Technology Addiction and Virtual Reality

It will be difficult, if not impossible, to bring the U.S. back from the brink of social and economic collapse upon which it is so precariously perched. Our collective inertia is carrying us to the edge of the abyss.  Changing course will require a change of consciousness, an awakening.  Critical mass must be reached, but we have not even begun contemplating making that immense journey. We should have started long ago. Now it may be too late for us.

The American people are brainwashed by prolonged exposure to the corporate media, particularly television, which has a financial stake in keeping them propagandized and in a stupor. The religion of America is buying and selling. Capital is God and everyone and everything is subservient to it. Corporations are people. Money is free speech. Virtual reality has replaced actual reality.

With the proliferation of technological devices and the widespread use of social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter, people are receding deeper into catacombs of fantasy. Irreplaceable social skills are being lost in the process. Text messaging is no substitute for physical human contact. The touching of human lips and a furtive glance is more pregnant with possibility than a series of x’s and o’s sent over an IPhone. The psychological development of a healthy human being requires personal contact and social interaction.

Despite its potential use as a tool for social networking, the collective use of technology has had the opposite effect by trivializing conversation and by diminishing social interaction.  People are more enamored with the technology than the quality of the communication. They are spending huge sums of money on the latest technology in order to avoid the stigma of “phone shame,” when older technology will suffice or personal contact is required. Monotonous chit chat is no substitute for real conversation about the important issues that affect us all.

As technology gains primacy, people are forgetting how to communicate with one another. We no longer know how to live in the natural world. The spiritual umbilical that connects us to the earth and promotes a sense of belonging to the greater biological community was severed by technology. As a result, technological Homo sapiens are careening out of control; they are spiritually and psychologically isolated from one another and from universal consciousness.

Due in part to our fascination with technological innovation, our perception of reality is either distorted or lost. We are wandering aimlessly toward oblivion, text messaging and chit-chatting like mechanical drones seeking to extract meaning from a world where the laws of physics do not apply and anything is possible up to, and including, the impossible. That is the appeal of virtual reality: you can believe anything you want and pretend that it is true. We are attempting to suck nutriment from a block of styrofoam. We are dying inside.

Cell phones, IPods, Blackberries, Androids, high definition television, and computer games are little more than expensive toys that distract us from living authentic lives. Like pornography, electronic devices isolate people and prevent them from forming meaningful social networks that might promote revolutionary ideas.

Globally, perhaps more than a billion people are disconnected from one another by their addiction to technologies that keep them subservient to corporate power. The manner in which these ubiquitous devices are used tends to divide rather than unite people. Their use has done little to raise public consciousness or to produce better, more engaged citizens. Our infatuation with technology is working against collective awakening and the long term survival of the species. As Thoreau lamented long ago, “men have become the tools of their tools.” But who reads Thoreau nowadays? Reading great literature is such a quaint idea, a remnant of a bygone era. Who needs literacy when you can buy an IPhone or a really cool MP3 player? We do.

Technological innovation and capitalism go hand in hand. Capitalism fosters the conquest of nature and stimulates superfluous consumption and waste. The raw materials of industry and technology are taken from the earth, annihilating indigenous populations and promoting colonization. Driven by a philosophy of endless expansion, the ideology of the cancer cell, population growth is encouraged in order to increase the supply of consumers, as well as provide cannon fodder for the frequent military incursions that are inherent to capitalism.

Saturation advertising creates artificial wants and promotes usury lending. It leads to debt peonage that diminishes personal sovereignty while simultaneously promoting dependency on gratuitous goods and services.  Militarism and occupation is a prominent feature of capitalism, as well as the dehumanization of the work force. These activities have enormous impact on the biosphere and on human relations.

The pervasive addiction to complex technology has led to the evolution of a passive consumer culture that is incapable of acting in its own self-interest. It has rewired the human brain and significantly reduced attention spans. As a result, skills such as reading and writing are diminishing. Intricate social interaction is on the wane. People are becoming increasingly withdrawn and isolated from their neighbors and from their communities. They are alienated from nature. People inhabit virtual worlds because they no longer possess the psychological capacity, spiritual fortitude, and social skills required to live authentically in the actual world.

We Americans are being entertained to death. Having lost our visceral connection to nature, we can no longer differentiate between the real and the artificial. We think that we can believe whatever we want, regardless of the facts, and that ignorance will somehow protect us from the consequences of false consciousness. We ignore the exponential effect of witlessness at our own peril.

Behaving as if the laws of physics do not apply to the actual world does not bode well for our long term survival. We choose to live with our heads up our asses rejecting reality because it is too complex for us to comprehend. Being informed makes us too uncomfortable. Knowledge and understanding are too burdensome. Possessing them would require us to live better and simpler lives, and that requires too much effort.  We do not crave a life of meaning and purpose but a life of ease stretched out on the sofa drinking beer, eating cheese and watching TV.

Thus we choose entertainment to blunt our senses and to suppress true consciousness from awakening. Our lives are predicated upon speed and laced with anxiety. Life is a blur mimicking the speed of electrons around a nucleus. The computer microchip and the motherboard is a microcosm of our cities and our harried lives of not so quiet desperation.

Life passes with little awareness. Everyone is in a hurry but no one is going anywhere. We are speeding up when we should be slowing down to notice the world around and within us. We vainly attempt to fill our empty lives with toys and electronic contraptions in an attempt to find a semblance of meaning in our hollowed-out existence.

The technological age has created a race of human beings that are no longer equipped to live in nature. Thus we destroy the very biosphere that is the source of all life. We exist as if there are no consequences to what we do. Cause and effect may not apply in the virtual worlds we create for ourselves, but it is a governing principle in nature. Technology is no substitute for carrying capacity.

Unable or unwilling to comprehend the implication of events such as the false flag operations of 9-11 or the problematic issue of global climate change, we retreat deeper into fantasy. Electronic technology is the opiate of the masses. Taken to excess, technology is a form of escapism no less destructive than the hallucinatory world created by heavy-duty recreational drugs or by hardcore pornography. Fantasy does not provide us the means of living an authentic life in the midst of nature. Moreover, it has not produced a worthwhile culture of close-knit communities based upon common need with high regard for the public welfare and planetary health.

We cannot confront the injustice of social and economic disparity, militarism, colonialism, gluttonous consumption, or the mass extinction of flora and fauna, until we acknowledge their existence. This requires that we live in the actual world with its stupendous biodiversity and complexity. It requires us to open our eyes and our minds to the possibilities of the actual world. We must strive to raise our own true consciousness and that of the people around us. This requires real contact between real people, and it entails initiating meaningful dialog. We must learn to be fully present in our own lives.

Charles Sullivan is a Master Naturalist, community activist, and free-lance writer residing in the Ridge and Valley Province of geopolitical West Virginia. . Read other articles by Charles.

77 comments on this article so far ...

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  1. Don Hawkins said on November 22nd, 2010 at 7:44am #

    Am going to start gowning soy beans in South Georgia with the help of my Son or more like I will help him anybody like to join in. Can’t drive a tractor a pro in one day.

  2. Don Hawkins said on November 22nd, 2010 at 7:51am #

    Sorry not gowning but growing although gowning is an interesting word. That’s growing, planting, watering, heck talk to them if you like.

    A distinctive outer robe worn on ceremonial occasions, as by scholars or clerics.

  3. Don Hawkins said on November 22nd, 2010 at 8:13am #

    The farm socialism as best we can and in the off season give the so called great ones a hard time. Although a much better idea the great ones put them all on a starship and send them at least out of the solar system. Good luck we do know how it work’s bye bye.

  4. Deadbeat said on November 22nd, 2010 at 8:53am #

    Charles Sullivan writes …

    Cell phones, IPods, Blackberries, Androids, high definition television, and computer games are little more than expensive toys that distract us from living authentic lives. Like pornography, electronic devices isolate people and prevent them from forming meaningful social networks that might promote revolutionary ideas.

    There are some aspects of the article that I agree with and parts that I don’t. I disagree with the generalization and his critique on technology “per se”. I agree with the fact that the technology has been developed under the purview of Capitalism. Thus technology bears that flaw but to generalize like Mr. Sullivan results in empty rhetoric. For example did the “naturalist” Mr. Sullivan write his commentary on unbleached hemp paper and snail mailed to DV.

