It’s a quiet Saturday night, and I feel like writing. I don’t feel like working on The Book, that constant threat we writers impose on those who think our behavior has to be explained somehow. I just feel like writing, spitting my thoughts at the Universe.
No mask required.
I’m approaching 2,700 Saturday nights on this body, and Saturday nights are generally hard on bodies if you’re doing it right, when you’re in the arena of 1,500 to 2,000 Saturday nights.
There’s a lot I have been writing about online lately, and it’s because I’m trying to chart the rest of my own life in some meaningful way as the world is shifting gears once again. As someone who has spent way too much time working with technology, who remembers a world before the Internet and even before the ubiqity of the personal computer, what’s being hyped this time seems rather small.
The core problem I see is the issue of unease it will give on a scale we have yet to ponder, which is something I’m trying to help catch people up on. The trouble, I suppose, is that people don’t think that it’s important in their lives. People live different lives than I.
Right now there are people out with friends, spending time with their families, doing very social things. There are also my fellow introverts out there reading books, researching whatever interests us, or watching movies. There’s this bell curve of normalcy that I’ve been dangerously close to the median of here and there, but I’m more comfortable on the outskirts, looking in.
I don’t like people, but I like people. You get more than 3 people together on something and things get really wonky, and I dislike that. Crowds generally don’t make smart moves, as democracy has demonstrated on more than one occasion. It’s still better than the other stuff humanity has tried before. By themselves, people are pretty good.
Society as a whole is designed for mediocrity, that center of the curve.
The area under the graph that is +/- that one standard deviation is greater than that under all the other standard deviations. This is a mathematical way of saying ‘more people fit in this group than the others’.
Yet there is need for we other standard deviants. Progress comes from the people who aren’t mediocre, which is not to say that if you’re not near the median you’re responsible for progress. A few of us might push the envelope a little further, maybe steer the median one way or the other, but it’s not necessarily progress. We can just hope it’s not a cul-de-sac.
What’s funny about that is that influencers in the social media context these days are people who appeal to the median to make a buck. They’re not really influencing anything, but someone came up with this name so that it perpetuates the median. I’ve seen some of the influencers, mainly out of curiosity, and they don’t really do anything but provide red dots of the equivalent of circus and bread.
They only influence within the median, because to go outside of it would be to lose the influence they believe they have – which is really only market share. They are influenced more by the median than they influence the median.
And that’s really what Saturday nights were when I look back on them. Circus and bread after a week of whatever work there was, an outlet of sorts that keeps people distracted from the idiocy of our world.
No one has considered removing the idiocy.