Sunday, October 23, 2011

What's Your Sign?

The English language is in decline and I can only assume that other languages are following the same path all over Earf. As a yooth this conserned me becos I felt like peeple were getting stupider. I was like "Drone, your loosing you're mind and u don't even know it." But then I realized something, people weren't getting progressively stupider, our language was just evolving. 

As a species, we have had our artistic run. As I've previously mentioned, we were once amazed by the crafting of words and the emotions that they would elicit. However, somewhere along the way we lost interest in being patient and imagining things and instead focused on science and technology. It is difficult to teach someone the value of understanding a math problem when there are apps to solve them for us. In addition, what is the point of toiling away looking for an answer when the internet can provide it for us instantly?

Our lives used to have poetic tempo filled with grand journeys and deeps swells of emotion and longing. But, as I've also previously mentioned, there is little to be conquered and much of what we might have called living has already been lived. If there are no great things to achieve and no great things to discover without years of corporation backed research and development, just what the hell are we supposed to do with all our time? The answer, Do it faster. If we can't live one life well, perhaps we can live many lives all at once. 

Our lives are no longer measured in the quality of connections but rather by the quantity. As a blogger, I am superficially aware of how many people are following me and I desire to have more no matter how good the 1 or 2 or 3 comments are that I might get. 1 on 1 conversations are a liability. Anytime that I only talk to one person I am missing my opportunity to expose and market myself to a larger group. In addition the more specialized my blog posts are, the more people I alienate from wanting to follow my blog. The only solution then is to create generalized blog posts that don't interest anyone absolutely but kinda interest a large number of people.

If we take the above idea it can be applied to life and the way that we are all starting to communicate. I'm sure that many of you who are reading this have been out with a group of people and 1 or 2 people within the group continue to text with someone who is not there physically. As they text they will type in short form and use common/familiar sayings.  Rarely if ever does one of the texters use complex language unless one of them is trying to "out nerd" the other one. Most conversations that occur revolve around ones exterior appearance and the increasing/decreasing level of their attractiveness. People in groups will also talk about places they came from, places they are going or things that they did. Most of the things that these people do/think/talk about are common to the people of their geographical area. Occasionally,  "the funny one" of the group might find an opportunity to regurgitate a line from a favorite television show or movie at an opportune time. 

When we email each other it is the same LOLcat, Fail videos, Best pictures of the year, panda's after the earth quake pictures. Usually the cycle of receiving the same images is just long enough so that we spend the same 20-30 seconds re-familiarizing ourselves with the content every time before deleting the email. We don't really talk about anything interesting or unique anymore. As narcissistic beings we'd like to believe that it is a bad thing but I think streamlining our species into a homogeneous hump is progress. 

When cars were first invented they were considered luxuries and pieces of art. It didn't take long however for the necessity of vehicles to eclipse their artistic value. Now cars are pumped out by the millions in a factory. Recently we have tried to inject some of the passion back into the design but the best we can muster is a cheap callback to a past generation. Over the past couple of decades we have tried to experience the depth of human emotion and psychological problems but only long enough to develop a medication to combat the problem so that everyone keeps steadily marching in line.

Computers have created a generation of agoraphobic shoe gazer's who only venture out into the world to ascertain groceries. They/we/me don't want to expose ourselves to the light of day because the prospect of having a frightening and unpredictable conversation with a stranger is just too much to bear. We may not be self reliant creatures but we are increasingly becoming less reliant on each other and more reliant on our machines. Because of this, it would seem silly if we didn't expect our language to evolve in order to reflect our needs. 

We don't need to court people and win their love with poetry or song. If we travel to the other side of the earth we don't need to send a letter, we'll send a quick text and be back in 2 days. Relationships are less and less about two people growing and living together for the rest of their lives and more and more like a business contract. Both parties live in the same house and share the illusion that they live together, but they live two separate lives, together.

It is no big stretch then to assume that over the next ten years we will gradually talk/type less and less to each other. Like Stephen Hawking we will just scroll through a smaller catalog of phrases that will be updated every 2 months to coincide with the latest batch of popular culture phrases. We'll probably have some LED's installed in our clothing that light up to reveal attraction/rejection.If it can't be found in the LOLCats catalog it can't be said. We will speak in many images at first, then fewer, then perhaps none at all.


  1. Why do I feel like jumping off a bridge now????

  2. That was a very well written post - even though it doesn't paint a very rosy picture of our present and our future.
    You are a very talented writer.

  3. I would love to own an outfit covered completely in LEDs that show my current mood. Red would signal anger, green would be jealousy, and brown would allow me to push to the front of the queue for the bathroom.

  4. Wow. That was perhaps your best post ever (and you've had some good ones). Would you mind if I share this with my philosophy class? Each Friday I usually bring in an article related to that week's thinker and we read it and then have a large discussion. Though it doesn't have anything to do with British Empiricism (this week's topic), it would be great to get their take on all of this (and they know I often rant against similar phenomena and decry the loss of real relationships). There was an opinion piece I just read in CSM a week ago called "Where Have All The People Gone?" about more and more machines replacing us in service related jobs. Oh well, I could go on forever...the Pythagorian theorem that concluded with "Google that shit!" was a real gem, too.

    Keep up the great work!

    P.S. - Have you ever read _The Handmaiden's Tale_ by Atwood? I figure you've at least heard of it/her as she shares your nationality. The end toward which your prediction states we are heading is eerily similar to Atwood's vision in the novel.

  5. Great post. It's a really interesting topic. And is it only proof of the fact, that being a narcissistic creature, I at first separated myself from your collective pronouns? But its true I often hear/participate in the same conversations repeated again and again among friends, after time I feel I develop an apathy for the trivial lives of others and yet become immersed in my own mundane world.

  6. Interesting point of view.
    Now go whore that blog post on twitter.