[ by Charles Cameron — somewhere between Lietaer, Bitcoin and a leisure-driven future ]
Please note, I am not using moolahin the sense in which Arthur Conan Doyle used it in A Desert Drama:
The squat lieutenant, the moolah, and about a dozen Dervishes surrounded the prisoners.
There’s a quality of surprise to the two tweeted stories that follow, which highlights our usual acceptance of the idea that money is value. Consider:
500 Canadian doctors protest pay raises because they already make enough money https://t.co/ZPXDxHZHLN of Canadian doctors demand lower salaries. 700 physicians, residents and medical students from Quebec had signed an online petition asking for their pay raises to be canceled.
In the Orthodox tradition, the Book of Revelations has not been among the most important texts. Yet there is something positively apocalyptic about the recent speech of the Russian Orthodox Church’s most important convert, Russian President Vladimir Putin. A nuclear-powered and nuclear-armed cruise missile that could circumnavigate the planet avoiding US missile defenses! A nuclear-powered and nuclear-armed submarine drone! And, most of all, a hypersonic “meteorite” too fast for American interceptors, a mighty ognennyi shar, a great “ball of fire”! (Jerry Lee Lewis was not credited, but then Putin’s Russia is not known for overly scrupulous honoring of property rights.)
Jerry Lee Lewis ? That’s a pop refeerence in an otherwise serious context. Let’s see..
Following the massive initial success of Alto’s Adventure, the team released a major update that added a Zen Mode to the title in 2016, which removed obstacles to create a more relaxing experience for players who simply wanted to drift off into the game world. It was around that time that Cymet moved his family from Vancouver to Toronto to work more closely with the team at Snowman, and he said that the ordeal helped “give me a sense of groundedness in this emotion we’ve tried to capture with the game, of going outside your comfort zone and putting yourself somewhere completely new that’s beautiful and interesting, and trying to find the beauty there.”
IMO, and with ref to the above and to zen, seeking beauty leads to prettiness, whereas seeking truth leads to beauty.
Placing that game art in a binary context:
Like many émigrés, Adorno was initially disoriented by US mass culture, which had not yet overrun Europe as it would after the war. This disorientation became a principled distrust. He claimed that capitalist popular culture – jazz, cinema, pop songs, and so on – manipulates us into living lives empty of true freedom, and serves only to distort our desires. Popular culture is not the spontaneous expression of the people, but a profit-driven industry – it robs us of our freedom and bends us to conform to its needs for profit.
When Metallica appeared at the 2014 Glastonbury festival there was a wake-up moment of this kind – the recognition that these guys, unlike so many who had performed there, actually had something to say. Yes, there are distinctions of quality, even in the realm of pop.
Okay, and to close with authentic beauty, art, culture….
A brilliant DoubleQuote in a single tweet:
"I said to the almond tree, ‘Friend, speak to me of God,’ and the almond tree blossomed." ~ Nikos Kazantzakis ?Vincent Van Gogh pic.twitter.com/7yUOUTkXOd
[ by Charles Cameron — feeling a little more Bladerunner, are we? ]
Here are a couple of tweeted news stories with relevant quotes below each of them, from one day’s mid-morning twitter feed — with thanks to fine scholars Stephen O’Leary, master of apocalyptic rhetoric, and Thomas Hegghammer, master of Jihadist culture and folkways:
After Hurricane Maria, 300,000 Puerto Ricans fled to Florida, and disaster experts estimate that climate and weather events displaced more than 1 million Americans from their homes last year. These statistics don’t begin to capture the emotional and financial toll on survivors who have to dig through ashes and flooded debris to rebuild their lives. [ .. ]
Climate change is going to remap our world, changing not just how we live but where we live. As scientist Peter Gleick, co-founder of the Pacific Institute, puts it, “There is a shocking, unreported, fundamental change coming to the habitability of many parts of the planet, including the U.S.A.”
In the not-so-distant future, places like Phoenix and Tucson will become so hot that just walking across the street will be a life-threatening event.
In large cities, hospitals report armed confrontations in emergency rooms, and school administrators say threats and weapons have become commonplace. Last week two men from Uppsala, both in their 20s, were arrested on charges of throwing grenades at the home of a bank employee who investigates fraud cases. [ .. ]
Illegal weapons often enter Sweden over the Oresund Bridge, a 10-mile span that links the southern city of Malmo to Denmark. When it opened, in 2000, the bridge symbolized the unfurling of a vibrant, borderless Europe, but in recent years it has been more closely associated with smuggling, of people, weapons and drugs.
Are these two tweets, taken together, the encerroaching wave-front of William Gibson‘s “future already here — just not very evenly distributed” beginning to distribute itself a little more evenly?
Let’s backtrack forty years, with benefit of hindsight:
Zenpundit is a blog dedicated to exploring the intersections of foreign policy, history, military theory, national security,strategic thinking, futurism, cognition and a number of other esoteric pursuits.