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.'