July 2013 Bar Bulletin
 
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July 2013 Bar Bulletin

A New Framework: In Facebook We Trust

By Robert W. Zierman

 

While not overly keen on the sci-fi genre in general, futuristic dystopias like Aldous Huxley's novel Brave New World, Ridley Scott's film "Blade Runner" and Andrew Niccol's film "Gattaca" provide much greater resonance for "A New Framework's" author. These works don't seek merely to explore archetypal stories within the context of possible future settings. Instead, they suggest how science - unchecked by morality - may "morph" the human condition.

Are we now at one of those "morphing" inflection points in world history and human evolution?

Heretofore, the Western world has been philosophically undergirded by Judeo-Christian ethics and morality. Individuals doing wrong had to "get right with God," who as Heidegger explained was the ultimate perceiver. As the ultimate perceiver, it was God who was in the best position to police individual's actions and thoughts.1

The mechanisms of grace, guilt and eternal damnation generally kept in check all but those with a full concentration of audacity, ambition and mental disturbance. (Here, what comes first to mind are Hitler and Nazism. The latter being an affiliation of Heidegger's for which, while privately denouncing as a waste of time, he publicly never expressed regret.) Well, no more.

"The New York Times said God is dead."2 In God's place now stand the more powerful secular giants: Google, Apple, Facebook, Amazon and Microsoft.3 Why? Because while God had the grace to forgive and forget, these behemoths will not … forget at least.

Think about it. Previously our ancestors' verbal expressions were lost to the wind except to those who happened to be listening and possibly in a position to pass the message along to future generations in a trans-generational game of telephone. Not so anymore.

In some ways this is great. We now have the ability to hear recordings of JFK's Inaugural Address4 and MLK's "I Have a Dream"5 speech, whereas we only have archives of Lincoln's Gettysburg Address and other great speeches. As a result, the best we can do with the latter is to have famous actors read, as they actually have in this instance, great orations such as the Declaration of Independence.6

Beyond actors, now virtually everyone can create a web log and offer to the world his or her pontifications at very low expense. Moreover, for perhaps no expense at all, others can attempt to "lip off" on these very same electronic soap boxes that others have constructed.


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