Saturday, August 16, 2014

For he who laughs last.

Laughter was your savior
An honorable stigma
To have us brighten,
For a moment,
To make us
The Present
The world,
Will always be-
With woes.

With wonders
You made us
Laugh, into laughter
From the laughter
You dispensed
Like the morning
Light radiating
In reverse
That river
Unlike Nature's
Out to sea
Your flow
Took life
Just to be-
"The Joke
It really was
meant to be!"

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Robin Williams 1951 - 2014

The ironic Pagliacci syndrome; he himself could not laugh though he made millions laugh. Comedy ended in tragedy, which is tragic indeed. 

I believe there are and will be stragglers of the age of tragedy who cannot embrace the human comedy, the ego comedy, the laughable absurdity of self and collective importance. Tragedy is to be subsumed into Comedy, not the other way around.  

Robin Williams.  His merit is truly great.  He has brought the Medicine of laughter to millions; he prescribed transcendence and healing.  True teachers never need preach.      

From a Dzoghcen pericope:

Since everything is but an illusion,
Perfect in being what it is,
Having nothing to do with good or bad,
Acceptance or rejection,
One might as well burst out laughing.

Longchenpa (1308-1364)
The Great Perfection’s Self-Liberation in the Nature of Mind

Practice the high Comedy which subsumes tragedy,  Robin Williams.  Continue making laughter and medicine.

Robin Williams 
July 21, 1951 - August 11, 2014

Sunday, August 10, 2014


The holiday was ordered
Somewhere to be alone 
No doubt it’s for the best
The doctor requires it

You do remember him?
Yes, angular, bald, spectacles
An  enormous lime tree
Outside the practice- swaying

In April, he fiddled, scratched
Around the airless, spotless room
He spoke while grasping phrases
Between breaths like a  trout

Coming up for air- you lit up!
Your face fractured in subtle lines
I never noticed before? “He’s right-
“Somewhere to be alone is best”

And was it four leaden weeks?
Later, after fragmented conversations
Brittany was that land, chosen
For some vague ancestral reason?

Or perhaps you just liked its odd
Curved like finger projections
And indentations that distracts
The mind from the plain facts of life

And death- we never mentioned-
Until we drove the grassy road
It was a mistake, no shortcut-
How the willows simply glistened

Not a vehicle for miles and miles
Fields with poppies, cows with bells
Like Mahler’s tragic sixth you said!
Still pretending to be middle classed!

Cultured, respectable until the bitter- end?
How it was after all the sharp bends
The road just petered out- no abrupt
Transition- just a limestone path-

To a patch of ancient stone circles
You counted, rubbing their surfaces
You knew their meaning and purpose
Smiling, silently alone, finally at peace.

Afterwards you visited that doctor
With his awful pills the size of grenades-
You endured the well greased machines
And got through it- somehow, indifferent, free?

The Dark Energy of Fanaticism.

Consider what's happening in Iraq at the moment. Consider what's happening in the Gaza strip at the moment too.  Then consider what happened in the Balkans during the 1990s. The common thread again is monotheism and the unbalanced sense of self righteous correctness it seems to instill in all who submit to its dictates, regardless of whether they are actually Muslims, Christians or Jews. Monotheism breeds fanaticism in all its forms and the secular versions of it like Communism or Fascism were exactly the same. The treacle like density and opacity of every version of monotheism, can only be fully appreciated when you consider that the fanatical hatred and brutality being displayed by the ISIS (Sunni)  group who are in the process of conducting mass genocide at the moment, is, equally going to be applied not just to Christians, but also the other Muslim groups (Shiites and Kurds) in Iraq. The long withstanding difference between the Sunni and Shiite groups goes back centuries, yet, the substance of the difference between both forms of Islam is slight. The mass executions, rapes, be-headings, live burials, torture, are all done by the gun waving fanatic because he knows he's 100% right, because his God is singular, absolute and 100% right in everything he demands of his followers. Like all monotheism, the Sunni religion seems to prefer obedience and action to both the truth and compassion. There is also perhaps another more controversial thesis too about what happens in situations like Iraq which allows people who are in the classical sense evil to the core, to carry out what they want, to whoever they want, whenever they want without any consequences, and who do what they do "in the name of a religion" without believing any of it themselves. However without the dark energy of the fanatics whirling around their desert, war gods in the first place, the opportunistic evil ones, who believe in nothing, and enjoy being cruel and destructive for the sake of it, would never get their chance to join their holy god inspired brothers in the task of purifying the land for their monotheistic thin pot God.


