The Mind’s Eye, Art & a Theory in Second Life

When the Mind’s Eye Listens (moderate)

There’s a new exhibit on LEA6 by Nino Vichan called When the Mind’s Eye ListensThis is part of the Full Sim Art Series curated by JayJay Zifanwe of the University of Western Australia. These monthly installations are always intriguing and Nino’s is no exception.

An exploration of neural pathways (albeit not a biology lesson), this is colour & sound & movement. There are 8 levels and sitting on the platform you’ll find at each location results in a glorious tour of a magical area.

When the Mind’s Eye Listens (moderate)

Nino’s work is a 3d representation of the mysterious activity in your brain during the creative process (well, that’s my phrasing not his). As I floated through the various levels, and listened to the music, my own mind started wandering off on a tangent. If you’re at all familiar with my occasional mental sidetrips, you won’t be surprised to know I have been looking at the world and reached a conclusion.

My theory is that the concept of personal boundaries, creating one’s own and respecting those of others, is being lost.

There has been for decades a discussion about the “dumbing down” of various aspects of life to “appeal to those with little education or intelligence”. This would explain a lot of the absolute garbage that fills television (Bridezillas? Jersey Shore?), books (two words, Dan Brown), and movies (the list is too long). If you’ve ever started to watch or read something and wondered “How the hell did this get made?”, you know what I’m talking about.

When the Mind’s Eye Listens (moderate)

One of the unfortunate consequences of this continuous assault by trash is that people come to believe that idiocy is not only acceptable but, gasp, a reasonable life’s goal.

When the Jerry Springer Show started (and who had that bright idea?) viewers were appalled by the content. That changed to finding it oh so entertaining – which morphed into I gotta get me on that thing. It became their ambition to humiliate their baby’s daddy in front of millions – or reveal their own peculiar lack of moral limits in a forum where they’d be verbally (and sometimes physically) attacked.

When the Mind’s Eye Listens (moderate)

It’s gone further though. Where once these intellectually-challenged individuals were content with making fools of themselves, people have now adopted a world view of “I can do that to somebody, I have the ability and therefore I will”. There is a distinct lack of sober second thought – it’s like the real world isn’t real, it’s their fantasy and they’re going to live it.

As an example of what I’m trying to say, you should read this brief articleA group of people protested some bills in the North Carolina legislature. Some of them were arrested (574 I think). An organization with ties to the political party that is pushing through the bills published the names and personal information of all these individuals. You might wonder how they got that data – I’ll leave it for others to arrive at their own conclusions.

My own reaction was – What the hell were you thinking?. Who raised these people to believe it’s OK to do shit like this? Personally, I’m blaming the past few decades of “dumbing down”. If a conscience hasn’t been trained then the mind’s eye has nothing to listen to. I’ll stick to the virtual because the real world is f*cked.

When the Mind’s Eye Listens (moderate)
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13 Comments

  1. “What’s good for me is right” – remember these words. They were uttered by child dismemberer William Edward Hickman, who was the role model of Ayn Rand, the amphetamine-addicted charlatan whose insane cult gripped America (not least because she made sure to flatter the darker side of her rich patrons and lovers, including Mr. Alan Greenspan). Does this explain why people became like that?

    Reply
    • You’re assuming a lot of these people have the ability to read Ayn Rand :p There are a lot of big words. *grin*

      Reply
      • I read Atlas Shrugged last summer. A complete piece of trash that makes Dan Brown look like Ernest Hemingway.

  2. Botgirl Questi

     /  July 6, 2013

    Nice rant :)

    I agree that the avalanche of media designed to ridicule the ignorant, unsophisticated and mean-spirited reflects changes in our society, mostly the introduction of electronic media. That kind of programming takes the ancient semi-private sociological function of gossip and translates it to a mass public medium. Gossip is one of the social processes that reinforces societal norms. Not nice. Not pretty. But it’s possible that gossip’s contribution to the glue that held cultures together over the centuries may have offset the negative personal aspects. Unfortunately, reality TV is to gossip as crack is to coca.

    By the way, you should see “Idiocracy” if you haven’t yet:

    “Idiocracy is a 2006 American satirical science fiction comedy film directed by Mike Judge and starring Luke Wilson, Maya Rudolph, Dax Shepard, and Terry Crews. The film tells the story of two ordinary people from the present who take part in a top-secret military hibernation experiment, only to awaken 500 years in the future in a dystopian society full of extremely dumb people. Advertising, commercialism, and cultural anti-intellectualism have run rampant and dysgenic pressure has resulted in a uniformly stupid society devoid of intellectual curiosity, social responsibility, and coherent notions of justice and human rights.”

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Idiocracy

    Reply
    • Thank you :) I actually read the outline of Idiocracy a couple of days ago when I was considering watching it – it depressed me in large part because that’s how I see much of the world now. It was also one of the reasons I wrote the rant. Great minds …….

      Reply
  3. Hmm… Bridezillas?!? That hasn’t landed on our shores yet as far as I know, and from the sound of it I really hope it never will… though I won’t hold my breath, it seems as our TV networks merrily import and adapt most of the trashy TV formats produced offshore. Surprisingly, Tamarreide (tamarro = boor, says Google), the local version of Jersey Shore was cancelled after a few episodes. Sheesh, I didn’t suspect my fellow countrymen and women were so refined… ;)

    Reply
  4. You need to remember, Honour, that the whole system requires idiots, as only they can serve it well.

    Reply
  5. Michele Hyacinth

     /  July 7, 2013

    Excellent rant. I’ve been thinking the same thing overall and in terms of your comment “…it’s like the real world isn’t real…” More and more the real world strikes me as Grand Theatre at best, a Circus-Masquerade at worst. We speak often about the identities we “create” inworld…I’m beginning to think they pale in comparison to the identities people “try on” in the meat world. I know I’m generalizing but at least inworld it’s an intentional move to explore an identity, whereas in the “real world” I think people buy their own hype. I’m sure I fall into the same traps…for some reason the intensity of it in the atomic world has “levelled up” and it’s far more noticeable there, even though no one is running around with a set of elf ears, butterfly wings, and a neko tail. When you speak about the “dumbing down” of the culture (I tend to agree that that’s happening), the thing that immediately comes to mind is the weak link theory: we’re only as strong as our weakest link. If that doesn’t give one pause, I’m not sure what will! Hope and change, baby. Hope and change. Gotta take those beyond a slogan and manifest them.

    Reply
  6. Inara Pey

     /  July 8, 2013

    “I was watching a television program before, with a sort of a roving moderator who spoke to a seated panel of young women who were having some sort of problem with their boyfriends – apparently, because the boyfriends had all slept with the girlfriends’ mothers. Then they brought the boyfriends out, and they all fought, right there on television … Toby, tell me: these people don’t vote, do they?”

    – President Josiah “Jed” Bartlet, The West Wing.

    (Oh, Aaron Sorkin, where art thou?)

    Reply
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