greygirlbeast: (Bowie3)
[personal profile] greygirlbeast
It isn't bad enough that the few corners of the internet that I love are withering and/or drawing in upon themselves like a startled sea anemone, but the tempo as a whole – that is, the tempo of the internet – is accelerating. And the rate of acceleration appears exponential. So, that which is faster grows increasingly rapid. Attention spans decrease accordingly. Twitter and Facebook replace blogging. News stories become ever less informative. The sound byte (sound bite) is victorious. Analysis shrivels. Thought is compressed. Or, to me, so it seems. But I have a slow, slow and extremely analytical brain. My mind picks and sorts and rehashes and researches and is, above all, patient. I may require months to read a novel, but when I have read it, I can almost recite it. This requires patience. And patience is suffering a mass extinction on the internet.

One hundred and forty characters. Buzz words. Jargon. Texting. The entrenchment of l33t so that it no long signifies elite, and no one using it even recalls how or why it began. Speed. An expectation, beyond the internet, that instant gratification is good and normal and anything less is a failure. I want my ebook and I want it NOW. I want now. Now. Why is my order taking so long? What do you mean "I have to wait"? Waiting is a negative, by definition. Fast food. Overnight delivery. Thirty minutes or you get it free. First in line. Speed and cut me off on the interstate so that, ultimately, your drive is forty-five seconds shorter.

Why so goddamn, fucking fast? You think you'll buy more life, squeeze in a few more moments? Has civilization driven you to the fastest rat race ever? Is it that you believe doing it quicker actually is better than doing it right? Do you think you have no choice in the matter? You can't see the lie? The only thing you're running towards is death.

Slow down, you move to fast.

We used to wait...

And what is the utility of these words? Because the internet is fucking fickle, and, for whatever reasons, even for those few who do still blog, or at least read blogs, LiveJournal has ceased to be the hip place to be seen.

---

All unexpected anger this morning. The anger rarely comes these day, rarely comes with this intensity. Admittedly, I don't think this is irrational anger, for which I have my meds, but its hit me with that same force and with that same glee in its own existence.

---

Yesterday, I sat and stared at the iMac's screen, and after about five hours of that a story occurred to me. It's an ugly story and a beautiful story. It's kind and cruel. Gentle and violent. It needs to be written in a language that is just shy of cut up. As I wrote 7 in The Drowning Girl: A Memoir. The language I learned from Joyce, Faulkner, et al. And it needs to be written in two days, as I've got Alabaster #4 due on the 15th, and I have to get Sirenia Digest #73 out before then.

Wishing for the Salvation of Summer,
Aunt Beast

Date: 2012-01-04 07:45 pm (UTC)
ext_511782: (Default)
From: [identity profile] mystical-indi.livejournal.com
Funny, how after all that my first reaction was to look for the "like" button. And here I feel the same way you do about all this speed. I'm amazed when people want three devices that do the same thing - a phone, an iPad, and a computer, among various others. So you can get your information that much faster? Why do you want something that beeps at you all the time? People are sleeping, we aren't aware of our surroundings because we are moving too fast to take the time to look around. One day, I hope, all this technology will fail, and people will have a waking moment where they realize how much they've missed in the meantime.

But...all this is likely futile.

Date: 2012-01-04 07:50 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] greygirlbeast.livejournal.com

my first reaction was to look for the "like" button.

And, honestly, I don't even know what those "like" buttons mean. You can't be so reductive that everything comes down to "I like this" or "I don't like this."

One day, I hope, all this technology will fail, and people will have a waking moment where they realize how much they've missed in the meantime.

All we near is a coronal mass ejection big enough to fry the communication satellites. And that's only a matter of time.
Edited Date: 2012-01-04 07:51 pm (UTC)

Date: 2012-01-04 07:53 pm (UTC)
ext_511782: (Default)
From: [identity profile] mystical-indi.livejournal.com
I agree. "Like"ing something doesn't say anything. I always want to ask: "And how do you feel about that?"

All we near is a coronal mass ejection big enough to fry the communication satellites. And that's only a matter of time.

Hopefully sooner rather than later. I fear our brains are turning to mush.

Date: 2012-01-04 08:10 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] alumiere.livejournal.com
I wouldn't say patience is completely extinct yet. Although LJ does seem really quiet at the moment, it could just be the holidaze. It seems like an awful lot of people are overwhelmed with family crap, kids off school for weeks and other things right now.

