Tremors of the Now; the Quiet Tyranny of Freedom

It’s with a mix of apprehension and tenacity that I read much of the news these days: we advance material technology enthusiastically while refusing to acknowledge that the greatest system in need of a firmware update is ourselves. Instead, we prefer simple dopamine cycles involving lifestyle (a marketing term which we’ll be seeing no short supply of soon enough), involving brandedness. Individuality is the epicycle orbiting in obeisance to Foucault’s Pendulous Determinism, a vague specter of a culture which we all can foretell the future of, for we are its architects in search of amnesia, which would cleanse us of the association and responsibility for seeing to the end the sequence of violent decay we’ve sown. 

Ok, so there’s the grand and overarching thesis to which we’ll return. What kicks off this particular episode of mental flurries? This article revisits an idea of someone I’ve come to feel is something of a true luminary of his (our) time, Elon Musk. Amid all the glorified middle managers who piddle through public legislature of political representation, there’s very little real consequence or wake in their presence. And at once, the article itself proves to be the middling journalistic complement of that levvied against those who, driven by ego and having eaten their fill of public adulation, do little to ultimately evolve human potential: 

While physicists pointed out that the technology mostly already exists, various experts in transportation infrastructure and urban planning — people who dedicate entire careers to inching public-works projects along — found Musk laughably naïve about the difficulty of building such a thing. An opinion piece in the Guardian argued that “as a shovel-ready infrastructure project, it is dead on arrival,” and a mathematician and transportation blogger named Alon Levy vividly imagined a 760-mile-per-hour “barf ride.”