MUCH darker than any previous incarnations of Batman, that much is obvious, but why?

At first blush, I thought that perhaps this new incarnation was darker, because we, as a society were ready for it to be. We have become cosmopolitan enough to recognize, and almost pity the Jokers madness. We are educated enough to see mental illness, and jaded enough to not be too shocked by the deeds and the stories told within. In fact, there are several references within the movie to mental illness. But is that it? Somehow I am not so sure.

Somehow, I think there’s something more. think back over the past few years, let’s say the last 5-8 years. Has anyone else noticed the increasing number of superhero movies and end of days type movies? I do, just for the record, recognize that about every other generation or so there seems to be a conviction that the end of the world is nearing. Whether brought out by religious fanatics, or conspiracy theorists, its always the same, that the world will end in the next 10-15 years. I don’t think this is the same thing, at least not yet, it feels different somehow.

This is more like the scent of rain on the air just before a storm pops up out of nowhere. Not everyone smells it, and perhaps I am crazy too, I have to concede that possibility. This is something coming … something violent and world changing. Think for a moment, if you will on the proliferation of these movies, and what is it that makes us crave them. Do we need a hero?

I think my message here is that there seems to be a general increase in the feeling that we need saving, but from what? I think there is a number of us that feel and more restricted, more and more caged. Perhaps this is why Americans are increasing leaving, and not just the affluent anymore. There are plenty of people who are getting dual citizenship or a second passport.

So what exactly is it that we are wanting to be saved from? If I had to venture a guess, I would have to say its crowding, pollution, rules, restrictions, and all the other things that make us feel like we are no longer free. Is there a coming revolution? How far removed are some of our cities from Gotham city? We already have police checkpoints everywhere. Some countries have roving police forces with machine guns to try to combat the drug cartels, and all this is to keep us safe? AT&T already has programming languages developed specifically for mass surveillance.

As a generation, we have a reputation for being ne’er-do-wells, slackers, and general non-conformists. I would say that some of us are also extremely disillusioned with the world as we know it, hence, the re-birth of escapism. So what, again, do we need to be saved from? Well, the answer is simple… ourselves.

Image by HiWattAmp via Flickr


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Commentary on Social Isolation

Posted by IT Pilgrim on June 7, 2008

When I got to work this morning, the only person I saw was the security guard sitting behind his bullet proof glass. I walk down to my desk, and sit in my little fabric box, where the only view is the ceiling tiles and the while walls. Most of the light comes from my computer’s monitor because people have turned off what little light there was in here and it is difficult to get it back on. Though I often feel like I am the last person on Earth, I am not alone.

Everyday around the country and most likely, around the world, there are hundreds, maybe thousands of us that live this way. This is the price we have brought on ourselves by creating our culture of intellectual workers. The only sounds you hear are the whirr of the air conditioner or heater, or maybe a distant conference call at another desk. You don’t know who that call belongs to, because you have never spoken to that other person, and most likely never will. Though the separation can be as little as 20 or 30 feet, it might as well be a million miles away.

This is your world, this 4 or 6 foot fabric box which you are discouraged from decorating. Sometimes people walk by, but you don’t know them. When you first move in, you try to introduce yourself to people, you try to get them to talk to you. After a few weeks of strange looks, you eventually just give up. Now they just walk on by and don’t even look up.

How, as a society did we become this disconnected from the world around us? No longer does the neighborhood watch out for each other, people often have never even met their neighbors. For all our advances, is the world fundamentally a better place for it?

We drive to work in our little glass and steel boxes, then sit in our fabric ones for a few hours, then repeat the journey again. We surf the web, we shop online, we chat and play video games, but let me ask this question … when was the last time you even said hello to someone? For all our technology, many of us feel more cut off from each other than we have at any other time in our history as a race.

So what do we do? Well, that part is easy. Next time the person 3 feet away from you IMs or emails you, get up. Its that easy, just get up and go talk to them. Walk around a little, and look up, stop hiding from each other. Say Hi to the people you pass, even if you have no idea who they are. Ask them their name, then go back to your desk and write down who they were and what they looked like. That way, tomorrow, when you see them again, you will remember. When you get home, walk over to your neighbor’s house and say hi to them as well.

Try it today! Really, what do you have to lose? I tried it, and I now know all 4 of the people in my building. The best part is, it didn’t even hurt 😉

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