Scrolling mindlessly on my device for the fifth time today. Primed for the little red notification that will send dopamine bliss my way.
Faces of people I hardly know pass by in a pixelated blur. Alleged social connection, but within my beating chest no feelings stir.
On the street and crowded trains, heads absorbed in the blue light of LSD screen. But who am I to judge as just another participant among this sad and sorry scene?
Purchase and consume, be just like the rest. Maintain that online presence, rack up the likes, while inside you scream for redress.
Growing up in a world of deepening connection. Little did we know the digital realm possessed a dark reflection. …
What does it mean to be a Samurai? One who lives and dies to usher a battlecry.
To emerge unscathed from the tumult of battle. No space can be made for distraction nor idle prattle.
Fronting the vanguard on the attack and holding the line in retreat. Cowardice for the Samurai is the lowest form of self-deceit.
A lifetime of years spent preparing for death. Loss of honour though cowardice would be the greatest of thefts.
Martial expertise manifest in the glint of blinding metal. Through heartache and suffering the Samurai can still appreciate the flower petal.
Overcome fear of death and fight until the very end. Upon the battlefield the warrior will meet his fate and transcend. …
When the outlook for the future is grim and the world appears bleak
What is it we ought to pay attention to, pursue, and seek?
Personal and collective journeys put on hold thanks to a tiny, abstract killer
Hopes and dreams suspended, the fragility of civilisation has never felt realer
Holed up inside I’ve come to appreciate that suffering and ego are birds of a feather
But are they destined to flock together forever?
Is humanity’s descent into the realm of the unconscious a predetermined path?
Or will we come full-circle, guided by the wizard’s staff?
What is it the sage points to over yonder? …
“The same tools that can be used to sell me something I don’t really need can now be used to sell me a politician I really don’t need or an ideology that I really don’t need. It’s the same tools. It’s the same hacking of the human animal and manipulating what’s inside.” - Yuval Noah Harari
Freedom and control have forever been entangled in an intricate dance, where the swing of one partner animates the graceful sway or floundering blunder of the other.
On the micro level, maintaining control over the trajectory of one’s life and the decisions made within it underpins the realization of personal freedom. …
National governments the world over are coming to deploy exceptional surveillance measures in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. In the People’s Republic of China, the past several months of crisis management has presented the ruling Chinese Communist Party (CCP) with the opportunity to operationalise, test, and refine reward and punishment mechanisms foundational to the logic of the country’s emerging ‘Social Credit System’ (SCS). The SCS relies on the use of big data collection, sharing and analysis methods to secure enhanced control over market and social processes on the behalf of the government.
If successful in containing the pandemic or at least portraying itself as such, the CCP may strengthen domestic and foreign appeal for this new model of surveillance. Not only does this crisis allow national and local governments to trial new surveillance techniques and technologies, it more importantly bolsters the distinct narrative authorities are attempting to pin to China’s rapidly evolving surveillance culture. …
At the heart of every great question lies an irreconcilable paradox. The previous article in this series described the metaphysical camp of positivism, highlighting how this worldview continues to maintain dominance over collective understandings of reality. Positivism insists that we can separate ourselves from reality and view the world as a detached observer. It advocates that our understanding of facts can be separated from our relationship with them. In doing so positivism asserts that we can obtain objective facts about the world around us and the social realities we inhabit. …
Envisage a wooden chair standing alone in a room. One could say the chair exists as an object in and of itself. It has an identity in time and space. It has physical integrity and appears solid. If you picked up and moved the chair to another location it would still be appraised as the same chair. An individually oriented analysis such as this identifies the chair as a unique and isolated unit existing apart from the relations that constitute it. …
The mark of your ignorance is the depth of your belief in injustice and tragedy. What the caterpillar calls the end of the world, the Master calls the butterfly.
— Richard Bach
Though it might not appear as such, we have been granted a gift in these extraordinary times of pandemic. A gift unexpected and for many of us undesired, yet a gift nonetheless. It is likely a gift which accompanies other hardships and losses. Reduced work hours, a struggling business, a lost job, a strained home environment, an uncertain future. Yet if we are to utilise the gift provided us we cannot focus on the unfortunate outcomes of extraneous conditions. …
As COVID-19 continues its global rampage and health systems strain under the weight of surging hospital admissions, the repercussions associated with elevating personal wants over collective needs are becoming increasingly severe.
Just over a week ago, public parks in France were bustling with people eager for sunshine. Pubs in the UK were clamouring with rowdy patrons. Meanwhile, in Australia one could have been mistaken for assuming that it was just another Summer’s day on iconic Bondi Beach. …