Day: March 12, 2012

inundation and web-spinning

I wonder if you saw this amazing image from flood-affected Wagga Wagga?

No — it’s not a farm house surrounded by flood waters. It’s a farm house surrounded by spider webs!

How they organised this impromptu Occupy The Farm House bamboozles me. But I love it. Can you imagine walking out your front door to this one morning? You’d have to pinch yourself.

I find this image latent with more than purely Nature Is Amazing kind of significance. For surely this image of physical inundation triggering a frenzy of web-spinning — like the socially-networked protesters converging on Tahrir Square in response to a rising tide of brutality and economic insecurity — is metaphorically pregnant with the essence of the age we live in.

According to Time magazine, a recent study published in Science has found evidence that when inundated with information, we network. Specifically, they found that:

  1. We are increasingly processing the tsunami of information threatening to swamp us by networking. When we don’t know the answer to a question, we start thinking about how we can get access to the Web to answer it
  2. We are increasingly outsourcing our memories — failing to commit things to memory when we believe we’ll easily be able to save and access it again later
  3. And what we are remembering is not the information itself but — in an Information Age mutation of the social-psychological phenomenon known as transactive memory — where and how we’ll be able to find it

This certainly resonates with the way I learnt theology. I was forced to think much more about the connections within the overall system — as well as how these linkages are made — than the precise details (of historical debates about the doctrine of creation etc).

What about you? Does it ring any bells for you too?