Tag Archives: facebook

Graves in a wood

Nothing lasts but a legacy useful to the living.

Forgotten graves in a wood, the church is long gone.

Forgotten graves in a wood, the church is long gone.

I cycled out to the villages outside of Colchester, coming upon a strange situation by the side of the road.  A wood with graves, and no church.  I entered the wood and saw the many grave markers, many hidden in the undergrowth and woodland, forgotten and unloved.  From a creative point of view I enjoyed an opportunity to take metaphorical photographs on the subject of death and life, the supremacy of nature over humanity and on the subject of mortality.

The most recent of the graves dated 1904.  The church had suffered fire and demolition perhaps a century before, the graveyard abandoned to nature.  Sadly for all those buried in the graveyard there was nobody left in the locality that remembered or cared enough to tend their graves, the deceased abandoned and forgotten.

Death scares most people.  Most people fear being alone or forgotten.  Too many people live their lives out as a narcissistic Facebook profile.  Many people need fame, to live forever, to never be forgotten.  Most people, like those people in the graveyard, will when they die will vanish into obscurity, nobody will care, and no memory beyond some indifferent historical record will mark their passing.

I blinked, then time ate multiple years of my life.  I know when I blink again, I will probably be remembering this blog post thirty years from now as I attend someone’s funeral, reflecting on my mortality.  When I blink again, I will be dead, decomposing in some grave.

Sitting in my garden are ten acorn saplings in pots, my vision is that when I die a couple of great oak trees will live on to mark my anonymous legacy.  It is the harsh reality we all shall die, and most of us will be forgotten a few decades after we die.  The living rarely have time to remember or care about the deceased, since life demands their attention.  The legacy that each of us can leave that will get us remembered is something useful to the living like planted oak trees, because nobody cares about Facebook profiles and grave markers hidden in forgotten graveyards.

Stepping back

Letting events take their course sometimes is the better option.

Stewardship of plants and animals for prosperity rather than exploitation for profit.

Stewardship of plants and animals for prosperity rather than exploitation for profit.

I decided against writing to my local UK Member of Parliament today about a political issue, instead I chose to step back and let events take their course.  In recent weeks there has been in the media reports of an upsurge in social and political protest, be it in Brazil to Turkey, whilst daily further revelations emerge of the degree of monitoring that world governments in concert with each other and the corporates such as Facebook  have been inflicting on their citizens.

All world leaders without exception rather than be bridges to prosperity of their people act like a metaphorical parasitic varroa mite sucking the life out of the bee, in their case the people they fail to steward.  To maintain such a self-serving position world leaders use command and control techniques incorporating restriction, manipulation and monitoring.  To see what happens when these leaders indulge in command and control is to understand a few scientific principles.

The nature of energy is motion.  The universe we exist in has pattern and order thanks to energy systems, without which we would be destroyed by entropy.  These energy systems are under constant attack by entropy, which counter-act entropy through a destruction-renewal cycle that requires the free flow of energy in and out of those energy systems.  Restricted or blocked energy from an energy system causes entropy to engulf the energy system, leading to disorder and breakdown into simpler chaotic systems.

Noting the above science, when you realise our political, social and economic systems are energy systems, it should make sense why we have the events as evident in Turkey, Syria and Brazil.  Our hubristic, ignorant and controlling world leaders use command and control of our social, political and economic systems we depend upon for civilisation, which restricts, even blocks, the flow of energy, undermining the destruction-renewal process, causing the anarchy that is now observable.  Ironically the world leaders react to the chaos with more command and control, paradoxically causing worse disordered outcomes.

At some point I hope that these world leaders get a flash of enlightenment that command and control is a doomed strategy, until then I must step back and watch as social, political and economic systems collapse into chaos.  In reality our social, political and economic systems are expendable, but our environmental systems are critical life support systems, thus my limited resources go to protecting bees, trees and food diversity.

My relationship with social media

Use social media intelligently rather than be its slave. 

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Use social media intelligently rather than be a slave to them.

Yesterday I congratulated two bloggers who declared to the world they had quit Facebook by deleting their accounts.  Today I had to advise an individual I had no LinkedIn account.  I have no Facebook account. I attempt to keep Google and Yahoo at arms length.  With caution I am on Twitter, I am also playing with the idea of accounts with Pinterest and Tumbler.

