The Loss of Self and the rise of The Cult of Personality (return of tribalism).

Continued from A1...

     The natural world which is based on senses: see, hear, smell, touch and taste is based in the real world. We have a natural world persona, a natural self. We communicate like any other species except we taught ourselves how to communicate with the written alphabet or more importantly we activated our right brain hemisphere to think logically (concretely). This allowed the western countries to begin transformation first. With the written and spoken word we could communicate complex ideas within single words, long form thoughts, explain and pass down traditions and cultures. Countries which did not have the written alphabet, but used pictorial images; or counties which did not have a spoken word, but communicated in phonetic languages developed slower. It was the logical thoughts behind reading words and having a written alphabet which allowed America (the west) to set the bar for the world in the 18-1900’s. As Americans moved from verbal communications (cold media) and towards visual media (hot media) we have shifted from being right concrete/logical thinkers to abstract/emotional thinkers. We communicate through emojis, gifs, emoticons, superficial and shallow single thoughts. Take note that humans are the only species which uses written and spoken word to communicate. Without it, the development of modern society would have never taken place. Compare under developed countries form’s of communications to that of developed western countries, which were able to industrialize, and you see a distinct difference in use of written word (literacy) and visual (pictorial) communications. The Ottoman Empire failed to industrialize and ultimately collapsed because it refused to allow the printing press, while the UK and US used an inclusive form of education, thus pushing its citizens to learn how to read and encouraged the spread of ideas and knowledge. Take a look at the decline of the US into a possible 4th world country, which areas and cities of the country have fallen behind in economic and cultural development. An over all arch in the decline of our society as a whole, as we moved from a written/text based society to an emoji/gif/meme based society. Want to restore America? Read a fucking book! Or listen to an audio book, fucking learn something, then learn something new, and something after that. Shit, the survival of our country, world and species depends on it.

     The virtual (abstract) world: is any form of communication or environment that does not take place or is created by the natural world. In the virtual or abstract world we have removed all connections to the natural world. A simple look around one’s built environment will show that we no longer live in the natural world. Our living spaces are made with lumber not wood, furniture made from particle board not wood, fridge filled with artificial foods and space pumped full of sound from speakers, television or other human made devices. These products are produced from natural materials but hold no connection to the natural world. The content which is displayed on the screens and broadcast from the speakers holds no attachment to the real life being which first spoke or produced them. Surrounded constantly by abstract versions of reality to the point where we have to place signs denoting that we are departing this abstraction and entering into the natural world, “Now entering Yosemite National park.” We have detached so far from nature we now need to inform ourselves that we are entering nature. Which we then destroy by playing music on bluetooth speakers at camp sites, literally the area with trash while we “enjoy some nature.”

     Within the technological advancements in media you are separated from your personality, your persona and separated from nature. There is no nuance aspects to these forms of communications; you can not see a facial expression over the phone, you can not see a facial expression over text message. When speaking on the phone you can gather a general feeling for what the speaker is saying by the tone in their voice. Over text/email you apply the nuance and feelings which you assume the sender is feeling. With the advent of Social Media 2.0 the platforms removed the ability to personalize your page/profile. On MySpace you could change the color, layout, font, insert a long text telling others who you are/were and you had some form of “personality” within the community. After Facebook emerged, what took place was a removal of these features. Every page is/was the same, same layout, same font, same colors, etc. The user was stripped of a personal identity and transformed into a @Handle or a blue/green bubble within the text thread. The only difference is the main profile image and @Handle. Twitter allows you to alter the top image, but after that your profile stays the same. We have been stripped of our personality and physical self within these platforms and the result is a society which doesn’t know who they are. A society which lacks personal identity and then can be converted to a society which is a Cult of Personality: Mao-ism, Lenin-ism, Castro-ism, Che-ism, Xi-ism, Putin-ism, Nazism, Jones-ism, Obama-ism, Clinton (I’m with her), Trump-ism, Bernie-people, Biden-ism.

     The man made world is similar in effect. There is no balance within city limits. The tiny patch of grass at the curb of the gas station, the manicured lawn and perfectly designed outdoor space is not a direct representation of the natural world. We move from houses which are perfectly decorated to the latest trends with central HVAC to provide the perfect climate. To automobiles (silver Prius, black Tesla or grey Audi?) where we keep the windows rolled up and music loud to drown out the noise of the road. At every stoplight we divert our eyes back to that tiny smart device in our hands, because we dare not respond right away to that unimportant text or miss a post from that one person we had 11th grade Bio with 15 years ago, who we don’t even wish to speak to again but fear deleting from our friends list because we can't offend anyone and muting them is just easier. To arrive and walk into an office space, which are open space layout, because that is shown by the latest study to maximize productivity. To having lunch in a restaurant which looks identical to the one we went to last night. We have no relation to the natural world within these built environments.

     You put these two things together and you have a society which is searching for personal identity and searching for a connection to the natural world. A society that is lost in a schizophrenic state. We are told we are animals, of the natural world, descendants of chimpanzees or we are told the first of us were born into a perfect garden where we frolicked all day long and enjoyed the natural beauty of God’s creation, but yet today we exist solely in a manufactured world. A world of mass produced goods and services, where every interaction should be just as we want it to be. Now we are searching for who we are within this mass produced, overly simplified and overly designed world. Lost and searching, only to be brought back to the most basic identifier for humans, the one connection we have always had to other humans and to the natural world, is our tribe. Our skin tone, our politics, our beliefs, our religious systems, our home countries, etc. The more we stare into screens, the more we are broken down into binary aspects of our personality and consumer choices: Coke or Pepsi, Chevy or Ford, Mac or PC, IG or Tiktok. The more The Algorithm shows us only what we want to see, the more we are told to describe ourselves by these single identifiers (influencer, yoga girl, fuck boi, etc.), and the more reality TV turns us into 7 different strangers picked to live in a house and have our lives taped! The more we consume non-stop content from a screen, which has turned everything into a 2D visual and auditory  environment, wraps us up every so tightly into that blanket of technology and removes us from the natural world. The more we sink into tribalism, the more our society and world will erode. But hey, didn't we all dream of living in buildings, which can best be described as "Adult Dorms", having every item brought directly to our door, locked inside 24 hours a day staring into a screen while having our data extracted by every company wishing to sell us more useless crap to flex on the gram with?

     A return to the natural world: We must return to a time when screens did not rule our world. Where screens did not populate every aspect of our lives. When choices are decentralized, where monopolies don’t feed us only content we want to see based on past clicks and likes. Where we are not treated as paper cut outs, singular cogs in the machine and we are multi-faceted people. Where we communicate face to face and bring a return to the spoken and written world. We need to move away from visual communication (emojis, gifs, memes, etc) and back to long form written and spoken word communication. We must begin to reactivate reason and bring back logical thought and teachings to re-establish America as a leading nation. A balance is key.

     The medium or the in-between is the message. The natural world: text is hand written on paper; we can touch, smell, hear human voices and emotion, taste of fresh veggies picked from the garden box in the yard, real life experiences, quality time with our families and loved ones. Striking the perfect balance between these two environments of natural and abstract will lead to a new age of enlightenment and a new renascence for human kind. The virtual world which removes us from the natural world via the screen and removal of the psychical self and identity, will lead to a decline in humanity and civilization. The choice is ultimately up to us where we go from here.