|Hopkins Street in Berkeley, where I stopped for a pizza slice.|
I just wanted to note this very nice NPR/Fresh Air interview with Sherry Turkle that I listened to when I was in Bay Bridge hell the other evening. Although I didn't get to listen to the whole thing, I still plan to. Here's the link. Sherry's a clinical psychologist who runs a program on technology and the self at MIT. Her book, Alone Together, just came out in paper. The gist of the conversation is how technology is changing the way we construct ourselves and what it might be doing to interpersonal connection.
And then, just by chance, I happened to stumble across this interview with artist Craig Olson. This quote dovetails nicely with the Turkle discussion:
Contemporary conversation, as an open public dialogue, seems most concerned with the exoteric, or “outer” knowledge, public knowledge. It’s all but banished Eros and beauty. In fact, one of its overriding themes has been a belief in transparency, which is about information. It’s about the ability of the receiver to have full access to the information she wants, not just the information the sender is willing to provide. Transparency, in this public context, has come to mean “honesty and openness,” because to be transparent someone must be willing to share information when it’s uncomfortable to do so, whether in the news media, our social lives, or our social-media lives. We, apparently, want to know everything about everyone all the time. This inevitably leads to issues of surveillance, authority, conformity, etc.
As I chronicled in my last post, I was running around quite a bit. I had hoped to get up this morning and go to Yoga Sita in San Francisco, to take a class with my teacher Susannah. However, I had such an anxiety and depression ridden night's sleep, I thought I needed to curl up with Cooder and have down time. I still feel the trace elements of those chemicals of fear and despondency, but the sun is shining, so I will soldier on.
I suppose the big accomplishment of yesterday was getting rid of stuff. I had brought about 12 boxes of books and bric-a-brac from my storage space. As the yard sale at Sara's did not happen (she had to fly to France, quelle dommage), I was planning to sell the books and return the rest to storage. But after a chat with KaHu, I just decided to drop them off at a great recycling center here, Urban Ore. Just to practice letting go. No receipts, no regrets (not so sure about that). So, there went six boxes of excellent books, Mad Men era highball glasses, vintage California pottery succulent planters, and who knows what else. I stopped looking. KaHu convinced me that some younger person would be delighted to find those things. Passing on to the younger generation.
I admit, it still feels funny to have done that, just let it go. But that kind of letting go, may be just what I need to move on, evolve or something. Right now, I am pretty hopeless about the rest of my life. After a dinner last night with old friends where we all discussed our (not too bright) futures, I am still unsettled and sad. Perhaps the hope and change will come in shedding the things that weigh me down (and there are many, both physical and emotional). And maybe a new way will be revealed.