Saturday, August 9, 2014

The Hyper- Reality of the Lonely Crowd.

"Forget Reality- that's the slogan of our new affluent society" John Galbraith

"People can only handle so much reality" T.S Eliot 

People have always wanted to escape from reality. The many reasons are obvious and well known, boredom, curiosity, the need to be different, the taste for newness or a desire for a sense of otherness, the need to commune with like-minded souls who are different from members of your family or community etc. Traditionally, Religion, the Arts, Sport, Cinema, even Science have been some of the different forms of "structured escape" from reality in the past. All of these types of escape usually involved some type of shared cultural beliefs among those whose were members, like those who belong to certain churches, or, those who support and follow certain football teams for example. Also, membership implicitly implied that the members of such social groupings would be high knowledgeable about their form of escape, and, often even their language would take on a different dialect and become highly nuanced when members would be together. 

Recently, I was at a public discussion held in my own city about the new possibilities for reality and society arising from the social media revolution. At the meeting there were the usual academics, members from various IT companies, Government officials and of course ordinary members of the public (usually under 30) who were daily users of Twitter and Facebook. The level of the discussion despite the grandiose title was decidedly parochial, but, largely most speakers seemed to be overwhelmingly positive in their general acceptance and enthusiasm about almost every facet of data that the social media has to offer society. What struck my mind forcefully at the discussion was the plain fact that the social media revolution dose not actually offer anything really novel in terms of its stated objectives. The form may have changed for our age, but Facebook is essentially nothing more than a collective pen-friend club, and, Twitter despite it claim to be producing a more inclusive and "clued in" society actually diminishes real debate and discussion by allowing users to anonymous make whatever crude or stupid remark comes into their skulls. I don't believe that the social media represents a great creative force akin to the forms of structured escape society had in the past, as essentially due to the lack of structure and shared beliefs that informs the whole social media fabric there is no real community out there in the first place!. You cannot escape reality and create something more real then the everyday world by positing a realm which is simply a running and often banal commentary on the latest general trends and opinions formed by society itself. There can be no transmutation of the mere facts of life by simply getting users to comment ad-nausea on the mere facts once more, and, pretending that this  somehow equates to creative insight and discussion. The traditional forms of escape allow for it members to undergo real states of change, whether this is through their football team winning, from going to a music gig, to writing a short story, all of these activities are based on certain beliefs that allow certain anticipations to arise in the imagination, and this is how they become creative activities. At the discussion, it unnerved me how blind, naive and uncritical many members of the younger generation are regarding the role of technology in society. It struck me at a psychological level that there's a tendency for people, especially, younger people to accept technology as it seems to equate to successful technique in their minds, and knowing how to successfully use an IT app is to be, up-to-date and "ahead of the game" in their world.             

Afterwards I reflected more and I came to the conclusion that unlike the older forms of escape the social media does not represent reality in the first instance, rather it is carefully constructed form of collective ideology called Hyper-Reality. Hyper-Reality is a collective form of a-historical, abstract, laxity that at best just induces users to be nothing than "informed" about the latest trends and stories and to be become "creatively"  involved in the story by adding their own text or tweet. Just like internet porn, it represents a kind of profound negation of our own unique creative potential by serving up what was once genuinely subversive, different and taboo as just another way to join in and loss yourself in the The Lonely Crowd.



Friday, August 8, 2014

Goodbye Yellow Brick Road 1973

Still a brilliant Album. Grey seal 

Your mission bells were wrought by ancient men
The roots were formed by twisted roots
Your roots were twisted then
I was re-born before all life could die
The Phoenix bird will leave this world to fly
If the Phoenix bird can fly then so can I

Who writes lyrics like this anymore!!

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Adventures of the time travelling Philosophers 2014

(The two ancient philosophers return to their time-machine after a night on the tiles in Blackpool England)   

