As a reminder, Meta-Medium is an inquiry on whether technology can make us more like ourselves or more like everyone else. This analysis uses the self heuristic–our unstructured inner creativity – and the identity heuristic – the roles and archetypes we inhibit in the world.
The self heuristic requires mental solitude. It need not be physical because as mediation will tell you, we can connect to our deepest selves in a crowded room, a busy street, or in a moment of reflection.
The concept of solitude is a little more involved than just a moment of reflection. It can be generative and creative or lonely. It can be chosen or induced. When induced, we might try and fight it; this is particularly poignant as I am typing these words, and the world is dealing with the coronavirus and social distancing.
The stage we are all in requires physical remoteness, which means that if you had a regular full-time job, this might be the first time you are designing your habits of creativity.
Employees of traditional cubicle culture or the more modern open plan office environment are now designing their habits of creativity: individually and with people. Cycles of diverging and converging online social gatherings call for productivity, followed by calls for self–care and an onslaught of signals for better living.
In other words, there is a conflict between the self and identity heuristic. They are getting messy and intertwined. These days the world asks us to code–switch, move from identity to self, with little to no boundaries. That requires vulnerability, self-awareness, and a careful design of our habits in space.
The fact of the matter is the self heuristic exists in a deeply individuated space. It is designed for, operates within, and governed by our psyche – our world of reference, signals, and habits.
The self heuristic is unstructured; it makes sense to no one but yourself. Ideas and thoughts flow in silence, in imaginary languages, it is where we rush from conscious to none from articulate to magic, from consensus to bending reality.
It is our own ‘upside down’ from the show Stranger Things. It is a space with nothing and everything. Risky, dark solitude can be creative and generative if we can use it – and not let it control us.
I am working on making this point a longer blog post; if this is interesting to you, you would like to contribute with your own experience or otherwise have anything to add, please get in touch