Wednesday, May 20, 2020

The Final Solution: Podcast

Do you notice that you're feeling more irritable, more easily aggravated than usual and more prone to seeing what's wrong with everything and anybody, particularly if you are lucky enough to be able to break bread with somebody in these socially distant times? Do you notice that you’re starting to look at your significant other, if you have one, through the wrong end of the telescope, seeing only the things you've always hated about them, rather than their good qualities. Not to make light of severe mental disturbances in which people find themselves talking to the adult version of imaginary friends, but there comes a point where settling-in-place can start to feel like a new, virally created Gulag. At first there were hosannas about the newfound methods of teleconferencing that enable people to work at home and have their cake too (ie yoga, therapy and even an occasional tryst). What about a universe with no more rush hour commutes to worry about? Why not let the signpost at the beginning of your day be composed of a set of pixels on a screen, rather than just the flesh and blood of the cop on the corner or the newspaper boy throwing the daily paper on your doorstep? Put another way, will there ever be virtual zoos? Would monkeys and apes be just as happy if there were no House of Apes and they just saw each other’s images on monitors? Man, like his ancestors and predecessors, is a social animal. After the honeymoon with technology ends and you start to realize that you’re alone with spaceship earth being transformed into its lowest common denominator, a little pod of confinement, only slightly larger than one of those ski lifts in the Alps, then you’re understandably going to become seriously upset. Way back in l925 someone named Emory S. Bogardus began research that culminated in his creation of a "social distance scale."

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