Socrates  “So what is this place? My friend?”
Plato “A mystery within another mystery”
Socrates “Ah Peanuts! A mystery with a mystery, typical of you”
Plato “Alright great and noble one we’ve arrived in the year 2014.. What a peasant!” 
Socrates “Humour at last, after 3000 years of being locked in this grubby time machine with you singing the virtues of the ideal, no wonder the Tudors nearly had us beheaded….so anyway what of philosophy in these times? What of her noble calling, her receiving in mankind’s hands, the torch flame touched in the passing away of Night”
Plato “Talk about me being flowery…..well good friend
she makes no such demands any more, now she merely whispers that we must observe ourselves in our own image and compare ourselves to every other self’s opinion without any critical judgement”
Socrates “What a load of peanuts”
Plato “Indeed… they’ve even created this little (showing a tablet) space filled with whispers commenting on the whispers of other opinions called twitters”
Socrates “Twitters…What would that stuffy Frenchman from Rouen think…who we met…”
Plato “I say he’ll fall off his horse again!”
Socrates “Sounds rather banal! But still would like to see his pompous bum hit the ground again nevertheless”
Plato “Indeed, why, you’ve have become very cynical these days?”
Socrates “Well, smarty pants it’s not philosophy is it!”
Plato “Correction, it’s not philosophy as we know it” 
Socrates “Oh please, don’t reference that play from the year 1963, with men and women, colored into one garment, going into the void…I still recovered from that yet!”
Plato “ But to be serious for a moment, cynicism with regard to the state of philosophy in this time is not totally without warrant…most people have not interest in being their true self, the accept this world as the one only true realm.
Socrates “And of course how can you be anything greater than your natural self is you believe there’s nothing more than the material world?”
Plato “ Therein lays the rub!”
Socrates “Obviously your books must bore them!” 
Plato “Obviously!..but if you have lived your whole live in a prison then how do you know any different”
Socrates “Very true…hence the twitter book! You’re beginning to sound like a true weary philosopher, or, a one eyed poet from another time”
Plato “Poet, perish the thought”
Socrates “Alright boy genius get me a good ale…doubt it will be up to the Tudor’s style…and start figuring which button to press next” 
Plato” No you don’t my friend, night is coming and we need to be sober to get this crate going!” 
Socrates “Sober what a spoil sport…!” 

Plato's Dry Soul

"Water me, I'm a pot plant"

I don't think Plato liked the world much. Like Baudelaire’s seven horrible little dwarf men, I don't think he was merely indifferent to to its vicissitudes. One derives from his books, a man, who was born to be the philosopher in the classical religious sense. His haughty scorn for everything "human, all to human" is never very far away, and, one senses with this most peculiar and sheltered man, a person who never once let himself go, even, in the drinking parties he attends he always appears to be the sober one . This ever present self vigilance of himself combined with his natural distrustful to the passions of others, sets the context out of which he writes on many topics.. Although he seems to have genuinely appreciated women, and advocated for their equality with men in many matters, there is nevertheless the sense of a man, who was afraid of the "feminine". This fear (common enough in his society) he equated with the irrational which was something that many Greeks appeared to have a deep seated anxiety about as it was synonymous with chaos and disorder in their social universe.

Plato was nevertheless an excellent writer. His ideas are clear and interesting and he employs a huge range of literary techniques in his writing to get his ideas over to this audience. His metaphors of the Cave in the Republic and of the three sexes in the Symposium are quite exceptional in the history of western philosophy. However, as he gets older, the views darken, especially those in relation to the fate of mankind and towards the created world in general. Additionally, despite the fact that he's rarely boring to read, there is almost no humour or wit to found in most of his writings. Humour one generally finds is more abundant in the works of writers who've experienced the world, and got dirtied by it, and yet lived to tell the tale. With Plato there is never this sense at all. In fact you get sense that he becomes even more aloof and detached for the "rag and bone world of experience" as his hair gets grayer, as a result his dislike of the world becomes even more intractable with age. The only thing that moves him passionately eventually is the beauty of the ideal over all sensuous experiences, including those of the arts and music, which he derides as false copies of the ideal. As a consequent, the ideal person or philosopher must be a man or indeed women, who ruthlessly restraints themselves from all sensuous involvement in the world, they must devote themselves to serving the state in a selfish or altruistic manner (the guardians), they must be rational in all matters, and preferably if men, conduct themselves in real friendships only with other men (the famous platonic relationship). It's difficult to appreciate the impact this one man had on western culture, and how his own personal (aristocratic) distaste for the world would become even more concentrated through Christianity, who's troubled legacy we're only beginning to awake from. Salvation to Plato was the soul gone dry and detached, ready to be join the abstract Gods in contemplation of higher things once the soul has shed the dross of its mortal desire ridden attractions. Even in an posthumous existence there is no sensory or sensuous reward, even the personal detached ego is swallowed up into this pure metaphysical realm of ideas and Gods. In this key sense, Plato should be understood more as world renouncing religious ascetic rather than a philosopher in the normal modern sense of that concept. However, if Plato happens to be on the metaphysical money, I think the human race will be in the created world for a very, very, long time to come!

