Leisure, Pain, and Technological Optimism
Technology is inherently extensionist. It holds the expansion of human ability, thought, and progress beyond our physical bodies and oration. Giving shape and direction to humanity itself.
Lately I’ve been asking myself, what this *waves around at everything* is all for. And the answer is simply: to be more.
Reflection begets improvement. We cannot better, that which we cannot see. This is also the beauty of technology. It has an uncanny ability for self-reflection. Demanding our attention, and toil.
From all my previous writing, it should be clear that I continually frame technology as an intertwining of cultural production. Cultural production is often tied to historical bombs. Expanding outward from seismic events and iterating until the next one. Today, we all find ourselves in the midst of such an event.
It’s a massive redirection. A break from, what I consider an incredibly leisure based albeit fragile American life. One that preaches if we simply achieve X then Y will fall into place. But when a massive externality is pressed up against an already flawed system of achievement, there’s a chance the entire spirit breaks.
Many of us are fortunate. We enjoy high paying thought work. Producing graphics by writing in a dark terminal. We can do this anywhere and demand a handsome payment. In reality, many of us do not work that hard and have manageable stresses. But for the majority around us, those we often don’t register as they play supporting characters in an incredibly focused existence in which we never break role… they are feeling something very different today.
They are feeling pain. It is controlled and simple. There is nothing to expand on. They have been financially ripped out. With pure anxiety of anticipation of being thrown back into the system once it is ready to start again. And there will be fallout because of it.
This too, however, is opportunity.
I have a fundamental belief that we can design progress. Not a utopia, nor a near perfect state. But a continual betterment of the human experience. A more beautiful relationship with technologies and social systems.
Our spirit and our systems are under a tremendous amount of stress. Whether it be financial or social isolation. There is incredible communal pain. The recognition of that pain, is the first step in understanding need. Some more actionable than others today. But many that are identifiable and can be expanded in scope.
I don’t offer any answers. Simply putting some of the weight of my meditations in a new space. Hoping to grow my sense of empathy for those in pain. Expand my sense of purpose in what I choose to build. And slowly start writing again.
If you would like to reflect with me, about things you’ve been feeling. Feel free to reach out. I can’t promise I’ll be able to hop on ft with everyone, as I’m also processing a lot and also working as hard as possible from home, but know that the door is open.
I don’t do edits really, so excuse typos and things that don’t make sense.
Thanks so much for giving me your attention. I hope it was worth it, if not… unsubscribing will not hurt my feelings, and will give you back time you literally cannot have back.