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Rebuttal of @wiredgeekdad @cebsilver

January 4, 2013

Wired’s GeekDad Curtis Silver has “10 New Year’s Resolutions for Everyone Else” It is a humor piece but I think he is wrong differing in opinion on so many points that I need to treat it seriously. I think it not insignificant that Silver writes as a dad. His resolutions are wrong different because they come from an older generation (correction: he’s not actually much older than me but I don’t have kids).

First he writes “Stop speaking in text.” But what else could we speak in? This relates to language being a virus. He may not like these modern internet neologisms (“LOL” and “emoticon smiley face”) and prefer not to hear them spoken but they are now words, symbols of our generation.

Then he says we should increase our use of showers and the words “please” and “thank you” — I don’t disagree with that but it again highlights the dad-ness of this list.

Then he claims we are conflating “influential” with “popular”; I don’t think this difference is what he claims. Popularity begets influence. Popular trash might be trash but it is no less influential, and possibly moreso. We could try to stop letting the trash be popular but once it’s popular it is certainly influential even if only subliminally.

He claims we shouldn’t whine about Facebook privacy changes because it’s a free service that isn’t making money. First I’m not sure I agree with the premise that Facebook isn’t making money but even if it’s true that they don’t make money, we should all still whine about losses of privacy. The very meaning of our lives is being changed by these companies that don’t make money. And when they do eventually start making money it will be because of our participation.

He claims zombies will jump the shark and refers to “Walking Dead”. Now that TV show will likely get stale but zombies aren’t going away. They are the shark. The “emo zombies” are sure to come whether we want them or not.

Next he addresses fascination with ninja (recall my other ongoing project is NinjaLaw). Silver claims we should stop admiring ninja because they lack “loyalty or accountability” and think everything more “epic” than it is. This issue of “epic” seems highly related to the character of Barney Stinson on How I Met Your Mother – previously mentioned on ZombieLaw because of the set dressing includes law books. More to the point, in this current world, what institution could possibly deserve loyalty? Why should we want to be accountable when no one in power seems required to be?

Silver quotes @drkyle : “The ninja is one who infiltrates a social network, makes one dazzling comment, and is never heard from again (did they exist?)” This existential issue of whether we exist is critical to both zombie and ninja culture. The question of where is our mind and whether we have consciousness beyond material neuroscience – we are not here – we are zombie bodies – we are dissociated minds – remnants of enlightenment era language – ghosts in the machine.

Silver wants us to “Resolve to be more resolute” but in a world of zombie lies, we should resolve to be more open-minded, more willing to change, more interested in variations.

That said, I do agree with his last two resolutions, “toys are people too” (corporations are people, it’s time we anthropomorphize even more – there is a cacophony of unrepresented voices in the congress of physical objects all around us) and “every moment is a New Year. You just have to make it happen.” (Calendars are maps not territories).

So thanks Dad but I think I’ll pass on your resolutions, 2013 for me is going to be an epic year of zombies and ninja. Thank you. Please retweet and make me more influential – emoticon smiley face!

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