In 1769 about 60 Spanish settlers gathered together in what was to become in 2009 a multi citied conglomerate from the Pacific to the desert, north and south almost 200 miles now generally called Los Angeles, California. As more and more people arrived it grew from a village to hundreds of towns and cities without any plan or particular design, as many have said it grew like Topsy. Good, bad, indifferent, it is a place so many came to and more stayed, but why? I lived and worked in Los Angeles a good part of my life, and left out of a need to preserve my sanity and humanity. Most I have met who have had a similar experience I think would find it difficult to explain Los Angeles, and few would want to return willingly.
Get in a car in Los Angeles and travel east to Boyle Heights, Pasadena, Arcadia, and south to San Pedro and Long Beach, west to Santa Monica and Beverly Hills, north to Studio City and Tarzana - there is no telling what town you are in, lost cities for lost souls.
The Topsy turvy city of southern California just grew however and wherever it was convenient and profitable. The digital world of modern culture began to show up with personal computers in the mid 80’s, some 25 year ago, just a generation out of the quarter century it took Los Angeles to evolve. But think of it, the digital world has encompassed every country and culture on earth in that short time with no more plan, regulation or direction than Los Angeles, it just grew and expanded like Topsy and everyone believes it an expression of freedom, it’s real democracy at work, or rather a Topsy turvy world of lawless anarchism that has brought us the worst of human detritus: spam, viruses, phishes and really fluky caricatures of the species that prey on the unsuspecting and innocent.
When half the population is looking in their rearview mirror for those good old days that never happened and the other half betwixt and between FaceBook and Twiitter, twiddling an iPhone or Blackberry hoping for inspiration they aren’t all on a road to nowhere, where are we? There is no plan, no roadmap for Topsy to continue to grow into anything we can proudly call our American culture, its all the gushing gruel of the grotesque celebrity world trying to dance their way to a new kind of glory - hey kids they rolled up the golden road of Oz and sold off the ruby slippers at auction years ago.
In the meantime those of us who follow the direction of a lens focused on something interesting are missing the boat. No one is demanding that the toys they are sold really work as they should. They are just thrown together in pretty plastic wrap in hopes you’re too stupid to know what you are buying because it has all kinds of meaningless large number specs attached. So if no one else has a plan, choose one for yourself and demand if some sleaze is eyeing your pocket book he is going to have to offer more than pizzazz to get at your credit card if you are fortunate enough to still have one that isn’t frozen. The mindless wonders that have grown Topsy so far can also put the pieces together to do what you need done. But it is up to everyone to learn what it is they want to do and the tools needed to get it done, and then you have to demand it be offered and delivered to get it made and in your hands,
Oh! I just read a pundits view of the new Microsoft Windows 7 - his advise: its time to ditch Windows, and that comes from a ZDnet PC wonk.
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