Monday, October 18, 2010

Wisdom from our Frozen Brethren from the North (part 2)

A couple of weeks ago, the Globe and Mail had a great piece by Canadian author Douglas Coupland, entitled "A Radical Pessimist's Guide to the Next Ten Years" (see previous post).

Easily missed on the web version was Coupland's companion piece, "A glossary of new terms for a messed-up future." A random sampling:

  • Unwitting Permanence -- The notion that by, say, throwing a Coke bottle off a ship's deck and into the bottom of the Marianas Trench, that bottle will remain there, unambiguously, until the sun eats up the planet. Most of the world's landfills display Unwitting Permanence.
  • Time Snack -- Often annoying moments of pseudo-leisure created by computers when they stop to save a file or to search for software updates or, most likely, for no apparent reason.
  • Deselfing -- Willingly diluting one's sense of self and ego by plastering the Internet with as much information as possible.
  • Frankentime -- What time feels like when you realize that most of your life is spent working with and around a computer and the Internet.
  • Sin Fatigue -- Hearing about the sins of others ceases to be compelling. A condition most commonly experienced by religious and medical professionals, but increasingly in the Web-worn general population.
  • Attack Moderates -- A common political tactic used by members of extreme orthodoxies. By forcing people in the political middle to polarize over issues over which they don't feel polar, a desired end state is achieved – one in which the hyper-amplification of what was not very much to begin with creates a tone of hysteria amid daily cultural discourse. This hysteria becomes a political tool used by the instigators to push through agendas that would never have been possible in a non-hysterical situation.
Read the whole article: well worth your time (insightful and funny as hell).

A side note: I am now reading Coupland's The Gum Thief. So far it has not disappointed.

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