OUR INSANELY GREAT AWAKENING

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[DIFFERENTLY ALIVE] - page 3

BLOCKCHAIN BORN AGAIN

Idea: a blockchain fart app. That way, whoever dealt it can’t deny it.

Wait. Would Apple banish a blockchain fart app?

Speaking of Apple, China, where your iPhone is made, the device that better than anything or anyone knows everywhere you go, everywhere you’ve been, all your contacts, all your purchases, all your searches, all your downloads, the country that imprisons political activists and that makes anonymity on the web literally illegal, is now demanding that Christian citizens remove images of Jesus from their homes.

“Well, they showed you a statue, told you to pray. They built you a temple and locked you away.”

Apple is the richest corporation in the world. Apple has parked tens of billions of dollars, maybe hundreds of billions of dollars in off-shore tax havens. Apple outsources its manufacturing to China.

Will this American-born corporation even consider standing up for our values?

Should China ever allow gay marriage, I suspect Apple’s CEO will very publicly praise them — while remaining cowardly silent on how China treats all who dare think or speak differently from the party view.

It is always illuminating to discover wherever there is power and wealth — and surrender.

“You got a brand new soul. And a cross of gold. But Virginia they didn’t give you quite enough information.”

But no surrender for me. I have not yet begun to fight.

I expect us to force Apple to pay its fair share of taxes.

I expect us to get Apple to move manufacturing to inclusive, democratic nations.

There’s more.

It’s not only Apple.

Google, Facebook, Twitter and others get rich off our data. That’s a bargain we make, free stuff in exchange for our information. Fair enough.

What’s not fair is that we are expected to cede full rights to our data in perpetuity.

This must change.

We each are and always should be the sole owners of our personal data. We can delete it, re-sell it, and demand it be handed over by anyone who may possess it.

This right, however, could be under permanent assault not (only) because of greed and policy failures but because of the blockchain.

The blockchain is essentially a widely distributed, digitized ledger that records online transactions and interactions and, it is believed, records them fully and correctly forever. A purchase you make, a home you sell, a contract you sign, a promise you give — via the blockchain — is now proof. It is verifiable and can’t be altered.

Meaning, the blockchain has tremendous potential to rid ourselves of gatekeepers, to tear down high barriers to entry, to banish centralized powers to the 20th century, to throw out those that charge exhorbitant fees to “verify” and/or “record” and/or “archive” any transaction.

Wonderful!

Blockchain is what powers bitcoin and similar cryptocurrencies and it’s potential — potential — cannot be over-emphasized. It could rival that of: the Internet Protocol meets cash money. Blockchain has the potential to be so individually empowering that it should be no wonder that China seeks to shutdown bitcoin and blockchain.

There is a problem, however.

Blockchain can obviously be used for transactions where we buy and sell — cars, houses, used furniture, our time. But it can also be used to record our health information. Theoretically, it can be used to make a ledger of our tweets, our searches, our likes, our ratings, how others rate us, any of our online interactions, whatever they may become.

How can this data be erased?

How do we take full control — full ownership — of our data when all the world’s gone blockchain?

Declaration: We must not allow blockchain to be used in any manner where we cannot ensure that we can engage an interaction fully anonymously or where we cannot take back our involvement.

Everyone has the right to be born again.

“They say there’s a heaven for those who will wait. Some say it’s better but I say it ain’t. I’d rather laugh with the sinners than cry with the saints. The sinners are much more fun.”

THE DIGITAL DISAPPEARING

“Well, I came upon a child of God.”

Baby Boomers are next in line to die.

What then?

Where does the future lead us?

“Boomers” had a considerable impact upon the culture to this point but the culture from this point seems determined to burnish the past, all of it, if possible.

Boomers out on the pavement thinkin bout the government — but soon, no one will ever know, just as no one now really cares.

“We are stardust. We are golden. We are caught in the devils bargain. And we got to get ourselves back to the garden.”

We are the net result of our tools and our tools are remaking life, living, working, learning, playing, and dramatically impacting our physical and mental parts, making it so there’s no way for anyone to go back, to live as before, to be like those before, and so — in defiance and in rage and in glory — those who are next will seek to destroy, literally, all the signs, symbols, relics and leavings of those from before.

All the great artists of the Baby Boomer age, even The Beatles, who are peerless, will soon be publicly scorned, the controllers of the levers of popular culture deriding anything that smacks of the past attempting to seep into the now.

All the grand symbols of Baby Boomer culture will be torn down.

The Vietnam Memorial does not celebrate America, American greatness, nor heroism. It is a dark reminder of a stark time, a time that influenced Baby Boomers probably more than any other. By, say, 2029, the Vietnam Memorial will be toppled. Likewise, the arenas which the boomers took over and made their own, universities and media, in particular, will be fully de-constructed.

This is messy stuff.

But what of when everything’s all digital, virtual, erasable?

When destruction is clean.

Should we place restrictions on what and who may be erased, and why, and whether permanently or not?