Where once there was a home.

Smoldering mess.
Charred mortar
Black like hell
And twisted iron
Who could believe it.

A snarling monster.
Like a primordial demon
Worked his overtime, last night.
There was chaos and fear

But, no water to be had.
He was here too, helpless,
What could he do, but watch
The Devil, reduce, reduce, reduce

To that ubiquitous colour.
Now gentle smoke, blue flame
Purr like a satisfied tiger
Lazing in the morning sun.

It’s difficult to imagine him.
When yesterday was yesterday,
When this was other than is,
With the world alright for him.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

War Memorial

Without affirmation or denial
The Leaders' speak, the language proclaims?
For who can be forgiven, when in the end
Their sacrifice was valued so lightly

In gilded words wrapped like grenades
Speeches delivered like malignant lilies
Crowd the lindens, rains the clouds
grief and memory, terrible like great joy

Time is redeemable, somehow, redeemed
From the savage mutilated soliloquies
Of their persistent half truths and wars
Quivering the flame's immense nerve.

Laying flowers, daffodils? incandescent
Yellows left by generations not born
To remember the significant act done
Against, the concrete, grey, memorial names

Of countless dead, flesh and bone, no more
Ciphers and etchings through the winter light,
Words like icy silence arrests the breaths
like a million thoughts, here, brutally undone


Monday, August 4, 2014

My Waking Self

Everyday it happens. To all of us. I wake up the same way like every person on this planet does each day. Within seconds of awaking from a deep dark unconscious state, I open my eyes and I am myself ,and, you are yourself! To me this is one of the seminal mysteries of both philosophy and psychology and yet how rarely it is ever discussed by academics in these fields.

It's strange that there isn't some type of medical condition in existence, where people wake up as someone or something other than themselves. Perhaps even worse would be a condition where people awoke only to the state of being a conscious entity everyday, that, only possessed an indeterminable and vague sense of self identity. Obviously, if this was the case, human life would never have developed beyond the stage of simply fulfilling its basic desires on a day-to-day basis. We would have been essentially lower down the natural order than most animals, as lacking any tangible persistent and durable sense of self-identity we couldn't have formed relationships, families or eventually fully fledged societies.

So what gives us all this unique first person sense of self that we can identity as being me, rather than you each morning. Psychologists would say that it's our EGO that produces this sense, but, we all know that even domestic animals, and even wild garden birds that we observe each day, appear to be possessed of this sense of self identity too. Linguistically inclined philosophers would say it's because of our sense of I that we derive from our public language that we learn as children, and the I is produced because it is other than everything else in the world that language can name and identity. However, this doesn't explain why some types of animals have it too, and, why human beings who are born deaf and dumb have an identifiable sense of self from an early age, and, the case with babies is even more evident, considering babies cannot develop this "I sense" until their language skills develop later.

In the final analysis the important question revolves around what allows each and every one of us to be Mr X and Ms Y each morning after a profound lapse into an unconscious state. The answer to this question may mean that we have to ask ourselves where our unitary sense of self goes each and every night when we're sleeping, and perhaps this is more of a metaphysical rather than a scientific question.


Hume's Carrots: The Philosophy of the NOW

I don't want to live in a prison. I know carrots are orange and perhaps in sufficient qualities are good for me. I like the smell of cut grass especially in July when the weather is humid. I appreciate that with age you shed your beliefs about the world like the leaves on the Autumn trees.

Such things maybe true:-
"But you should try living in the NOW as that's all we've got" ...."Why" I answered... that sounds terribly uninteresting, if I was a philosopher of Hume's inclinations, I would simply glibly answer that the NOW is nothing more than the constant meeting of cause and effect, and, the NOW is nothing more than being aware of this interaction. However on closer examination I might become disturbed by this very neat answer supplied by Hume. Does causation always work from the past to the future? Are not causes and effects in many cases simultaneous, the light and the switch being pressed for example? If the light had gone on in the room then I must have pressed the switch, implying that effect gives cause in this case, but, the opposite is equally true too, and, neither is the outcome of a purely logical or linguistic contradiction. Even Hume's assumptions that there is a realm of pure causes and another of pure effects seems to be very dubious, as he seems to fall in the empiricist's fallacy of creating abstract dimensions in order to describe the empirical realm which is meant to be complete in itself. Additionally, if the NOW is a simultaneous event where cause and effect are constantly meeting, does it describe the experience of these events to the casual observer?. Where for example does the cause end and the effect begin, and what about the way events are registered when effects create a cause, and what does this mean for the way the observer would register time in such cases? If there is such a state as the NOW exists, then surely it must exist in a very different manner to that what is normally thought and understood by this concept in traditional philosophical circles. A revised concept of the NOW, would be one that pertained to these so called Non-Events in the world, which would be removed from the linear laws of causality as they are commonly understood by most philosophers. This is a radical departure from the simplistic understanding of cause and effect in the NOW as described by Hume and his successors.  