    If he wrote his commentary on a computer using word processing software and submitted to the DV editors via internet email to share his ideas then he is effectively engaging in a form of hypocrisy.

    Another problem with the “consumption” argument of Mr. Sullivan is that on the basis of personal spending most personal consumption are for things that are much less technical. They are as follows …

    [1] Housing
    [2] Health Care
    [3] Child care
    [4] Transportation
    [5] Education
    [6] Divorce
    [7] Regressive taxes

    These “toys” that Mr. Sullivan rails about are about the only “affordable” leisure for most people after the aforementioned “living” expenses are accounted for. Thus Mr. Sullivan is focusing on the wrong culprit (technology) rather than on stagnant wages (exploitation), debt, and inequality.

  5. Maien said on November 22nd, 2010 at 12:12pm #

    I enjoyed the article. Dear Deadbeat… woe to any of us who are establishing a life closer to the reality of the natural world especially as we have been born and bred in a technological world and have only those tools …currently…. to function ..and create that new world. The irony!

  6. Hue Longer said on November 22nd, 2010 at 12:27pm #

    Dead Beat,
    don’t get hung up on hypocrisy…it has nothing to do with what was said

    tu quoque

  7. bozh said on November 22nd, 2010 at 12:50pm #

    maybe i can reconstruct my post that either didn’t go or wasn’t actually sent or whatever.
    we became highly uncivilized; possibly 10-15 k yrs ago. but just like cancer, diabetes, or cold it just didn’t happen.

    so, let’s hunt for causes of these events. the cause for us becoming at a point of time much dehumanized [it did not happen in one day or even a yr- - it may have
    taken centuries or even millennia; in any case, dehumanization had not been found in many american voelken] were clergy, ‘nobility’, shamans, wizards, sorcerers.
    they r alive and kicking today: clergy, ‘advisors’ psychiatrists, columnists, generals, pols, judges, cia-fbi agents, ‘teachers’, ‘experts’, ceos, large shareholders. tnx

  8. hayate said on November 22nd, 2010 at 12:53pm #

    Deadbeat

    I pretty much agree with what you wrote. I’d like to add a few things. What Sullivan is saying is the same old hysterical nay saying one hears after every technical development – the sky is falling, the sky is falling. Apparently he’s a victim of the isolation he talks about and has never tried to have an intelligent conversion in a sports bar or a hair salon. Real important conversations going on there. :D

    What he describes is a problem that has always been with society. People like talking fluff, it makes up probably 99% of their intercourse with other people. The devices he talks about as keeping people apart are not doing that, they’re doing the opposite. People are talking to each other more because of them simply because the technology allows them to. Now people and send messages/talk in situations where before they could not. hat the talk is mostly fluff is nothing new, the talk has always been mostly fluff.

    Perhaps Sullivan should get out more…. ;D

  9. hayate said on November 22nd, 2010 at 1:04pm #

    Addenda:

    “Now people and send messages/talk in situations where before they could not. hat the talk is mostly fluff is nothing new, the talk has always been mostly fluff.”

    Should be:

    Now people can send messages/talk in situations where before they could not. That the talk is mostly fluff is nothing new, the talk has always been mostly fluff.

    And I’ll add:

    The volume of communication has increased, so, so has the volume of fluff. Has the percentage of fluff as opposed more meaningful dialog increased? I don’t know. I don’t think anybody does. What I do know, though, is that in my own personal situation, the percentage of fluff has been greatly reduced. I can communicate with people all around the world and have meaningful discussions with them where previously, this was not really practical.

    Most people thrive on fluff and hate “serious” subjects, unless they have a strong interest in the subject. Try and get get them into a conversation about something serious and they usually try to end the conversation asap. If you want to get people interested, you have to pique their interests. Having more ways of communicating offers more chances to find ways to pique those interests.

    So instead of looking at communication technology as if it’s the end of the world, look at it as opening up new possibilities.

  10. Deadbeat said on November 22nd, 2010 at 1:21pm #

    Thanks hayate for adding your thoughtful and insightful comments. This railing against technology by so called “environmentalist” is tiresome and misses out on where the real consumption burden of most workers. The technology has actually helped to increase communication and bypass not only the “mainstream” filters by the so-called “alternative” filters, where the most prominent have turned out be primarily gatekeepers for Zionism.

  11. Deadbeat said on November 22nd, 2010 at 1:42pm #

    Tu Quoque (“You too”) fallacy

    From Nizkor …

    The fact that a person makes inconsistent claims does not make any particular claim he makes false (although of any pair of inconsistent claims only one can be true – but both can be false). Also, the fact that a person’s claims are not consistent with his actions might indicate that the person is a hypocrite but this does not prove his claims are false.
    Examples of Ad Hominem Tu Quoque

    Charles Sullivan wrote the following …

    Cell phones, IPods, Blackberries, Androids, high definition television, and computer games are little more than expensive toys that distract us from living authentic lives. Like pornography, electronic devices isolate people and prevent them from forming meaningful social networks that might promote revolutionary ideas.

    According to Mr. Sullivan then using an these technologies is like “pornography” that these devices “isolate people”, etc. Therefore based on Hue Longer’s comment he supports the truth of Mr. Sullivan depiction by implying my critique was an ad hominem attack rather than pointing out Mr. Sullivan’s obvious fallacies and as I said a “form of hypocrisy” since the fallacy of his comment is illustrated by his use of the technology to share (which contradicts isolation) his own ideas.

    In addition Mr. Sullivan misses that the entertainment value of devices are largely due to their relative affordability and utility especially in light of the fact that the majority of working class consumption is due to NON-TECHNICAL LIVING EXPENSES. Such analysis obviously escapes Mr. Longer that I’ll gladly list them out for him assuming he missed it the first time …

    [1] Housing
    [2] Health Care
    [3] Child care
    [4] Transportation
    [5] Education
    [6] Divorce
    [7] Regressive taxes

    What “isolate” people is not technology but the USERS of technology.

  12. kalidas said on November 22nd, 2010 at 1:59pm #

    Good and bad is in most everything.
    Depending on usage, etc.

    The big drawback to excess technology is it creates many artificial needs.

    People can become very anxious, extremely disturbed at simply the thought of losing support for even superficial needs and habits.

    I believe the majority in this technologically controlled society would be hard pressed to spend a week or two alone without manifesting debilitating mental and physical symptoms.

    Everyone should know the difference between loneliness and solitude.

  13. joed said on November 22nd, 2010 at 2:12pm #

    Thank you Mr. Sullivan for the fine, much needed article.
    It is odd that people, even those people that say they are aware, refuse to admit there may be such a problem as you describe. Seems most people will interrupt a face-to-face conversation when the cell rings. social skill being lost–you bet, and it ain’t just kids either.
    But why is there such resistance(that is not a play on words) on this site?
    How is it that peolple that claim to be Dissidents seem to have no concern about the problems described in this article.
    Perhaps it is like advertising: it doesn’t affect me, it only affects other people.
    Again, thanks for the fine article.

  14. joed said on November 22nd, 2010 at 2:24pm #

    Here is an excellent article on how the “system” co-opts anything it wants.
    social skills being lost–yes!. History being lost–you bet! Can we dissidents ever get it back–probably not. About the best we can do is whine and cry here at DV.
    http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article26825.htm
    The Origin of America’s Intellectual Vacuum

  15. Don Hawkins said on November 22nd, 2010 at 2:39pm #

    “The extrapolated trend indicates that 50% of the population can be expected to become electro-sensitive by the year 2017.” –neuroscientist Dr. Olle Johannson

    Whine and cry I beg your pardon it maybe about to begin.

  16. kanomi said on November 22nd, 2010 at 3:01pm #

    Chris Hedges wrote a similar, if more magniloquent, article on Truthdig about a month ago, called Retribution for a World Lost in Screens, worth reading too, certainly in the context of this discussion.

