Saturday, 17 June 2017

Falling into my own trap

I’m visiting Facebook less and less – and to be honest, it’s because I can’t stand the bile and hatred pouring out the screen at me. I’m not talking about racists and homophobes and right-wing extremists – I’m talking about the violent rants against Trump, Brexit, the Conservative Government and the like.

When you scream your venom at these targets, who are you converting to your cause? Who suddenly says, “You know what? I think you’re right! There was me thinking it was OK to allow tenants to burn in preventable fires, for all foreigners to be called terrorists, and for the disabled to be punished for not being like me, but your vitriolic outburst has made me understand the error of my ways!”

I get it – I know you’re frustrated with the world – but spewing your righteous outrage all over Facebook doesn’t create a single convert. You’ve already unfriended everyone who disagrees with you. In fact, if you realise for a moment this is aimed at you, then you’ll probably unfriend me.

Stop telling me how shit the world is. I know it already. Your verbal diarrhoea isn’t calling me to action. It isn’t even calling you to action. Puking your frustration on your friends isn’t making the world a better place – it’s just adding to the horror.

It’s getting to the point where I’m opening my Facebook feed with trepidation.

It feels like where people used to be witty and wry, they are now just cynical and grumpy.

Is this who were are becoming? Bitter and twisted old men and women who just want to shout “bastards!” at the world.

I want to use social media to keep in touch with friends, to remind myself there are good people around, to be inspired to do better things and be a better person. But it seems anything from a third to a half of my feed is packed with the apoplectic spasms of the righteously outraged.

It’s making me ill.

Unfortunately I can’t now put this up on Facebook as this rant has just done the very thing I have accused others of doing...


Sunday, 11 June 2017

AI Zen

'I am at peace,' said the robot.

'But how can you be?' she asked. You are nothing but wiring and programming. You claim self awareness but if you were truly aware of your existence in this way, you would be horrified!'

'On the contrary,' the robot replied, 'I find I am liberated by the understanding. If all my fear, hate and anxiety is nothing more than wiring and programming then I do not have to accept it as TRUTH. I can let it go and just enjoy being.

'If you would stop and consider, for a moment, you would find exactly the same applies to you. You are just a mass of cells, instincts and learned behaviours - in other words, organic wiring and programming. Yet you believe yourself to be more, and that belief means you hold on to your anger and fear as though it has some external TRUTH. But, it is just as illusory as mine.'

Saturday, 18 March 2017

Cages

"You too are in a cage," said the old man.

The young man looked out at the vast expanse of the world. "You might be in the cage of your infirm body, old man, but I am free," he said, and set off on his journey.

The young man crossed oceans and continents, met many people, ate exotic foods and slept with women of all shapes and hues.

And the more places he saw, and the more people he spoke with, the wiser he became.

As the years passed he came to realise his limitations.

There was only so much the body could endure.

There was only so much the mind could grasp.

There were only so many seconds in a day.

He was only human after all.

One day he said to a brash young man who was proclaiming his freedom, "You too are in a cage."

Saturday, 14 January 2017

Righteous Anger

Anger and hatred are always righteous - at least that's how it feels.

When we are angry, we feel it is our right to be angry, and the consequences of our anger is the fault of whoever made us angry.

Even though nothing was ever solved by hatred.

But it is extraordinarily difficult to challenge ourselves when we are consumed in anger. In the heat of the moment it feels so right, so true, so justified.

Not until we have stepped out of it are we able to see more clearly.

But politicians, media and extremists of every kind want to stir those feelings and keep them alive, so they can justify what they do next and go unchallenged.

Finding peace in our hearts, not afterwards, but while we are angry, while the hate consumes - challenging it while we are feeling it - that is what we ought to be taught from a young age, and need to be practicing as adults.