There is a flawed nature of perfection that we seek. Today this goal is governed under the continuous creation within the digital context. The present and future are heralded while the simplicity of the past is ground down into flakes of an imperfect horror of backwardness.
This leviathan has sprawled into the architecture of our humanity. It invades our privacy, dictates our lives and imposes the conforming principles of compliance without hesitation with all the ingredients of the 1 and 0s.
We seemed to have forgotten Robert Browning’s words,
This low-pulsed forthright craftsman’s hand of mine.”
Ah the low pulsed forthright craftsman’s hand is forever replaced by the tedium of a glowing screen. Yet there may be light in this. Yet there may be some truth in this. But where that is, I cannot see, for it invades and usurps my own vision and thought.
We clamor for wearables to motivate us while we sit in front of the glow of the screen. Our every move is charted, dictated, governed and recorded for all to see. The digital 1s and 0s in their inhuman repose slip through the slipstream and house in large warehouses to be massaged and manipulated to create an alternate world view to suit the algorithm sponsors.
“Where does machine stop and man begin?” is a question a Dr. Salwitz asked recently. Indeed where does the fine thread of division exist? Our very life is governed and ritualized within the spectrum of the digital universe. Our sleep patterns, our movements, our heart rates, respiratory rates, everything is coded. Indeed how many steps we take symbolizes how healthy we are or will be.
We can share our photographs with a flick of the thumb, place the entire library of Congress on the head of a pin, watch a movie on our smartphones, immerse in the virtual world and never know any difference between what is real and what is implied. We see our doctors not through the eyes of patients as healers but as detached souls clamoring for time, rushed and oblivious to the real underpinnings of disease and illness. We see our patients not through the eyes of watchful vigilance, but through the lens of “one size fits all.” Somewhere there is a loss of trust, of empathy, of living and a gulf that seems to grow large every day.
The digital imperialism is upon us in every walk. We have mountains of data on human behavior that some select to govern the rest. We have burgeoning library of genomics, proteomics and epigenetics and we know less of the interactions between these molecules and human survival. We know more about the cell and less about how it governs itself. The reductionism brings us the mountains of data, unfortunately thus far it remains elusive to tie them all together. Yet there are among us who feel that we have all that we need. We have the tools to march in a certain direction or to take the specific path. But they like the rest of us are pleading to the merciful gods of their desires that they are right in their assumptions.
The digital dynasty is upon us and it has brought many good things to our lives. But there are the swirling storms of desire that every aspect of our existence should be cataloged and governed within the digital domain. As Lao Tsu stated, "He who knows when enough is enough, will always have enough."
Life is mathematics, there is little question about that, but it is also that subtle fine art that cannot be reduced to the simplicity of the 1 and 0. But for that small undetectable grain of truth that garners the spice of life, we would be all robots. Today all we are trying to do is smear, suppress, stomp on or hide that tiny piece of reality that makes us who we are.
The question then remains where should we as humans define the fine line between what is and what is assumption?
“Life is simple but we insist on making it complicated.” – Confucius