However, Hume would still answer that we are  justified, even if this is the case, in asking how such non-events can be experienced at all, what is their actual ontic quality, in other words, how can a given observer experience a Non Event in our shared reality called the world?? Perhaps to answer such questions the very concept of what is meant by a shared, common public world, and that such experiences of this type would seem to posit the notion that our shared world we all experience is not uniform and the same in terms of the events it can present to each observer. Such conclusions if true would  take us far away from the mechanistic 17th century logic of simple cause and effect. The  "Now" of every "Present" moment would appear to be more a place of probabilities and intentional non-purpose, a realm more akin to the periphery of psychology and physics rather than linear logic!

So the next time you're told to live in the NOW ask the Guru sitting next to you to describe what they actually mean by living in the NOW! 


Sunday, August 3, 2014

Why I'm not religious, Why I'm not Spiritual

When people ask me if I'm religious I usually say No- I don't fudge it by saying I'm a spiritual person,  for what does that actually mean anyway? "Yes, well I don't consider myself religious in the conventional sense, but I think I'm very spiritual in many ways". I think such answers are a complete cop out and clique that says absolutely nothing about the given person's real "inner" sense, for use, of a better concept. Perhaps, the question should be re-phrased by saying can a spiritual person be spiritual without any ethical foundation to their being? The simple answer would appear to say no, as the ethical, knowing the difference between good and evil and having the ability to apply these values correctly in the judgments we make about the world would seem to be the hallmark of a spiritual sensibility. However, what if the ethical values that we apply are actually dubious themselves, for example that the truth that we apply is often dependent on values that were derived from corrupt sources or from people or organisations that often didn't practice what they preached.  I used to take exception sometimes to spiritual people who seemed to lack any ethical foundation to their being, as many pure spiritual practices seemed in many cases to be nothing more than narcissistic cults built around developing EGO but only this time in an "enlightened gloss".

However, the head-long abandonment of the external ethical referent that the 1960s hippy movement still had for example, in favor of the isolated and ethically closed off me-centered spiritual EGO of today may have deeper roots then first envisaged. Perhaps, the me-centered spiritual beings who float between the various spiritual practices of the east and non-traditional western sources (Amazonian Shamanism, Wicca, Indiana Tantra)  nowadays are cognizant of the fact that most western ethical values are completely incompatible with their spiritual well-being, and for them to develop an ethical sense in themselves would require them to radically transform and cleanse these encrusted western values which they have neither  interest, or will to do as a me-centered spiritual EGO. 

So the question of whether a person is religious or not is easy enough to answer for a modern western person as it relates essentially to Monotheism which I believe was responsible for introducing a huge degree of disharmony and even evil into the western world. 

I'll say the following which I've said elsewhere about it:-       

"Monotheism is the partial and parochial made absolute. Its truth makes no reference to anything or anyone outside its Law. There are only those who are right and good and those who are evil and wicked. Those who deserve life and those who do not. Monotheism represents the banality of a violent force whose simplicity paralysis the mind and hardens the heart of all who kneel down before her truth. Monotheism is the FIRE without light that allows her followers to be commit Evil in the violence they do, for they do it in the partial knowledge that gives them the absolute truth from their singular God with his clean conscious, begetting and blessing the Evil they do in His name"

For me it's quite easy to say that I'm not religious person as religion in the west always means monotheism, and I believe that the absolutism of Judaism, Christianity and Islam have been and indeed are to this very day both untrue and dangerous to mankind in general and the individual in particular. They are nothing more than a heap of distorted myths from the middle-east, that have been corrupted to the core by being portrayed to the world as the absolute truth for ever human being that has ever or will ever live. The natural pagan gods and myths were much humbler in their truths and claims and by force and cunning (the saints in the Catholic Church) they were destroyed for a partial, alien religion that claimed to know the whole truth. How odd it is that most people are still religious in the west?

