Was There A Dimensional Shift After The Turn Of The Century?

INT21

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See #22 above.;)
 

rasputin

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I've been through multiple such cycles of "things shifting into a darker mode", starting with the Sixties.

As others have already noted, at the individual level much of the pessimistic impression relates to growing up and shifting from blithe naivete to shouldering responsibilities and learning the world isn't just a playground. Some folks are traumatized by this life lesson, some never learn it at all, and some go on to a lifelong denial of its implications.

One key aspect of this shift relates to accruing things (possessions; status; empowerment). Once you've obtained something you've got something to lose. In my experience it seems this accrual of stuff that's "yours" inevitably causes folks to start getting defensive about where they stand, avoiding loss or retrogression, and even getting paranoid about their relationships with their environs and other people.

Here's the one thing that (IMHO) makes the current era's malaise arguably worse than previous cycles ...

The proliferation of "tech" (e.g., the 'Net and ubiquitous access to it) has had two major effects.

The first is to expose everyone to practically everyone else, and this exposure has not been employed in the manner those of us involved in developing and deploying it had envisioned. The guiding objective 3 to 4 decades ago was creating the ultimate resource supporting responsible action and interaction for all. The outcome has instead been more akin to handing out megaphones to morons intent on promoting themselves.

The second effect has been to migrate much of daily life (interactions; transactions) into a virtual realm accessible at a relatively high cost. The former aspect forces everyone to engage with the realm, and the latter enables institutionalized entities to squeeze money out of people in entirely new ways.

The combined effect is to increasingly force people into spending their work and leisure time grappling with a barrage of stimuli inside an echo chamber. It's a circus - a circus it's increasingly difficult to evade or escape. This situation induces a sense of powerlessness more acute than was the case in prior decades. Powerlessness is the key factor in generating destructive personal stress.

I think this is absolutely spot-on and I couldn't have described it better. You really captured the zeitgeist of the current times. Do you think there is any way out of this technological nightmare or do you think it is just going to get worse? There is a whole generation of young people who are now slightly less "human" in the sense that they have grown up heavily embedded in the internet culture and although not quite cyborg have a different mentality to past generations and lack many of the social skills (are they still necessary?) and behaviours that were normal in the past. I see this in my own adolescents and the way they think and it can be quite upsetting. The high cost of living has also robbed them of a proper relationship with nature which I think is also part of this whole problem.
 

rasputin

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Anyone reading this thread, I recommend you watching the Netflix German series "Dark". It is all about time travel and a nuclear reactor. Excellent show!
 

AnonyJ

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I don't know if anybody else feels like this but since around the turn of the century/9/11 it feels like everything seems different in a very negative way. I am sure the huge changes in society brought about by technology/the internet have contributed massively but it feels as if some horrible Pandora's box was opened (on 9/11? or at the turn of the century) and everything has become extreme. People seem less human, society is extremely polarised, politics is a complete mess and the future seems depressing and the world seems alien.

The time before all this (the 80s and 90s) was somehow quite magickal and although we didn't have all the things that make life supposedly easier now, there was a sense of positivity - that the future would be brighter (and then Blair got elected :mad:).

Does anybody else feel like this? Could we be living in a different, darker dimension, accidentally (or otherwise) opened 20 years ago (like the Upside Down from Stranger Things)?

I've had that feeling that something went 'wrong', but that was Jan 1st 2019 - it's been a shitey year for me personally with serious illnesses affecting many of my loved ones. Looking back though I still don't think anything has shifted our dimension(s).

The 1980s were pretty horrible for many in the UK. It was an era of a polarised society of 'haves' and 'have nots' and a plethora of man-made disasters and atrocities on our soil/in our airspace (it was a turning point for much-maligned 'health and safety'). We were still living with the threat of a planned or accidental nuclear armageddon, and the rise of HIV-AIDS. I was a child and teenager during that decade.

The 1990s were a partial relief but then it was back to life as normal.

I would surmise that the immediacy of televisual media and the Internet has made many of us fearful and gullible. To quote a rather wonderful Hindi film Drishyam ('Visuals') we remember and believe what we see.
 

MissViolet

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Going to be blunt; it's early. On reflection, whilst there were lots of good things about previous decades (as I said) they were pretty ghastly for me overall. You know what my favourite time period is? Right now.
 

blessmycottonsocks

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Never forget that the 20th century was by far the bloodiest in humankind's history.

