The subtlecain Podcast

Day in the Life: Digital Deities

February 11, 2024 Aaron Smith Season 1 Episode 63
The subtlecain Podcast
Day in the Life: Digital Deities
Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

DAY IN THE LIFE: DIGITAL DEITIES


FEBRUARY, 28TH 2024      AARON SMITH      SEASON 1      EPISODE 63

 

SHOW NOTES:


Ever wondered if our devotion to the latest gadgets mirrors the ancient worship of golden idols? Join me, your host, to navigate the treacherous waters of our technologically-saturated culture, guided by insights from Neil Postman's "Technopoly." It's time we scrutinize how our daily lives, once rich with personal convictions, are now being subtly sculpted by the invisible hands of digital deities.

You can always email me at subtlecain@protonmail.com

Telegram:
https://t.me/ThesubtlecainPodcast

V4V:
This episode we feature author Iain Davis and call for support for his work.
IAIN DAVIS:

https://substack.com/@iaindavis

https://iaindavis.com/

LINKS TO RECENT INTERVIEWS:

ANTIJANTEPODDEN-MIRIAM EKELUND, FRODE BURDAL KLEVSTUL:

https://ajp.fm/index.html

https://open.substack.com/pub/antijantepodden/p/velkommen?utm_campaign=post&utm_medium=web

CORBETT REPORT-SOLUTIONS WATCH:

https://corbettreport.com/solutionswatch-payitforward/




Support the show

You are valued, you are loved, and you are worthy.

Speaker 1:

Welcome to the Subtle Cane Podcast. I'm your host, aaron Smith, broadcasting from the Aorta of America, beautiful festival city, oshkosh, wisconsin, where we pump out reason and pierce through the propaganda. Here we go. Today is Sunday, february 11, 2024. If you're new to the Subtle Cane Podcast, thank you for gracing us with your virtual presence. If you're a returning listener, thank you for your continued support. It is much appreciated. This is episode 63 of the Subtle Cane Podcast. Day in the Life.

Speaker 1:

I had a chance to speak with Miriam Iklund of the Ante-Yantepadden Podcast recently, as well as James Corbett for an episode of his Solutions Watch series. It was a real blessing to have both those opportunities and it was quite an honor in both cases. I'll have some links in the show notes to the episodes for you if you're interested. If any of you are new to the show due to those opportunities, I want to welcome you and thank you sincerely for your interest. Today we're going to do something a little different. We're going to conduct a thought experiment that I hope is helpful.

Speaker 1:

In chapter 5 of his book Technopoly the Surrender of Culture to Technology, author Neil Postman says this quote Technopoly is a state of culture. It is also a state of mind. It consists in the deification of technology, which means the culture seeks its authorization in technology, finds its satisfaction in technology and takes its orders from technology. This requires the development of a new kind of social order and, of necessity, leads to the rapid dissolution of much that is associated with traditional beliefs. That's something that Miriam and I had actually discussed that dissolution of much that is associated with traditional beliefs that we're seeing, and that's a pretty stunning portrayal of the impact of making technology the primary driver of a culture or, more intimately, of a personality. Arguably all cultures are subject to the technologies of their day, in that their entire lifestyles and traditions are facilitated by and large by the methods by which work is done and time is accounted for. Some notable examples are the printing press and the advent of telegraphy and its ability to transport information almost instantaneously. Each technological advance has brought about massive cultural shifts, so why should we focus so much on the changes of the last few decades? It's a good question and I'm glad you asked.

Speaker 1:

I'd say that Postman makes his point by emphasizing the deification of technology. He alludes to a kind of supplication to it when he says quote the culture seeks its authorization from technology. In a way, modern technology has become a ubiquitous ideological manifestation of the concept behind the Tower of Babel. What I mean is that the hubris of modern humanity has supplanted a rightful sense of awe in the transcendent Supp planted it, the rightful sense of awe. We have traded our myths for machines. There's a reason why the first commandment is thou shalt have no other gods before me. To exchange transcendent awe for the self-congratulatory worship of our own creation can lead only to failure and is best represented by an uroboro-like image of a snake eating its own tail. There's something quite self-satisfied about the a priori assertion that awe is properly assigned upon the idols of our own creation. What is awe? Awe is a feeling of deep respect and reverence. It is a reverent sense of fear and wonder which places us in a position of hierarchical subservience to it.

Speaker 1:

Technology, some may argue, is the god of our age and it dictates the patterns of our beliefs, of our lives. Those who endow us with its magical power are like the priests and magicians of old Make no mistake about it, to all but a select few who program and design it. Most of the technology we use on a daily basis is nothing short of magical, and just like the idols of old. We have placed technology on an altar and have found ourselves kneeling in its temple. I've argued this in the past regarding the religion of scientism. The religion of scientism is, after all, the worship of technology. This is a type of idolatry. The machines might be new, the sin is not, and perhaps you believe this is an over-exaggeration. But I want you to think about your day, or imagine the days of most people you see, and tell me that you are not in some way subservient to the tools that we use. This example, this experiment that we will conduct, may or may not fit your personal life, but it is a very typical day for many, many people and I make no special claim of exemption for myself. I will address it to you because I want you to be able to recognize similarities to your own life. I hope that they are minimal, but I also hope that you are able to make an honest appraisal, with the intention that it will be helpful, not accusatory or with any judgment. We're all subject to relatively the same pressures. This I acknowledge. We're going to do a quick value-for-value break before we embark on this experiment.

