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Hello everyone! My sincere apologies that I have not been posting of late. I like to think that it just goes to show that I have a life in that novel place known as the real world. However, as I’ve been traveling around the world the last four weeks, I have been doing a lot of thinking about the AFLI. Some of your comments have been thought-provoking, and I welcome your input. Inspired partially by all of you, there are a few changes I plan to make in the near future which will hopefully make the AFLI a more effective organization. Keep your fingers crossed that I can finish thinking the issues through and bring the AFLI up a notch real soon. In the meantime, there is much to say. Here is some tasty stuff to think about…
Dr. Boli, that favorite fellow of mine, has this to say about the net:
2. Alan Jacobs says this, which applies well to Facebook, I think:
“I don’t think that Tolstoy vs. lolcats is just a matter of taste. To be sure, not everyone needs to read Tolstoy; most people don’t need to read Tolstoy. It would be nice if more people did, but it’s not socially or personally necessary.
What is necessary, I think, is for all of us to be engaged in some activity that challenges us, that tests our intellectual limits. For some people that might be reading Tolstoy, while for others it might involve writing code or learning Klingon. But as Lanier says, “You have to be somebody before you can share yourself,” and being somebody is an achievement. It requires intentional labor, and a degree of personal ambition — and anyone can work and strive, though some have farther to go than others. But a lot of fooling around on the internet is just that, fooling around: it doesn’t test our resources or stretch our capacities. In many cases that’s fine, because we shouldn’t be working all the time: but even if fooling around on the internet really does somehow increase social creative capital — which I have no reason to believe — it doesn’t achieve a damned thing for the person doing it.”
I concur with Jacobs. Exactly. You have to be somebody before you can share yourself. One of my pet peeves about Facebook. Pointlessness, unnatural gossip, and fake identities. It’s Narcissism Central. Literally.
3. This is also interesting:
“Children growing up in homes with many books get 3 years more schooling than children from bookless homes, independent of their parents’ education, occupation, and class. This is as great an advantage as having university educated rather than unschooled parents, and twice the advantage of having a professional rather than an unskilled father. It holds equally in rich nations and in poor; in the past and in the present; under Communism, capitalism, and Apartheid; and most strongly in China. Data are from representative national samples in 27 nations, with over 70,000 cases, analyzed using multi-level linear and probit models with multiple imputation of missing data.”
So this talk about books being in a state of demise… well, I sincerely hope it is phony. I doubt having Kindles in the home is going to help make kids smarter.
(Source: First Things Online)
4. Last thing. Here is a lovable pic from Unhappy Hipsters which sums up modern man pretty neatly:
Without the daily self-portraits, he feared he might disappear completely.
(Photo: Kent Dayton; Dwell, Jan/Feb 2004)
Seriously. This reminds me of when (after an hour long class) I watched a girl check her phone and exclaim: “Nobody loves me! I don’t have any texts!” People need to reclaim their ability to be free and independent thinkers and not merely fish in the current. People looking for love need to depend on something much sturdier than technology. People need to quit Facebook. JUST QUIT THE THE DEMONIC THING! PLEASE! By the way, that pic is going in my dorm room. Ha, ha. As always, I am grateful for your comments and insight. I promise that I do take your thoughts into consideration, even if I am too busy to respond promptly. Long live the glorious AFLI!
Savvy J. Buckner
So Dr. Boli [http://drboli.wordpress.com] is at it again with his sometimes bizarre, sometimes comic, and sometimes delightfully pointed sense of fun. Are the following advertisements from his Celebrated Magazine poking fun at our pretty much illiterate generation? Just maybe.
- “The Blandville Branch Library will offer a one-hour talk entitled “What Is a Book?” on Saturday, May 2, at 1 p.m. The audience will have the opportunity to see and handle several books after the talk.”
- “THE BLANDVILLE BRANCH Library will be having a Giant Book Sale beginning Monday and continuing until all the books are gone. The Library staff have decided that the Library can no longer afford to maintain a collection of books when computer workstations are so expensive.”
- “The Community Television Viewers’ Association will be offering a free workshop all day Tuesday. With the Internet rapidly overtaking television in popularity, we are concerned that the skills required to absorb purely passive entertainment are being lost. Third-generation television viewers will be on hand to teach you the secrets to a rewardingly inert television-viewing experience. “
One reader funnily commented about the last two announcements, ”I fear that you may have inadvertently posted real news in the [above] paragraphs. Please try harder at parody and satire in the future.”
The Bottom Line: People do not read anymore; instead, they spend time on distracting social networking sites like Facebook. This has disastrous effects on personal lives. This will have a disastrous effect on culture at large. If reading continues to decrease and writing to deteriorate, we shall all soon be certifiable barbarians. Which somehow doesn’t appeal to me.
You Can’t Get There from Here
It is not possible to get to where you intend to go from where you are now, so don’t even try.
The above is from Dr. Boli’s Celebrated Magazine. My twist on it relates to Facebook. “It is not possible to get to where you intend to go from Facebook, so don’t even try.” Wherever it is you want to get in life, Facebook won’t help you much. Overdosing your imagination is not the route to happiness.
When I saw this marvelous advertisement on my beloved Dr. Boli’s celebrated magazine, I thought of Facebook. So here is my connection: Facebook breeds sloth and apathy. Facebookers waste time delighting in pictures of themselves and the soap opera lives of those they know (and don’t know). What most Facebookers don’t know is how bored they really are. Glued to a virtual world, Facebookers become impervious to the real one right behind them. Facebookers run a high risk of becoming indifferent to that which is right in front of them. Yup, rather like IndifferentMan. Ye Facebookers beware! Thou shalt become like IndifferentMan!