Modern Times · Our Subconscious

An Odd Kind Of Inflation

Letters are everywhere we go now. A letter is, after all, a depiction, an image of a sound – albeit that this is abstracted from reality in every conceivable manner. Only the vowels have the faintest recollection of the sounds they represent. For the child in the mainstream school, this dislocation is total and complete: teaching a five year old to read will instil this capacity at a time when there is no conscious capacity to reflect. Thus the knowledge of reading will be both unquestioned, and more importantly, unthought of.

That is the danger.

This is where a human capacity that should be fully conscious has been forced into the subconscious. Usually this happens because people haven’t taken sufficent care with their own mental health. The part of us that nobody really needs to take care of: after all, you can’t see your own subconscious, therefore to the uninquisitive of our world, it simply doesn’t exist.

That the teachers themselves suffered this indignity is beyond their questioning. The problem has been compounded, and such compounding is that which leads to inflation.

The problem with this attitude is that they have no real interest in what is going on around them. Life is as it should be, because it is impossible to imagine it any other way. That is more an aspect of the subconscious than a genuine reflection on reality.

When someone isn’t so bothered about what is happening to them, they are going to be more than happy when it comes to accepting the things that make their lives more comfortable. Things like smartphones, something that barely existed fifteen years ago. Instead of having to wait until you get home to enjoy your videos, they’re there in your pocket. Any time you like.

Videos are, after all, but quickly streamed images that to the unquestioning will appear to be genuine movement. This is something will be addressed in my series ‘Beyond Newton’ where I deal with the notion of calculus. Don’t worry, I’ll keep it to the essentials that any sensible mind can comprehend.  I’m not out to dazzle you with my skills, my aim is to show you what reality is and that every human has the capacity to grasp it for themselves.

Should they wish to.

Because if they don’t, they are going to find themselves preferring their smartphone to the person sitting next to them who is absorbed in the pictures on theirs.

The more the unquestioning mind wants perfect images in their pocket, the more the unquestioning manufacturers are going to give it to them. Thus instead of a screensaver on a modest mobile phone like mine, which was how these things were a decade ago, we now have machines capable of bringing us millions of pictures. Videos by any other name.

The proliferation of images is driven by people who want them, and want them because they know nothing else. This element of desire is essential for the fraudster to understand, as he can only defraud those who want the illusions he is peddling.

It’s not as if the mobile phone producers have gone out of their way to defraud the public; by no means. What they aren’t doing is actually helping humanity find its true humanness, as it were. After all, the most human of activities is to engage with others: newspapers, books and now smartphones allow the person to withdraw into their comfort zone rather than deal with the reality that surrounds it. The balance of these pleasures, and I guarantee you that once you have dealt with your innate fears, the world outside your comfort zone is genuinely a place where pleasure can be found. But it isn’t in terms of the pictures flickering across a screen that is replaying the movie ‘Casablanca’ for the third time this week. It is to meet the newness of another person’s point of view.

That will evoke images within yourself that you had no possible means to conceive of. Such images, concepts to give them a more technical name, are the gift of other humans to us. The unthinking who have their noses buried in their smartphones need nothing more.

Okay, so they do need more: in that the grainy screen of a 340 pixel screen didn’t deliver a picture perfect enough, it means the viewer has to compensate for this lack by using their own imagination. Tying the imagination to something as boring a task as this is very tiring: and the unquestioning amongst us do not like being tired. Thus the appearance of wider and better quality pictures meant they didn’t have to use their own capacities to compensate for their now outdated smartphone.

Much nicer, innit?

Thus the proliferation of pictures in our society is a direct result of people who don’t want to form them in their own minds.

This does raise a serious problem, though. Because those pictures are exactly what those people want. This isn’t the fraud the American banks peddled on the gullible professionals we call bankers. Where high paying assets were snapped up by willing – read greedy – buyers. When an American banker landed at Schiphol to see his buyer at the ING bank in Amsterdam, he was welcomed with open arms because the buyer knew it was going to be another great deal.

He was utterly unprepared to be told that American banker wasn’t going to fulfil their side of the contract. But that was their game from the start: fraud. The dopey Dutchman believed all he was told because he assumed the American was honest.


The explosion – inflation – of pictures in our world has left us unwittingly unprepared: if their smartphone doesn’t work he’s in for a very boring journey home on the train. Boring beyond measure, even if it takes but thirty minutes.

Luckily, he’s got another in his pocket just in case.

Inflation doesn’t happen by itself. It happens because people want something; the unintended consequences aren’t so easy to gauge. More dangerously still, in the unprepared mind, the smallest of problems – a thirty minute journey home – their unprepared mind will inflate it to a horror of unimaginable proportions. There’s nothing they can do about it, is there?

Inflation is a two edged sword, and it’s pointed at us.


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