Technological Darwinism: The Age of Procrastination.
I, like a lot of people, spend the majority of each day procrastinating. It’s not sensible, but I do it anyway because it’s become too damn easy for someone as lazy as me not to distract myself. Twitter, web-comics, on-line games, youtube, facebook, livestream, forums. Oh, and porn.
The list of easy to reach digital distractions is endless. The proliferation of smart phones and free wi-fi spots has made it far too easy to fall into the creative void by offering us a constant supply of news, entertainment, art, drama and jizz. But there is a simple solution to all of this, the oldest in the book: self-control.
It’s one of those words that inspire fear and self-loathing in every elective internet junky. We know we all have this amazing ability to control our own actions, locked somewhere deep inside us, just waiting to get out and impose some form of order in our lives. But with so much information at our fingertips, so many possibilities to be watching or reading something we enjoy or, at least, have an active* interest in; the temptation to do what we want, rather than what we need, is always there.
School councils, government advisors, and all manner of officious no-marks, worldwide, have been scheduling meetings to share their concerns regarding this, inevitable, by-product of the information overload era for years. But they’re procrastinating to. No amount of closed-door emergency meetings or coffee morning grumblings can fix this. It is a social barrier that every individual must negotiate, and conquer, alone in order to reach their full potential.
In the vast majority of popular science-fiction, the working classes of the worlds, or universes, featured are so used to the amazing technologies surrounding them, that they are rarely swayed from the course of their everyday lives by a sudden urge to google the first thing that pops into their head. But that is fiction. Back here, amidst the economic and social turmoil of the leading quarter of the twenty-first century, we’re all looking for an escape; something to take our minds off the bigger, bleaker picture.
We have reached an age, as a species, where no amount of, good old-fashioned, bureaucratic think-tanks can save us lowly plebs from ourselves. We have access at a personal level to technology that can help to spread a revolution half-way across the world. But for every hacktivist, there are a million, moon-eyed, cat enthusiasts dribbling with glee at a picture of a kitten in a dress instead of sending that life-changing e-mail that could secure their dream job.
This is the dawn of technological Darwinism. Those with the resolve to avoid the ten hour youtube marathons and achieve their intended goals will thrive whilst the rest of us sink. As harsh as it may seem, it’s time to put the lolcats to sleep. Because, if you linger in front of your screen without purpose for too long, the torrent of white noise live-casting on your retinas will wash all your prospects away.
*(but not too active)