    I think what both Hedges and Sullivan are talking about is less about the wasting of time and money on useless gadgets, so much as the wasting of the soul in an electronic dream that blinds us to a manipulated reality and imminent catastrophe. Hedges:

    “It is a world where commercial products and electronic images serve as a pseudo-therapy that caters to feelings of alienation, inadequacy and powerlessness. We may be locked in dead-end jobs, have no meaningful relationships and be confused about our identities, but we can blast our way to power holding a little control panel while looking for hours at a screen.”

    How many people do you know in your personal life who, while completely ignorant about politics and professing not to care about religion, philosophy, or art; who do nothing for and take no active part in their own community, in spite of being reasonably intelligent, educated members of society with professional jobs; yet these same people will absolutely worship and fetishize little bits of technology? Maybe you don’t know any, but I’ve met dozens who rhapsodize about Steve Jobs but couldn’t find Afghanistan on a map or tell us why we’re there if you promised them the latest 4G iPhone with a free data plan.

    Or to put it another way: A few thousand people protested the war last week. At the same time, the violently pro-war videogame Call of Duty: Black Ops, with its sanitized depiction of corporate imperialism as patriotic entertainment, naturally scrubbed of any civilian casualties or wounded, damaged, and scarred soldiers, sold more than 5 million copies in the first 24 hours of its release.

    And you are going to sit there and tell me that these writers are wrong – that the vampiric phantom of the Matrix isn’t sucking the life energy right out of the culture – that it isn’t degrading the masses in the West to shackle-kissing blobs of depravity on the very eve of their destruction?

  17. Hue Longer said on November 22nd, 2010 at 4:14pm #

    DB,

    You’ve had trouble with this one– though I’ve done my best to explain it in the past. I was simply telling you that Mr. Sullivan’s hypocrisy has nothing to do with the truth or untruth of what he is saying. That type of ad hominem is very common and prevents us from getting far. I find the rest of what you are saying mostly compelling. Stand corrected, learn and move on

  18. Deadbeat said on November 22nd, 2010 at 7:35pm #

    Hue Longer writes …

    DB, You’ve had trouble with this one– though I’ve done my best to explain it in the past. I was simply telling you that Mr. Sullivan’s hypocrisy has nothing to do with the truth or untruth of what he is saying. That type of ad hominem is very common and prevents us from getting far. I find the rest of what you are saying mostly compelling. Stand corrected, learn and move on

    Sorry Hue you’ve explained nothing in the past or present. And if there is anyone having trouble it seems to be you Hue. You’ve used this as your line of deflection. In fact Hue you’ve just shown that Mr. Sullivan comments were both hypocritical and fallacious. Because you’ve have just stated both in your rejoinder.

    As stated the struggle facing most working people is NON-TECHNOLOGICAL. That is exactly the opposite from what Mr. Sullivan is saying. Do you have anything else to add to the topic or do you want a lengthy dissertation on arguments and fallacies.

  19. Hue Longer said on November 22nd, 2010 at 11:51pm #

    lol, DB

    Are you warning everyone that you’re going to cut and paste more things you don’t understand? Fine, stick with,—– “the struggle facing most working people is NON-TECHNOLOGICAL. That is exactly the opposite from what Mr. Sullivan is saying”.—- Me pointing out your ad hominem doesn’t change the validity of that. You need to break away from needing to be right and absorb what’s being said to you.

    Because I don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater, I can see your point but don’t think these things are mutually exclusive. It’s nice that no matter how much one may not understand what’s written in front of them, the technology of finding it is there. But to the Author’s point, I do think there is a connection with tech contributing to social uncouths being unable to have a confrontation free of anxiety.

  20. Deadbeat said on November 23rd, 2010 at 1:10am #

    Hue Longer writes …

    Are you warning everyone that you’re going to cut and paste more things you don’t understand? Fine, stick with,—– “the struggle facing most working people is NON-TECHNOLOGICAL. That is exactly the opposite from what Mr. Sullivan is saying”.

    And with no details of what you ASSUME I don’t understand which in and of itself is an ad hominem attack. Please provide specifics Hue? Are you suggesting the list of burdens I enumerated facing the working class is incorrect?

    —- Me pointing out your ad hominem doesn’t change the validity of that. You need to break away from needing to be right and absorb what’s being said to you.

    And right back at you Hue for me pointing out your ad hominum herein. You’ve been on this one-track now for months and you need to get over it.

  21. Deadbeat said on November 23rd, 2010 at 1:51am #

    LOL … Finally found Hue Longer’s duplicity…

    Here is Hue Longer labeling me a “Zionist’ and he even went so far as to deny it…


    Hue Longer said on June 3rd, 2010 at 1:33pm #

    You are a Zionist posing as an angry, functionally illiterate anti-Zionist Zealot? Whose dual job it is to distract discussion away from every topic posted at DV-ironically abusing and misusing words like irony and ad hominem while making any new person wandering by feel like remaining lonely in their opposition to Zionism?

    I’d love for the discussion to be about the topic. Maybe the editors can post one of your CAPS laden rants as it’s own piece so we’ll know where to get your take on everything else that is submitted—it’ll also save you from lashing out every time you get corrected.

    Report this comment

    It is clear Hue that it is you with the agenda and you have a real affinity for my writings.

    Now going back to the basis of the Sullivan discussion, my critique was nuanced regarding Mr. Sullivan generalization of technology. As I pointed out I agreed with Mr. Sullivan observation of Capitalism and technology. But as a cause of social ills — inequality is the more likely culprit. It is obvious that Mr. Sullivan’s background provides context for his fallacious generalizations and Mr. Sullivan provided no evidence to support his contentions that the technology he criticized led to those social ills he outlines. Cuts to education and has more to do with the decline of communication skills.

    If anyone want to verify the list of non-technical burdens facing working people then I’d suggest reading and listening to any of Elizabeth Warren’s excellent analysis of these issues.

  22. Max Shields said on November 23rd, 2010 at 10:41am #

    Fine article by Mr. Sullivan.

  23. hayate said on November 23rd, 2010 at 12:54pm #

    Deadbeat said on November 22nd, 2010 at 1:21pm

    Cheers and thanks and the same to you. :)

    joed said on November 22nd, 2010 at 2:12pm

    “But why is there such resistance(that is not a play on words) on this site?
    How is it that peolple that claim to be Dissidents seem to have no concern about the problems described in this article.
    Perhaps it is like advertising: it doesn’t affect me, it only affects other people.”

    That is patently untrue. The point of having comments after these articles is so people can discuss them, not just mindlessly agree or disagree with the author. Attacking other commenters that way because they don’t agree with the author, and provide valid analysis and reasons why as to why they disagree, is childish and counterproductive.

    The Sullivan piece follows the standard “fire and brimstone” formula of american preachers, preaching against changes in their times. They blame society’s shallowness, or their perception/impression of it upon outside things. With each technical advance, these preachers get out and rehone their speeches and begin raving that “if only people would stop using x, we’d communicate better” – current version. The older versions were rants about the tech pushing people away from religion (usually Christian, but rabbis had their fun, too). Before it was electronics gadgets, it was things like novels “these people should be reading scripture and attending church/temple more”. Read or listen to a Christian preacher fire and brimstone rants and you will recognise the formula Sullivan is using here.

    One can not change human nature by regulating what devices they get to play with. That’s just control freakism. The american “left” has unfortunately used this method all too frequent and it repels people fromtheir views. Rightwingers, when put to them cleverly, are much more prone to accept controls than people who lean left. So it doesn’t work on the left.

    All that is over and above the falseness of Sullivan’s premise that devices are ruining communication among people.

    I would agree with him about television and certain radio genera, they do detract from people to people communication in a very negative manner. But lumping other things like cell phones and computers with those is a false association. TV and radio are one way devices. There is no two way communication involved, the person RECEIVES, does not contribute. Things like computers and cell phones are multiway devices that allow everyone using them to actively get involved in communicating.

