Sunday, March 3, 2013

The Rise Of The Artist, You Are The Future by $techgnotic on deviantART

The Rise Of The Artist, You Are The Future by $techgnotic on deviantART:

A pretty great, but not really all that super-indepth (because it's pretty short) article about the optimistic rise of the right-brained, artsy types. Worth reading as a starting point, and now I want to know more specifically what this idea involves!

In the meantime, here's some questions presented in the article, and I'm totes gonna answer them.


Do you believe your art advances the human condition?

I believe art as a whole advances humanity toward a better condition. The way people seem to see 'the human condition' is as this mishmash of good intentions and bad actions that we can't control, and I think that in that sense, it's an excuse. I think the actual 'human condition', when we look at humanity as a whole, is a striving to understand better and to improve everything, and things go wrong because we don't understand well enough. Art is one of the ways that we can understand ourselves, our world, and our ideals--as well as the bad things that have happened to us that would otherwise just sit there in our subconsciousness and undo all our hard work.

I don't think about actively advancing all humanity when I'm writing or making art; I think about the one thing I'm trying to do right then, and then later what it all means, and later try to make it something more elevated. But I also think, firmly and deep down inside me, that the very act of pointedly creating something is a Big Deal, that it changes something in the fabric of the world, because so many people seem to never create anything, and direct all their energy into actively destroying what others create. That's both sad and dangerous, the first step to despotism and crushing souls and all that.

Being allowed to make things, to learn music, to express yourself is really what's important. Not having this knowledge, this outlet, this chance is what makes lives hopeless. And what's killing the school system, at least in part.

Do you believe that those with more creative rather than systems-oriented thought processes are destined to assume the leadership role at this point in human history?  Do you see evidence of this happening already?

What a leading question! This would be stricken from the record in a courtroom.

I think that it's very possible that as machines take over the grunt work, we'll have more and more chance, as a culture, to be more creative. I also think that as tech advances, the people who create that will have to be more creative, so it's well possible that we'll be moving into a more right-brained sort of world. But I don't think that the really super-creative types are suited to traditional leadership ideas, and I think that the whole idea of how leadership works is going to have to change for anyone but clinical-thinkers, long-term-planners, pragmatic types to get in any sort of big-time control of how the culture and the country goes. More creativity in these systems? Sure, we're already getting that in how businesses are arranging themselves, how the President wants kids to read and grow things and play with science, how CEOs like Richard Branson are becoming super-rich on out-there ideas. But they're still all running corporations and systems that basically crush creativity without a whole lot of campaigning to keep creativity involved, and there are still huge swathes of people who seem determined to cut schools and curriculums, to stop people from even seeing how other countries and cultures do things, in controlling all information.

We'll need structural changes, not just right-brained or left-brained ideas.

Have you ever experienced a knee-jerk fear of advancing, accelerating technology "taking over" all human relevancy? Or have you always felt secure in technology remaining a tool serving a human master no matter how advanced the A.I. becomes?

I don't think we can predict how future tech will affect society. If we could, Scifi would be a hell of a lot more accurate and people would stop ghettoizing it as make-believe. I think if you do have a knee-jerk reaction against tech, you're going to get left behind, because the only thing that can stop the forward movement, for better or worse, is a post-apocalyptic sort of return to the pre-tech ways. I also think, however, that people shouldn't focus entirely on tech, because there's merit in doing things for yourself--personal merit in understanding yourself and how your world works, and cultural merit in knowing how things work and how to do them the old ways to both preserve old information (which is history, really) and to buffer the threats of technological collapse. People need to know how to think and do for themselves so that we can see and avoid the bad options the future lines up for us before they become presents that are harder and harder to change.

I do think, though, that freeing human hands from base grunt labor is a good thing. It would leave only those who honestly enjoy, say, picking fruit or digging ditches or working lines in factories, however few those people are, and the rest can have the freedom to pursue what they really want to do. And that should be good, across the board, for the people and the culture, and, eventually, the whole world.

I think the situation being presented here is less a right-brain revolution, and more a freedom-to-do-what-you're-passionate-about revolution. Not everyone freed up with be some great smothered artist; most will be mediocre, or will be interested in things so niche that most people won't care, or will be free to balance books for a living or something. But the point will be that they're free. That they're there by choice, not necessity, and if they come to hate it later, they can do something else. People will have the chance to be happier, more engaged, and hopefully less likely to destroy things out of floating hatred of the world.

Are we at the apex of what is achievable technologically and now, as Auren Hoffman suggests, about to enter a Next Phase of human society beyond sheer survival emphasizing the arts?"

Um, no? There's always something more achievable by tech. History has always shown this fact. We're not at the end of history or progress or anything unless we destroy ourselves. There's no such thing as a pinacle of progress, because it's always moving on, and these last two hundred years since industrialization, at a much faster rate.

What we're at is a time when we can sort of decide how we want the future to be. We in the west have been past a point of sheer survival for ages; we're getting to where survival isn't even a worry--but we're not there yet, because there are still people inside this own country that are starving, or resorting to crime because it's the only way to get by. We're not done making this country a good and clean and well-educated place by a long shot. But we're getting to a place in our relationship with tech and time and the future where we can start to see how we can fix these problems, if we commit to fixing them--and that'll take a lot of creativity--and then how we can get those ideas out into the world and get everyone caught up. We can define whether we'll have a future of the privileged west helping other countries to help themselves, if they want it, or if we're going to spend all our effort conquering and imposing and blowing stuff up. We have options now. We need to look at them honestly, and decide that the more humane side of our culture and our species is the one we need to foster, not the barbarian, the killer, the despot.

Art, creativity, music, self-awareness, hope, compassion, creative thinking, working for good and better--these are all humane, and they should be chosen over the badness.

So what do you think, readers? How would you answer these questions?

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