The Feed of Consciousness
It seems that ‘current thing-ism’ is endemic to Twitter culture: the feed secretes panics, crises, outrages; I don’t think this will ever go away or stop as long as certain modes of dissemination and discourse remain. The emergent (hive) mind exists in a state of panic. The ensemble of perceptions notice too much, and think too little.
The battle for control of Twitter, for this reason, I think, is a battle for who saddles the horse. Twitter will produce a certain effect no matter who is in charge; the question is how that effect is channeled: who gets to control the energy that’s released.
It seems to me that ordinary conversation has become banalized and philosophical conversation has become nerdified.
A sense of history is like any sense—a heuristic means of not committing terrible errors. To not be able to think historically, or put present events in historical terms, is a kind of blindness.
“Experience is a process that continually gives us new material to digest,” wrote William James. We might say the same about Twitter.
The cycle of invention and liquidation of digital identities requires rationalization. You often see this play out in real time on social media. Someone announces a new self or ideology, a new mindset or style. They provide warrants—but it always seems clear that they have no idea who they are. If they did, they would have something better to do than perform self-creation.
We have not advanced on Plato’s insight that Truth transcends our immediate experience of reality—and that that experience is not reality itself. If anything, there are more and more layers between us and the apprehension of the Truth than ever before.