Despite the medieval barbarity of the Islamic State and conflicts in Iraq, Chad, Yemen, Lebanon, Central African Republic, Pakistan and a handful of other hotspots, the first 20% of the current century has been remarkably benign.

We're even waking up to the potential catastrophe of climate change, whereas we were far more blasé last century.
 

EnolaGaia

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... Some of us perhaps tend to neglect McLuhan and really, he should be consumed every day...like fibre ...

This invocation of McLuhan resonates strongly with me ...

It's been precisely a half-century since I left home for my first university adventure in an experimental residential college that remains the single most important educational experience in my complicated life journey. The college provided a personally immersive environment within which we were exposed to, and expected to grapple with, what were then more cutting-edge topics and themes than were common in mainstream programs.

McLuhan's work was one of the most prominent such topics / themes represented in our classes, coursework, and late-night discussion circles.

Fast-forward 20 years from that point ... I was an IT professional heavily involved in surveying the cutting edges of application features - increasingly ubiquitous computer access, networking, and hypermedia - scouting for clues about the opportunities, risks, and likely outcomes of a potentially revolutionary transition that was obviously immanent in these and other developments.

Save for occasional allusions made among the hypertext / hypermedia contingent and a lot of arguably misplaced allusions to a "global village" (a term he'd coined), McLuhan (who'd died halfway between these two timepoints) had disappeared as a peripherally cited - much less widely invoked - source and / or inspiration.

I thought this disappearance was odd, but eventually settled on a (largely gut-level / intuitive) conclusion he wasn't as relevant as one might suspect. Some 30 years later, I'm even more convinced that his work - insightful though it was - wasn't always, clearly, or even usefully applicable to the new medium represented by the Internet / Web.

Yes, I know this will seem heretical to many McLuhan fans ...
 

EnolaGaia

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More specifically addressing your (Ermintruder's) closing / summary queries ...

..Did McLuhan predict the future, interconnected insanity that is the internet?

No - at least not precisely. IMHO he correctly predicted a highly inter-shared media realm within which negative / insane effects might well emerge and even dominate, but completely missed, overlooked, or ignored the factors that made cyberspace intrinsically distinct from the sort of media space(s) he'd described and analyzed during his heyday.


... Or did the technology that delivers the internet somehow have his destinations already in its mapping apps?

I'd put it this way ... The technologies that merged to give us the (popular version of the ...) Internet and the Web were originally at least partially driven by deployment and application visions far more consistent with McLuhan's exemplars for "medium" than what actually developed over the last two decades.

These more McLuhan-compatible visions were themselves clear-cut examples of his "marching into the future navigating via the rear view mirror" theme, and as a result they survive as peripheral affordances rather than paradigmatic innovations and effects.

Bottom Line: Not really ... The affordances immanent in the technologies' networked deployment and usages surpassed, exceeded, and to some extent overturned his visions of the future. In any case, I can assure you almost nobody materially involved in conceiving and developing the current "InterWeb" did so with McLuhan in mind.


I'll leave it at that for the time being ... This subject gets much deeper if pursued any further ...
 

skinny

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It certainly does. Good thread. Aside from the very personal alteration of cosmic perception at various points in the timelines of individuals, the question seems to me was there a catalystic change in the world at millennium's end and rebirth (ponder that)? It seems to be a question which embodies its own answer.

I'd like to survey today's 19y olds and analyse that data, then go longitudal and ask them again every year for the next ten. Hypothesis 1 - the previous generation imposed its comparative and very linear framing to engender the perception. Hypothesis 2 - the question is moot because the nature of metaperception embodied in new millennium brain patterns transcends the crass square paradigm of most pre-millennial thought. Hypothesis 3 - we don't yet have vocabulary sufficient to the task of expressing the shift; language has not kept time with events. The key to that lies with the new linguists.

Intuition tells me yes, and very obviously. It's self-evident. You can dance to the New Overtones.