  24. Hue Longer said on November 23rd, 2010 at 1:00pm #

    Deadbeat said on November 23rd, 2010 at 1:10am #
    Hue Longer writes …
    Are you warning everyone that you’re going to cut and paste more things you don’t understand? Fine, stick with,—– “the struggle facing most working people is NON-TECHNOLOGICAL. That is exactly the opposite from what Mr. Sullivan is saying”.
    And with no details of what you ASSUME I don’t understand which in and of itself is an ad hominem attack. Please provide specifics Hue? Are you suggesting the list of burdens I enumerated facing the working class is incorrect?

    1)You cut and pasted a definition of tu quoque
    2)that’s not ad hominem
    3)no

  25. Max Shields said on November 23rd, 2010 at 2:13pm #

    Good luck Hue.

  26. bozh said on November 23rd, 2010 at 2:40pm #

    sullivan’s “our collective inertia carrying us to the edge of the abyss”,”people receding into catatonic fantacy”, “people forgetting how to communicate with one another”, need clarifictions.
    the first quoted sentence seems to rest on an implication that we all are equally responsible for going to the edge of abyss.
    even if he’s referring to just americans, the conclusion, in addition to not being factual, is also not valid one.

    the second quoted statement is a also a mere conclusion. it holds an assumption that no one cares about our condition.
    in addition, most americans enjoy sport, tv, beer, discuss politics, proffer theories, etc. perhaps even enjoy killings of pal’ns, iraqis, et al.
    and all msm columnists i know of, vigorously defend u.s right to attack other lands; provided they’d last a weak, didn’t cost money, etc.

    the third conclusion states that people forgot how to communicate with another.
    however, this conclusion appears based on another conclusion: that people have not forgotten how to communicate with one another millennia ago or as soon as we got selves into a servant class and master class.

    i do not conclude that master class ever talked-chatted with plebes. i also conclude that people, rich or poor, educated or not educated in all societies always knew how to talk [or behave] properly to each other whenever they found selves in an interdependent association.
    people today also know how to talk with people. however, it seems to me that we at a point of time were quite dehumanized, imprisoned in cities, abused by master class; thus always angry, critical, hateful, envious, lying, cheating, stealing, etc.
    how can anyone behave properly in such a world with each one us nutty in different ways or degree.
    he also speaks of technology as existing apart from laws, education, religion, knowledge, governance, warfare, greed, our unsanity, etc. tnx

  27. Max Shields said on November 23rd, 2010 at 3:03pm #

    A point Sullivan tried to make was that our communications via cell phone and IPod’s and the like have detached us from the reality in front of us, the reality that is most enriching because it challenges the senses; and can be acted on.

    Ticking off the alphabet in pseudo-English non-stop as if the world around you is just a blurry nothing…is a symptom of disconnect that leads to inaction in the world. It separates the problem as if cause and effect were no longer relevant. It is fair to describe it as a pressing problem; certainly if one wants to consider the collapse of so much that makes that little IPod possible to begin with. (Follow the full cost in energy, environment degradation, and the complete supply chain from mining the ore through shipping cycles, manufacturing, marketing, packaging, etc. to get a glimpse of what is required to bring that little IPod bugger to market and in the hands of those who are mesmerized by it. Add to that the colonization of troops, intervention, even war that is part of the complex that sustains and while draining tillions from the domestic economy.)

    This is not a trivial matter, and Sullivan does well to make his point here.

  28. bozh said on November 23rd, 2010 at 3:07pm #

    i am now going from my own lack of social skills: extreme—not shyness– but shame from age, 10 and some of it still with me at age of 80], i am very leery of own generalized conclusions or any other type as well as well that pertain to people’s behavior.

    how well one behaves or talks to people depends mostly on one’s brain structure but also on learning from others.
    knowing how to use language properly is also of much help. i am talking about implicatory and predictive part of it and not necessarily proper grammar, pronounciation, syntax, or even verbal brilliance.

    so many pieces i’v read teem with conclusions; alas, most based on other tacit or explicit conclusions.
    a writer shld warn a reader that when he concludes that that’s what he’s doing and posit the fact on which such a conclusion is based.
    i recall sending such letters to eds; none ever appeared. tnx

  29. bozh said on November 23rd, 2010 at 3:36pm #

    i wld expect that numerous people wld have said much clearer what i said in the above two posts.
    this is–the human behavior- of such astounding importance and it needs many minds to bring us an elucidation about it.
    i suggest that it wld be best if anthropologists, sociologists, linguists, humanists,, scientists gave us their views about why we behave they way we do and what can be done to render us more human.

    sorry, no rabbi, imam, pol, columnist, ‘noble’, prince, agha, amir, king, priest, general, cia-fbi agent, editor, judge, lawyer need apply for that kind of service to the planet and its biota. tnx

  30. Don Hawkins said on November 23rd, 2010 at 3:38pm #

    It is a bit of a problem and with us many moons but this time no more second chances. Anyway I have this new program and for only $19.99 it can be yours work at home and only 7 hours a week and make $1,000 to $7,000 a month. I also have moon rock’s for sale; tell your fortune?

  31. Deadbeat said on November 23rd, 2010 at 9:17pm #

    Max Shields writes…

    A point Sullivan tried to make was that our communications via cell phone and IPod’s and the like have detached us from the reality in front of us, the reality that is most enriching because it challenges the senses; and can be acted on.

    Please offer concrete evidence that cell phones and IPods CAUSED the conclusion that Mr. Sullivan and you are deriving. Mr. Sullivan has not presented ANY evidence to show any such cause and effect consequences. His arguments are mostly conjectures.

    What has “detached” people from “reality” is rising inequality (as painstakingly explained by Elizabeth Warren with data and evidence to back her arguments) that keeps people STUCK in their deteriorating socioeconomic conditions.

    Ticking off the alphabet in pseudo-English non-stop as if the world around you is just a blurry nothing…is a symptom of disconnect that leads to inaction in the world. It separates the problem as if cause and effect were no longer relevant.

    I’m glad you said that because that describes to a tee the arguments made by the author in this article. The author provides no evidence of cause and effect.

    It is fair to describe it as a pressing problem; certainly if one wants to consider the collapse of so much that makes that little IPod possible to begin with. (Follow the full cost in energy, environment degradation, and the complete supply chain from mining the ore through shipping cycles, manufacturing, marketing, packaging, etc. to get a glimpse of what is required to bring that little IPod bugger to market and in the hands of those who are mesmerized by it. Add to that the colonization of troops, intervention, even war that is part of the complex that sustains and while draining tillions from the domestic economy.)

    This can describes any commodity produced under the auspices of Capitalism. But I think hayate offered valuable insights that makes the iPod and these communication devices much more worthwhile because they are MULTI-WAY devices as opposed to radio and TV which is one way. This is why you have people like Joe Lieberman who is advocating shutting down the Internet.

  32. hayate said on November 23rd, 2010 at 11:20pm #

    Deadbeat

    “This is why you have people like Joe Lieberman who is advocating shutting down the Internet.”

    Exactly. Letting the plebes talk to each other without ziofascist/fascist filters between them is the antithesis of what the oligarchy wants. They had it pretty cozy before the internet exploded on the scene. Almost total control of what people see, hear and read with the naughty malcontents isolated into small ineffectual groups unable to communicate much data or organise very quickly or over a widespread area. Then along comes the world wide web and the plebes all of a sudden can communicate and organise like never before. And to make the embarrassment worse, the plebes are not using this tool the way the oligarchs intended when they introduced the internet to the “common folk” – to shop until they drop and get their families so far in debt their servitude would be guaranteed through their great, great grandkids.

    You can tell how unprepared the oligarchy was about the internet by the fact micro$oft was totally unprepared. :D

    This is what annoys me so much much about these anti-tech for anti-tech’s sake fire and brimstoners, they are playing into the wrong hands and they sucker many others to lose out as well. Whether any of it is duplicitous and intentional, or just narrow minded short sightedness, it doesn’t matter, since the disempowerment of the people, and further empowerment of the oligarchs, that results is still the same.

