Smart phones, Simulacra, Prince and The Matrix: Why I (also) don't want to be a Digital Witness

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4 Responses

  1. Susan says:

    I applaud the continual comments on “unplugging” or shall I say “unteching”? As a college professor asking my students to turn off their phones is equally, if not more heinous than asking them to cut off their dominant hand. The theory of “Mindfulness” isn’t spreading fast enough. We are so busy anticipating, preparing, living for our future that we cannot seem to enjoy or worse yet, be in the moment. So, though I am “connected” to the internet, forced at times, I conveniently leave my cell phone in the car and as a colleague once said to me, “My you are a free woman”!

  2. Roger Tyers says:

    Thanks for the shout-out Scarlett, and I like how you’ve taken this theme further. It certainly seems to strike a chord with many people. I recently found an old holiday diary I made when I was a child twenty years ago, and the memories it evoked were SO strong! It made me realise that memories can be so much richer if they are constructed in imaginative ways – conversations, smells, (well)-written testimonies – rather than through the laziest simulacrum of them all, the digital photo.

  3. Gill Goodridge says:

    I absolutely agree about cell-phones; but what about a half-way house? Tape recording?
    Long ago in the past, at college, we had to try and scribble hasty graphics, bitterly envious of those lesser beings, all destined for much less well-paid jobs in the long run, who had therefore been taught short-hand at school. We struggled to contrive brief notes and quotes as tags to aid our overloaded brains, fearing to miss some essential point in a proposal or argument, and praying that our notes would make sense afterwards. We certainly had no time to relax or enjoy the lecture itself! – (True, some of these lectures would be published to great acclaim in the future, but that was of no comfort to us, then!)

    It would have been great to have been able to replay at least part of an hour-long lecture, in order to secure the essential threads. So we were very grateful to those few who kept their lectures short, – C.S. Lewis, for example, – who was reputed to have a bladder problem, and who always came in late and left early; – poor man, he earned our gratitude the hard way!
    Few of us had the skills to epitomise on the spot; any recorder would have been invaluable!

  4. Anna says:

    Just watching the news and I am confounded by the hundreds (if not thousands) of people lining the streets to show respect for the victims on MH17 as the cavalcade passes. It is not the mark of respect which baffles me but the vast numbers of people recording/taking photos of it. Something to show the grandchildren one day? Or, if what you are suggesting is correct, a new desire to make friends, colleagues and acquaintances from the past aware of their presence at this sombre event by posting it on social media. “Look at me; I’m grieving for a complete stranger – aren’t I a virtuous citizen.”

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