Technology is a Drug & Upside Down Thinking

Home, UK     Saturday 27 August, 2011     10.25pm BST

Oh gosh, it has been 4 months since I last wrote something here. Sorry, sorry, sorry.. it has been a busy few months.. but, I know, lack of time is really no excuse. I should make time to connect with my readers.

There has been so much to write, but some other things have had to take priority. I have had flashes of creativity and have sat down to write, and then .. poof .. the creative moment always left me, and I gave up what I was writing.. so many drafts to be completed before I release those texts here.

One thing is for certain. I have been spending time organising and simplifying my life. Lots of thoughts about the way forward, what I need to do and so on. I’m still working on the things I wrote about in my blog posting on 31 December 2010 (such as reducing my technology dosage and using technology where it helps me rather than me being a slave to it – although I must say it is hard to do!).

I’m going through my music collection at the moment, and came across an album by Nitin Sawhney (Twitter: @thenitinsawhney) – Prophesy – released in 2001. He writes some stuff in the inside cover and he talks about things I have been thinking about for a while (and hence my thoughts on why I would rather not live in the UK any longer). I include that text here, verbatim. I would love to read your comments on this text.

Technology is a drug.

We can’t get enough of it.

We feed it to our kids and watch them grow on a forced diet of desensitization. Switch on the T.V. and someone will tell you 50,000 people died in India. Two seconds later you’re watching a comedy. Technology can do that. It gives us simulated realities that make us oblivious to the real world. Heroin does the same thing. So do most class A drugs. Basically, we are all addicts – addicted to the comfort and convenience that technology provided – addicted to the notion that progress is directly related to the size of your computer screen. Of course it is. We must be right. We come from the developed world. We’re already developed. Sure. Then again, wealthy kids in America shoot each other. Poor kids in Soweto can’t stop smiling.

So who’s developed?

I met an Aborigine in Arnhemland, Australia – his nephews showed me symbols where I saw trees and rainbows through smoked glass. They could see fish through clouded water. I couldn’t even see my own reflection. I must have forgotten how.

When I look in front of me, I see two paths – spiritual or material. Two worlds – developed or developing. You decide which is which. We’re still in the wake of millennium paranoia – earthquakes, floods, end of world scenarios, cult suicides, viral diseases that eat into our computer realities. This is our developed world.

Then, as Nelson Mandela says ‘We are free to be free’.

I guess we make our own prophecies.

This was written by Nitin Sawhney back in March 2001. I don’t think things have improved. Our priorities seem to be wrong. As an example, Steve Jobs resigning as CEO of Apple Inc the other day.. I was disgusted to read comments from people who cared more about their stock values going down than the health of a human being who had spent his working life giving them things they admired. This is upside down thinking.

Another example.. people believing everything that is fed to them by the media and not thinking for themselves. Close to where I live, “travellers” are being evicted this weekend from a plot of land. They have been living on this land illegally for a number of years. What do I say to this? Fair enough.. they have to live somewhere.. so why not come to some sort of compromise with them? Oh, as far as most people and the local council are concerned, this is a definite no, no. On no siree. “Travellers” are labelled as crooks, who do not work and do not pay taxes, and do not contribute to the local community. Yes, there are a few bad eggs, but labelling a whole section of the community because of a few bad eggs?

Prejudice and xenophobia. That is what it is. It sickens me. So, the media spoon feed people with these ideas, those who are gullible take it up, and then spout off the same shit as though it was their own opinion formed from their own experience.

This must stop.. and it must stop now!

The fact is that there are “travellers” who are law abiding citizens, work for a living, pay taxes and so on. There are lots of “non-travellers” who will gladly spew about their own ‘ways around the law’, and so on. Do the rest of the “non-travellers” get labelled as bad because of this? No? Why not? What is good for one section of the community should be good for the other, right?

Anyway, back to the main point… so, the council are now evicting the people and sending them off. Where to? Not the council’s problem.

For years I have argued that if the council are to evict them from that plot of land then the council should find them somewhere to go and set down. However the council does not care. Hmm.. where is the community spirit? The council does not care where they go.. so they get evicted and pushed away from the council’s responsibility.. and… onto… another council.

Hah! Talk about caring about our neighbours. Our council does not care whether the “travellers” go and occupy land in another neighbouring council’s jurisdiction. Collaborative working and joined up thinking does not seem to exist.

I am not saying the next council would have done anything different.. but this whole selfish attitude stinks. It seems to be all about “me me me” rather than thinking about others and how our actions affect things. No morals. Sadly, this attitude and lack of morality exists all the way to the top, and not as David Cameron tried to absolve from his government in his speech during the riots.

So, my local council is spending £18 million in this eviction. Would it not have been better to spend that money on either granting the necessary planning permission on that plot of land or getting some suitable land for the “travellers” to move into rather than forcing people out of their homes of so many years, kids having to leave the school they have been attending for years and so on?

Upside down thinking!!!

A bit of a rant this time, but hopefully some food for thought. 🙂

And with that, I bid you all a good night. My love to all.