“I can't get rid of watching television... / We live in the kingdom of solitary confinement, people rot in their concrete cage”, sang Barón Rojo 40 years ago and, unfortunately, the lyrics of its songs, like in this case, are still fully in force today. It gives the feeling that never before at the moment in which we live our society has been so intercommunicated, interconnected, where information grows, flourishes and multiplies at breakneck speed, like weeds or the flowers of evil... However, it is paradoxical, we are involuting towards a world where social communication is being replaced by technology; increasingly reducing the essential and direct form of communication between human beings, face to face, without intermediary devices, to a continuous bombardment of text and voice messages that fragment our capacity for socialization to the point of seeing, for example, a family or a group of friends sitting at the table, all of them more attentive to their touch screen rectangle, than to taking advantage of this circumstance to hold natural conversations, where gestures, expressions, body language are protagonists.
A few corporations, with their media terminals, are using technology as a vehicle to achieve a behavioral change in society so that it not only accepts, but ends up completely submissive, worshiping the new golden calf: mediocrity. The one that, especially for a couple of decades, is roaming freely throughout the hemisphere of Arts and Humanities, turning the virtuous into vulgar, or directly hiding it, and elevating the tawdry and the grotesque to the altar of model to follow, of what sets trends. Indeed, a trend... towards the abyss.
Do you remember the beginnings of that popular Internet video platform that has ended up being part of our lives and to which there are those who dedicate their existence, uploading files where they display the most bizarre situations? At first, the Network of Networks seemed like an ocean of knowledge, eccentricities also abounded, but it was not difficult to find quality content. Take a look today, right now, at the home page of that platform and observe the material that populates it: videogarbage, that in addition to television garbage and, in general, except for honorable exceptions that confirm the rule, and that of the media in which it is no longer rare and exceptional to come across an increasingly pronounced neglect of spoken and written language, have become part of that kingdom of mediocrity in which society seems to be installing itself without any complex.
"Democratization" or Tyranny over Knowledge?
Have you stopped to reflect on what it means to be dependent on a web search engine and, ultimately, on who manages its algorithms, as well as content indexing? From the "democratization" of knowledge in the initial steps, we can say that we are already immersed in the tyranny of the Internet, in which not only those contents that a few consider a priority for the majority appear in searches, but also the censorship that is exerted, at least by the impact of the action, which affects billions of people around the world, is unparalleled in the history of mankind.
It is practically obligatory to turn to the past to read a good book, listen to a brilliant song, watch a magnificent movie or admire an extraordinary work of art, be it pictorial, sculptural or architectural. And not because there are no excellent writers, composers and artists today, but because there is an effort to impose the poisonous, degrading and decadent "creativity" that floods the mass media, the internet and social networks, turning those ones into a kind of freaks and the true freaks into social references.
The new canons about beauty, art and nature that are being imposed on society are a kind of anti-aesthetic that seems to come from the deep darkness of a cave -with the utmost respect for cave art-, and that is not satisfied with being the dominant current, but rather tries to corner, distort or eliminate, precisely, what is virtuous. It is evident that virtue can have many edges, but the vulgar, the grotesque... it only has one.
We will not get tired of repeating one of our favorite slogans in La Píldora del Saber: less technology and more philosophy, something that in these strange times sounds more like playing to the gallery than a proclamation that can be to carry out. In any case, it is our duty to continue betting on it, with the hope that this stage of darkness that is leading us to the precipice of dehumanization, will be overcome and flooded by the light of wisdom, giving back to virtue its scepter and its crown.