Children have a creative propensity to derive enjoyment out of anything that sparks their imagination and not just the consumer goods that are designed for them. This, of course, must be stamped out and replaced with pleasure tied to ownership and status — motives that will help assimilate them to the demands of reproducing the capitalist economy.
Decentralization is not a politics in and of itself. Without a politics that explicitly seeks to serve the public while challenging corporate power, decentralization isn’t an actual strategy to decommodify our online interactions and reorient our networks toward alternative purposes.
After commenting on how we’ve idealized the early web, McNeil writes that “when I think I feel nostalgic for the internet before social media consolidation, what I am actually experiencing is a longing for an internet that is better, for internet communities that haven’t come into being yet.” Clearly, this is not just about decentralization; it’s about thinking through the outcomes we want to see and building institutions — and only later technologies — in service of those political goals. Instead of hoping a particular network design will be immune from corporate control, we can build a better internet by first building the political power necessary to make it a reality.
Communications technology has effectively cheapened the experience of presence (the "metaverse" will cheapen it even further), and this has revalued it across the entire spectrum of possibilities for experience. We might expect that as video calls become routine and trivial, face-to-face encounters would become dense with ontological significance. But what has happened is that the concept of "real" presence has become confused, more difficult to believe in, harder to locate as it is happening so that we can properly assign it a value. As Molotkow suggests, "presence" may feel real only in the midst of moments of intense separation; it may register only at a distance.
“Being able to feel safe with other people is probably the single most important aspect of mental health; safe connections are fundamental to meaningful and satisfying lives. Numerous studies of disaster response around the globe have shown that social support is the most powerful protection against becoming overwhelmed by stress and trauma.
Social support is not the same as merely being in the presence of others. The critical issue is reciprocity: being truly heard and seen by the people around us, feeling that we are held in someone else’s mind and heart. For our physiology to calm down, heal, and grow we need a visceral feeling of safety. “
- Bessel A. van der Kolk, The Body Keeps the Score: Brain, Mind, and Body in the Healing of Trauma
And why do we reduce the beauty of relating to relationship? Why are we in such a hurry? Because to relate is insecure, and relationship is a security. Relationship has a certainty; relating is just a meeting of two strangers, maybe just an overnight stay and in the morning we say goodbye. Who knows what is going to happen tomorrow? And we are so afraid that we want to make it certain, we want to make it predictable. We would like tomorrow to be according to our ideas; we don't allow it freedom to have its own say. So we immediately reduce every verb to a noun.
How do we know Love is real? Must it be real? That’s what I love about love the most is that it to me is most definitely a pleasurable side effect of imagination. Love is then defined maybe by the essence that surrounds the moment when it’s spoken or felt. I guess my idea of love is that it’s like faith. For it to be real maybe you gotta believe.