Vanishing Point

Or, does one step outside of the system in its entirety in order to discover one’s humanity?

What is the system that threatens you the most?

Which system oppresses you?

Is it possible to extricate oneself from such systems entirely?

Or one must make do with what one can to shield oneself from such systems?

I recognized my rebellion today.

I found myself telling a friend with whom I had scheduled a Skype call to use email to let me know she was running late or having network issues connecting from Cotonou, and not a message sent via a social media platform as has been our long established habit in recent years.

I said I was avoiding dark patterns and persuasive design in order to conserve my cognitive capacity for my doctoral study. That the numbed down Pavlovian response to intermittent dopamine hits designed to neurally create addiction to the attention economy’s biggest players’ leaderboards on invested screen time was a mindless way of life I wanted to leave behind in the past.

For the now, in answer to Joseph Campbell’s question, my answer is not to consider any of the more ambiguous and amorphous systems but to ponder the socio-technical one currently giving form to our global zeitgest online, this shared space of the internetworked world wide web of humanity dominated by fast moving content and shaped by machines and algorithms.

In which case, the only way to play is to step out. This is a system designed to flatten you while it steals your humanity to power its mighty engines.

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