I do wish something would kill failbook soon; I seem to be required to have one (many of my friends won't even use email anymore), and I hate the damn thing.

As an added wish, I would that I didn't have to cancel my subscription to Sirenia a few months ago ($). Every time you talk briefly about the upcoming goodies I get a bit sad that I'm missing them. But things may improve this year and I'll resume subscribing.

Date: 2012-01-04 08:17 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] greygirlbeast.livejournal.com

I wouldn't say patience is completely extinct yet. Although LJ does seem really quiet at the moment, it could just be the holidaze. It seems like an awful lot of people are overwhelmed with family crap, kids off school for weeks and other things right now.

That might explain a couple of months, but not the past couple of years, which has witnessed the steady decline. I wasn't addressing the last two months.

But things may improve this year and I'll resume subscribing.

I do hope so.

Date: 2012-01-04 08:21 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] alumiere.livejournal.com
Ah... I thought you were talking about the even more quiet than usual right now. Yes, it does seem to have become less populated here, but those of us who are still here do love it.

And I hope so too.

Date: 2012-01-04 08:22 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] greygirlbeast.livejournal.com

Ah... I thought you were talking about the even more quiet than usual right now. Yes, it does seem to have become less populated here,

Vastly less populated, and the numbers prove it.

Date: 2012-01-04 08:11 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] flameelf.livejournal.com
When you find a better outlet--i.e., that which eventually replaces LJ--I will follow you, for your yearnings are mine.

I really wish either LJ would recover, or we'd all find a perfect blogsphere site 'like LJ' that we're all pleased to work upon with our musings.

Until then, I still enjoy yours.

Grey :)

Date: 2012-01-04 08:19 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] greygirlbeast.livejournal.com

I really wish either LJ would recover, or we'd all find a perfect blogsphere site 'like LJ' that we're all pleased to work upon with our musings.

It comes down to some inexplicable drive to reinvent a wheel. Why find another service, when this one (DOS attacks aside) works just fine? Blogger works just fine. Humans are fickle, that's why.

Date: 2012-01-04 08:16 pm (UTC)
sovay: (Rotwang)
From: [personal profile] sovay
Twitter and Facebook replace blogging.

Liveblogging replaces reviews. The idea of opening a theater to "tweet seats," in which patrons will be allowed to text forth their thoughts on the performance as they watch it, seems to defeat the entire purpose of live theater. I watch plays on a movie screen from time to time, but only because I can't get tickets to London. What's the point of being there if you're going to be somewhere else?

The only thing you're running towards is death.

Oh, don't you know? If you run fast enough, you can never die. Time slows as you approach the event horizon.

(You'll be dying for millennia, on the inside.)

LiveJournal has ceased to be the hip place to be seen.

Yes, well, I have never been good at hip.

It needs to be written in a language that is just shy of cut up.

I look forward.

Date: 2012-01-04 08:21 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] greygirlbeast.livejournal.com

The idea of opening a theater to "tweet seats," in which patrons will be allowed to text forth their thoughts on the performance as they watch it,

This is so horrifying that I'd say you've left me speechless, but for the fact that I'm still typing.

If you run fast enough, you can never die. Time slows as you approach the event horizon.

Oh, those poor sods.

Yes, well, I have never been good at hip.

I tried, but, ultimately, failed miserably.

Date: 2012-01-04 11:59 pm (UTC)
sovay: (Rotwang)
From: [personal profile] sovay
This is so horrifying that I'd say you've left me speechless, but for the fact that I'm still typing.

I saw a passing mention in today's opinion section of the Boston Globe and tracked the original article: I was appalled.

I tried, but, ultimately, failed miserably.

Don't worry. You ended up bow tie.

Date: 2012-01-04 08:31 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] jenjen4280.livejournal.com
America: Land of Instant Gratification, except that I think it's everywhere.

Isn't this a world we created? Us and our kids and then their kids? How scary is that?

It seems as though William Gibson is a prophet. And as for the early writers of SF, well, all this technological advancement and still no personal jetpacks or hovercraft? I'd rather have either of those than a camera-music player-video watcher-phone. Yeesh.

Have you seen the movie Idiocracy? If not, give it a shot. It's either a comedy or a horror movie depending on your point of view.

Date: 2012-01-04 08:53 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] greygirlbeast.livejournal.com

except that I think it's everywhere.

