Coping: Living in the Present, A Rant on UC

UC:  ubiquitous computing.

A New Pet Theory (NPT) is rattling around between this ears this morning and while it’s simple enough there are profound implications.

Let me lay out some (rather large) data sets here and see if you get to the same conclusion, shall we?

Dataset #1

Peak oil is real and fracking is destroying the earth..  I get tons of email on this point from Oilman2 because it’s what he does.  As good a petroleum engineer/bit designer/rig operator as he is, he’s even a better thinker and writer.  Some examples:

You know I travel a lot to Mexico – and while there is a different mind-set, it is simply because they have been living in an oilgarchy much longer than we have. They have Chili’s, McDonalds, malls and even outlet malls – just like we do. But they have no way to set things right, as their hyper-corrupt government is connected at the hip to the largest military power in the world – us.

This is where we are headed as the economy continues to decline, mi amigo…

Here you are:

Kern County has tricky geology, and there are few traps that do not leak to surface (this is the place where “bubbling crude’ existed, a la Beverly Hillbillies…). Injecting anything into that geology is problematic…


The extraordinarily caffeinated might be able to discern two data sets here:  Mass migration for economic reasons (all over the place) and the implicates of Peak Oil and Really Desperate Frackers.  Either way, let’s just look at them as one data set.

-Dataset #2

The things people put into their minds in general.  Lots of it just doesn’t hold up to close scrutiny.  Blood moons and a certain enterovirus, as an example. 

I won’t go into all of this except to say that the “alternative press” gets things right about 50% of the time.  Sometimes, it’s the other way around, like the Judicial Watch story about ISIS agents sneaking in from Mexico over the nearly non-existent “border…”

Judicial Watch  Confirms: 4 ISIS Terrorists Arrested in Texas in Last 36 Hours

We can argue for hours, I suppose, on whether the congressman who made the claim is basing it on accurate information. but that’s good coverage at JW.

On the other hand, the peripheral coverage on Ebola (and other viruses like D68) has in places been hysterical.

For purposes of the present discussion, let’s just say while reading this peripheral stuff is interesting, it also “bulks up” our central thesis (which I’ll get to in a minute).

Dataset #3

Here’s a little gem that came from the Gallup organization this morning as an emailed alert:

Voter Engagement Lower Than in 2010 and 2006 Midterms

Americans’ engagement in this year’s midterm elections — based on several measures — is similar to the 1998 and 2002 midterm elections rather than the 2006 and 2010 elections, suggesting voter turnout this fall will be lower.

Read now

Dataset #4

The Tacoma News Tribune has a fine article about how Washington’s first-in-the-nation anti-texting while driving laws (circa 2007) need serious updating.  The TNT story includes this dandy gem:

“The problem? Today’s law in Washington “doesn’t preclude you from looking at Facebook or the Internet as you’re driving,” said Darrin Grondel, director of the Washington Traffic Safety Commission.

And so concludes our datasets.  On to the [possible] conclusion.

The NPT:  It’s a “Digital Rapture”

In our first dataset, we see how people are only marginally concerned about America’s real energy outlook, the planetary picture, and the ungodly amount of damage being caused by fracking.  Even in drought-parched places like California.

In the second dataset, we a blurring line between real, solid information about what’s going on in the “real” *(non-internet) world.

Dataset 3 argues people are  “giving up” on changing the real world, except in cause-group digital gatherings, which when you come down to it are just a finer implementation of “divide and conquer” in a web-based manner.

Dataset 4 concludes that the trend of “digital rapture” is not only not over, but it’s still getting worse.

Toss in the latest iPhone advances, the Google Glass project, and still more improvements to the “man-machine interface” (MMI) yet to come, and we have what resolves into focus as a highly disturbing Real World.

Therefore the abstract of this morning’s New Pet Theory – Digital Rapture – might go something like this:

Humans having invested a new technology (ubiquitous computing) that now surrounds them.  People are “connected” in places like showers, intimate dinners, driving and a host of other places once “sacred to the moment.”

As “sacred moments to the president” evaporate, we lose something as humans.  Our Humanity.  With it, our focus on “fixable” problems is being wrestled away from us (examples of fracking and political involvement) while we’re moving into a virtual world where the exploits of the glitterati are adjudged more important than “sacred moment” tasks like driving.

The Rapture concept gets me to reminding you that predictions about the future are sometimes less than perfect.  As Wikipedia notes:

The term “Rapture” is used in at least two senses. In the pre-tribulation view, a group of people will be left behind on earth after another group literally leaves “to meet the Lord in the air.”

The term “Rapture” is used in at least two senses. In the pre-tribulation view, a group of people will be left behind on earth after another group literally leaves “to meet the Lord in the air.”

I picture Paul (the likely author of the book) having an accurate vision of Future, but not framework of reference.  This is a common mistake of early remote viewers through time:  They get the fire and brimstone right, but don’t know how to put it into words because the concepts behind Hiroshima or the bittered waters off Japan…well, they just didn’t exist yet.

Who would have believed 1.44-billion engaged “in the air?”    Paul (upon recovering from his visioning process) might well have asked this question because there were only 300 million people in the whole world around the time of his writing.  “I must’a slipped a decimal point somewhere…Besides, future people will be smart.  They’ll figure out what I was getting at…”  It’s a phrase I’ve heard elsewhere in the futuring business.

So  Paul dials his Rapture  back to 144,000 and attributed the cell phone providers as “Lord of the air” since the idea of “the air” being severally managed would have been beyond his ken…and it is all tried together by the Lord of Numbers, right?

This is one where I think Thessalonians got it wrong.  Likely the more correct interpretation might be:

The term “Rapture” is used in at least two senses. In the pre-tribulation view, a group of people will be left behind on earth after another group literally leaves “to meet the lords of air-time.;”

Given global cell phone saturation – there are now about 6-billion cell phones) how long before we have that moment when 1.44-billion will be on the horn at the same time?

I’m trying to figure out how best to meet this supra-consciousness of ubiquitous computing:  The embodied global mass consciousness.

In the meantime, I’m leaving my cell phone off, today.  Just in case there’s something to this New Pet Theory.

I’ll have to ask Chris up at to run Thessalonians 4:16 through their filters and see how it comes out…

{Follow-up note:  If you’re a person of the cloth and you use this for your Sunday-speak, please plug the UrbanSurvival website.  If you’re not particularly thrilled with this other view of reality, please, no effigy burnings in the front yard this week after 9:30 PM,. Thank you.]

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