19th-century child's bust and straw hat at Sophie Pretelat's Anges et Demons, brocante, Saint-Sulpice, Paris.
After recent dismaying experiences of photo theft, I've decided to adopt the Tibetan Buddhists' way of thinking about impermanence. Their tradition involves creating mandalas from coloured sand, then destroying them upon completion, reflecting life's transitory nature.
Over the last 7 1/2 years, I've written and photographed 2,430 posts for this blog. But it's taken less than two weeks to deconstruct it, deleting over 2,100 posts and thousands of photos! And I plan to remove even more, once some outstanding copyright infringement cases are resolved. If I can't stop spammers, scraper sites and unscrupulous individuals and companies from pilfering my work, then I'll make less content available for them to steal.
It's sad that it's come to this. But with the proliferation of image-sharing sites trying to market our work for their own gain, originality and creativity is being devalued. Our attention spans are shrinking, in direct proportion to the over-saturation of images, articles and messages. We restlessly search for the next picture; the news flash; the sound-bite; the hot video, without really focusing on any of them. And five seconds later, we're distracted by the next best thing.
This relentless bombardment of images and words and talk is like a steady diet of tapas: our brain's hunger is never satisfied. And the psychological need to be informed at all times - coupled with fear that we might miss something important - doesn't allow much time for introspection or critical thinking. Lately I've noticed many writers and activists I admire taking a step back from social media to focus on their creative work, as well as their personal lives. In an age where practically every move is chronicled (whether by mounted CCTV cameras at every public venue; social media exchanges or the NSA spying on all our communications), they're reclaiming what little privacy is left. What say you??!!
Too much talk for one planet: why I'm reducing my word emissions