KMO is a guy who has recorded nearly 300 podcasts called C-Realm Podcast. Of the dozen or so that I’ve listened to, they have been dialogs both edifying and entertaining, along with consistently grooving music. One can’t help but observe that, in these fragmented times, and of corrupted institutions, such discussions are a very healthy part of how we might go about educating ourselves about our rapidly transforming culture. In any case, I appreciate KMO’s efforts to further awareness of the people and ideas that he explores on the C-Realm Podcast. The following comment is one that I sent in after listening to a talk he had with author and neo-druid, John Michael Greer. Their discussion revolved around Greer’s study of the meme of impending apocalypse and of its varying mythologies throughout the ages. While at once I take comfort in the fact that, historically, the true believers in our coming doom have mostly been misguided; the discussion seemingly had a glaring omission worthy of note:
Although my comment concerning apocalyptic suppositions is late in terms of Mr. Greer’s appearance on your podcast, I thought I’d send along what I found to be missing from the discussion. And that is the remarkable and profound appropriation — strip mining, as others have put it — of the very essence of our humanity, by the industry of information capitalism. Perhaps we too are susceptible to having a veil incrementally placed upon our eyes, albeit while online with hope for transcendence of one kind or another. And lest we go with the idea that technology is neutral in its function or morality, we’d do well to admit that our computer systems are of a significantly different character than the previous tools with which we operated. As Marshall McLuhan observed some 50 years ago, the nature of electronic media is such that it demands that we be its servomechanism as the price of admission. This is quite different from say, a crescent wrench, or any of the tools that serve as extensions of our limbs and such. We are now willingly taking on the gadgetry that offer extensions of narrow slices of our nervous systems that, as consciousness transforming of a sort, might be rightly termed magic. Yet, we’d be remiss to not ponder the also extraordinary ways that these digital displays, and simulations of human interaction, are marketed so as to engender large-scale consumption, which of course results in equally huge profits. As a teacher for many years, I’ve come to see a disturbing equation whereby genuine (unplugged) human interaction is a threat to the said machinations of information capitalism — writ large in the contextless information clusterfuck that has displaced so much of how we have traditionally lived and learned. In the technophilic zeitgeist in which we live its hard to extrapolate future developments of media technology as anything other than yet more profoundly dehumanizing. Dang. Sorry for what seems a sort of bummer comment. Nonetheless, in talks of apocalypse — destruction by any other name — it seems that the elephant in the room is a distinctly dead one that somehow cajoles us to feed it peanuts. What do you think? Might human nervous systems clientised by the information industry not qualify as an apocalypse like never before? Thanks for your fine efforts and keep up the great work. Darren.
ps- As a sort of aside, I’ve always thought apocalyptic cats like John the Baptist or some survivalist nut somewhere, are mostly probably just projecting their immanent personal demise as a mortal, onto others. I might just go have a drink now. Cheers!