Philosophy, Psychology, Nerdisms, Writing from the Trenches

Technology

The End is Nigh

I’m a little bit in love with rampant fatalism. Why is the idea of the end of the world so attractive? It seems like everyone wants to see humanity come to its inevitable end at the hand of some violent, foreseeable (preventable?) catastrophe.

And, I’m not just talking about the whole 2012 Mayan thing.

I think humanity can only exist with the looming threat of complete disaster. I mean it. Check here. We are constantly expecting the other shoe to drop. I suppose that makes the first shoe our existence in general.

I don’t believe that 2012 will be the end of humanity, Earth, the way we do things, what have you. I do wonder what the next big prediction will be after 2012 (*cough* moon breaking orbit *cough).

Instead of focusing on major catastrophe, though, I’d like to focus on the small ones that are expected in our lifetime (not ending in 2012). This list is courtesy of my mother forwarding me emails. I hit unsubscribe, but it hasn’t caught on.

6 Things that will Disappear in Our Lifetime

1. The Post Office

Really? Really. I will concede that the post office has been in financial trouble for a long time, but as far as being unsustainable, I’m not really sure that’s true. It’s funded by the government.

Regardless, here’s your call to action:

Save the Mail

Every week, go over your Tweets. Compile them into one convenient document and send them to your top twenty followers. All @replies should also be compiled and mailed directly to the intended recipient. I purpose this stamp.

2. The Check

I agree. This is useless. Dump it.

3. The Newspaper

Two words: coffee shops. What else are people going to glance at while they wait for their coffee?

Oh, and there’s nothing better to start a camp fire/cozy house fire with. Papier mache! Birdcages! Lining the table before commencing art projects! You don’t know what you’re talking about. The newspaper’s not going anywhere.

4. The Book

I’m not even going to take this one seriously.

5. The Land Line Telephone

Refer to answer for #2-The Check

6. Music

I could write a whole blog post on this alone. Disgruntled curmudgeons (read: old people) seem to get it in their heads that when the music they like is in decline, all of music is in decline. You are wrong. Music is a staple in human society. We have made music for thousands of years. We will always make music.

This is an example of putting business too close to art. It’s like saying, “If there aren’t any newspapers, there will be no news.”

That’s not how it works. Don’t equate an industry with the actual artistic expression.

You can argue all you want. Like I said, I love the fatalists, the doom-predictors, the naysayers. I also think you’re getting all worked up over nothing. And that’s exactly what our alien overlords intended.

Chill out, guys. We’re going to be fine.

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The Mark Twain Media Engine

I like social media. Maybe too much. I feel like it’s a great place to reveal our inner ridiculousness, poke fun at ourselves without taking self-deprecation too far, and meet and interact with a whole stratum of people we wouldn’t otherwise have a chance of getting to know.

Where else do I get to say, “What should I do tonight? #amwriting, #amreading or #amthebatman?”

This is a reference to me (obviously) writing, reading, or (not as obvious) playing Arkham City.

I’m an introvert. I love interacting with people on my terms.

But, that’s not what this post is about.

Bait and switch!

The other day, I tweeted a random thought after stumbling on a quote page for Mark Twain and I couldn’t help but think…

“Mark Twain would have been the best Tweeter of all time.”

This started the idea worm, growing and maturing until I had to lengthen the thought into a full blog post.

I think Mark Twain would have solved world hunger through his Twitter feed alone. This man would have started revolutions. He would have been on top of every trend, sarcasm and wit stretched to the maximum. And, considering some of the backasswards things happening to Mark Twain’s books nowadays, can you imagine the kind of storm he would have started?

Remember how censored editions of Huckleberry Finn and Tom Sawyer were released this year? Maybe he’d throw out something like this.

“I always read immoral books on the sly, and then selfishly try to prevent other people from having the same wicked good time.”

“Guys, what’s a good river for my main character to raft on? #amwriting”

“My review of @JaneAusten is up. Give you a hint. #meh [URL]”

“Changed my profile pic. I mustache you a question.”

Or what if he checked in on Foursquare?

“Me and @LouisaMayAlcott hitting The Pub.”

Who’s our Mark Twain nowadays? Do we have someone so witty, so sarcastic, so full of piss and vinegar, the Gilded Age never saw him coming?

Okay, I know. I’m wrong. Mark Twain would not have been an awesome Tweeter. He would have started fights, blasted Justin Bieber, and mocked the Friday song. But, weren’t those habits part of what made him such an interesting figure in American Literature?

Perhaps I’ve deified Mr. Samuel L. Clemens. He is a figure of mythological proportions, he suffered through his writing one word at a time, just like every one of us (I hope). He was as much a product of his time, and hindsight is 20/20.

I still would have followed him.


Aside

The Daily Stalk

Like everyone who gets a new technological toy, I posted about my (yet unnamed) iPad 2. It sleeps next to my bed, curled up in its smart cover. I’ve started using eye drops because I stare at it for long periods of time.

Melodramatic!

Yesterday morning, while sitting at work, I picked up my iPad and thought: “Time for the daily stalk.”

Finger paused on power button. What prompted such a negative connotation to the innocent thing I was about to do?

So, I subscribe to blogs. What’s the big deal?

By “subscribe”, I, of course, mean “am addicted to”. In my gushing “All Hail Apple” post, I mentioned a few of the feeds I subscribe to:

Kristen Lamb

Chuck Wendig

A. Lee Martinez

But, that was just the tip of the iceberg.

I’ve got Jenny Martin. Occasionally, I dig into this thing like a mole-inspired super villain, mining it for YA lit suggestions.

Rosemary Clement-Moore, who can make me simultaneously weep and laugh.

Pamela Skjolsvik. She’s got the cajones to write about death. I’m sucked in. How dare you make me think?

And even that’s just a smattering. I’m up to 14 subscriptions (and that’s not including Tumblr).

So, why “the daily stalk”?

Blogging is personal. It’s that thing that’s been bugging the writer, that little piece of irritant that’s stuck in the brain. Something that needs to be worked out. And, because I follow people with creative minds, it’s like seeing an aspect about them, learning something that they don’t have to explain, or describe, or tell you.

And, I feel a little guilty.

Everyone who reads this blog knows something about me. Without ever meeting me, you can form an opinion based on the content. What kind of music I like, what sort of books I enjoy, my personality type.

But, really, we don’t know anyone. Reading a blog is not spending time with someone. Getting to know someone through social media is sort of bogus. I mean, if I really wanted to know, I could just find out where you live, buy a pair of binoculars, and park across the street (well, hello, officer; what do you mean by ‘restraining order’?).

I’d rather sit down with you, face-to-face, and have a cup of coffee. Even if all we talk about is the weather.

Hi. I’m Kate Cornell. I’m a media consumer, obsessed with technology, and addicted to social media. When I sneeze, I always sneeze twice. I sometimes feel bad when I go to the coffee shop because I change my order every time, and I know the baristas try to make an effort to remember my drink. I love angry chick rock. I play the guitar…poorly, but passionately.

So, now you know.

I’m going to read one more post. Just one. I promise.