    BTW, the oligarchy faced a similar situation at the end of the 60’s when they started losing control and this brought about the drastic changes, which commonly are called reagonomics, when it was decided to go back to the robber barron days of serfdom and slavery, rather than try ruling over a well educated and relatively affluent, but “well behaved” populace. But then, that’s another conversation… ;D

  33. kalidas said on November 24th, 2010 at 9:05am #

    And here they are…

    * Patrick J. Leahy — Vermont
    * Herb Kohl — Wisconsin
    * Jeff Sessions — Alabama
    * Dianne Feinstein — California
    * Orrin G. Hatch — Utah
    * Russ Feingold — Wisconsin
    * Chuck Grassley — Iowa
    * Arlen Specter — Pennsylvania
    * Jon Kyl — Arizona
    * Chuck Schumer — New York
    * Lindsey Graham — South Carolina
    * Dick Durbin — Illinois
    * John Cornyn — Texas
    * Benjamin L. Cardin — Maryland
    * Tom Coburn — Oklahoma
    * Sheldon Whitehouse — Rhode Island
    * Amy Klobuchar — Minnesota
    * Al Franken — Minnesota
    * Chris Coons — Delaware

  34. Max Shields said on November 24th, 2010 at 10:53am #

    Deadbeat: “Please offer concrete evidence that cell phones and IPods CAUSED the conclusion that Mr. Sullivan and you are deriving.”

    Laws in most states forbidding driving while using a cell phone which has been causally linked to accidents – anyone driving behind someone using a cell phone while operating a vehicle can empirically attest to the dangers it creates by disconnecting the driver from the reality of the road. The stats are public information.

  35. bozh said on November 24th, 2010 at 12:06pm #

    also my “dehumanization of people” going on today or millennia ago in all supremacistic societies may be evaluated as a conclusion.
    however, i am or rather we are [there may be even today mns of us] positing also facts and only then drawing a conclusion.
    everybody who had read our posts by now knows actors-factors for serfdom, abuse of people, etc.

    and one can be abused by bns of people and in bns of ways; so, i can forego enumerating all instances of abuse– mental or physical.
    regarding proper or improper or right or wrong use of modern gadgets, i am not going to pass a judgment.

    but i do not evaluate use or abuse of ipods, iphones, and the like, as major contributor to bns of hurts we do to one another.
    the alienation from one another is now probably 10 yrs old. we need to consider miseducation that teaches us to be a dependency or independency, rating people like cattle, the–of-necessi ty–truth that one can only get rich by robbery, and it being not only legalized but also sanctified and guarded by army, host of spies.

    i suspect that at least some posters and sullivan do not have in mind these actors-factors.
    unless, such phenomena is not eliminated, and 99.999% of americans see no need to remove such causes for our and planet’s miseries, we can expect worsening for many ‘aliens’ and domestics and not only in u.s, but world wide.
    at this time i am excluding china from such expectations.
    chinese have seen the old chestnut: united in equality we stand very strong and no one can defeat us.

    it seems to me that most of the contributors on these sites just posit conclusions and then try to support the by myriad other conclusions or carefully chosen facts; generally of peripheral nature.

    and when one catches them doing that they go into a tantrum or silence.
    and all that done for the glory and sanctity of america and its ‘laws’. tnx

  36. Deadbeat said on November 24th, 2010 at 12:24pm #

    Max Shields writes …

    Laws in most states forbidding driving while using a cell phone which has been causally linked to accidents – anyone driving behind someone using a cell phone while operating a vehicle can empirically attest to the dangers it creates by disconnecting the driver from the reality of the road. The stats are public information.

    Actually Max that a “slick” point you are making about the “overuse” of cell phones where people have become distracted by being on the phone (communication) while driving. But that wasn’t the point Mr. Sullivan or you were making. The point that Mr. Sullivan is making is over the QUALITY of the communication and that people are “isolated”. So essentially while your point about being distracted is a good one it doesn’t follow the argument that the author is making.

    Also use your line of reasoning Max, prior to cell phones if a person got stranded on the highway they would have look for a pay phone. Today with a cell phone they can call for help and stay safe and secure in their vehicle

    However I think hayate makes the stronger point that in every epoch there has always been folks railing against the technology of that era. Like books (novels over the bible) and I’m sure the early telephone as well.

  37. bozh said on November 24th, 2010 at 12:31pm #

    max,
    all tools appear useful. that includes cell phones, blackberries, cars, computers, money, banks.
    cellphone in racing car is not a cell phone on a sidewalk. it is the car, the driver, cellphone, and elimination of public transit that contribute to accidents.

    in fact, cars kill-maim more people than any other tool. the key question to pose wld be, who makes all these tools without our knowledge or agreement?
    max appears a very strong supremacist and since supremacists control everything; and not just tool making and using, he feels obligated to fight for it.
    tnx

  38. hayate said on November 24th, 2010 at 12:41pm #

    Max Shields said on November 24th, 2010 at 10:53am #

    “Laws in most states forbidding driving while using a cell phone which has been causally linked to accidents – anyone driving behind someone using a cell phone while operating a vehicle can empirically attest to the dangers it creates by disconnecting the driver from the reality of the road. The stats are public information.”

    Where would poor rittle max be without its strawmen, eh.

    Using a cell phone while driving is a safety issue, not a lack of communication issue. This conversation is about communication issues, not safety while driving. BTW, the distracted drivers are distracted because they are communicating – communicating a bit too much… :D

    You know, your causes would be better served if you argued them honestly without resorting to cheesy debate tricks or the ad hominim. But then when talking to the uninitiated and unspecial, an honest zionist is a contradiction of terms… :D

  39. hayate said on November 24th, 2010 at 12:58pm #

    Deadbeat already beat me to it. I started writing up a response, but one of the devil’s communication devices distracted me away from finishing it and by the time I returned, finished what I was writing, around 45 minutes had passed. A telephone, is what interrupted, that is. It wasn’t one of the most demonic of these devices, the dreaded cell phone, but close. It’s cordless and has buttons instead of a dial. I tried to make the conversation deep and meaningful, but the subject of the conversation didn’t really permit it. I was terribly disappointed. It was all the phones fault that I failed to have a deep meaningful conversation with the other person. I’m sure the other person after hanging up thought that “if only we had talked face to face, we could have had a much more fulfilling intercourse”. I think from now on, when somebody calls, even if it’s work related, like the call above, I will have to explain to them that since most conversations over telephones are shallow, I have decided to eschew its use altogether and if someone needs to communicate with me, they will have to seek me out in person to talk. And none of that shallow stuff, either, I don’t care if it’s a work related meet. It must be a profound exchange, or I want no part of it.

    ;D

  40. bozh said on November 24th, 2010 at 1:11pm #

    to be strongly wishful, let’s ban wmd, tanks, politicians, most cars, invading, cia terror, unemployment, sports, supremacy, cults, all ‘jews’ from banks, hired guns-mouths for supremacists, 99.999/permille of books now available, etc.
    it wld be nice if we cld also ban ?all but 3 ‘jews’ from tv, hollywood, journalism, law making, etc.

    well, if all posters and contributors only offer us their wishes, why can’t i do the same?
    but i am doing smthing as well. i am now supporting a nonsupremacistic party.
    tnx

  41. Deadbeat said on November 24th, 2010 at 8:20pm #

    Thanks hayate.

    Max Sheilds and Hue Longer has been acting like a tag team for months.

  42. bozh said on November 24th, 2010 at 9:44pm #

    let’s avoid getting personal. it is best to posit own facts, conclusions, and solutions.
    cast the widest look possible. think of events as connected to each other and to every event one knows of.

    consider that everybody is right according to herhis knowledge. don’t callnames a person or what the person says.
    if u got smthing to say, say it! but no insults, no ridicule; just posit facts or what u think is factual; then draw conclusions from facts and offer at least one solution.

    on this site and others, one has all the space one needs to say what one knows. why waste time attacking a person– wrong or right– who’s not a bit of an actor/factor in tragedies that happen.

    if one wants to attack a person, attack and actor like lieberman, schumer, netanyahu, obama, palin, et al.
    still the best is to list the factors in for wars, exploitation, or whatever!
    the reason that i don’t call names these people or even think all that much about them is that it is of no use to do that.
    i don’t think they read posts. and there are at least 3mn americans who’d do even more crimes that the individuals i just mentioned.
    join communist or socialist party if u want changes for better. otherwise, it’s a waste of time just writing. tnx

  43. Max Shields said on November 25th, 2010 at 7:46am #

    Let’s see if communication on DV is possible…

    First, I was not stating that a form of communication does not occur with cell phones or IPods. I was following the theme laid down by Mr. Sullivan that with exceptions (particularly regarding cell phones) these can and have become consumer addictions that remove people so addicted from the surrounding world and take them “virtually” away from the reality before them (hence the driver illustration above). Texting while driving or at a meeting with family/friends enables the texter to escape the senses. Communications with those before you provides the full use of the senses; it is by far a richer, engrossing and authentic means of communication. For instance, body language can provide a critical deepth to communication is absent when using text message or cell phone communications (or DV blog).

