Thursday, August 17, 2006

Mirror, Mirror on the Wall

I've been writing about the need for increased empathy in an age of increasing technology and not surprisingly, the issue of narcissism is relevant, because a narcissist often lacks the ability to empathize. And lo, AlterNet has a fascinating article about our culture's love affair with narcissism. It details sociologist Christopher Lasch's groundbreaking 1979 book, The Culture of Narcissism: American Life in An Age of Diminishing Expectations.

"Lasch, in a 1990 afterword to The Culture of Narcissism, wrote, 'The best hope of emotional maturity, appears to lie in a recognition of our need for and dependence on people who nevertheless remain separate from ourselves and refuse to submit to our whims. It lies in a recognition of others not as projections of our own desires but as independent beings with desires of their own.'

"Most importantly, Lasch said, 'The world does not exist merely to satisfy our own desires.'

"True words, indeed. And now, to heed."

Sounds like required reading for the Boomer, Me, X, Y and Z generations. That is, if the younger ones can tear themselves away from MySpace.

The Future is Now... Finally!

Welcome to my blog. I know I'm rather late at entering the blogosphere, considering I supposedly think about the future, but I figure the 50+ million blogs (if Technorati is correct) that have blazed a trail before me have made the path a more comfortably worn one by now. Usually, I take the path less traveled by (because it does make all the difference), but in this case, considering my ambivalent relationship with computers, the more user-friendly those pathfinders have made the blogosphere, the happier I'll be.

My website went live today. You can find it (and me) at Neither my website nor my blog would have existed without the hard work and patient guidance of Russell Rukin, my net sensei, artist extraordinaire and friend. Thanks, Russell!!!

So why have I joined every man, woman and dog on this planet by adding yet another website and blog to the net noise? Because I need a venue to write and correspond about the things that fill my head regularly: futurism, human enhancement, accelerating technology, the singularity, as well as literature, movies, television, fine and decorative art, social and political issues and the interplay between them all. And because, for my sins, I'm writing a great big, bloody book and input is output.

To sum up, I am not afraid of what the future holds. Life will unfold as it will. However, I do think we need to be proactive about what we want the future to be if we hope to get as much out of own 'big adventures' as we might wish. I hope you enjoy the ride as much as I do.