Saturday, March 9, 2013

harvest 6813

While you're examining your aggregate statistics, or AggStats, while you're flagging down your web traffic, you get sidetracked into surveilling yourself. Unveiling everything about yourself to an uncaring public, an unseen eye, a perceived prevailing wind of interest. You are availing everyone of pictures of yourself eating food. You are writing about being in a place, right now.

You find that you have lost yourself. The significance has been lost on you, you have been lost, insignificant, merged into a giant datastream, geocached. Location services have been turned on. Somewhere in an intelligence agency there is a senior field agent who longs for the days when people didn't just surveil themselves, when an agent would have to actually go out onto the wild Internet and do some real field work. He was preceded by a senior agent who longed to once again sit outside people's homes and occasionally sift through their garbage. Somewhere, there is a middle-school teacher who only accepts bibliographies that cite real books.

You have become hands and eyes, floating hands and luminous eyes. You are not the first to realize this, and the realization is trite. You log out, you live off the grid, you grow a beard. Growing a beard is instrumental to living off the grid. So too is home beer-brewing, the making of fires from wood, the installation of solar panels. Somewhere, a city center bemoans its architecture; it literally IS the grid. You become the grid.

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