    I don’t think, or have read from Deadbeat a refutation of these facts. He instead demanded causality (which is usually more a ploy than an honest “debate”). I tried to connect those dots in a way that would be clear using the handicap of posting here. Without the ability to confront directly, we are left with a very limiting form of communication (again, as is the case on DV).

    Again, I have not said that some limited communication doesn’t occur with IPods or cell phones, but rather they are powerful conduits for distracting when one becomes addicted to their use vs living in and of the surrounding world. These technologies are a form of consumerism, first by purchasing them and then by using them in an observably pathological way. One need only look around to see how many of the young but also some older folks are completely and utterly absorbed by these devices…as if the need was waiting to be met for millennia. To paraphrase Deadbeat’s repeated concerns, this is a CAPITALIST invention.

    However, a serious “discussion” would be interesting – i.e., what is at the base of consumption, what is meant by creative destruction (Joseph Schumpeter or Veblen’s Conspicuous Consumption) and why does it lead to more unnecessary stuff that is pathologically consumed? How have “we” become shaped as consumers? And what has this meant to our society, or interactions, our ability to confront and respond to that reality in effective ways? I think beneath it all that is what Mr. Sullivan is trying to get at.

  44. Don Hawkins said on November 25th, 2010 at 8:45am #

    Also use your line of reasoning Max, prior to cell phones if a person got stranded on the highway they would have look for a pay phone. Today with a cell phone they can call for help and stay safe and secure in their vehicle. DB

    Stranded on a highway how about stranded on a planet then who you going to call. A desolate ice free planet who you going to call but for now call call now. The whole damn thing is crazy.

  45. Max Shields said on November 25th, 2010 at 9:07am #

    The value of a cell phone against ecological and social damage is difficult to quantify. That someone is on a highway with no one ever passing by (including state police) is remote. Remember this cell technology has been in a relatively short period of time while millions of autos have been crossing the interstates for many decades before cheap cell phones were ever available. I see the use of a cell phone to call for help a convenience in most cases.

    My argument, by the way, is not that having a cell phone is “bad”, but that the kind of use they and other distracting applicances are put to, is the fundamental problem.

    And these consumer items (not needs) come at a significant environmental cost to boot.

    I think a discussion around to tandem relationship between creative destruction consumer demand would be fruitful. They are powerful underpinnings in a capitalist economy.

  46. bozh said on November 25th, 2010 at 9:55am #

    bearing arms or having cell phones r constitutionally approved. nobody is saying that neither cause death or injury. constitution has the final word on this! even nuking japan had been a constitutional ok or even a command– unless one pulls a prestidigitation: now u see the rabid, and now u don’t!
    oh, once one is addicted to supremacism, it is nigh impossible to surrender or bury it. tnx

  47. Hue Longer said on November 25th, 2010 at 9:58am #

    Imagine that we all stopped worrying about our own and others’ hypocrisy. Have any of you ever opined about the damage caused by fossil fuels only to have someone say, “but you drive a car! Think about it”?

    The “think about it” is an appeal to hypocrisy (tu quoque) which many people assume is a reasonable argument. This is a very big danger because of how many people are not only driven to inaction, but actually conform their beliefs to fit in with what they see as integrity.

    I communicate through the use of a cell phone and computer but reserve the right to be critical of them on any level. I just used a washing machine and a microwave this morning, but that doesn’t change the truth of the fact that finite resources are being squandered and polluting the atmosphere and planet (and yes, I understand on much greater scales than my “reasonable” use).

    Truth has nothing to do with the person speaking it and the sooner we understand that, the closer we can get recognizing it en masse

    Hayate brought up regular phones as if they were unquestioningly out of the realm on what the author laments, but I think there too it applies. information is one thing but a surrogate for interaction or toy for distraction seems like a valid argument. heheh, like a cocaine party where everyone is talking and no one is listening…..that happens in here!

  48. Max Shields said on November 25th, 2010 at 10:41am #

    For those who insist on rare cases of how a cell phone could save some one, I would offer 1) not having cell phones would/could curtail a dependence that would/could avoid such extreme issues of harm 2) while we do not have numbers, there have been enough accidents due to the distractive nature of cell phone usage that laws have been passed to reduce such incidents.

    For those who think this is a great “communication” tool, I would only add that paradoxically it may actually reduce the quality of communication.

    I would also add that like most commodities cell phones and IPods are commodity items consumers adapt to. They were not need fulfilling beyond a social context (having the latest vis a vis social positioning).
    In fact they represent the very premise of 20th/21st century capitalism.

    (Note: I’m not saying that technology is a capitalist creation, nor that it does not have an important role – it is the thorough commoditization that is of concern.)

  49. Deadbeat said on November 25th, 2010 at 11:39am #

    Max you are still shifting the focus of the discussion from the authors argument of the cause of social ills to a safety issue. However Max, automobile breakdowns are not “rare” occurrences and prior to cell phones you had to leave the safety of your vehicle to find a pay phone or walk long distances to the nearest service station. Today you can phone for help. This clearly enhances safety but even that example does not reflect the original argument being made by the author.

    The issue is about social ills. Even in your last post you offer no evidence and are only conjuring …

    For those who think this is a great “communication” tool, I would only add that paradoxically it may actually reduce the quality of communication.

    On what basis do you come to that conclusion? What was the criteria that you used to formulate that conclusion? Do you have evidence and data to support your argument? How is “quality” determined?

    Once again I direct you to Elizabeth Warren who has documented evidence and studies to back her conclusion about the causes of social ills. The list I presented above of the causes is derived from her work and are extremely non-technological.

    That is where the focus should placed and not on strawman arguments.

  50. Max Shields said on November 25th, 2010 at 12:02pm #

    Deadbeat you select what you want to argue from multiple posts I’ve made. Elizabeth Warren (minus link) is now your touchstone for “social ills”. Coming from someone who professes to be a Marxist.

    Pitiful!

  51. bozh said on November 25th, 2010 at 12:27pm #

    max smhow ‘forgets’ [means does he really?] that cellphone and car causes accidents. remove the car and cellphone causes what?
    it is just like a reactor emitting radiation. no reactors, no emission. and no gang rule, no reactors.
    we need them like hole in our heads. just like escalators, electric mowers, knives, golf carts, tanks, 10-50 pair of shoes, 5 – 10 rooms, vacations, flying, pets, most roads [if we had more public transit] plastic bags, yachts, private jets, summer houses, servants, maids, nannies, generals, cia agents, too much energy, most sites and newspapers, etcetc.
    and who may be fooled by picking solely on cellphones, blackberries? not me!

    i am using a computer. when thousands of letters i have sent to u.s editors never appear , i have decided to buy a computer in ’97. tnx

  52. hayate said on November 25th, 2010 at 1:05pm #

    Hue Longer said on November 25th, 2010 at 9:58am

    “Hayate brought up regular phones as if they were unquestioningly out of the realm on what the author laments, but I think there too it applies.”

    No, hue, you are twisting what I wrote to support your dribble. I wrote they are not quite as “demonic”, but implied Sullivan viewed a regular phone as evul, also. That was the whole point of that satirical post I wrote about the phone converstion.

    “heheh, like a cocaine party where everyone is talking and no one is listening…..that happens in here!”

    You ought to know. As I just showed, that describes exactly how you responded to my post.

  53. hayate said on November 25th, 2010 at 1:14pm #

    Actually, if I remember correctly, this Sullivan has previously ranted against regular telephone use on this site. I remember a couple of months ago a similar fire and brimstone piece by him where I wrote similar deconstructions of his disinformation about technology involving communications.

