By Zygmunt Bauman
This liquid smooth international of ours, like several beverages, can't stand nonetheless and preserve its form for lengthy. every thing retains altering - the models we persist with, the occasions that intermittently capture our awareness, the issues we dream of and issues we worry. And we, the population of this international in flux, consider the necessity to comply with its pace by way of being 'flexible' and regularly able to switch. we wish to be aware of what's going and what's prone to occur, yet what we get is an avalanche of knowledge that threatens to crush us.
How are we to sift the data that actually concerns from the tons of lifeless and inappropriate garbage? How are we to derive significant messages from mindless noise?
We face the daunting job of attempting to distinguish the $64000 from the insubstantial, distil the issues that subject from fake alarms and flashes within the pan.
Nothing escapes scrutiny so stubbornly because the traditional issues of way of life, hiding within the mild of misleading and...
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Additional info for 44 Letters From the Liquid Modern World
I owe them some explanation. The greatest of Polish romantic poets, Adam Mickiewicz, conjured up a mysterious figure, a blend or a hybrid of, on one hand, a plenipotentiary of Freedom, its spokesman, holder of its power of attorney, and, on the other, its governor or vice-regent on earth. ‘His name is Forty-Four’: this is how that recondite creature was introduced by one of the characters in Mickiewicz’s poem in his announcement/premonition of its imminent arrival. But why that name? Many historians of literature, immensely better equipped to find an answer than myself, have tried in vain to crack that mystery.
In the hubbub of contradictory opinions and suggestions we seem to lack a threshing machine that might help us separate the grains of truth and of the worthwhile from the chaff of lies, illusion, rubbish and waste … In these letters, I’ll try to do just what the threshing machine (absent now, alas, and probably for some time) would have done for us had it been in our possession: to begin, at least, to separate the important from the insubstantial, things that matter – and are likely to matter more and more – from false alarms and flashes in the pan.
What has been gained, is convenience – cutting effort to an absolute minimum; speed – shortening the distance between desire and its satisfaction; and insurance against consequences – which, as is the habit of consequences, does not always follow the desired, pre-scripted scenario. Consequences are seldom fully anticipated, coveted and welcome. They can prove to be discomforting and vexing as often as they happen to be blissful and cloudlessly enjoyable. ’ (italics added). Another, with millions of members around the world, profiled mostly to the wishes of the globetrotting part of the gay public, chose another slogan: ‘What you want, when you want it’ (italics added).