Is it possible that all the extrasensory electronic stimulation that as a post modernist society we are all increasingly exposed to are causing some members of the population to fall into a moral and mental abyss? Take the extremely disheartening and disturbing shootings that occurred this past week, which you are familiar with I am sure, and consider the fact that the perpetrator was at times consumed by a video game in which he vicariously killed other humans in a simulated combat game. It would appear and has been documented that such behavior leads to a form of hypoesthesia where an individual becomes desensitized to sensory stimuli to the point where the line between reality and fantasy becomes blurred. This leads directly to a form of deadly nihilism which completely replaces any fragments of feelings or moral code that remain in an already socially confused and alienated individual. As a society we need to be extremely aware of such dangers and the inherent ripple effect that violence has on ourselves and others.
Compare hypoethesia to its’ antonym a condition known as hyperthesia. This is a condition where the senses become heightened. A heightening of the senses as one was perhaps enjoying the wonders of nature. Would this not then logically lead to a form of empiricism? A state in which the very reason one would have to live would be the experience of such full and heightened awareness of touch and feelings? All the senses engaged at once instead of only the senses a video game could provide? Perhaps we should also be acutely aware of the lack of this state in so many of our lives. We have dangerously replaced nature with a poor facsimile. We should take care to recognize this shortcoming of humanities’ electronic creations and make concerted efforts to remedy the lack of nature in our lives. It has been shown that being outside in nature actually helps to lower ones blood pressure, all by itself. Certainly this wouldn’t work if one was being pursued by a wild animal.
This brings us to guns. Do human beings need guns to exist happily? Absolutely not. One of the beautiful advances of modern civilization is the very fact that one can exist peacefully without constant threat of death or pursuit of by wild animals as our ancestors had to endure. For the most part we can live in peace. Sadly there are times when madmen seek to destroy this peace by blowing things up etc. Instead of emulating the violence that has occurred we should seek to sublimate such events. More video games that have less killing and more civilized behavior would be in order. We must learn to take care of each other lest we end up in a hell world of our very own creation.
“Maybe every other American movie shouldn’t be based on a comic book. Other countries will think Americans live in an infantile fantasy land where reality is whatever we say it is and every problem can be solved with violence.” — Bill Maher
“Violence is the last refuge of the incompetent.” — Isaac Asimov
Get off the cell phone and Drive! — Jake Shween
This reminds me of the disturbing video by Porcupine Tree called Fear of a Blank Planet. Check it out if you get a chance. I like “We have dangerously replaced nature with a poor facsimile.” Sadly, I believe this is true.
AGREED!! We should all take a lesson from this. It just isn’t the violent video games that leads to a desensitized society. It’s the whole “online” community that has left “nature” out of our lives. If you spend days indoors playing games when it’s beautiful outside, if the only friends you have are people you have met online, if the only art you have ever seen is on Instagram, if you speak in text rather than thoughtful conversations, if your in a room full of real live humans and everyone is either on their phone or their iPad… Then we should question where we have come as a society.
As your catch phrase states Dear Writer, “get off your cell phone and drive”, I don’t think it goes deeply enough. Maybe it should say “get out of your car and walk, speak to your neighbor instead of texting, go to a museum instead of Instagram, create something rather than Pinterest, hear a bird sing rather than tweet, come up with your own thoughts and ideas instead of “sharing” on Facebook…etc, etc”.
My question to you is, “how, or even can we turn back the hands of time a bit to a more gentler, unexplored, wonderous time?”