Tuesday, March 22, 2016

#82 / Nothing "Real" About It

The picture above comes from an article that ran in the business section of the March 8, 2016 edition of the San Francisco Chronicle. The article describes the business plans of Livit, a new app that will be offering live mobile virtual reality streams, and that launched its business from the South By Southwest music and technology festival

I tend to find metaphoric messages in the photos I see. Sunday, March 6th, for instance, I posted a picture of a storm approaching Bondi Beach, in Sydney Australia, and suggested that the photo illustrates the situation in which our human civilization now finds itself: 

Enjoying the sunshine. Oblivious.

The photograph at the top of this posting, which accompanies the article about Livit's new virtual reality streaming service, well illustrates how we, as human beings, are now seeking to relate to the World of Nature, the "real" world that we have not created ourselves, and the world upon which our lives depend. 

Increasingly, we prefer to live in a "human world" that WE create. As the photo illustrates, metaphorically, we want to shut out any direct connection to the World of Nature, and to immerse ourselves in our own creation. Even when what we see through the goggles is a depiction of the World of Nature, we are severing our direct contact, and demand that we know that world only as intermediated by human technique.

The problem with "virtual reality" is that there is nothing "real" about it, and to the extent that we truly lose contact with our radical dependence on the natural world, we unequip ourselves for survival.

South by Southwest. North by Northeast. All around the compass. Wherever we look. We need to take off the blinders and realize where we actually are. 

Image Credits:
(1) - http://www.sfgate.com/business/article/Livit-wants-to-be-the-Periscope-of-virtual-6875945.php
(2) - http://www.theatlantic.com/photo/2016/02/winners-of-the-2016-world-press-photo-contest/463431/

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