I am wary of social media because they abuse and misuse personal information, in fact for many of them they have in their terms and conditions a requirement that if I use their services they can use and misuse my personal information and intellectual content that I give to them for their gain with no compensation to me.  My personal information and content is my payment to them for using their services, which they will violate as much as they like.

There are of course positives as well as negatives of using various forms of social media, and it is down to the individual how such tools fit into their lives.  For me my personal information and intellectual property is sacred, and I get upset when it gets violated by faceless corporates.  I can live a life successfully without such social sites like LinkedIn and Facebook, there are alternatives to keeping in contact with those that matter rather than the junk one can accumulate from using such social sites.

Remembering the stakeholder

You are the stakeholder, you are important.

I am looking to add to the reader experience of this blog.

Looking to add to the reader experience of this blog.

Google recently declared they would be closing Google Reader for reading RSS feeds this July which caused uproar amongst its users.  Facebook in searching for extra profit increasingly makes the user experience less enjoyable with each change.  Google and Facebook share in common their amnesia that it is you their customer which pays their bills.  I am sure that if there was a worthy alternative to Google and Facebook their users would join that rival.

Customers of a business or followers of a blog I refer to as stakeholders, a term used in sustainability.  To be a stakeholder of a something you must participate in it, benefit from it and have a say in it.  The business or blog that fails to remember the stakeholder is in the grip of hubris, they are blinded that they are more important than the needs of the stakeholder, pride before the fall, they will fall when their stakeholders abandon them.

This Liberated Way blog today crossed the 600 follower mark.  I thank you all for your many comments, likes and follows. I am glad that so many find this blog useful.  Unlike Google or Facebook I place the stakeholder centre stage, I have one eye on the purpose of this blog, but the other eye on the needs of the followers of this blog.  I am looking at improving the reader experience of this blog, asking questions on how you the reader benefit from, can participate in and have a say in this blog.  Expect a few changes in the coming months as I attempt to answer those questions.

Are you addicted to gadgets?

 The hormone dopamine is connected to the addiction to information technology.

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Information technology can liberate as well as enslave.

If you Google “gadget addiction” you will find scores of articles about the modern addiction to gadgets.  This addiction extends to social media, the news and online gaming.  In one article a woman dumped her boyfriend because he refused to have a Facebook account.  Something has gone terribly wrong since technology rather than be liberating has enslaved human beings.  Smart phones are supposed to be tools to help process and communicate information, but they have now become objects that entrap, control and divide the individual from self, people and nature.

Most people are unable to let go of their gadgets, social media and the need for news.  People are addicted, the hormone dopamine is behind this addiction.  A study of rats implanted with electrodes shows they will press a lever that causes stimulation of their pleasure centre of their brain until they die of exhaustion, they won’t rest, look after their pups or eat.  Like the rats the human has become addicted to a lever of gadgets, social media and news thanks to dopamine.

Dopamine in balance motivates people to explore the world to obtain rewards such as food and sex.  Although dopamine rewards the self for obtaining food or other goal, it has the second function of motivating goal seeking in order to obtain the reward.  Dopamine is behind most addictions like gambling or Facebook because it is motivating the individual to seek out the lever then press it.  The narcotic cocaine is a vicious drug in that it will create a cascade of dopamine which can entrap the individual in addiction in one night. On a lesser scale gadgets, social media and the news is feeding into the exact same dopamine pathways with milder consequences as cocaine does.

Every like, friending or update creates a spike of dopamine in the human brain.  The human becomes addicted to these dopamine spikes and need more regular stimulation.  People are unable to put down their gadgets, they get withdrawal symptoms from being away from social media too long.  Society has been turned into a population of dopamine junkies.

Technology is an awesome tool if it is used well where you are the master.  Technology should be liberating rather than enslaving; technology should enhance your creativity rather than control you into a rigid thinking state; technology should motivate you to obtain wisdom through experiential doing rather than leave you as a passive spectator of life.  If the technology has been unable to build bridges to liberty, creativity and wisdom, but rather creates barriers between the individual and self, others and nature, then it has gone wrong.

When I speak of the potential of artificial intelligence, many people are afraid of being enslaved or harmed by the technology, but the paradox is that most people are already locked in to slavery and self-harm to the machine through the dopamine addictions to information technology. Awareness of what has happened is the first step to becoming the master of information technology rather than its slave.