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Our greatest peril? Screening ourselves off from reality

https://i.guim.co.uk/img/media/b32faaa3a67013ff97e57f10759ffbcfe6b4be81/45_19_1708_1025/master/1708.jpg?w=620&q=55&auto=format&usm=12&fit=max&s=ce27ce64aaba725fff7025e6473ee8e8

The YouTube vlogger PewDiePie, who paid two Indian men to hold up a sign reading “DEATH TO ALL JEWS”. Photograph: Adithya Sambamurthy/The Guardian for the Guardian

  • Immersed in life online like the followers of 4chan or PewDiePie, we start to imagine that nothing matters – even racism, misogyny and resurgent fascism.
  • Related: Chris Hedges | A Nation of the Walking Dead

George Monbiot, the Guardian

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Tuesday 28 February 2017 | Everything is possible. Nothing is possible. Nothing hurts any more, until the consequences crash through the screen. Immersed almost permanently in virtual worlds, we cannot check what we are told against tangible reality. Is it any wonder that we live in a post-truth era, when we are bereft of experience?

It is no longer rare to meet adults who have never swum except in a swimming pool, never slept except in a building, never run a mile or climbed a mountain, never been stung by a bee or a wasp, never broken a bone or needed stitches. Without a visceral knowledge of what it is to be hurt and healed, exhausted and resolute, freezing and ecstatic, we lose our reference points. We are separated from the world by a layer of glass. Climate change, distant wars, the erosion of democracy, resurgent fascism – in our temperature-controlled enclosures, all can be reduced to abstractions.

George Monbiot is an English writer, known for his environmental and political activism. He is the author of the bestselling books The Age of Consent: A Manifesto for a New World Order and Captive State: The Corporate Takeover of Britain.

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Related:

https://i2.wp.com/www.truthdig.com/images/eartothegrounduploads/Walking_Dead_590.jpg Mr. Fish / Truthdig

Chris Hedges | A Nation of the Walking DeadChris Hedges,  Truthdig  / Rise Up Times

  • This is more about mood modulation. Affect modulation. Using technologies to dampen anxieties and exit the world. We don’t just see it in Las Vegas. We see it in the subways every morning. The rise of all of these screen-based technologies and the little games that we’ve all become so absorbed in. What gamblers articulate is a desire to really lose a sense of self.
  • Related: We Are All Deplorables