Cultural Evaporation

Setting aside time to do things is the first step toward getting them done. But then, when that time comes, you have to actually do them. Writing can be challenging in that you set aside time to do it and you have a clear size that you’ve picked for the piece you’re writing. Maybe you even have a topic in mind, I often don’t. What often happens to me at this point is I sit and stare at the empty page in front of me.

It’s not totally empty. There is the tag line at the bottom of the page and the various word processing controls across the top of the page. But the important part of the page, the part that I’m supposed to fill with carefully crafted observations and witty repartee, is as blank as my mind in these circumstances.

If I sit quietly and listen really hard, something will usually bubble up from my subconscious. It isn’t always something that I am willing to share with my readers but sometimes I give it a try anyway. I have a collection of half written drafts of blog posts that are the result of my deciding that the topic I was writing about was either too personal or otherwise inappropriate.

Perhaps someday I’ll change my mind about some of them and finish them. Or perhaps I’ll finish them and leave them to be published by someone after I’m gone. More likely, they will sit untouched until I delete them in a fit of tidiness. Those are infrequent enough that they need not fear for their existence for quite a while.

I wonder about our digital culture. How long before it disappears entirely? Will future archeologists have the faintest clue how to retrieve our digital cultural artifacts? Will they even survive to be pondered over? Perhaps the Egyptians had the equivalent of Facebook and we just don’t have any clue how it works or that it even existed.

Is Snapchat a metaphor for modern culture, here today and gone tomorrow? If so, it is a poor one. Culture is about the very best of mankind’s creations, not the daily detritus that evaporates immediately like a morning shower.

We need a technological visionary to address the issue of preservation of our digital culture. Someone like Steve Jobs or Dave Winer. Maybe then, we’ll actually create something worth preserving.

Sweet dreams, don’t forget to tell the ones you love that you love them, and most important of all, be kind.