Then, the question of whether or not I can call myself spiritual. To me the spiritual without an ethical foundation is a bit like a car without any wheels, it really doesn't go anywhere very much. So in search of a solution we eventually arrive back near Nietzsche who addressed this issue in the most honest and forthright manner among any western philosopher I can think of. His answer, to us, now seems strange and remote due to the cultural sensibilities of us own time, but, essentially, in a nutshell, his spiritually evolved being, relates to the creative artist and/or philosopher, perhaps even in our times, the great creative businessman or innovator would be in this category.  However, Nietzsche excludes the ethical as a form of spiritual evolution as he sees it as totally contaminated by Christian values that undermine and weaken the spiritual greatness in the creative individual. It's at this key high-point between the great creative forces in a person, or a society, or in an organisation regardless of ethical consequences where the western mind often becomes notably silent, both by people who are traditionally religious and also from the spiritually enlightened me-centered types, whose odd muteness, time and time again, despite their spoken high values on other occasions, seems to implicitly say that they, without even knowing it, are in league with the old adversary himself. Monotheism and all who are ensnared by it makes a virtue of being ethical while at the same time nodding towards the use of violence and force that is backed-up by the silence of all whom call themselves either religious or spiritual people in the west. 

So, when asked, all I can say is that I'm honestly neither religious nor spiritual anymore.



Friday, August 1, 2014


Go to Instagram or Twitter and look up, say, some kind of currently popular celebrity's official account. You will see there fan tweets and comments, literally by the thousands. They are like mountains of garbage data and human spam, each clamoring for recognition.

Herd mentality is paradoxical, because each person in the herd believes that somehow s/he has a voice, that s/he somehow has a unique ego.  To an extent this is true, but then again, if the same holds true for everyone, there is nothing that is unique.

In the current garbage-throwaway consumership culture, there is a prevalence of this kind of information Noise (Chaos) and information entropy in the cyber and social-media world in which many people live.

How then is a person to become unique, special (i.e., in an upstanding, ethical way)?  Perhaps the first step is to forget about standing out, forgetting about the specialness of one's own egocentric self. This is not about abandoning things.  But it's not about getting entrenched and swept away.  

But the flip side is that the prevalence of information Noise and entropy could afford enough contrast for people to self reflect more.  Who knows.


Technological Evolution

I personally find the Amazon Fire Phone commercial interesting.  Have a look:

Think for a moment.  If you have a modicum of sociological imagination and you're not ten years old you might've sensed that the target demographic age of what's considered "cutting edge" and "trendsetting" or being up-to-date with the time (which is a covert tactic that works well to sell: "If you have this product, you will not be a social outcast" (implicitly)) has been dropping in the last few decades.  At one time products were targeted to grownups with families.  Then came the 80's when products were targeted to people in their twenties.  

Recently in the past ten years I noticed products targeting teens. I predicted then that eventually they will target preteens, because they will be the most well versed in what is the newest and trendiest.  I was right, the proof is all around us. Kids with gizmos today make Elroy Jetson look like Barney Rubble. Of course the commercial posted here is targeted to fuddy-duddy parents, but it's only because it lets parents know that it's the children who know the best and the newest. 

Is this true?  It actually is.  Kids have evolved and keep evolving.  They will be born in more technologically evolved morphogenetic fields.  The proof is in the pudding, and if you have children you probably know this already.  The future is here, technologically speaking, and things will keep evolving (technologically) exponentially.

Recently an upper-teens kid told me he was made to feel old by a kid who is ten.  This is because the ten year old did not know what a camera was.  The ten year old had no concept that pic-taking devices existed back in the stone age independent of phones.   

As an aside, to be truly cognizant of this evolution, educational systems must also catch up. The old institution modeled after systems of the Industrial Revolution is fast getting outmoded.  Think about it. Today children have all the information that once had to be learned from textbooks and memorized available at their fingertips.  They have a kind of informational-data omniscience now. They can view specific geographical locations, for example, instantaneously.  If they don't know what the capital of Idaho is, voila, the answer is only seconds away.  What should matter to education should no longer be the cramming of data, but something else.  Learning to synthesize thoughts, apply critical thinking, ethics, and enhancing their inherent abilities ... these kinds of things must augment and supplement (and perhaps supplant in places) educational courses at schools, i.e., if by "education" the intent to educate is meant.