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Friday, February 15, 2013

Cyberbabble

For those of us who grew up in urban, English-speaking India in the 70s (that's a sure sign of the academic, the need to qualify and delimit the who, when, where, otherwise known as the subject location!), the title of this post may ring a bell (remember the song Psychobabble by the Alan Parsons Project?). But that's just the inspiration for the title.

Last week Prof Ananda Mitra of Wake Forest University (North Carolina, USA) visited Hyderabad briefly and talked about his current passion, the idea of "big data" and the "narrative bits" (see http://www.narbs.info/ for more) that we generate as we leave our verbal traces on the Internet through facebook posts and gmail status messages. As I listened to him, this is the verbal trace I generated...

Update your status
Tweet a tweet
Post a post
maybe upload an insta-picture
and geo-tag yourself
into existence.
Tell a story of the self
and the Other
using a virtual machinery
of clicks and comments.
One might say,
be a dilletante
in the dance of life
flitting from one window
of being
to the next;
minimize, maximize
presence, 
moving through mind-sites.
The conversations proceed
suspended
in the time-space of the cyber
a chatter of immense proportions
across 
twisted, turning, trans-positioned
wires of light.
I surface on your wall
a mere blip on a screen
across the world
but our words
touch
on the chat frame
and make meaning
(or not).
But what the heck,
let's hold our coffee cups
and meet for a while
in that little corner window
of our globalised world
and talk.

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