    I’m wondering if this guy is deliberately working to limit communication between people.

    Deadbeat

    “Max you are still shifting the focus of the discussion from the authors argument of the cause of social ills to a safety issue.”

    Exactly. Apparently he realised that getting everyone talking about safety issues, rather than the subject of the Sullivan piece, communication issues, would make for a good troll to derail the discussion away from communication issues, which Sullivan failed to prove his point on, and over to safety issues, which are totally irrelevant to the conversation.

  54. Hue Longer said on November 25th, 2010 at 1:56pm #

    hayate,

    I’m not twisting anything. Right, I understand you implied that–no need to panic and get confused, we’re talking about the same thing

  55. Max Shields said on November 25th, 2010 at 2:40pm #

    Just for the record: I never changed the subject. I provided an illustration.

    By the way, who is the puppet and who is the puppet master – deadbeat or hayate?

    Amazing how deadbeat accuses “hue” and max of tag teaming. I haven’t a clue what “hue” thinks” about these topics. I do know that he has tried to communicate with hayate/deadbeat and found them each impenetrable slugs.

  56. hayate said on November 25th, 2010 at 2:45pm #

    Max Shields said on November 25th, 2010 at 2:40pm #

    “Just for the record: I never changed the subject. I provided an illustration.

    By the way, who is the puppet and who is the puppet master – deadbeat or hayate?

    Amazing how deadbeat accuses “hue” and max of tag teaming. I haven’t a clue what “hue” thinks” about these topics. I do know that he has tried to communicate with hayate/deadbeat and found them each impenetrable slugs.”

    Again max shields resorts to ad hominim. As I wrote before in a post that was deleted, this poster either tries to derail discussions with off topic strawmen and by insulting the other participants. He does this in every conversation he posts on without exception.

  57. Deadbeat said on November 25th, 2010 at 2:45pm #

    Max Shields writes …

    Deadbeat you select what you want to argue from multiple posts I’ve made. Elizabeth Warren (minus link) is now your touchstone for “social ills”. Coming from someone who professes to be a Marxist. Pitiful!

    Max go back and READ the author’s arguments. Here one of them ..

    Globally, perhaps more than a billion people are disconnected from one another by their addiction to technologies that keep them subservient to corporate power.

    I find it hilarious and ironic that Hue Longer did not jump on this obvious ad hominem attack in ONE BILLION PEOPLE in the author’s article but spent an awful lot of keystrokes accusing me of such. The author, mind you is accusing “a billion people” of an “addiction” without providing a shred of EVIDENCE. This lack of evidence to support an argument appears to be acceptable to you Max as well as to Mr. Longer. I don’t find it acceptable to outright accuse people out of hand like this and such behavior borders on misanthropy.

    My key disagreement with Ms. Warren is her attempts to renew failed Keynesian solutions that will only “kick the can” of capitalism’s contradictions down the road. We’ve seen the results of 70 years of Keynesianism. But that is to be expected due to Mr. Warren’s adherence to Liberalism. But I don’t have ANY arguments with her RESEARCH and the evidence that she provides clearly shows that the primary social ill and burdens facing the working class are NON-TECHNOLOGICAL.

    Max, regarding “missing link” . All you have to do is Google her name. She has written several best selling books on the topic. You can do your own search of her book on Amazon or read any one of her articles that you can find for “free” on the Internet.

  58. Hue Longer said on November 25th, 2010 at 4:24pm #

    irony and ad hominem….they go great together when trying to correct someone for misusing them.

  59. bozh said on November 25th, 2010 at 4:38pm #

    laws or ‘laws’ [arbitrary diktats, lawlessness] keeps more than 5 bn people in servitude and not a single tool.
    max talks about adverse effects of a given tool: such as using a hammer to strike thumb or bend a nail. a tool like money [of very good utility] is abused more than any other.
    sullivan talks about how cellphones, blackberries renders us subservient to ruling class.
    but does not notice that slavery existed way before cellphones, etc. and not to mention hatred between citizens and ‘patricians’ who never ever exhibited any civility whatever towards plebes let alone slaves.
    how civil it is to listen to a pol standing on a podium while he looks dwn on us.
    why not sit in a circle? as equals?
    how civil is it to listen to chosen guests on CNN who block some questions?
    does CNN ever allow a working person to talk on larry king show?

    what one often gets on CNN, is a ‘liberal’ [tad left of hitler] and a conservative to talk or compete who is gonna say the least in tons of verbiage.

    how honest and polite is this? doesn’t it hurt those americans who r onto this?
    one cld go on and on citing examples of hurtful behavior by ‘experts’ towards some americans.
    at times, of four experts, three of them are ‘jews’.
    on criminal minds, half the cast is ‘jewish’. but not reading the minds of biggest criminals but but fake ones.
    and my wife watches the damn show. and screams if i tell her this!
    ‘jews’ read minds? ok, i read dogs’ minds! if u wanna believe it. and so what? tnx

  60. Max Shields said on November 25th, 2010 at 4:40pm #

    Deadbeat you are all over the place.

    Sullivan makes your case (or the one you seem to profess on DV over the many months that you’ve been posting here) about the manipulation of Capitalism. He makes a cogent argument. You pick at it at first, just a little. Then, perhaps coincidently, you see that Hue and then I think the article is pretty good….ahhhhhh…now you’ve got a “reason” to rant and add your side kick hayate (who kicks in whenever such a pseudo-argument ensues).

    I presented a cogent argument. I responded to your request for causality regarding cell phone and IPod technologies. I’m questioning the underlying premise of modern day Capitalism (as is Sullivan) and you want to argue about essentially NOTHING… It would seem to any objective observer, that you don’t give a rat’s ass about Sullivan, but WHO happens to agree with his article. That is my take and you’ll have to do some fancy footwork to prove otherwise.

    In the end, rather than a real discussion, we witness the very problem Sullivan is exploring – a tower of meaningless BABBALE!

  61. bozh said on November 25th, 2010 at 4:54pm #

    i have noted that just about every contributor and many posters tend to blame, what i deem and call, victims.
    such people don’t see or don’t want to see that miseducation, carried by advertisers, politicians, ‘experts’, ‘educators’, teachers, entertainers, columnists, clergy, constitution, does capture hearts and minds of children.
    and most remain captives for life time.
    and this does not happen in u.s only; this happens in all societies which r ruled by ‘patricians’. more cld be said. tnx

  62. Max Shields said on November 25th, 2010 at 5:47pm #

    bozh who is blaming victims? Please clarify.

  63. Deadbeat said on November 25th, 2010 at 5:54pm #

    Max Shields write …

    Sullivan makes your case (or the one you seem to profess on DV over the many months that you’ve been posting here) about the manipulation of Capitalism

    GO BACK AND READ my original commentary.

  64. Deadbeat said on November 25th, 2010 at 6:01pm #

    irony and ad hominem….they go great together when trying to correct someone for misusing them

    That is why you need to do a double take Hue because unfortunately you ERRED from the start. Sullivan’s background is extremely RELEVANT to his argument. Pointing that out is not an ad hominem.

  65. Max Shields said on November 25th, 2010 at 6:19pm #

    Deadbeat read my last post addressing your flip flopping.

  66. bozh said on November 25th, 2010 at 7:00pm #

    max,
    well, sullivan in his piece is blaming what i call victims. he’s saying how subservient we are to the corporate elite . why wld anyone be a willing servant to anybody’s unless one is much dependent for just living on another person.
    the HOW one became dependent constitutes victimization.

    ok, from now on i’l point blaming the victims to u as it appears. i just can’t remember who is blaming unfortunate people and how exactly.

    however, generally, many say how dumb voters are, how they don’t care, they want to be ignorant, etc.
    that to me is blaming. one most often hears how dumb americans are. but not the fact that they are no dumber than, say, germans, russians are.

    i do say that sullivan’s piece is one of the worst i have read regarding blaming lower class people.
    i tried to paste some of his numerous statements, but cldn’t do it. at times i can and times i can’t.
    i’ve already quoted three of his statements which i evaluated as blaming.

    i am now quoting his: we no longer know how to live in natural world; they are spiritually and psychologicly isolated from one another; our perceptions are either distorted or lost, + many others!

    the three statements above are structurally conclusions. when one posits them, one ought say that.
    being nonfactual, they are much less reliable than facts. they r also negative in character; i.e., blamatory.

    the statements do not include causative factors-actors for people’s evaluative skills.
    people are trusting; ‘educators’ degrade this stupendous panhuman quality to “people are gullible”. and posit this conclusion as fact. what is a child to do but accept as it as true. and even adults do that. tnx

  67. Max Shields said on November 25th, 2010 at 7:06pm #

    Second paragraph from Sullivan: “The American people are brainwashed by prolonged exposure to the corporate media, particularly television, which has a financial stake in keeping them propagandized and in a stupor. The religion of America is buying and selling.”

