“when information is about choice, it measures opportunity. investors seek greater financial opportunity to make money. ordinary people make money to gain greater personal opportunity.” it is a construct as to why we continually increase the information of choice. “But the great majority of opportunities are not about money – family opportunity – social opportunity- intellectual opportunity – spiritual opportunity.” Seth Lloyd notes
people ask me why I like to take photos and screenshots of talks. I simply mention a) it is hard for me to just skim and gloss while really trying to listen and learn…so I shoot the screen and apply Einstein’s rule…” why remember what you can look up?” I should mention before I babble that the quote was from a two-day talk Seth Lloyd gave called “the information edge: creation and destruction in life, the economy, and the universe (with a bonus night about collapse and rebirth)
this was not my intended introduction, but for whatever reason, I was looking for a photo about the “cosmetic class” – I don’t have any images of fake boobs, injected lips, facelifts, makeup or butt implants. what I did have was images of the notes from Seth Lloyds talk – which do a much better way of addressing the dribble below. So my warning is you better grab a cup of coffee – I know my mind is trying to get some ideas out and distill them…but they aren’t there yet. the irony of Seth Lloyds talk is the next day I was up helping the monks run electric and basic primitive needs at their monastery in between two canyon walls. now my photo choice is do I post Seth Lloyd or the dog the monks told to watch over me and make sure I was working hard?
end of digression…for a bit:
there is a line I always used to describe the difference between beautiful and pretty. beauty really needs nothing, it is simply a state of being in someone. pretty is a state of being in the moment where a lot of elements, make up, props, smoke and mirror tricks and things are used to create a moment. the moment with pretty easily breaks down or fades when the object moves or loses whatever external enhancements. more and more I wonder if the western society is getting lost in what I call the “cosmetic class?”
I was reading an article about photojournalism and the questioning of “what actually is real anymore” when one sees the reality of digital manipulation and alteration with imagery these days. when you realize a lot of images that are supposed to be someone documenting the events and reality of a moment in time are nothing like what is sent in to see – you wonder if news is simply following the path of what has always been done with fashion, advertising, and magazine work – you present an image that really looks great as long as the image doesn’t move. in the modern world with CGI – you can pretty much fake anything.
all of this opens a plethora of options and tools for creativity, but does it distill and purify our lives, or simply dilute everything? a great example is what happens when you flood a country with cheap goods and push a stream of consumerism versus a beautiful life. I think my generation is an odd one where the model for what life was about, is very different today. I just happen to always be fascinated with learning more of the deeper elements of life. while I can get through a cocktail party chatter about whatever – I would prefer a small intimate dinner party with questions and a deeper discussion about anything.
maybe that is why I am not in live entertainment anymore. when you spend all those years in a lab playing with how to alter an emotional state in a human – you realize all too well what is coming down the pipeline for mainstream manipulation. while this has always been in the system – when you apply the tools available tomorrow to it – you will look at the old gerbil mill you were on and ask, “what is the purpose?”
what is odd is that we do use all the knowledge we learned about light, sound, color, frequencies and smell – and we apply it to systems for plants and people to optimize growth. the plants are easier in that they don’t really know they are being manipulated. people are a bit different in that I believe you have to give a choice for any change to really be lasting and create a new pathway in what is a daily and dynamic process. can we make machines that entice or lead people to change? sure. is that a wise thing in the long term? not really.
the reason for why is that the reality is that when you boil life all down and really look around. there is a whole lot of vanity to life. it is what king Solomon spent a lot of time and money to research. if you go out and live and experience the globe – you will one day come to a place where the “stuff” of the world that you never can take with you upon your time on this planet is pretty worthless. while really nice to have and use – it doesn’t help really make any human better or happier – especially when you pull back for a global perspective and realize how skewed the planet is with resources, consumption, and they have vs have-nots.
a simple way to observe phenomenon, albeit in an analogous way (is that a word? ) is to spend a little time watching the way air traffic works on a global scale. www.flightradar24.com. if you look at the continent of S. America and Africa, you will see how few flights are there versus the developed world’s flight path. aside from this, you marvel at just how many planes and people are in the air at any one time. you have bustling traffic in Asia, Europe, n. America and the silk road where the middle eastern carriers are trying to diversify their cities with the trappings of great oil wealth.
