By Zygmunt Bauman
This liquid sleek global of ours, like several drinks, can't stand nonetheless and retain its form for lengthy. every thing retains altering - the models we persist with, the occasions that intermittently seize our recognition, the issues we dream of and issues we worry. And we, the population of this global in flux, think the necessity to comply with its pace by means of being 'flexible' and regularly able to swap. we wish to be aware of what's going and what's more likely to ensue, yet what we get is an avalanche of knowledge that threatens to crush us.
How are we to sift the knowledge that actually issues from the tons of lifeless and inappropriate garbage? How are we to derive significant messages from mindless noise?
We face the daunting job of attempting to distinguish the $64000 from the insubstantial, distil the issues that subject from fake alarms and flashes within the pan.
Nothing escapes scrutiny so stubbornly because the traditional issues of daily life, hiding within the mild of misleading and...
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Extra resources for 44 Letters From the Liquid Modern World
There is, though, a benefit of a different kind, a much more widespread benefit, which seems to be the prime attraction of using the Twitter website. For some time now, Descartes’s famous ‘proof of existing’, ‘I think therefore I am’, has been elbowed out and chased away by a version updated for our era of mass communication: ‘I am seen, therefore I am’. The more people can (and may choose to) see me, the more convincing is the proof of my own being here … The pattern is set by celebrities. You do not measure the gravity and the weightiness of celebrities’ presence by the gravity of what have they done – the weightiness of their deeds (you wouldn’t anyway be able to properly evaluate those qualities and to sufficiently trust your results to hold to the opinion you’ve formed); you can be sure that ‘celebrities’ matter only because of the obtrusiveness of their presence: they must be looked at and be seen by myriads of people – on every news-stand, the front pages of tabloids, the covers of glossy magazines, TV screens … If so many people look at them, watch their every step, listen to every bit of gossip about their latest exploits, mischiefs and pranks, talk about them, then there must be something ‘in it’ – so many people can’t be simultaneously wrong!
But since, as mentioned before, this liquid modern world of ours is constantly on the move, we all are willy-nilly, knowingly or not, joyfully or plaintively, perpetually carried along in travel even if we try to stay still and hold on to one place. The letters, therefore, could not be other than ‘travel reports’ – even though their author has not budged from Leeds, the city in which he lives; and the stories they will be telling will be travelogues: stories from and of travels. Walter Benjamin, a philosopher with an eye uniquely sharpened to spot any hints of logic and system in apparently diffuse and random cultural tremors, used to distinguish between two types of stories: sailors’ stories and peasants’ stories.
Every minute – 24 hours a day, seven days a week – it takes just one push of a button to conjure up company out of a collection of loners. In that online world, no one is ever away, everyone seems to be constantly at one’s beck and call – and even if she or he accidentally falls asleep, there are enough others to send a message to, or just twitter for a few seconds, for the temporary absence to pass unnoticed. Secondly, ‘contact’ may be made with other people without necessarily initiating an exchange that would threaten giving hostages to fate, taking a course one might not enjoy.