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The Facebook Supremacy – Part 2

Related Posts: The Facebook Supremacy - Part 1, Owning the Means of Connection, The Koons Moment, Sacrifice and the Dream of Form Outside a small market on Sunset I pass a destitute Latino man intently focused on a lottery scratch-off. What catches my eye is the sense of urgent vitality in his movements. He is lit up, charismatic even, and because I am thinking about this post I am struck by how his excitement resembles the way I feel when I'm about to present some new photo or announcement (or maybe an astute analysis of current events) on my Facebook page. How positive will the response from my social network be? How much affirmation will I encounter—scratch-scratch-scratch. The dopamine is flowing, my … [Read more...]

The Facebook Supremacy – Part 1

Related Posts: The Facebook Supremacy - Part 2, Owning the Means of Connection, The Koons Moment, Sacrifice and the Dream of Form For a few years before the 2016 election I was a pretty faithful Facebook user. Photos of my dog, my family, birthday greetings and posts announcing events I was participating in or that I simply liked—seemed like a harmless and very convenient way to stay connected. It wasn’t just superficial either—sometimes there would be non-trivial exchanges of ideas about politics, culture, important issues of the day. It felt good to post a little thought sequence about this or that, and have people like it. Hey, I have to confess, it gave me a little lift to check back and find that a post had been liked … [Read more...]

Owning the Means of Connection

The Social Network, David Fincher, Director, Aaron Sorkin, Screenplay, 2010 –  If you’re like me, you’re partial to narratives of hope. You want things to work out, for yourself certainly…but also for the people you care about and the traditions you identify with and think are healthy. From childhood on you’ve felt burdened by a sense that something is wrong, a little bit wrong maybe, or maybe a lot wrong, depending on your temperament. We can talk about that sense of wrong-ness as free-floating anxiety, dukkha, original sin – my point is only that, like me, you probably tend to assemble daily experience into story lines – narratives – that make a plausible case for why your world is moving in a less-wrong direction. I … [Read more...]