Wednesday, August 8, 2012

a new habitat?

Technology has changed human relations perhaps beyond our current understanding. It has made us more open to chance and risk amplifying the feeling that life is a complex web of random coincidences. Just as it offers the prospect of opportunities which can bring personal happiness, it can also be a minefield of surprises, loneliness and delusions. The existence of a parallel communication space where reality and fantasy blur is in itself a radical notion, one may go as far as describing it as a new habitat for an anthropologically changed species.
This makes the task of understanding the human situation a more urgent endeavour. Making sense of the fact that we live in a very random place where anything can literally happen from one day to the next is constant threat to the yearning for stability and tranquillity. Yet the fact that experience changes humans constantly has been recognised by philosophers since the time of Heractlitus who professed the words which inspire this blog: No one can step on the same river twice, for its neither the same river nor the same man. Still it does not help to simply recognise the state of fact of our existence. Building meaningful human relations in this chaos where everything is open to chance is important. Resisting the dangers posed by a rejectionism of the losers asserted either by romantic notions of the past or even worse by those taking refuge in patriarchy, race or nation, is another task for the critical thinker. Recognising new human bonds which are already forming, but do not necessarily replace but can compliment more treasured traditional roles, is another way of understanding. But ultimately the focus of critical thought should also be the question of happiness; how to create a new art of the self which makes us strong, happy and considerate towards others in a risky environment.