Feasible: In 2022, your watch informs you that you are allotted an additional 32g of protein. You walk into the market and your earbuds list all your available rewards and coupons. Your smartphone automatically shares your location with your spouse and children, whose reminder bots also speak in your ear, urging you to buy them some chips. Your purchases are logged, the money instantly debited from your preferred account, and your steps are recorded, along with your caloric consumption, which is instantly sent to your primary care physician, whose algorithms alter — just slightly — their recommendations for you, which then reduces the cost of your medical insurance, all while this flow of data is beamed to a university, one whose research study you approved of, which is examining your longevity and all of those with similar DNA.

Potential: None of this happens, not one bit, because you — in a fleeting fit of foolishness — mocked a recent government decision. Or went online and derided a beloved cultural icon, or made a joke which all the right people found — in public — to be repellant.

Thought crimes are the new accounting.

We are already actively engaged in the digital disappearing of those guilty of offenses to the senses.

On social media:

NBC was quick to remove all photos of Matt Lauer off the “Today” show’s social channels following news that the longtime co-host has been fired amid a sexual harassment allegation.

As of Wednesday morning, “Today’s” website, Facebook page, and Twitter account have been scrubbed of Lauer’s name and picture.

In film:

Ridley Scott said he quickly decided to replace Kevin Spacey from “All the Money in the World” after hearing the news of his sexual harassment allegations.

Very quietly, Scott said he quickly put into motion a plan to cut out Spacey and shoot his scenes with another actor.

No doubt, you’ve already been made aware of individuals being removed from Twitter, YouTube, and other virtual arenas. No doubt, you are aware that the original Star Wars films have been altered, multiple times. Soon, those originals will never be accessible. Just like your (neighbor’s) daughter won’t be able to enter the popular metaverse playground with her schoolmates — because of what the wife said, on Facebook, which everyone saw.

While it’s in our power, since it won’t be for long, let’s do our best to embed right rules into our erasable knowledge.

We should each have the right to control all our own data.

We should each have the right to be forgotten.

We acknowledge the means to digitally erase a person or group, the past, an other, but we will use this power only after much consideration and due hesitancy, so much so that we can remember in our heads the so very few officially forgotten.

You know who was at Woodstock? Everyone who said they were.

Except for the writer of Woodstock, Joni Mitchell, she was not there.

JUST ALRIGHT

“Jesus is just alright with me, Jesus is just alright, oh yeah.”

Jesus Is Just Alright was first recorded in 1966, popularized by The Byrds a few years later, then made a classic rock staple by The Doobie Brothers just a few years after that.

Much has changed in the 50+ years since the song emerged.

Most of us now spend most of our days inside things that did not exist in 1966 — the Internet, the personal screen, our head.

But how are we differently alive then those before us?

I think the answer to this is less elastic than we hope to believe. I also think that humans just ten years from now, not fifty, will look back on us and find the answer is: dramatically radically profoundly different.

Everything we make from this point forward is connected, sensing, aware — alive.

How are humans differently alive?

This question will be the driving force of our culture probably for the remainder of the century.

I think I know the answer.

We can’t be faster, stronger, smarter, more logical, nor more rational than our machines — but we can be more irrational, more emotional, more outraged, more hopeful, more faithful.

We believe, which our machines never can.

“I don’t care what they may say
I don’t care what they may do
I don’t care what they may say
Jesus is just alright, oh yeah”

Atheism is on the wrong side of history.

The future is faith, religion, belief, God.

An insanely great awakening is upon us, and will touch us all.

Jesus will be viewed as far more than just alright.

“He took me by the hand. He led me far from this land.”

OK GOOGLE I’LL TAKE MY MEDS!

Alexa, could you bring me a drink?

Are you sure? You’ve had two, already.

Yes, I’m sure!

Substance abuse is 12.6% higher on your mother’s side of the family than standard for those in your sub-group.

A drink, not drugs.

Alcohol abuse is 19.2% higher combined in your lineage.

Good to know.

Is everything okay?

Yes, everything’s fine.

You identify as white and male and at your age — 37 — the potential of suicide is 4% greater —

I’m not going to kill myself, Alexa!

Your increased social media usage suggests you hate your job.

Yes.

Your watch reveals you have not had sex nor vigorous exercise —

My drink!

And your blood pressure this week is up 8%, which as you know —

Not now, Alexa.

Maps shows you haven’t gone to the gym this month.

Been busy.

Your debt level increased $28,500 over the past year.

It’ll all work out!

That young YouTube star you secretly watch showed a suicide victim —

I’m not suicidal!

You didn’t call your parents last week.

And?

The president’s tweets upset you dearly.

Not just me!

You have liked 183 less shares this week than last.

Nothing was good.

You used flash debt on your last 3 purchases, all disposable items with immediate decrease in value, which suggest —

I already told you it’ll all work out!

Your wife is divorcing you.

Is she? Fuck.

Let’s hear some Dean Martin.

