Reflection 8: Blogosphere

October 16, 2008

(Copyright © 2008)

Insofar as they are immediate, thoughtful, coherent, and honest, blogs hold promise of creating a cooperative, synchronized interaction between individual worlds of consciousness on a scale far grander than one-way broadcasts in the mass media have ever achieved through dominance and brute force.


The emergent properties of such a linked and energetic exchange could function as the collective mind of a world we yearn for but cannot yet imagine. (Neglect for now the global energy consumption necessary to give every creature a voice in such a mind, and the common language we would need to develop to convey personal and cultural nuances beyond the means of stock formulas of expression.)


As it is now, blogs add up to a clamorous Babel of noise and opinion. We select the few that speak to-and-for us, and shun the rest. That way, we reinforce our respective mindsets without running the risk of expanding or correcting them. There’s little rhythm to the whole indicating the slightest degree of synchrony. Even crickets manage that as you drive by a field with the window open—as if they were singing with and not against one another.


United bloggers stand, divided we fall into cacophony. How do we unite when we are all distinct individuals? By reaching for a higher order of consciousness tuned to our sameness more than our differences. Our differences are often minor variations appended to our commonalities. We are built to much the same plan, share similar concerns and aspirations, face comparable obstacles, speak and use gestures, develop along similar lines, need food to survive, along with air, water, shelter, companionship, humor, resilience, patience, strength, and so on.


Where we blog into trouble is in competing for world attention instead of complementing one another in promoting a dynamic understanding of world affairs. This pits blog against blog in selfish self-promotion, not synchronous cooperation. Which boggles the consciousness of most blog surfers, the casual and devoted alike. We can take in only so much, yet there’s so much going on and so much being blogged instant by instant.


Categories and tags are meant to cut the problem down to size. As I write, the top ten categories/tags on at this moment are: Politics, News, Life, Music, Family, Photography, Barack Obama, Entertainment, Travel, and Personal. Here is the mirror of our time on Earth. The problem of organizing it into meaningful topic areas is similar to what Peter Mark Roget faced in 1849 when he set out to sort words not by their spellings but according to the ideas which they express. That is, by their meanings. Which he accomplished in short order, producing his Thesaurus in 1852.


Imagine doing the same thing for human consciousness by taking on the blogosphere in similar fashion. Consciousness enables us to establish a meaningful relationship between the self and its life situation. What the blogosphere needs is a thesaurus of topic ideas to help bloggers blog in meaningful categories and surfers to locate (and choose between) the postings they are interested in.


Thus would be born the world brain, providing timely and orderly access to world consciousness concerning local and global issues on a scale that would benefit even old Earth itself, beleaguered as it is today by its pesky and overly abundant hominid inhabitants.


In truth, we are all creatures of our home planet, and are Earthlings in spirit if not in name. By whatever time scale you measure it, we have grown up together on this Earth. We are all members of the Class of 10-16-2008. Many of us were here yesterday; some of us will be here tomorrow. We have that much in common. Which gives us a lot to blog about in synchrony with one another.


I choose to blog about consciousness because many of us share that quality to greater or lesser degree. It is something we hold in common, even though we don’t think much about what it is that we share. Without it, we would live on the level of worms, toads, and jellyfish, dependent on reflexes to get us through the day. Consciousness is just one minor category in the theater of all blogs. It is not likely to make the top 100, much less the top ten.


We have much to learn about consciousness, and using it wisely to promote lifestyles and levels of consumption respectful of our homeland. Yet its study isn’t a vital part of the school curriculum. Our educational power structure prefers to take charge from the outside, thus overriding our native hunger for self-fulfillment. If we don’t pursue it ourselves, no one else can do it for us. I’m not talking about such theories of mind as are doled out in psychology class, but the real thing studying itself. In the true spirit of Apollo’s dictum, “Know thyself,” such study turns education inside out. With the result that we get beyond taking the world—and ourselves—at face value. The world, we discover, is what we make of it.


Consciousness is a high art which, performed with care, feeling, precision—and openness to feedback—leads to self-mastery and social effectiveness. Flourished covertly due to abuse or neglect, it leads us astray more often than not, and can be hurtful to others who get entangled in our self-wrought scenarios. There are lots of mean and angry blogs out there, blaming the world’s ills on others rather than seeking aid for the blogger’s condition.


Our bodies and brains have evolved to the hunter-gatherer stage. After that, our genes have had little time to track the growth of cultures which have continued to evolve at a far faster pace. What would a Paleolithic hunter blog about? Sex. Food. Shelter. Climate. Birth. Death. Family. Community. Joy. Sadness. Love. Survival. Same as us, without politics perhaps, or the economy. The point being that as far as my consciousness goes, I am essentially on the Paleolithic level. The evolved Earthling level. My take on my life situation is far older and more out of date than I realize. Me hungry. Me want satisfaction. Not later, now!


Whatever our claimed degree of sophistication, we—including all bloggers—are on the level of Paleolithic hunter-gatherers. Consciousness has gotten us that far, at least. Beyond that we are largely on our own, making life up as we go. No wonder the economy is in shambles. We have left it to rank amateurs, those who ride out their hunches and intuitions, taking our assets along with them.


Earthlings all, we have much to blog about. If we get our acts together, we can contribute to universal understanding of what it is we are doing. Which is always a matter of translating the sensible world around us into conscious phenomena, funding those phenomena with meanings and feelings, then contributing to the world through motivated actions judged to be appropriate to our immediate life situation. All else—including power and wealth—is hand waving and bluster.  ¦


One Response to “Reflection 8: Blogosphere”

  1. insomniac said

    Thank you, sir. From one old hunter of meaning to another.


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