A response to Mike Hind and Zvi Mowshowitz
Not really connected, but you made me think of something funny. I was around when the internet was first becoming a thing and I remember a buddy saying excitedly, "Now you can get porn for free!" He spent two hours downloading a centerfold on dial up and printing it on a dot matrix printer. He told me the next day, "Internet porn is stupid. This will never be a thing."
This is so well-written, Doc, and dovetails eerily with Mark Bisone's and my comment on it: https://markbisone.substack.com/p/these-tools-of-mine: "I've been playing with a concept I call slow-tech as opposed to low-tech. It doesn't require or provide 24/7 connectivity and maybe is completely non-commercial. It's hard-wired, maybe only with neighborhood hubs. Once a day, people may see who's responded or write/ read other posts. But the rest of the time, we're with the real people in our lives ... I also think that taking back something as slow-tech as local radio, networked into independent producers everywhere, could be community-building."
This is a transcribed radio episode I did a decade ago called Radio is Community Building: http://thirdparadigm.org/3p_045.php. It references another theme you discussed on how the news has been made into snippets of anecdotes. A book called The Soap Opera Paradigm researches how that happens, which I talked about in We Interrupt This Commercial: http://thirdparadigm.org/3p_024.php.
Anyway I REALLY need to get off my screen and listen to my own advice, but I had to send a note that I think you and Mark are really on to something.
The internet is simultaneously the greatest and worst technology ever created. In terms of economic opportunity, access to resources, and availability of information there has never been a better time to be alive. Unfortunately, there are also more ways than ever to squander these resources and opportunities and lose our humanity. It's a giant character test, and most people fail.
The surveillance device in your pocket is not your friend
It's nice to find hopeful ideas expressed on this topic and maybe I'm too pessimistic.
Your point about safetyism (which is control) is well made.
On the point of constant phone checking potentially becoming something frowned upon, this only happens if individuals communicate their disapproval to those at fault. We need get nagging!
I would also add a specific disapproval which is people who tweet constantly. I can't take anyone seriously who does this.
Though the main reason I am on my phone these days is reading the constant stream of good substance articles, not sure of that makes me a hypocrite.....
>>the kids have to do something if they aren’t allowed to run around outside with their friends
They should be thrown out the back door and told to go play in the woods with their friends at every opportunity. Only keep them inside when it's lightning storms, frog-stranglers, above 98 degrees or below 20 degrees :) That's what we grew up with and we turned out (mostly) OK :)