Social Shutdown

 

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What would happen if all social media were to suddenly disappear?

 

Aside from an inevitable degree of anarchy (owing to humanity’s tendency to protest on the back of any significant change) what would happen to us as a people, if social media suddenly no longer existed? Would we become socially paralysed, unable to communicate and organise with an uncompromising expectation of ease that still shocks our grandparents, who thought paper invites the be all and end all of any social arrangement? Or would we immerse ourselves more in physical human contact, emerging from the safety of our screens and learning that the smiley emoji was actually based from our own faces?

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Perfect Public Practice

 

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Having spent a considerable amount of time on the London Underground in recent weeks, it has occurred to me simply how dreadfully careless and messy everyone can be. *Pause and prepare for a slap on the wrist for Britain*

I don’t presume to know how these people act at home, indeed perhaps they appreciate strewn litter and discarded free papers, and hope to replicate such comforts for the rest of the poor world. Highly likely, I’m sure. But the fact of the matter is people are quite happy to leave a mess, even in facilities they frequently use. A timeless complaint, worn old by countless parents throughout the ages, I’m aware.

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The Brain, The Mind and Wandering Thoughts 

Do you ever have a thought, an instant calculation flung forth from electric impulse, and still take time to put word to it? It’s almost as though we do so in order to compensate for the incomprehensible speed with which our minds work. Our consciousness must perform these small acts of putting thought to word, simply to keep up. An idea has been birthed and fundamentally understood in an instant, yet we still feel the need to take a moment to translate this into a layman’s term for ourselves. When a question is asked, the answer may flash before you, and then just as quickly drift away as the conscious mind begins to consider and debate the matter. This begs the questions of where this line is drawn between the conscious and subconscious mind, and how much control do we truly have?

The idea for this post occurred to me just after such an instance, but it soon spurred on further contemplation concerning the mind. I’ll admit here that I have little basis for the following thoughts, (aside from some brief understanding of Freud), they are simply my own speculations. Regardless, the notion still intrigues me. Perhaps the inspiration for this has also to do with a recent novel I have read, Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World, by Haruki Murakami. In this he considers that our unconscious is the bulk of our mind: an immense, expansive mass of thought process and activity, controlling our body so that our waking mind, a mere scraping over the unconscious, is not over-whelmed.

This is an interesting thought.

Freud indeed uses the analogy of the iceberg, within which the tip represents our conscious mind, a layer beneath that our preconscious and the vast mass below our unconscious. I have considered this in a different explanatory way. That which makes us as we are, which determines our intelligence, our knowledge, our waking conscious, is as though a small probe, dipping into our preconscious for memories. Indeed, our conscious mind is like a CEO, making simple, commanding decisions, but unaware of how they are then enacted on a much smaller scale. Our preconscious sends us signals – perhaps a central board meeting, to continue the simile – which we can understand and act upon, but the key root of this all is somewhere inperceivable to us.

Dreams are an interesting way of interpreting this. There are but few instances where our conscious mind may affect our dreams, known as lucid dreaming. During these instances our mind – the probe, for point of reference – briefly interjects with our waking thoughts. Typically however, our mind merely becomes subject to the mad wanderings of our unconscious. Dreams appear random, mismatched, but this is likely due to a lack of our conscious mind inflicting it’s own  thoughts and considerations upon them. Dreams seem to be more a pure state, during which the probe may dip more freely into the unconscious waves within our brain.

Another interesting thought, what actually is our conscious mind? Electrical impulses in a literal sense. But what are the cause of these? Whilst I have these very thoughts, what is the cause of the impulses sparking through my brain? The phrase ‘minds eye’ comes to mind, which I imagine to be the platform of conscious thought. A vast void of black nothingness, concentrated behind closed eyelids, which may offer forth shadows of thoughts and memories, images so clear they could well be real. In this sense, I suppose they are. It is this very image, of a mass expanse within our very heads which can hold and process so much information, an organic creation more powerful than a super computer, that truly is a great wonder of the world.

Now this is all my own speculation, and I’m sure there are many who could offer more evidenced findings, but the brain is one of the last unconquered parts of the modern scientific world. And of course, this is speculation corner after all.

If anyone who has studied psychology would care to correct and inform, please do, I’d be quite interested! 

Arigato!

 

14012557_10154467818257915_112266121_o (2)Having stayed in Japan for the past week and a half, a continuous thought has amazed my mind: Everyone is just so nice. At first this was a simple pleasure to marvel upon, to enjoy the wide smiles, constant bowing and an evidently genuine eagerness to be of aid to one another. But soon it dawned on me that the very fact such behaviour amazed me likewise points to the unfortunate detriment of my own society. At what point did a cashier not only have to don their uniform but also a frown?

Before stepping into such waters I’d like to make it clear I’ve worked in retail before, I understand the woes of the aggravating customer and the boredom of long hours behind a counter. The Japanese I have met likely do too. Yet when anyone appears, they are extremely welcoming and helpful. My mother’s first experience of a Japanese chemists was filled with mayhem and bustling bodies, and rather than idly watch her struggle an attendant decided to make a path through for such a poor tourist to make her escape! I’d like to attribute this only to a particularly helpful worker, to perhaps save our own culture some credit for its comparative general lack of such kindness. But I simply cannot, for wherever I have gone I’ve been met with similar smiles and an insistence to help. Of the few Japanese words I’ve picked up, Arigato, or ‘Thank you’, has by far been my most used, and rightly so. Continue reading

This Town Ain’t Big Enough For The All Of Us

arrivals_from_EUWith the upcoming EU referendum, once more a darker side to Britain has clearly begun to show its head. On the back of the rising terrorist threats of the twenty-first century and the subsequent opposition many of the West have thereby adopted against other races and faiths, it seems Britain has become filled with racist bigotry and uninformed scare-mongering propaganda. Fuelled by many parts of the media, especially a number of newspapers which won’t be mentioned here (although a quick aside to appreciate the centre of our solar system), there is an alarming number of Britons avidly against any and all forms of immigration.

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Adult Inc.

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I turned 21 recently and was drawn to the sudden realisation of the impending end to my educational career. There appears to be a few options from this point:

  • Move back into your parent’s house, pursue a career, earn enough money to afford a place of your own.
  • Move back into your parent’s house, find a part time job, continue to leech off their good will having birthed you, until you either desperately return to education or pursue a career.
  • Travel the world with the money you have saved, (or the money you have begged from your parents).

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Envy the Envy

envy9.jpgIt occurred to me the other day that I find the aggravating clutches of jealousy at the most annoying of times. I see someone achieving, perhaps delving successfully into a passion I too share with them, and alongside feeling great for them I feel deep in my gut a clutching jealousy that I have not also done the same. It can happen with anyone, and typically only when they’ve accomplished something which I am yet to do too, (I’m not quite so bad as to feel annoyance towards someone for doing the same as I have!). Continue reading