The other day I was talking to a Babylon White Girl at my house. She was asking something of me, something precious: words. Writing. She was talking from behind Machine Mask. I clowned her until the mask broke and she turned into her real self. Then she became awesome, and the conversation was great; we spoke—and listened—to each other. As human beings.
I think about the people I meet, encounter, and see, and I wonder: how much of what they say and do is genuine, and how much of it is part of a stimulus/response package?
The reason we have such a thing as “schooling” is to train as many people as possible for as long as possible in a program of controlled behavior. Do what authority wants, get a gold star. Do what authority doesn’t want, receive punishment. Positive/Negative reinforcement. Pavlov. Programming. But school has been around forever, or so it seems. Something’s different now. Now it’s MEGATECH BABYLON.
And so, something is in the air now, something hard to articulate, but I see it like the memory of a vivid dream. Media screenfeed programming. Behavior loops. Stimulus, response. When you see/hear this, your response is that.
Social media echo chamber, I hear the hum of electricity in the invisible wires of your mind. Stimulus, response. See/hear this > Feel that. Now you’re happy. Now you’re angry. Now you’re self-righteous. Now you’re whatever. Stimulus, response. Brain chemical rush, reinforce the bad dream. Junkie junkie, press your buttons.
Is this your personality, or a package of media-generated stimulus/response psychosomatic memes? Why do I meet so many people who talk, act, feel, and think the same way? Are you just a palette-swap?
Know what they never mention when they talk about the 20th Century? The immense amount of death. Millions and millions of humans dead from gas chambers, bullets, bombs, sanctions, atomic weaponry, dictators, toxins, germ warfare. The century of holocaust. The war of technology against human society—our lives, our health, our relationships, our sanity.
They won. The machines won the war. We didn’t even get a final battle with the industrial factory Terminators. We got Skynet the internet and smartphones. Mining pollution? That’s for the savages.