"IYTSU·SHATOI"    [ 09 ]   
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June 2016

If You Think Something Up, Someone Has Already Thought Of It

"IYTSU·SHATOI" — not just a sneeze in Japanese. *

It is a reflection of our growing Global Culture.

* I can write with some authority using this acronym because my
  whitebread American daughter is becoming a certified Japanese
  translator, so I have heard much of it in the last couple of years.

      ( ~ Shouganai ~ )

Inspiration may strike one day. You might suddenly come up with a Truly Amazing And World Changing Idea. I can pretty much guarantee that somebody else has already thought of it, perhaps even long ago. They have already posted a video about it on YouTube, probably. This is good, and this is bad. Good because whatever you're into, whether solving epic mathematical equations or knitting fabulous STAR WARS actionware (for insects), you are practically guaranteed to find informative steps on the Internet to further your passions. You don't have to re-invent the wheel, not a single one... they roll around us all endlessly now. But it's bad because proprietary individual knowledge seems to be fading from the human experience anymore. We used to have specialists in every conceivable field, their skills remarkable, true, and measurable. Now, given enough time and compulsion, anyone can dabble in anything/everything, and market themselves enough to get by in a world increasingly dumbed down by mobile touch screens. Quoting from a friend's recent email: "all answers are just a Google away." Oh, it IS wonderful and timely to be able to conjure up any recipe at a moment's notice, say, for the holidays, or learn at a glance how a combustion engine works (also handy for the Holidays). However, for all this fantastic convenience, I have to wonder if Real Expertise is hopelessly dissolving in a miasma of general communal knowledge...
 
 The Encyclopedia Britannica
Don't get me wrong ~ I love me some interWebs! It's like the ultimate Encyclopedia Britannica. As a writer who depends on quick-yet-reliable research, it is INVALUABLE and preposterously easy to access. I remember salesmen cruising around neighborhoods decades ago peddling encyclopedias door-to-door. The very standard of Knowledge (capital 'K') could be yours in just 20 affordable monthly payments! My parents gave in and bought a set back in the 70's which still fills a shelf in their living room. The only trouble is that, of course, your hefty financial investment in such a fine set of Knowledge automatically deprecates as its static facts and missed contemporary history gets buried beneath the relentless accumulation of time. The end game for printed encyclopedias could only ever be a snapshot of the world as viewed through the lens of its publication year. It's kind of fun to flip through those old volumes, though, revisiting the world from the viewpoint of the 1970's. But there they sit, stuck in that era as if locked in temporal cement...

Not So the Internet! Everything is fresh and automatically updated [relatively speaking]. What's more, archived materials are also readily available. The whole shebang is like a sprawling GALACTIC ENCYCLOPEDIA OF HUMAN HISTORY, bleeding along the cutting edge of The Contemporary NOW! The ease with which virtually * ALL * information is accessible nowadays was completely unthinkable just a couple of decades ago, and certainly for all of time beforehand. Our ability to access basically all shared knowledge reminds me of the ubiquitous all-knowing Computers in Star Trek. Anyone can just address any onboard computer and ask practically any question imaginable, and the Computer will provide a viable answer... and usually offer additional references. THAT is Some Power..! As bizarre as this may sound to my own children, there used to be a time when, if you did not know something and someone in your household or circle of acquaintances also did not know, you would have to physically get thee hence to a local library and look up in a book or two answers for your own self! Functional, sure, but limiting. Now in the space of one hour I can look up and download heaps of published materials for any historical figure (say, like George Müller), locate (and print) the lyrics to a song from which I can just barely remember a snatch of one line (all while listening to ANY piece of music ever recorded), check out weather forecasts and compare them with live reports anywhere in the world, flick through breaking world news (including to-the-second stock reports), find virtually any graphic or photo imaginable, and as mentioned before, learn about / how to do * ANYTHING * via online video tutorials and/or printable instructional PDF's. What would have taken days of well-traveled research is now accomplished in seconds at any desktop computer, laptop, or select mobile device. Oh, and timeless resources such as the Bible (in any version) is also available online for free, along with oceans of commentary . . .

To the kids who have grown up alongside global-networking technology, none of this is any big deal at all — just as natural and expected as hopping on a skateboard and jumping a curb. Nothing to it.

For those who remember the world before the Internet, there is a truly MIND-BLOWING dimension to the entire thing ...how it all came to be, and how it continues to evolve . . .

The crew of the Enterprise faces a dire new threat
 Enterprise crew vs Windows 10
I am not going to go down any of those rabbit trails regarding the burgeoning development of real A.I. (Artificial Intelligence) both localized and across server technology ...which is the Next Step of all these universal developments. (  Invader 1 SHALL WE PLAY A GAME?  Invader 2 ) That is not the focus of this brief post. My interest rests in the semblant loss of real expertise in the rise of a generation of neck-craning thumb-typers.

In one sense, we seem to be 'evolving' into the futuristic society described in H.G.Wells's (1895) "The Time Machine". The mindless Eloi play all day and are conditioned to expect food to 'just happen' for them, appearing without effort or explanation. They are completely oblivious to the Morlocks who dwell on the fringes of their collective perception, whose mechanically-inclined progenitors designed and built the mechanisms perpetuating both fractured remnants of humankind. It seems ridiculous and unthinkable that, within just a few more years, society as a whole may become completely unable to provide for and sustain itself, save for intelligent leaders who continue to pursue knowledge and wisdom, who will sculpt and guide the rising framework of the global populace. ("New World Order" anyone?) Yes, it seems unthinkable.. but consider this: In just the span of my own generation, something so basic as recognizing gender comes as a legitimate challenge to most who otherwise identify themselves as enlightened, free-thinking individuals.  o.O  I imagine a deliver room maybe ten years from now where a newborn baby boy is swaddled in a blanket, and every adult in the room stands around asking each other: "What is it?"