For instance,
 
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Zeke Newbold

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The `dimensional shift` paradigm has become a staple part of the Mandela effect myth. So somehwere there is a sane world of Berenstein bears, where Dolly wore braces and everything is right with the world. Like a lot of us here I endorse it very much as a feeling - but not as a fact.
The 1980s were pretty horrible for many in the UK. It was an era of a polarised society of 'haves' and 'have nots' and a plethora of man-made disasters and atrocities on our soil/in our airspace (it was a turning point for much-maligned 'health and safety'). We were still living with the threat of a planned or accidental nuclear armageddon, and the rise of HIV-AIDS. I was a child and teenager during that decade.

Exactly. I came of age in that decade, and, whilst there was some fun to be had here and there, it was very much a polarised decade in the UK at least. - every bit as daggers drawn with itself as the UK is today.Those who claim nostalgia for it are betraying which side they took in that divide.

(It is interesting to note that this feeling of the `wrongness` of the present day transcends politics. Left, Right or Centre, liberal or conservative, globalist or nationalist- nobody feels as though they are on the winning side).

If I do have any nostalgia at all it would be for the Nineties - in the UK, at least. Some of the polarisation of the Eighties had levelled off (even if the underlying inequalities were never really addressed) and centrism ruled the day in politics (which looks a whole lot better in retropsect than it did at the time!) But if you weren't into that there were still a range of brave causes you could campaign for without getting embroiled in pointless intercenine squabbles with those who were supposed to agree with you. And the UFO scene was active and reasonably sane: it had not yet desescended into the morass of conspiracism that it is lost in now. TV comedy was going through a Golden Age and there was an active and interesting British music scene (and I don't just mean `Britpop`). The on-line world was there for those who wanted it - but was far less obligatory and all pervasive as today.

It was also an interesting time to be a man. suddenly `being a man` was something which was discussed and pondered on and that the male role can be accepted, rejected or remodeled was very much an issue of the time.

And I was still young enough to consider myself `young`.

Yeah: the age thing. It's a whole lot more challenging if, like me, you never did the marriage/house/kids thing. This means that in your head you're still in - maybe - your early thirties but that life every now and then gently - and sometimes not so gently -reminds you otherwise. It is not so much that you are losing your faculties - speaking for myself this hasn't happened yet -it is more the sure knowledge that at some point you wil start to do so. So there is limited time - but you have no idea how to make the best of it (what with having to make a living in the meantime and all).

And I endorse everyhting that Enola said earlier about the impact of the software information age. I musn't get political here but there are certain trends and tendencies - which were fringe crank causes in the Eighties and Nineties - that simply wouldn't have gained the traction that they have today were it not for vested interests promoting them with the interweb as theiir portal.

I am not so impressed by those who go on about how much information we have readily at our fingertips these days. It's not information - it's infobesity. You always could get that information - you just had to get off your backside and find a decent library.

About 15 years ago I was charged with teaching `study skills` to teens at a Further Education college. These were bright kids who were also very tech savvy. And yet they had to be taught how to find information and to how to process it. It seemed to be news to them that you needed to know the right search words in order to target your search to what you wanted to find and that not everything on the blessed interweb is sacrosanct - you do have to view things critically and have some kind of hierarchy of sources. I shudder to think how it must be for lecturerss in the universities of today.

However, this feeling of everything going crazy is nothing new. I really feel fo the immediate post- Seconf World War generation - I mean those who were getting on abit in the late sixties. (My granparents generation). They survived the cataclysm of the Second World War and then looked forward to a period o]f peace and stability. This indeed did seem to be theirs for a time - but then KERRANG!- student protests, freaks, women's lib, terrorism, drugs, pornography, race riots....imagine how they must have felt!
 

Cochise

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I have been thinking about this.
I think this is absolutely spot-on and I couldn't have described it better. You really captured the zeitgeist of the current times. Do you think there is any way out of this technological nightmare or do you think it is just going to get worse? There is a whole generation of young people who are now slightly less "human" in the sense that they have grown up heavily embedded in the internet culture and although not quite cyborg have a different mentality to past generations and lack many of the social skills (are they still necessary?) and behaviours that were normal in the past. I see this in my own adolescents and the way they think and it can be quite upsetting. The high cost of living has also robbed them of a proper relationship with nature which I think is also part of this whole problem.