Speaker 1:

As you all should know, the Subtle Cane Podcast operates on the value-for-value system, and that means no ads, no affiliate codes and no pressure to produce content that reflects the interests of anyone but yourselves. Each episode, I feature a need that has either been shared with me from a guest, a producer or something in my local community that I support. If you receive any value from this venture, I ask only that you return that value by supporting the featured need. If the featured need isn't something that you necessarily agree with or want to support, I understand. That doesn't change the fact that I'm asking you to then pass on that value to something in your own community or a cause that you do feel strongly about. I think you all know that I don't expect you to just take my word about the featured need either. I will share the information and then it's up to you to take the next steps. What I don't want people to do is poke holes in the featured need and then, with a self-satisfied shrug, casually dismiss the idea of paying it forward to something you can't get behind. Please, then, find something that does resonate with you and, even if it's just a personal interaction that you're having with someone in that day, make it intentional and try to return any value in the way of whatever that looks like for you.

Speaker 1:

In this episode, we're going to be specifically featuring the work of author Ian Davis. Ian Davis is a hardworking, intelligent and passionate voice in the alternative media space that's really trying to make a difference and enter the arena of ideas with humility and circumspection. You're going to find a link to his website and substack page in the show notes, along with my interviews with Miriam and James. Please consider supporting Ian's work and check out Auntie Yantepadden podcast as well. There are a list of interviews Miriam has done in English and, of course, corbettreportcom has a wealth of data and information that you will find well sourced and easy to use. Ian Davis the featured need for episode 63 of the Subtle Cane podcast.

Speaker 1:

Back to it. We're going to conduct that experiment now, and this exercise might be weird. Might be kind of strange, but so am I, so bear with me. I want you to close your eyes unless you're driving or walking, of course and follow along with this day in the life that I'm about to describe. I'm even going to count backwards from five just to make it extra cheesy and awkward. I want you to really put yourself in this situation, though, and live in it. Ready 5, 4, 3, 2, 1.

Speaker 1:

You wake up in the morning to an alarm set on your phone. You get ready while watching or listening to something on an app or on your TV. There was another attack. The CDC says that we should be very concerned about the next virus with pandemic potential. At 5, we speak to a panel of experts who will explain how you should feel about a social issue that you were previously unaware of but should be very, very alarmed by. And on it goes. You groggily scroll through your social media and see if there's any status changes or news that you might need to keep you informed for any conversations you will have throughout your day. These conversations that you will have over the course of your day will largely consist of trading stories about things you saw on social media or TV rather than the real life in front of you.

Speaker 1:

You get in your car and the Bluetooth connects so that you can have directions to where you're going and can listen to the newest auto-tuned corporate pop star flailing through the shallow lyrics they were provided while you drive. Of course, any notifications that come across will chime in on the way, so you know to check your phone before you go into work On the way. You may use an app to pre-order your coffee or breakfast sandwich. You pay with another app and when you get to work, after checking those updates, of course you log into the computer. Of course you have to enter your time in and then start looking through the assigned tasks for the day, and your digital taskmaster will guide you along the way. Depending on your type of work, you may be able to stay logged into a computer and your social media accounts throughout your work day, casually toggling between screens just to make sure you're not missing anything important. If your job doesn't allow you to have access to the internet, you can always scurry to the break room and pull out your phone to get caught up on the feed over break time.

Speaker 1:

Eventually, you finish your day and you clock out After work. You will essentially reverse the process and go home. Of course you might want to stop off at the store and get that something you saw in the advertisement, or maybe cruise through the drive-thru for that new chicken sandwich that looks so good. It was so melty and succulent. When you get home, you continue to scroll through your feeds and maybe put on that new Netflix series the guy from work was telling you about All throughout the night. Before you go to bed, you might exchange comments with your spouse or significant other about the various things you encountered in the fantasy land of the internet. And between berating the people you work with for supporting such and such, you make post-cleverly tailored responses to trolls on your preferred platform of indignation. That'll show them. That's the virtue signaling.

Speaker 1:

In the echo chambers you virtually inhabit, you have moments of lucidity when you remember that thing you told your spouse you would do, or you vowed you would do for yourself tomorrow. As your eyelids become heavy and your pillow beckons you with the promised relief from many self-inflicted wounds you've suffered through the vicarious trauma you've consumed over the day, you fall asleep thinking about the things you've been directed to think about and feeling the way you've been programmed to feel about them, all the while keeping the starving muse of your own unique personality at bay. You dream about nothing because dreams come so infrequently these days and for another day, the person you could be is lost to the person that you were subtly directed to be. You suffer from a frantic addiction to novelty. Novelty is the only drug that you really can't do without, because silence is torture. Consumption and thoughtful contemplation ask much too much of you. After several hours of what passes for sleep, you will wake up and do it all over again, and so the cycle goes day in and day out.

