Friday, June 07, 2013
Would I Want to Be One of the Google People?
It isn't really my ideal, but I will give them credit, they at least have a real identity, and such a one as I never foresaw when I was coming up in the world.
I was reading about them in this article--the beginning of which, before it gets into an exploration of current trends in experimental pornography, presents a very vivid picture of the phenomenon. I do not actually know any people like this, and certainly none close to the extreme specimens of the type delineated here, but I believe in their reality. There is something both clear and essential about them that seems to me worth investigating. I would be interested in seeing the way that they live and think depicted in good art, beyond their diets and exercise regimens, which do not speak to me as I desire to be spoken to.
At one time--1974, at least, when almost everything would still have been possible for me--it was a possibility, albeit a remote one, that this would be the sort of adult I might develop into. I feel farther away from being a full-fledged Google person even than other major identifiable contemporary types, but had I at any point in my upbriniging been introduced to some aspect of this general culture, if something therein had clicked for me and I had realized by it something about who I was--I might be a lot closer to it than I am. In my current state, it seems to me I have passed through life much as it is said of Magellan's ships that managed to cross from the tip of South America all the way to the Phillipines without coming upon any land. I have been affected by little, touched by little, absorbed by little in the life around me. Doubtless I appear to others as some identifiable contemporary type, one of the stupefyingly sluggish ones. Whatever identity this be, it will certainly have been nothing I have been conscious of choosing.
But this is about the Google people and it I must concentrate and remember to write about them, and not myself. Are they satisfied with themselves and at home in the world? Are they fully realized and alive men and women, by some venerable and durable standard of classical literature and philosophy? I have often felt that this may require generations to develop in a high degree, and modernity certainly does not allow for that slow of a pace of development. There seems to be a guardedness about them, with regards to their capacity for intimacy, of the body and mind both. The substance of their cognitive superiority, the pleasures and ecstasies that its forms inspire, will of course be inaccessible to anyone contemporaneous to them who has not acclimated himself to the conception of existence that moves all of these trends and developments, or is unable to do so.
How much the world gets away from one as one ages in almost all cases, even where discipline and study in youth have borne real fruit. Where they have borne no fruit, the case is hopeless. At the moment the world has not gotten away from the Google people. They are the drivers and the primary actors in it (I am talking about the people who have adopted the ultra-up to the minute aesthetic and ethos touched upon in the article; I don't know whether these people are genius in-the-guts tech workers or not, though I suspect most of them would be in the 'ideas' or 'promotion' or 'early adaptor' class of this movement rather than programmers). Even more importantly, perhaps, their education has not gotten away from them. Perhaps they are, as the saying goes, free men. Mine seems to have gotten away from me, for almost all practical and social and moral purposes anyway. But that is a topic for another day's posting...