barring any major war or disease no the planet, we will enter into the age of the mega city across the planet for most of the population. I am not sure if this will be good or not so great for the health of humanity. I hate to generalize, but while we are really great tool makers and appliers of make-up and cosmetic accoutrements – the path the planet is on, simply is not sustainable. the planet and mother nature might fight back and knock humans down a bit in the humility area by saying, “enough is enough.”
then again, humans might think all the damage we are doing to the planet is fine and we can simply make a new pill that eradicates all the things we caused. to all this I simple wonder, “do we really need all the stuff we have around? do you really need all the choices of flavored yogurt and the variants of fat, semi-fat, fat free? how much space, how many homes, how many cars does one human need? how many outfits and pairs of shoes do you really need?
mind you, I met a few people that live with only that which they need and I have to say, they have more joy and beauty in their lives because it was a choice. it wasn’t like someone taking their stuff away and they sat there crying like a spoiled baby, or someone on a mission to accumulate as much stuff as they possibly could in the name of greed or hoarding. people, many times ask, “why are the starving orphans so happy?”
depending on where in the world we are, I have two basic answers, the first is that, “the kids make do with what they have, they really don’t know about all the stuff of luxury and excess…” and then there is a second set of smiles we see in areas that the west raises all the funds on tv and feels they have to go blow billions to help others. a great example is the kids in Haiti that are taught to smile for the camera. all you have to do is look into their eyes to see many of the kids are just acting.
so what does this do with a cosmetic class? a similar trend is happening in the developed world that I see in some kids that are taught to smile. the difference is that I truly have no clue why or how so many people can take a picture of themselves in some place and present (I am talking about Instagram) some life/ image that in many ways is a great psychology experiment of sorts. but what it is, is a cosmetic veneer that is presented where if you want some depth or a hearty meal of conversation and interaction – the amount of data and speed which this cosmetic covering flows, basically makes it impossible.
what you get is a bunch of people connected to a bunch of people with the intimacy and understanding of a nanosecond attention span. the media is diluting truth and pedaling versions of it, and our leaders are probably doing more damage to the people, particularly in the USA because there is an oddity with the country – call it a digital or media border wall that frustrates me when you watch the global picture of news and get many different perspectives that are reported as news. the difference is that when you watch and switch through the international channels, your mind can get a sense of where “truth” in the story really is. when I watch the USA media – I simply want to shut it off.
we have become a cosmetic class, born on looking like something we are not and spending a lot of time and money to acquire something that looks pretty but will never bring genuine beauty.
the latter is something that you have to deal with inside. I am not going to lie, the journey inward is much more difficult that the external path – yet – if you keep walking on it, many times you will wonder why you are not simply following the herd of society and fitting in wherever you are on the planet. each place, country, space might appear to be similar, but when you get into the depth – there is the reality of the native ways, customs, and traditions that the foreigner will take a long time if ever, to understand.
but I have never realized how much freedom one really gains when you let go of the world's view of what life is about, and try to not put make up on your outside to cover up what is wrong inside – but rather to take off the make-up and work on strengthening and healing what might not be so great to society on the inside.
when you get to that space, you really have gained beauty and freedom that will have you look at the gerbil mill called life and wonder, “why can’t we all change for the betterment of all?”
the last way Is only possible if we all really work on being the best “self” we can, as that is the only thing we can all control. I do not see this happening en masse with the freedom of choice, rather, the herd will respond only when some tragedy or crash happens. until then, the world will run along as it does. trying to make sense of it all…well, has me designing places and spaces for plants and humans to grow in the optimal environments.
I wonder if society is “too busy” applying make-up to really grow? or has the habit of applying make-up simply become like a commute for many where the time spent is not even thought of for how much is used to look pretty versus simply drop it all and allow each’s genuine beauty to come forth.
dang…where the heck did this blob of whatever come from. I typed it and am thinking, “did you have any coffee this morning?” a part of me should go re-read and pull the few items out of this that make sense – but that is not how these posts work. 10 minutes – no editing – post whatever…
…it makes it easy to do when you are writing for yourself in a world that is too busy to get beyond a headline. :o)
and below…is the infamous dog that supervised me with the monks. cool pup.