Question for ya'all... 

Are things really weird nowadays? Or is it just culturally appropriate to feel that way?

This of course begs the question of… What's “real” and what's “weird”?


OK- I'll bite. But first, here's something to listen to while you read on: {see below}

To start, keeping it simple, and as such not entirely accurate and complete, REAL is what is testable and agreed upon. Oy. That leaves a lot of room for mischief. I guess it's what people you agree with agree upon. Double Oy! I wasn't intending to go down this particular rabbit hole. Oh well.

I guess I could say that Reality is what is left over when all opinions and interpretations cancel each other out.

Or, as Phillip K. Dick said, "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away."

     (“Reality is the original Rorschach”) 

OK, so what is “weird”? That should be easier, right?

I think we live in something that we would call “reality”, regardless of how we would define the term. Maybe weird is anything that challenges that reality (whether just a personal reality or a “real” reality). An up and coming term for this sort of thing is “a glitch in the Matrix”, obviously referring to the premise of the movie's by that name.

Weird would be something that upsets our moorings. That forces us to question our reality (I'll just use the word from now on without messing with it).

Sometimes it takes standing at the “10,000 foot level” to see how weird the world has gotten. We do our best to normalize ("de-weird")  things, but things are changing. In unpredictable ways.

If you're my age, you'll remember the promise of video phones. Picture an old dial-phone (or maybe one with the buttons) with a screen on top. And the big concern was, Oh My Gosh! What if I'm in my pajamas (or worse) when my boss calls… What kind of privacy will there be. And then all of a sudden, kind of sneaking in, we had Skype. Then Zoom and all of the other video-conferencing tools right here on our little cellphone. With a screen. I can now video-chat with my daughter in Switzerland, right on my phone.

      (and the Smart Phone too! What a change in our capabilities as humans. In our relationship to others, to ourselves, to information itself! A combination of the Star Trek communicator and their computer.)

We just have to wear a decent shirt and blur our background to hide the messy room.

But nobody noticed that this Zoom thing IS that video phone we all were anticipating.

The point is, that from within our own skin, day to day seems normal, even as momentous change is taking place. With the advent of video calling, our entire communication, social, and even employment structures are at issue. That's essentially our civilization. That's weird. The zeitgeist is shifting under our feet. But you gotta look to see. (Yogi Berra, “You can observe a lot just by watching”)

Here's a radical statement… What it is to be human, is changing. And even though our day-to-day experience is of the normal, this change- these changes- are upsetting our stability- personally and socially. I might argue that this is a good thing- that'll be for another article though.

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