All Quiet on the Cerebral Front


Silence (def) the relative or total lack of audible sound

That is the voice inside my head of late – an absence that is tremendously present.  Hyper-stimulation – from technology, automobiles, mass media, and the ever-growing population – causes a certain impassivity, as though the constant barrage of information flows down like a waterfall and just leaves you moist and malcontent. It erodes you slowly, wearing away your sharpness until you are smooth and numb.

You remember when memorizing a hundred phone numbers was easy, when you’d reach for an encyclopedia to research something and find yourself scanning through page after page as your knowledge deepened, when you read something and paused for a moment in some profound moment of reflection.  But those days are gone now, lost in the rapidity of information transport.  Digital phone lines and satellite bounces now represent our new neural networks, as if all of the information we used to store inside our heads is now stored in some universally-accessible database.  It is no wonder we find so many of us with our head in the cloud these days.  Because that’s where we have gone, from deep processing to an absence of thought.  We have information at our fingertips. We’re texters and typers and builders of apps weaving connective threads in a disconnected trap. Our thoughts are digits and widgets. We’ve become fidgeting midgets.  I used to think connection meant holding a hand, but now it’s a hand that holds a connection.  Such reflection needs correction. We’ve lost direction. We used to be a nation that gave each other a hand and now we just give each other a finger.

Alas, I am ranting again, but there’s a whole generation missing out on life’s profundity.  If we always provide an easy answer, they never have to develop the tools to think.  And that doesn’t bode well for things like innovation, or triage, or solving world problems. Maybe, though, this is just the next stage of evolution, where the cerebrum shrinks and makes room for some other brain function to dominate.  Maybe we are preparing for a multi-tasking mutation, or perhaps a few generations from now some kid will wake up and find ways to connect all of the information in the ether like some Jungian utopia.

Anyway, the point of this blog entry was to rid myself of the silence in my head.  I guess that’s done now.


By ccxander

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