Pretty much. The shrinking of the globe is a consequence.

Have you seen the movie Idiocracy? If not, give it a shot. It's either a comedy or a horror movie depending on your point of view.

I saw it, and there were a couple of funny moments. But over all I really hated that film.

Date: 2012-01-04 08:32 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] xarx.livejournal.com
Yeah! Preach it!

I refuse to have anything to do with Twitter or Facebook. Most of my friends have abandoned LJ, but I'm gonna keep holding out. I only reluctantly joined google chrome and I actually like it because no one uses it.

Date: 2012-01-04 08:54 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] greygirlbeast.livejournal.com

I refuse to have anything to do with Twitter or Facebook.

I'm there, but only from fear my readership will shrink otherwise.

Date: 2012-01-04 08:35 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] lois2037.livejournal.com
I'm one of those people who, except for having to deal with traffic congestion, kind of likes waiting in line. I get a lot of interesting thinking and ideas while waiting in a check-out queue, waiting for Rx to be filled, waiting for the bus. Twitter is confining, and I use it mainly to look at what's up on #morningcatface. FB is a reasonable news source for me sometimes, but I really doubt most of my "friends" are any more interested in my surface thoughts than I am in theirs. This is just the trend of what's going on now, though. Things will swing back eventually, and slow down again.

Date: 2012-01-04 08:55 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] greygirlbeast.livejournal.com

This is just the trend of what's going on now, though. Things will swing back eventually, and slow down again.

It will require the appropriate cataclysm. No one's going back by choice.

Date: 2012-01-04 11:58 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] lois2037.livejournal.com
Yeah... I guess you're right.

Date: 2012-01-08 06:58 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] kore-on-lj.livejournal.com
I don't get people who hate waiting in line. That's one of the times you can read.

Date: 2012-01-09 12:21 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] lois2037.livejournal.com
Exactly!

Date: 2012-01-04 08:52 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] stsisyphus.livejournal.com
I suppose the question becomes, what do we do with the time? Time slows down, how do we occupy the slowness? Time speeds up, what does the thrift buy? What are we doing to improve ourselves, or others? Is the time spent "well"?

Do we need an efficiency of time? Or should we just acknowledge that there's....

...wait a minute, was this whole post just an oblique, left-handed complaint about running up on deadlines?

Because if so: well done, Ms. K. Very nicely done.

Date: 2012-01-04 08:56 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] greygirlbeast.livejournal.com

...wait a minute, was this whole post just an oblique, left-handed complaint about running up on deadlines?

Actually, no. It was inspired by...lots of shit. But, yeah. It works for deadlines, too.

Date: 2012-01-04 09:22 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] martianmooncrab.livejournal.com
Twitter and Facebook replace blogging. News stories become ever less informative. The sound byte (sound bite) is victorious. Analysis shrivels

I will stay in the depths, and leave them to the shallows...

Date: 2012-01-04 09:28 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] greygirlbeast.livejournal.com

I will stay in the depths, and leave them to the shallows...

In the dark.

Date: 2012-01-04 09:38 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] greygirlbeast.livejournal.com

Better have a space heater, too.

Date: 2012-01-04 09:40 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] martianmooncrab.livejournal.com
have the temp set at 70...

Date: 2012-01-04 10:18 pm (UTC)
mithriltabby: Serene silver tabby (Moment)
From: [personal profile] mithriltabby
Back in the 80s hackers would laugh up their sleeves at the “r0dentz” who used numbers in place of letters.

I see Twitter as a neutral medium. 140 characters can be an interesting writing constraint, and I treat it as a challenge: do I have something worth saying that I can express in such a small space? If so, it goes to Twitter; if not, it goes to LJ. A lot of Twitter users don’t apply such craft to their tweets, but I don’t follow them.

Generally when someone comes roaring up behind me on the highway, I calmly signal a lane change, move over, and let them blow past me, and say “Thank you!” as they go off in search of speeding tickets, distracting any highway patrolfolk who might otherwise take umbrage at my traveling a bit over the speed limit. I try to apply a similar letting-go with other things that are overly fast-paced; I know it would drive me crazy to try to keep up, so I just shift into amateur-anthropologist mode and watch them go by.

Date: 2012-01-05 02:29 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] thecoughlin.livejournal.com
The funny aspect of ubiquitous electronic interface is that the tendency to multitask generates less work completed in the end.