The problem is that with technology as it is it is too easy to live in a self selected bubble that reinforces rather than challenges one's own views. I know it affects me to some degree and I was lucky enough (and old enough) to be educated by the sort of people who taught you how to teach yourself, rather than passively learning. In particular Mr Thatcher who used to send people off to the town library to look up resources and Mr Gronow who was an ex South Wales miner.

As an indication of how times have changed, I had a longish walk to school because although the direct route to school was less than three miles the only buses went into the town centre and out again, taking longer than walking. I digress. The point was I was walking home in the pouring rain and Mr Thatcher stopped and gave me a lift. Not only would that not happen today, it's most unlikely anyone today is driving a car with a gallon oil can as the seat part of the passenger seat, or a passenger door that was held shut by a chain of bungees connected to the drivers door. It was an Austin A40 IIRC.
 
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blessmycottonsocks

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"everything seems different in a very negative way"

Bit like what happened to rock/pop music when the 70s ended?
 

JamesWhitehead

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they had to be taught how to find information and to how to process it.

Absolutely true. I have very seldom seen any young person construct a search-string or phrase or look for multiple words, excluding others on Google or any other search-engine. Their complete trust in the oracle is such that they will nearly always plump for the first - sponsored - result on page one!

I did deliver one useful PSHE session on the subject of internet awareness. Much of it was about bullying and too-much sharing, which they had heard before. I opted to spend a bit longer on the segment which dealt with the way our personal details were shaping the information we received. When the apps are free, we are the product. Most of the youngsters had experienced ads which seemed, uncannily, to reflect brands or products they had browsed. I hope it seemed a lot less uncanny after the session. They did enjoy comparing the different ads they got when browsing the same pages.

In other lessons, we have discussed the screen-free schools movement and experiments to limit screen-time for mental health. In general, however, schools do not spend much time on good practice in this field. It is assumed that a class of 11-year-olds can be let loose to rattle the keys and come back with a rich bag of facts they have learned about a subject. Sometimes it works well - I have even seen it termed "researching the subject!" Often it confirms the limits of their desire to explore and their reliance on copy-and-paste to hang the trophies on their own PowerPoint wall. Spotting errors, inconsistencies and obvious nonsense may require more experience than they have but the experience they are likely to be given will be more of the same kind of surfing. :comphit:
 
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Mythopoeika

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Absolutely true. I have very seldom seen any young person construct a search-string or phrase or look for multiple words, excluding others on Google or any other search-engine. Their complete trust in the oracle is such that they will nearly always plump for the first - sponsored - result on page one!
And this is why fake news ends up everywhere. They just believe it.
Lessons in critical thinking should be a part of education.
 

Spudrick68

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The number of times someone has triumphantly shared something political on Facebook that fits their own viewpoint is astonishing. What is astonishing is that quite often, a quick google of the name of the author of said piece shows that it is propaganda by someone with a vested interest. they tend not to like that so I get blocked. :)
 

Cochise

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The number of times someone has triumphantly shared something political on Facebook that fits their own viewpoint is astonishing. What is astonishing is that quite often, a quick google of the name of the author of said piece shows that it is propaganda by someone with a vested interest. they tend not to like that so I get blocked. :)

Still, keep up the good work. :clap:
 

Spudrick68

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The point I was trying to make was that quite a few people do not seek to assess information presented to them and just take whatever agrees with their personal prejudices as gospel truth.
 

rasputin

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And this is why fake news ends up everywhere. They just believe it.
Lessons in critical thinking should be a part of education.

I think it's all gone very Orwellian. There is very much a clampdown on freedom of expression - the monopolization and pushing of monolithic opinions by Google, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Youtube etc is scary. Anyone not following the correct opinion gets censored and disappeared (in the case of Youtube, channels that dare to have an opinion that goes against neo-liberal ideology are memory-holed - videos removed, public funding removed etc). The Overton Window has shifted to extremes.
 

AlchoPwn

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Does anybody else feel like this? Could we be living in a different, darker dimension, accidentally (or otherwise) opened 20 years ago (like the Upside Down from Stranger Things)?

