rediscovered this text from the cybercultures reader in the latest issue of adbusters [the one with the hole innit] and it, again, made me question my life profoundly:
boredom is a cultural phenomenon unique to western culture (but now, unfortunatly, being spread like a virus to non-western cultures). bedouins, for example, can sit for hours in the desert, feeling the ripple of time, without being bored.
in most third world societies, individuals and communities are normally too busy trying to survive to be bored. boredom is a product of a culture where individual and communal goals have lost all their significance and meanings, where an individual’s attention span is no longer than a single frame in a mtv video: five seconds.
in such a culture, one needs something different to do, something different to see, some new exitement and spectacle every other moment. netsurfing provides just that: the exhiliration of a joyride, the spectacle of visual and audio inputs, a relief from boredom and an illusion of god-like omniscience a an added extra. but, of course, travel at such high speed has a price.
hypertext generates hyper-individuals: rootless, without a real identity, perpetually looking for the next fix, hoping that the next page on the web will take them to nirvana.
the individual himself is reduced to hypertext: a code of information. and this process seems to be accelerating. the more we come to rely on computers, the more we use them for work, education, entertainment, communication, the more we become an extension of cyberspace. our concerns are largely limited to discrete data or information. knowledge in its true sense, let alone wisdom, never really enters the equation.
ziauddin sardar: alt.civilisations.faq – cyberspace as the darker side of the west 1996 [from: cybercultures reader/routledge/isbn 0-415-18379-0]