What is experience? What is first person subjectivity? Well, in a way, it’s that evanescent flux of sensation and perception that is, in a way, all we have and all we are. It’s the multi-dimensional matrix of first person experience unfolding moment by moment. It’s the voice in our head that lets us know that we exist.
– Jason Silva
Where’s the social?
Where’s the sociopolitical in our thinking today?
Most of us have a modicum
in our jobs, in our schools, in our families.
It doesn’t matter if you’re a goat farmer in Mozambique
or a corporate executive in Silicon Valley,
what makes our lives meaningful
is the people around us.
It’s their stories
that help us tell our own,
their values that we shape and serve.
It’s in this dialogue
with the people we love
about the values we cherish
that we create a shared world.
To experience a rich social life
is to experience the meaning of life,
what philosophers since Plato and Aristotle
have called “The Good Life,”
what French philosopher Michel Foucault called
“The Art of Existence.”
These philosophers were talking about
so much more
than what contemporary self-help gurus
& technicians of individuality
have to offer.
Life without other people
You can see this in the way
dogs socialize at a dog park,
in the tragic stories of feral children
who end up being unable to receive & transmit
the rich social & cultural heritage
our species has accumulated over millennia,
and whose lives then amount
to little more than the life
of any other great ape.
And I think people are understanding this
more and more
as we move past a Cartesian solipsism,
a self-obsessed consumer culture
that has led to cults of personality
and an ever-widening income disparity
and an ever-shrinking fraction of 1% holding
the golden ticket to Elysium.
What’s so exciting to me
is that we’re all coming together.
This is the age of Occupy,
and Arab Spring.
This is an age where a single
contract employee of the NSA
can call to accountability an entire
This is the age of a digital democracy
spawned by the invention of the internet
and a smartphone in the pocket
of every global citizen —
which means that,
increasingly, every human being
has the power to
create audiovisual and text content,
charged with their social, political, and communal values,
and instantly communicate those messages,
over the technology-mediated,
we call the “internet.”
As the Singularity draws near,
we’re democratizing its abundance,
and spreading it to
all the people.
And that’s exciting.