I remember the 1980s without much fondness. I also remember finding the 70s abysmally stupid. Admittedly things were looking up by the end of the 1980s with Communism starting the dismantling of itself and the Montreal Protocol banning CFCs, but the bulk of the 80s was all about a growing sense that nuclear exchange was inevitable, and that if we survived the war, we would wish we hadn't. I was a teen at the time, but I didn't see the 80s as a positive time. I have far fonder memories of the 1990s. The 90s were started with the fall of the Berlin Wall, and ended in the biggest party ever. Music was better in the 90s, and the promise of the new emerging technologies was still exciting, rather than a meme-parade of new idiotic social media platforms to soak up your phone's memory.

9/11 was terrible, but mainly because of the way it signalled the enormous expansion of the surveillance state, and continuous attacks on freedom of speech. I think developed countries were sold a lemon, in that they gave up some of their freedoms for some more protection, and in doing so, deserved neither and lost both to a far greater degree than we are generally led to believe. I also think that the Internet has created enormous social upheaval just at a time when we actually needed the cohesiveness of network TV to help galvanise opinion on environmental issues as it had with the Montreal Treaty's ban on CFCs.
 

HamandCheeseSandwich

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I’d say yes, but then again I’m not from Rwanda, Yugoslavia, Cambodia, Hiroshima/Nagasaki, nor am I Jewish or Gay.

To be human is to put up with the 0.001% idiots/psychopaths in the world so we can enjoy The Beatles, Ridley Scott, Pele, Monet, Stephen Hawkins, Brunel etc

If we weren’t humans we’d all be Dr. Spocks and living in a different world.
 

Ermintruder

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we’d all be Dr. Spocks
Apologies....if this were nearly any-other forum I could be accused of being picky & pedantic, but, I believe you do mean Mister/Mr Spock, the fictional half-Vulcan (alien) Star Fleet officer from the Star Trek universe, and not the famed/infamous real-world Doctor Spock, American child psychologist & controversial author.

You see, perhaps it's just me being trite and particular, but especially when we're maybe talking about perceptual/putative dimensional shifts in real-world timelines & shared experience-sets, it is actually relevant for me, here, to be a pain in the butt and ensure that you reference the real McCoy.

(Beam me up, Danno)
 
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HamandCheeseSandwich

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Apologies....if this were nearly any-other forum I could be accused of being picky & pedantic, but, I believe you do mean Mister/Mr Spock, the fictional half-Vulcan (alien) Star Fleet officer from the Star Trek universe, and not the famed/infamous real-world Doctor Spock, American child psychologist & controversial author.

You see, perhaps it's just me being trite and particular, but especially when we're maybe talking about perceptual/putative dimensional shifts in real-world timelines & shared experience-sets, it is actually relevant for me, here, to be a pain in the butt and ensure that you reference the real McCoy.

(Beam me up, Danno)

Thank you for correcting me I was never a huge Star Trek fan, but much prefer it to Star Wars!
 

Patrick30

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The world has always been crap, at least for my 62 years of it. Poverty, ignorance, oppression, Empire, power for powers sake. Every new generation does what it can to improve things and it helps, but we are continually on the edge of darkness and probably always will be. There is always improvement and regression. The only time that really matters is now, because now is when shit happens.
 

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I must be the only one then who really had a really great time in the 70's and 80's, and no, rose tinted glasses not involved. In the UK there were plenty of jobs around, and house prices were easily affordable in the North. Studied hard worked hard and had a great social life. Of course in your 20's anything is possible, but still, free of the nonsense that is FaceTwitGram and the obsessions of the PC brigade, the indoctrination of the "you have to feel like this" brigade and the intrusion of large companies and Authorities into your private life, everything was much simpler.
 

XBergMann

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I don't know if anybody else feels like this but since around the turn of the century/9/11 it feels like everything seems different in a very negative way. I am sure the huge changes in society brought about by technology/the internet have contributed massively but it feels as if some horrible Pandora's box was opened (on 9/11? or at the turn of the century) and everything has become extreme. People seem less human, society is extremely polarised, politics is a complete mess and the future seems depressing and the world seems alien.

The time before all this (the 80s and 90s) was somehow quite magickal and although we didn't have all the things that make life supposedly easier now, there was a sense of positivity - that the future would be brighter (and then Blair got elected :mad:).

Does anybody else feel like this? Could we be living in a different, darker dimension, accidentally (or otherwise) opened 20 years ago (like the Upside Down from Stranger Things)?

There was a dimensional shift for me back in 2008, I went 25 years back in time by moving to Ukraine.
 
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