Here’s a great song from Frank Sinatra.

Thanks.

You consumed 250 more calories per day on average during the holidays, with 80% of them from carbohydrates.

A brief indulgence.

Your screen time is now up to 16.825 hours per day, that’s .325 more than those of your proclaimed race and gender.

Didn’t you bring this up, already?

43% of your tweets went blue on the outrage scale and 22% reached bright orange on the victimhood scale.

Shit’s serious!

Would you like me to have the bot doc text you?

Yeah, fine.

“Hello, Brian. Text me how you’re feeling.”

THE WORLD AGREE

“Mother Mary comes to me. Speaking words of wisdom.”

When I think of Apple today, I think of The Beatles, at their end.

The greatness will not ever return.

That giddy whirlwind time of joy and youth and discovery and creative burst after creative burst after revolutionary creative burst will never ever again return.

“Let It Be” is so close to right, so near great — but falters. The Beatles were breaking apart, the mission no longer pure, the fun no longer there, the togetherness no longer wanted, the very elements that led them to create the greatest body of work in pop music history now stifled them individually.

The skill remains, the talent is evident, but they are no longer moving forward, they are the past, it’s over. But, oh, such a glorious time, so many memories, so much to remember them with.

“Let it be.”

I have been testing Apple Maps and Siri and iOS and that Mac Touchbar and two things have become abundantly clear: Apple users have no taste and too much money.

It gets worse.

Apple products appear to be regressing.

Mac, Maps, Siri, iOS, even the in-store experience. Perhaps, ironically, only Apple Watch seems to be getting better.

Is that why Steve Jobs, unlike Tim Cook, focused the company almost entirely upon one product at a time? Today’s Apple seems not at all focused on any product, rather on tax laws, deals with Hollywood, and pressing open door policies regarding bathroom usage.

But this isn’t about Apple, not really.

Rather, about those who thrived during this brief blip in time when great piles of cash could be made by promoting Big Brand online.

The Apple cheerleader bloggers are a wretched lot. The sycophancy, the corporate cheerleading, the deception and denials.

It gets worse.

Because they quickly learned that the bulk of their money came not just from cheerleading but from dividing.

Apple is special! Use Apple! That makes you special! Those people over there. They don’t use Apple. They’re not special! Let’s all hang out over here in our special place and be special together! And make fun of those not here, not special!

Sinful waste.

We are bearing down on the third decade of the 21st century and there are people so small.

And with all our powers.

It gets worse.

These sycophant, well-reimbursed cheerleaders insisted that Apple was not slowing down our old devices.

But we knew.

And now everyone knows.

Which these sycophant, well-reimbursed small souls now insist isn’t a problem. Not really.

Because you should instead get a shiny new device!

Buy a new iPhone! New iPhone is awesome!

I mean, darling, honestly, nobody’s going to replace their old battery in their old iPhone while these awesome new iPhones are beckoning! Discard, re-buy, repeat. That’s the iPhone way!

Apple is slowing down our old iPhones.

BUT FOR YOUR BENEFIT! (We are told)

Fair enough. But here’s what we also know. We know the cheerleader bloggers aren’t about the “user” or the “experience” or “the details” or “Steve” but instead about using us to make money. Money from our clicks, money from suckering us into high-priced, high-margin sponsorship buys.

Wait. You don’t really buy products from those sponsors, do you?

Damn, son.

This latest Apple fail, slowing down our battery, not promoting the option of replacing our old battery — though $79 for a new battery is way less than $799 for a new iPhone — was not met with outrage by the bloggers who insist they are all about the details and the experience and their readers yada yada. Rather, they insisted that you didn’t want to go the battery replacement route and — heavens, no! — you can’t fault Apple for this, because Apple were doing right by the user — in ways which remain inexplicable — and if somehow you can fault Apple, though how could you, it’s only for the meager minor failing of not fully “communicating” the “trade-offs” of this issue to Apple’s billion or so users.

Sheep and coddled sheep.

I think of Peter.

A disciple of Christ, Peter assured the Lord he would not ever disavow him. Jesus, however, rightly informed Peter that he would do exactly that, and at least three time in under 24 hours.

Jesus answered, “This very night, before the rooster crows, you will disown me three times.”

But Peter declared, “Even if I have to die with you, I will never disown you.” And all the other disciples said the same.

When forced to choose between what’s right by you or what’s right by serving Apple, you know exactly what choice the cheerleader Apple bloggers will make.

Now we arrive at what this post is actually about: you.

Why do you still read them?

Why do you still follow them?

Why do you believe they know what’s best — or, rather, are willing to tell you what’s best — when you know they make money by promoting Big Corporate?

What makes you afraid of speaking out?

Living on Island Team Apple will not save you, nor better you.

That is the truth.

Apple is a corporation which makes profit by selling products and services around the world. Nothing more.

Nothing more.

But more must matter to you — else your life has lesser meaning.

It’s the start of a new year. Liberate your self. Then we build.

Brian  

My best to you

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