Thursday, 24 December 2015

Who is my neighbour in a digital world? Many links but few ties.

My neighbours lived next door and generally shared faith, race and Christmas customs. Monday morning in the sixties, they talked about Ed Sullivan and Bonanza.  Thursday night, CHOV radio counted down the top ten hit parade.  That was before top ten became a hundred and lists multiplied.  Before the internet.

That has changed.  We used to be like nested molecules in a crystal, bound with ties of familiarity.  Today we are often like folded proteins, linked but not bound to receptive spots all across the land.  Action-at-a-distance using social media, as spooky as quantum coupling, is making social structures and unprecedented alliances.  This morning I touched dozens of websites, feeding on the opinions and advice of strangers and greeted just one man on the street where I live.

Community and the nature of politics will adopt new forms soon.
Salt crystal, bonded to nearest neighbours, old style community

Haemoglobin molecule, cross-linked to remote neighbours
like those people on your phone contact list.

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