Speaker 1:

The tireless machine has fed upon your energy, stolen your life force and diminished the potential which screams from within you to be set free. That may seem cynical, but if we're really honest, parts of that ring more true than we really want to readily admit to ourselves. Maybe not. Maybe you're free from the matrix and I just wasted a few precious minutes of your otherwise uninterrupted clarity of mind. Forgive me if I'm skeptical. The truth is that even for those of us that are trying to unplug, it can be really hard.

Speaker 1:

Our lives have been inundated with technology on so many levels, but imagine if that was the way you lived your life every day. I'm not saying it is, but imagine if that was how you lived your life every day. It is, for many, many people, the reality of their lives. Would you be able to trust that your opinions really are your own? Would you be sure that the way you feel about a topic is attached to anything resembling reality, or would you have to start questioning who's really in the driver's seat of your life. If that was your life, if that is your life, would you know where the feed ended and you began? If you're a regular listener to this show or have spent time learning about how propaganda works, you might start feeling a little uncomfortable with the implications of that exercise.

Speaker 1:

I argue that this hypothetical day in the life is not terribly unlike the days in many people's lives. I hope that you don't relate too closely to the hypothetical you of this exercise, but to deny any resemblance to our lives more often than not would be less than completely honest. Our personalities and our unique perspectives are being subverted. Our ability to manifest our potential, act as free agents and interact with the people around us genuinely and without guile is being compromised by our subservience to technology. It would be much easier to blame the schemers and the manipulators who actively seek to control us for their own ends, who see us as a means to an end and not as an end in and of ourselves. Certainly, there's plenty of blame to go around, but when I think about what's being done to the population, intentionally and unintentionally, through the deification of technology, I can start to feel powerless and hope seems to leave me almost like a tired exhalation. It's then that I must remind myself, despite all the ways that other people influence my life, that it is still the choices that I make that, in the end, determine who I am and what my life looks like. I have been and will continue to encourage you to unplug from the virtual panopticon of the digital world wherever and however you can. I will continue to encourage you to be mindful of the moment and to choose freedom.

Speaker 1:

Technology isn't going anywhere and the tools of social engineering are ever more advanced than complicated. Our jobs and our personal lives depend more and more on the digital platforms that we must use to function in our society, in our lives, in our jobs. That doesn't mean that it's hopeless, only difficult to force ourselves to spend more time in silence and in genuine and personal relationships and in quite contemplation the opposite of amusement. It's getting harder to set down those phones and reflect. I understand that, and as a registered nurse, I spend a lot of time in front of the computer screen charting when I'm at work. As a podcaster, I spend a lot of time in front of a computer screen preparing for and recording my episodes, and as an exhausted middle-aged man after a long day of work. I spend too much time watching old reruns of the X-Files or videos about one thing or another, and I'm embarrassed to admit this the ones where people jump out and scare people. I don't know why that's so cathartic for me, but it is. I don't know what that says about me, but if we try very hard, if we consciously make an effort, I think we can start moving in the right direction. We can start spending more time in quiet contemplation, musing with our loved ones, actively engaged in our community, out in nature. We can spend a lot more time like that than we do now we can.

Speaker 1:

I was talking to my brother last night and we were bemoaning the fact that it has gotten much, much harder to exercise at this age. We arrived at the conclusion that if we spent even 10 minutes a day doing some exercise, that it would be better than nothing. So we each agreed to be more disciplined about working out. The bare minimum we're going to do is 10 minutes a day, the absolute bare minimum. Okay, now we can and should do more, but no matter what, 10 minutes a day is where we will absolutely commit and we will hold each other accountable, and I think it's very reasonable.

Speaker 1:

It's really hard to argue that I can't find 10 minutes in a 24 hour period to exercise. So I was thinking about this and I thought well, why don't I suggest to my producers that we all take 10 minutes a day to sit and reflect in silence? It sounds almost sad, doesn't it 10 minutes? But I did this earlier today and I will tell you 10 straight uninterrupted minutes without doing reading, listening to or eating. Anything is not as easy as you think.

Speaker 1:

I use that time to pray personally. I set a timer and I prayed for 10 straight minutes and my mind wandered way too much, like I couldn't even keep a coherent thought. I'll be honest. But maybe you pray, maybe you just meditate. In any event, clear your mind. Give it a try. I guarantee you that you will be less stressed and more engaged than you were before.

Speaker 1:

You did it. I guarantee it. It sounds easy, I know, but give it a try and see for yourself what the pace of our lives has actually become. It's really quite alarming. In any event, I hope that this experiment was helpful for you today. I hope that you know that I want a better and more healthy life for each and every one of you and that my intention here is to inspire you and not denigrate you in any way, and I sincerely, sincerely hope that you were not amused. I end with this quote from the late 19th century Indian philosopher, jidu Krishnamurti quote it is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society. For all you listening, you are valued, you are loved and you are worthy. God bless and good night. God bless and good night.

Technology's Dominance in Modern Culture
Technology's Impact on Our Lives
The Power of Mindfulness and Prayer