Doing more things at once makes one go slower. Apparently sometimes you have to go slow to go fast. Or at least you must stay the path to get anywhere. Fancy that.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2747164/?tool=pubmed

Date: 2012-01-05 03:03 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] seph-ski.livejournal.com
I'm not one to keep pace with this world either. I haven't looked at my twitter account in months. The constant data coming through, so much of it just wasted words, it makes me twitchy. And I've always felt a little stupid because I like to linger in my reads, so it might take me a month to read just one book while I have friends that will review eight books they read in that same time. There are movies I've watched but haven't seen because the images on the screen change so fast that my brain overloads and just gives up trying to process any of it. Faster is rarely better, This pace does not suit me. Speeding toward oblivion.

Date: 2012-01-05 03:13 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] whiskeychick.livejournal.com
Had a conversation over dinner with my children about patience. It's becoming a huge theme for 2012 in this household, I'm afraid. Waiting and earning things seems to be a foreign idea to them and I'm kicking myself that I didn't catch this hole in their education sooner.

::digs in her heals here in LJ::

Date: 2012-01-05 06:06 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] scotchegg.livejournal.com
After reading this post, I picked up the NYT Sunday Edition and read the Pico Iyer piece on being quiet. Resonated - http://www.nytimes.com/2012/01/01/opinion/sunday/the-joy-of-quiet.html?_r=2

Date: 2012-01-05 07:43 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] lady-tigerfish.livejournal.com
Thank you for sharing that. I adored it. Reminded me of a time I visited my boyfriend in somewhat of an internet dead zone, and for several weeks of my life, was entirely free from contemporary information overload. All my friends were horrified: no internet for weeks! How did you not go crazy? And yet, it was the sanest I'd felt in years.

Date: 2012-01-05 08:29 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] lady-tigerfish.livejournal.com
The whole "death of LJ" thing has struck somewhat of a sore spot for me, as well. Much of the early blogosphere was a whole lot of people saying a whole lot of nothing, but at least they took the time to compose their thoughts. There's not a little nostalgia in it for me, too, I'll admit: after my friends and I graduated high school, LJ was the way we simulated those deep late-night conversations we'd no longer be in the same room to have. Ditto many of my college friends. We may have scattered to parts unknown, but through the medium of LJ, at least, we could still share our Big Thoughts. You just can't Tweet Big Thoughts; they take more than 140 characters. I resent any format that demands my thoughts be small.

Now the majority of people I know have moved on to Facebook and Twitter. They just "don't have the time" for blogging, they say. Making the time--for anything--seems to be a thing of the past. Nearly everyone I know describes themselves as lazy, but as far as I can tell, "laziness" seems to translate to nothing more than "not spending every waking hour doing something." There's an almost Puritanical bent to the way we seem to need to be busy every hour of ever day, to the way stillness is demonized as sloth. Like if we stop moving for two seconds, the devil himself will descend to make use of our idleness. We certainly treat each other that way whenever one of our own dares to step outside the regimen and, say, turns off the cell phone for awhile. Funny, since (as other commenters have pointed out) this pace actually makes us less productive in the long run.

My boyfriend said to me the other week that he relishes doing laundry (yes, this relates). As I've always viewed the chore as an unpleasant necessity I suffer in order not to smell like a gym locker, I asked him why. He replied, "It's a time in which I'm not expected to do anything else but the one thing I'm doing. It also, by necessity, takes as long as it takes, so I never feel any pressure to do it faster." A time in which we are not expected to do anything else but the single thing we are doing. In which a task is allowed to take as long as it takes, without the minions of speed breathing down our necks and demanding we hurry it up. I understood the appeal laundry day had for him immediately. Sad that such things are a rarity nowadays, but there you are.

Date: 2012-01-08 06:59 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] kore-on-lj.livejournal.com
He replied, "It's a time in which I'm not expected to do anything else but the one thing I'm doing. It also, by necessity, takes as long as it takes, so I never feel any pressure to do it faster." A time in which we are not expected to do anything else but the single thing we are doing. In which a task is allowed to take as long as it takes, without the minions of speed breathing down our necks and demanding we hurry it up.

That's nice, very Zen. And yeah, a real lost art nowadays.

Date: 2012-01-09 05:15 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] lady-tigerfish.livejournal.com
Ha, he's actually called it "Laundry Zen" before, so yes, definitely. And thank you.

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Caitlín R. Kiernan

February 2012

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