Evolution is not a ladder. Even the tree metaphor is flawed because it gives the faulty impression of ‘progress’ upward. Evolution is only change in whatever direction leads to the most reproduction.
Cultural evolution is the idea that our ideas and way of life evolves generation to generation much the way an organism does, based on how easy the ideas/traditions/etc are to imprint on the next generation.
In much the way that you could sit down and design a self replicating organism that is way better at existing than a lot of life on earth, you can also come up with ideas and art that are way better than whatever music/art/entertainment gets passed on and on and on.
If evolution produces junk so often, maybe it’s time we start trying to influence it. Biologically, we can do this by editing our own genes. We are well on the way to doing this already.
But culturally, how do we do it? How can we change what is popular so that it’s something beautiful and meaningful that is gets created, instead of Transformers 8, season 10 of Jersey Shore, or a billion copies of 50 Shades of Gray?
The answer is probably education, as it seems to be with almost every problem in society. Someone who’s read history’s greats, and seen the most elegant art and been taught enough about the world to appreciate its most amazing creations, is going to have a lot less interest in the basic, surface level schlock that floods the market every day.
One thing about audiobooks, is you can’t tell how far into the story you are while listening. A paper book, you can see the thickness of the pages in your hand. A kindle book has that little percentage on the bottom as you turn the pages. But an audiobook, who knows?
I’m still listening to My Name is Red, and I had thought that the narrative was drawing to a crescendo, and that the story would soon be over. Maybe it’s because I’m used to listening to books that are ~10 hours long, and I sort of felt this time approaching, but I actually am just reaching he halfway mark.
It’s a fun feeling to find out that a story you are enjoying is suddenly going to keep going for a lot longer than you thought!
I’ve been having a lot of ideas lately, giving them a bit of polish, then storing them away for later. I don’t often have success with an idea when I write it too soon. Ideas need to age…
But now that I’ve got a few of them shelved and fermenting, maybe I can actually get some writing done instead of all this… thinking (not writing).
My next story is going to be for a pre-issue of the magazine I’m working with, Lucent Dreaming. So you can look forward to reading something from me there soon!
Also, we are having a short story contest, check it out if you’d like to enter 🙂
I’ve had 4 submissions this year… and am still waiting on two of them, and will be sending out another one next week. Good to be getting back into it! I’m determined to get a couple more sales under my belt, it’s been way too long!
My stories have improved over the years, so I just need to write more of them. That’s part of my goals for this year, along with all the editing I need to do…
The key is to send them out, everywhere, constantly. I haven’t been doing that until recently, and thus… no sales. So I’m starting again, and will not stop! Since now I have the super power of being able to write two things at once, I am going to be sure I always have one or two stories out there waiting to be read by some editor.
It will work… eventually!
Hopefully you can read a new short story by me in a magazine soon!
What does your mind do while you’re away? Could your dream world be more important and enriching than waking life?
Our days so often seem like meaningless survival, as if our consciousness is just a way to keep us eating and procreating, the same way a section of our brain keeps our hearts beating and lungs breathing.
Is consciousness just an autonomic function, while our subconscious in the dream world is where our important mental lives are?
How could one unite those two consciousnesses for the full experience…
I wrote one poem in my adult life, five or six years ago. I think I might try writing another. This may seem unusual, seeing as I know nothing about poetry. But, I do know about writing… and what is poetry but a lyrical, condensed form of writing? I hate rhyming and repetitive patterns, though so… we’ll see what kind of poetry it turns out to be…
I haven’t read many. I got a couple books of poetry (English Romantic Poetry: An Anthology, and Edward Fitzgerald’s Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam) to get a taste of it. What else is recommended?
What a big part of literature I know nothing about!