The new media does not feed us fully formed chunks, but broken chips and blips of imagery. We are required to piece an identity together to create a configurative or modular personality. This explains why so many millions are desperately searching for an identity.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Manchester United vs. Real Madrid: A night of controversy

Tuesday’s highly anticipated game between Manchester United and Real Madrid will be sadly remembered for the controversial sending off of the mercurial midfielder Nani. As a stolid neutral it was brazenly marred by a hasty decision by an official that showed a red first and enthusiasts of this football special generally agree that he did not deserve the sending off. Furthermore, in the 62nd minute after Raphael Varane’s close range header was headed into the back of the net before it hit off Rafael’s arm it spun clear of the goal and none of the officials saw it to have judged it as foul worthy and play resumed. Before the start of the match stalwart Wayne Rooney had been left of the side which should be raising questions about his future at the club. His wife Colleen then delivered a riposte by her tweet stating that she could not believe that he was left out. We all know what the final result was and was by no means a fulfilling football outing for both sides. It was a game that Mourinho had so adeptly described as “The world will stop to watch the tie” but later added that “We didn’t play well. We didn’t deserve to win.”

The rise of the throw-away society

In the past society was engaged in handcrafting goods and all creative and productive energies were directed to maximize the durability of the product. Permanence was ideal then and man built to last. Society remained stagnant with clearly defined functions and economic logic dictated the policy of permanence. Even if these goods had to be repaired it would last for a considerable long time especially the more expensive item.
Once the rate of change accelerated the economics of permanence was replaced by the new economics of transcience. Advancing technology had lowered the cost of manufacturing much more rapidly than the cost of repair work. It now becomes more cheaper to replace than to repair. These items are built cheap, unrepairable, throw-away objects, even though t may not last as long as the repairable objects.
Advancing technology also makes it possible to improve the object as times goes by. More improvements are coming at ever shorter intervals and it makes hard economic sense to build for the short term rather than the long. As change accelerated and reached into more and more remote corners of the society, uncertainty about future needs increased. We have then built for the short term to avoid commitment to fixed forms and functions and literally “play it cool” by making the item adaptable. The rise of disposability is a direct result of these powerful pressures. As change accelerates and complexities multiply we can expect further limitations of man’s relationships and things.

Is an era of professional parents possible?

A smaller number of families in the future could possibly raise their own biological children and be replaced by a system of professional parents performing the traditional childbearing function. Raising children successfully requires an actual skill that the masses arguably do not possess in adequate measure. Yet anyone regardless of their mental or moral qualification will attempt to raise their children as long as it is their biological offspring. It continues to be performed by the indomitable amateur ranks though.
Consider the present cracks in the system and the post super industrial revolution and the increase of juvenile delinquents in all economies, we could seriously challenge the relevance of these old misfit caretakers. There are certainly better ways of coping with this problem but professional parenting deserves to be evaluated in an era of specialization especially as there is a pent up demand for such an innovation.
Would today’s biological parents gladly surrender their children to these professionals as Alvin Toffler suggested in his phenomenal Future Shock? And would it be considered an act of love rather than rejection? These parental professionals would be actual family units assigned to rearing children. Families could be multi-generational by design offering children an opportunity to observe and learn from a variety of adult models. The professional family would induct new children as old ones “graduate” in order to eliminate age segregation.
Society would then breed a wide diversity of genetic types and have their children nurtured by mother-father groups who are equipped, intellectually and emotionally, for the task of having a wholesome and fulfilling childhood. How long will the traditional family facing the constant pressure of change act as a shock absorber in a post industrial age of novelty and perhaps succumb to this experimental model?