Saturday, September 20, 2008

Absorbing Orbs (Daniel Pinchbeck)

In my talk on the orbs, I downplayed the question of the orbs' authenticity to take a sociological approach. A postmodern phenomenon, the orbs only appeared in our world due to new technology, digital media, and social networks like Flickr, or blogs where people share orb images. As our evolving social technologies keep bringing us together in unexpected ways, Bloom's transmission about "group consciousness" is thought provoking. As media theorist Clay Shirky explores in Here Comes Everybody, new social tools are making it possible for previously unconnected groups of people to suddenly behave like a "cloud or a flock," when their interests coincide.

As I write, Pinchbeck's "2012" remains unread on my shelf (albeit closely guarded by figurines depicting the Flatwoods Monster and Mothman, respectively). While I've heard some decidedly mixed critiques of Pinchbeck's books, I have to admit to an affinity for the speculative short essays that grace Reality Sandwich.

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