Here come the Eloi (looking for their cell phones, no doubt)
 Eloi approach

Seriously. That seems insane, but such insanity is already shaping our laws today. This should raise a whole slew of sensible concerns for all voting citizens, how such a small fraction of less than 1% of our society can successfully strong-arm ALL of America through federal policy changes. [!!] Yet we are seeing it happen right before our very eyes... And you know, I think it's funny how every once in a while someone on the inside of these machinations WAKES UP and exposes this lunacy for what it is when it strikes a little close to home. Take Maya Dillard Smith, for instance, the leader of Georgia’s American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) chapter, who did exactly this just last week. Once an advocate for transgender 'rights' to use whatever gender restroom they feel inclined to, she all of a sudden stepped down from her position in protest after three fully grown men "over six feet with deep voices" entered a restroom occupied by her young daughters who were "visibly frightened, concerned about their safety and left asking lots of questions for which I, like many parents * was ill-prepared to answer." —► * This is not rocket science, people . .. It's called Common Sense. (Here's the article) The question nobody seems to be asking about these asinine policies is this: Why not consign [often preexisting] unisex restroom facilities as a 'transgender safe' zones, and leave the 99.99% rest of clear-minded self-identifying genderized people to their own restrooms? ~~ How is it possible that such an easy and natural (pardon the pun) solution is NOT being promoted..?? — it boggles the mind . . . ( just watch those Target stocks plummet! )

I do not own a smart phone. I do not 'text'. I have no Instagram or Twitter account to obsess over, nor some Facebook page to maintain. This website serves my needs for maintaining an online presence. When I must contact someone, I shoot `em an email. Or I call them using my LAND LINE from the comfort of our home. (Say it with me.. "land line" ~ they still do exist) This may seem quaint to some, but I can tell you it saves a LOT of time and headache, not to mention monthly fees and neck/finger strain.  :-)  And if you're thinking, "Wait! What if someone just really needs to get ahold of you?!" ◄ That is why God invented answering machines. I am pretty sure the world carries on well enough while I take the time to NOT panic out of a meeting/movie/dinner engagement with a cell phone pinned my skull. Instead, I access messages in due time, at my convenience, and respond in appropriate fashion. I just don't see the convenience of slavery by cell phone - never have. Answering machines are also a lot of fun to make greetings on with the kids! :-) Seriously, though, anyone who needs to contact me has access to my pertinent real-time numbers at work or wherever I may be. ~ And OK, full disclosure: I do carry a pre-paid [nearly wind-up] phone when I travel, but make use of it only as an accessory. For all the tech I swim in daily as a multimedia developer, I know how (and why) Going Analog to some extent is preferable in this manically over-surveillanced world we now inhabit...

 Text-Neck Syndrome  future nursing home

Anyway... where was I? ~ Oh yes, how cool the Internet is, and how everyone sharing everything all over it can be both Good and Bad. Test my theory if you think I've gone too far out on a limb, here. I dare you to Google one of your 'own' ideas and see how many people have thought of it before you. Sure, your search may return slightly different versions of your brilliant idea, but I bet the crux of what makes it what it is has already been done and is out there! (Ecclesiastes 1:9) And keep this in mind: web pages are like roaches - if you find one page on a specific topic, you can be sure there are hundreds, if not thousands, lurking unseen (or in this case, unpublished or un-web-ified) in the shadowy servers between the walls . . . Sure, I understand that emerging new technologies will always afford room for improvements or new designs altogether. Though the foundation of every aspect of supply and demand will never change, it is the frivolous means that continue to mutate. News used to travel by foot, then by horse, then ship, then trains, automobiles, planes, radio, telephone, and TV. Now it takes one flick of the finger. Finding new ways to provide / package assess / promote / deliver / and enjoy goods or services is what qualifies as 'new' anymore. — The wheel was only invented once. — STAR WARS was innovative in the 1970's for the way it presented its story, not for the same old Hero's Quest tale told a million times before and after its debut.

In view of all of this, I speculate that soon the most valuable commodity will be anything perfumed with an aroma of Special Personalized Ability —( in a word: Artistry )— understanding that we, each one of us, stands on the shoulders of those who have gone before... Anyone anywhere can now access a gazillion videos showing how to play a guitar, but only those who have [A] real talent, [B] the fortitude to practice, and [C] some sort of different sound (special and personalized) will have any kind of chance to rise above the hordes of sheeple trolling the plains of cyberspace. Yet it can be a challenge to simply test what someone might call 'original' these days. As soon as you type it into some online search .. why, you have just tipped your hand for someone else to pick through your intellectual cards! (Another reason to go Analog with certain ideas at least in the initial development stages — think: pens, pencils, paper) It may seem weird or unnatural to think this way, but I sincerely believe that the reverse is true: it is weird and unnatural to live in a world where overexposure is the expected norm. But alas, even this is not an original notion; consider George Orwell's "1984" for starters .. .

 Advice from Abe Lincoln
 
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