What book is all about?
It is a fact that release of computers onto the market in the mid-1990s may be compared with the spread of refrigeration across the population in the 1940s. Can todays readers imagine life before refrigerators? Human beings embrace and adapt, and our culinary creations have enabled us to embrace and adapt to a food-safe environment.
From the second World War onwards, release of a major invention every twenty years has defined our taken-for-granted attitudes towards living, illness, speed, travel, communications, and much else. We expect to live with comfort.
New pharmacology, research, and treatments are mostly death-defying.
Speed and athletic prowess would equal the early Greek Olympians; and yet today’s laurel wreaths are either crowd-pleasing or competing for supremacy.
Never have there been so many cruise ships plying the oceans or planes flying to the uttermost parts of the earth.
Corporate empires exist to provide accommodation– leisure and pleasure are soulmates.
Before laptops, large scale computer hubs were the province of research in universities, high security rooms in banks and the most advanced corporate environments on their journey into the future. IBM and Apple were elite amongst inventions.
Steve Jobs has passed away and now Zuckerberg is the high priest of Facebook– forerunner to Twitter and Tweeting in the hands of the U.S. President, Donald Trump.
Speaking socially, the computer when introduced rejigged the population. Instead of unemployed people and welfare recipients being ‘on the streets’ they ceased to be as visible. Take-up of the computer began appearing in public spaces everywhere— the internet became the most likely of places for members of the population to go to communicate with whomever they chose. This has been beneficial and continues to be so.
After the celebrations of 2000, the future arrived in the form of bombings on the World Trade Centre, 2001, The Wars on Terror, bombings on Madrid train, 2004, London, 2005, and related attacks from then on, the economic crisis, 2008– largest since the Great Depression, and natural disasters in the form of tsunamis and hurricanes. Simultaneously, while for quite some time, we in the West had had hand-held telephones, then Blackberry, on 9th January 2007 Steve Jobs introduced the world to the iPhone. This needs no elaboration. According to Dr. Satchell of QUT, Brisbane, “People form passionate relationships with their phones.” I have been on trams (trolley) in Melbourne and every other passenger has head bowed (but not in prayer) and been engrossed with their iPhone.
The learning to be expected is to be at a place where the reader internalizes his/her 21st century reaction and hopefully becomes positively willing to read on.
We humans have been living in a social revolution for most of a decade. It is not intended to regale the reader with intellectual information but to help each reader to experience an emotional memory of these past two decades. Not only has this revolution been social but it has changed us. As recently as yesterday, while having a coffee outside of Starbucks, a father wheeling a pusher with a year and a half infant sat opposite the author, proceeded to unpack plastic containers and spoon with food to tempt the boy. Guess what came next? An iPhone appeared from nowhere, was hand-held by dad and the film running on the screen, accompanied his endeavours to slip in a mouthful of food while amusing his son. It was classic!
Have you noticed human beings so practiced at ‘head down’ that they fail to relate courteously to those around? People have become less important. It is a blocking technique. People are less sociable. “I’ll choose when to be monosyllabic.” “You’re pestering me.” “So?” “Blue rings under teenagers’ eyes.” “Can my partner be trusted? The company at the other end must be scintillating.” “Don’t interrupt me.” On an On. Individuals live on the edge of anger day after day.
How can increasing depression and anxiety be accounted for, increasing domestic violence, breakdown in other relationships, hurry sickness and agencies for defusing anger build-up? The baby in the shopping mall could express any one of these tendencies.
A tendency towards Narcissism is grossly evident. Not only are we materialistic and fed on what trickles through the iPhone but as societies we are self-absorbed.
Think of the remark about the iPhone earlier. If that is what drives our passion, we as individuals are subject to its dictates— not free at all. In today’s terms, we are propped up by the dispensing of fun. Fun in and of itself can be healthy, but that which comes through the television is as an avalanche. Anything which is dispensed in large doses may be harmful because it ends up in overdose. A dispenser in and of itself is a manufactured item capable of ejecting a portion of desired content according to the number of pre-set buttons or scoops. Quite often this outcome is addictive. It may also lead to impatience and frustration.
Currently airing on Australian T.V. is the series called “Little Big Shots”. I speak confidently because a similar program has had a similar format in America. Children as young as 3 spanning to 13 are the performers. They may be delightful, but that is because they are ‘being themselves’. We adults see the funny side or can gauge the dramatic irony of what a child says or does. Does their innocence and exposure not give pause to wonder ‘what kind of adults will they, as individuals, grow up to be?’ Now take a look at who you are.
Impatience leading to frustration is behind many of the protests we are witnessing. Paul Kelly of The Australian, 2018, identifies the cultural changes we are seeing as a certain threat to democracy. “Digital technology will not tolerate the delays, compromises and endless imperfections of representative government,” he comments.
The King is to be preferred to The Prince. This book provides the reader with an opportunity to be acquainted with today’s reality, encourages the reader to see him or herself squarely at this moment in time, and provides the further opportunity for choosing to respond to a spiritual reality.
Loris has lived internationally both in Cambridge, England, and Washington, D.C., nationally in Canberra and Melbourne, and is now settled in Queensland, Australia. Each move has given her new opportunities to meet people separated by long distances but has provided for her a love of people and their pursuits.
In mid-life she requalified with degrees in Counselling Psychology, and later took a Ph.D. in Social Entrepreneurship.
Prior to marriage Loris, amongst numerous others was awarded a Life Membership of a Western suburbs, Melbourne hospital built by community donations. She and husband Murray conducted a youth fellowship called ‘Teen Time’ until Murray became a local councillor.
Family life was enriched by our two, now adult, son and daughter both now living in North America. The later years have enabled participation in mission enterprises to Armenia, Israel, London, and Montreux. At home just outside of Brisbane, with a view across Moreton Bay, the background sounds while writing, are of happy children on school holidays at the local swimming site called ‘The Lagoon.’
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