“That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.” – Neil Armstrong

Thoughts on: Everything is a Remix

This documentary does an excellent job in outlining an integral part of humanity’s need to consume knowledge, and use it to innovate. However, we are becoming a society (due to global pressure) where we must deny this very basic instinct.

This process, of consuming and re-purposing knowledge, is human nature and without the freedom to create openly – for fear of prosecution – we doom ourselves to a stagnation of progress, globally. We still think of ourselves, largely, as divided; by country, by race, by culture and by sub-culture (i.e. the music we like, the clothes we wear, the neighborhood we live in, our annual salary …etc). We tend to focus on the aspects of our lives that make us unique – or rather, part of a smaller sub-culture clique than the rest of society. Now, having our differences are certainly not a bad thing. However, it does become a problem when these dividing lines, through law, are used to keep humanity from advancing.

Copyright laws need to be revised to benefit the healthy cultivation of creativity; that is to say, allow people the freedom to be truly innovate. And in turn, their advancements would spread beyond their boarders and benefit people globally.

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Theory: Week 4

Response to Marinetti’s, “The Futurist Manifesto”

As much as I disagree with many of the ideas Marinetti outlines in his Futurist Manifesto, he does succeed in bringing to light an interesting issue. We do idolize and romanticize our past. We’ve built whole institutions on studying our history; its art, its war, its dance, its language. We’ve grown up weaned on the story of how glorious the empire of Rome was; studying it in every North American high school’s history class is mandatory – and rightly so, it’s the foundation on which western society stands.

However, do we take our obsession with history too far? Marinetti definitely thought so, and I begin to see his point.

“It is from Italy that we launch through the world this violently upsetting incendiary manifesto of ours. With it, today, we establish Futurism, because we want to free this land from its smelly gangrene of professors, archaeologists, ciceroni and antiquarians. For too long has Italy been a dealer in second-hand clothes. We mean to free her from the numberless museums that cover her like so many graveyards.”

He refers brashly to museums, and by extension universities and libraries, as “graveyards”. I assume he sees these institutions as churches for the past; where we go to worship people and inventions who have come before us. We are meant to enter them and be humbled. We lower our voices and gawk at the surviving relics of another time. And have we not, one time or another, walked into a museum and though, “Why is this here?” Who is it that decides what is precious and worthy of study? Indeed, Marinetti lived in one of the most celebrated graveyards of them all, Italy. Growing up he must have been absolutely inundated with this idea; we are our past, our value as the Italian people is our past, we are celebrated and studied by every culture because we were at one time glorious. It’s a suffocating thought. Not to mention our ever watching big brother, the Vatican in Rome, headquarters of God and the holy Catholic Church.

I think Marinetti comes off as a spoiled, arrogant, misogynistic, party boy who could afford to stay up all night writing poetry with his friends about how much he hates authority figures, but despite all that – he does criticize the tendency of our society to worship the past, and sometimes for no other reason than it is old and therefore we should have reverence for it.