    Doesn’t sound like he’s “blaming” victims. He’s put it squarely on corporate media.

  68. Deadbeat said on November 25th, 2010 at 7:13pm #

    bozh writes …

    well, sullivan in his piece is blaming what i call victims. he’s saying how subservient we are to the corporate elite . why wld anyone be a willing servant to anybody’s unless one is much dependent for just living on another person. the HOW one became dependent constitutes victimization.

    I totally agree with bozh. It is also another way of looking at the burdens that I enumerated. Those burdens create the dependencies.

    I can’t believe that my comments became the subject of focus rather than the critique that bozh’s observes as blaming the victim. Sullivan indicts ONE BILLION citizens as being “addicted to technology”. Despite his acknowledgment of Capitalism he seems blind to the fact that the main burdens facing humanity are non-technical.

    Max, you are a man with a personal vendetta of one (Deadbeat) rather than someone who should be compassionate to the one BILLION that Mr. Sullivan indicts.

    Methinks Max that you are trying to prove Mr. Sullivan case by degrading the conversation herein.

  69. Deadbeat said on November 25th, 2010 at 7:15pm #

    Max Shields writes …

    Second paragraph from Sullivan: “The American people are brainwashed by prolonged exposure to the corporate media, particularly television, which has a financial stake in keeping them propagandized and in a stupor. The religion of America is buying and selling.”

    And HE ALSO WRITES …

    Globally, perhaps more than a billion people are disconnected from one another by their addiction to technologies that keep them subservient to corporate power.

    This is classic blaming the victim.

  70. Max Shields said on November 25th, 2010 at 7:18pm #

    Deadbeat I suspect you read into Sullivan something that is quite contrary from his words as I quoted above from paragraph 2.

    This is a problem I’ve had all these months with your responses to what I post and it is clearly evident here. It seems the use of the word victim is meant to create a perverse acceptance of what is at hand: the symbiotic relationship between capitalism production and consumerism. Sullivan is clear in stating that much of this is driven by corporate media. The fact that many are receptive to this message is something worth pondering rather than simply dismissing.

  71. Max Shields said on November 25th, 2010 at 7:24pm #

    What Deadbeat is wrong with saying that people are addicted to what corporations pump out into the economy through massive advertising?

    Where in there is a condemnation of “victims”?

    Again you read into what Sullivan is saying something that is clearly not there. My speculation is you are arguing for arguing’s sake with no real disagreement with Sullivan but just a itch to disagree with Max or Hue. (I could be wrong…but you persist with an illogical argument.)

  72. bozh said on November 25th, 2010 at 7:33pm #

    let’s put it this way: if a chinese wld be told, u can have free speech; including critical speech of chinese governance or have equal share in the pie and the right to work, what wld a chinese opt for?

    and if u tell an american that if s/he persist in speaking freely about goodness of egalitarianism on a construction site or in a plant, that s/he’d be fired, what wld s/he do? especially knowing that s/he may never ever work anywhere in her/his line of work!
    of course, in u.s u won’t be told that; it’l be done to u!

    in the first case, china is abusing a human right. and the second case, one may die of hunger or from lack of health care but has the freedom to freely speak only in certain areas.
    so, what is worse, speaking freely but living in poverty; being hated, etc., or even dying prematurely or keeping one’s mouth shut and getting food, work, education, healthcare, and not being hated?
    the choice in u.s is much starker than in china! tnx

  73. Max Shields said on November 25th, 2010 at 7:46pm #

    bozh “let’s put it this way: if a chinese wld be told, u can have free speech; including critical speech of chinese governance or have equal share in the pie and the right to work, what wld a chinese opt for?”

    And what does this and the rest of your post have to do with Sullivan’s article? I might add that Sullivan refers to a billion people (there are not a billion Americans)…in any case your analogy is mystifying.

    Deadbeat, just one last curiosity about your concern regarding Sullivan’s piece. I believe it was you (and your compadre hayate) who ranted on and on about indoctrination…that Americans have been (to use your exact language) INDOCTRINATED. But when Sullivan alludes to the same indoctrination you say he’s blaming the “victim”. Me thinks you are far too quick to judge who is and who is not a victim – I recall noting, during that engagement, that the Afghan children bombed by US drones are REAL victims – and I received no concurence from you.

    I don’t think you really care one iota about what the US government is doing with its military…rather you are more interested to know that our children here are lulled by mind-numbing intensive environmentally produced techo toys to text on and talk endlessly (of course they may use these if they get lost somewhere and need help lol!) To say they are being brainwashed (as Sullivan does) is to in your words, and apparently bozh’s, blame the victim. Absolute illogic.

  74. bozh said on November 25th, 2010 at 7:50pm #

    “The American people are brainwashed by prolonged exposure to the corporate media, particularly television, which has a financial stake in keeping them propagandized and in a stupor. The religion of America is buying and selling.”

    implies that it is solely corporate media and tv which brainwashes them. but i assert, so does clergy, ‘experts’, pols, all supremacists, generals, all schooling, most books, constitution.
    common max, get serious! do u trust every house or car salesperson? and every pol? or is it like i do: none of the above, + many others. tnx

  75. bozh said on November 25th, 2010 at 8:01pm #

    max, the post u spotted has to do with kinds or degrees of victimization of people. u may be right that it may have anything to do with sullivan’s piece. i was cognizant of the possibility that it has no connection with sullivan’s piece. but, others may see it differently! it was just a thought which cropt in my head.
    thanks for ur observation!
    caveat about “victimization”! perhaps, exploitation, oppression, deception may be better.

  76. Hue Longer said on November 25th, 2010 at 8:05pm #

    DB said,
    “That is why you need to do a double take Hue because unfortunately you ERRED from the start. Sullivan’s background is extremely RELEVANT to his argument. Pointing that out is not an ad hominem”.

    THIS IS…
    “If he wrote his commentary on a computer using word processing software and submitted to the DV editors via internet email to share his ideas then he is effectively engaging in a form of hypocrisy”.

    It’s why I got involved with the conversation. You are appealing to hypocrisy. It’s a hard for you to stomach I know but it’s a simple lesson– All one needs to do is imagine someone else saying it to them (funny that, considering a person removed from this hammer would unlikely be able to reach you) and you’ll see the error you are committing.

    My pointing this out IS relevant to what’s being discussed because you attempted to nullify his article by doing this. It’s very effective but it’s committed by ignorant abusers as well as sophists…and I CERTAINLY don’t confuse you with the latter. It’s hard, I know! C’mon DB, you’re right there, Mate (don’t cut and paste again… take the lesson to heart and listen to my words…they have nothing to do with me)

    (how do you italicize the words of others? I asked you once and you wouldn’t tell me…Do you not agree that this could help the community?)

  77. bozh said on November 25th, 2010 at 8:20pm #

    “addicted to technology”, to me, is not an adequate nor accurate label.
    some or most people are lonely, scared of people. one sees such people walking and talking to a friend, boy friend, husband, son and presumably feels better.
    if this is so or there about, why not welcome it?
    why call it and addiction? for using a cell phone for, say, 10-30 minutes a day, while walking or sitting and sipping coffee?

    and most people, in my experience, do not care about canadian crimes against afghanis. ok, i take the word “care” back! whatever they feel-know about palestina or afgh’n is not solely up to me to find out, anyway! tnx