The answer cannot be to be away from all people, all other people, it must be instead to be independent of other people and unmoved by their noise and circumstance. Is that it? Can one be both independent and simultaneously ‘with’? Can I?
Meanwhile, the War plays on, uninterrupted, save I, for the moment a ‘conscientious objector’, using a notebook, not an electronic one either, a paper and pencil analog notebook. Isn’t this rather avoiding the issue, instead of facing and addressing it head-on? I prefer to think of it as respite before heading back to the trenches. Besides, what difference does it make if I abandon my post temporarily. It is not as if I was under direct attack, is it? Only, like you, I AM under direct attack, with almost every interface experience today. There is no such thing anymore (if there ever was) as ‘neutral’ communications.
Every tap on every ‘Black Mirror’ screen, every tickle of every keyboard is logged and rolled into an unceasing complex of data and information tracked, mined and fertilized with more information and used to retarget more of the same. It was not the mining that caused the war. It is actually the ‘more of the same’ that started it all off. The endless cacophony of more-of-the-same promotion racket that has been running for two decades now. It is so commonplace that younger generations have never seen anything else. As a result they are almost universally cynical. At least older generations had the advantage of television to develop immunity to commercials. With television, you see, commercials came at predictable intervals, grouped together, for predictable (usually short) amounts of time. True, there was the occasional half hour or one hour ‘infomercial’ program, but these were rare and truth be told, often quite amusing and there was no doubt whatsoever they were paid commercial broadcasts. Today, instead, we have slyly inserted micro promotions and attention / intention-grabbers anywhere and everywhere throughout the digital experience. Now everyone and everything is a target for more-of-the-same no matter the occasion. Browsing? Yes. Shopping? Yes. Emailing? Yes. Messaging? Why not? Nothing is sacrosanct, nothing is sacred in this environment.
Used to be more-of-the-same was universally labelled as new, (or brand-new!), whether it was breakfast cereal, cars, or clothes. Now, everything is recycled more-of-the-same but the focus has shifted from new more-of-the-same products to new more-of-the-same interests, focus, beliefs or attitudes. The result is that with more and more information we are becoming more and more polarized. War is the reason why. The Interface War.