Memory's playground: How digital life is changing our identities

In these digital times, all of us will put on the stage, says actress Parker Posey.

I wanted to find a place for myself to cast myself in a book and me starring on paper and play with the persona of the movie star, which I think people are interested in and find entertaining. I always did. And I come from—my family, they’re performative people.

But I think every memoir is a self-mythologizing act, and in this digital time right now, the new screen time, the rise of this new screen—what are we losing? And what can we make to connect us even further to our own mythologies and our own stories and our own family?

So when I was writing this I saw my trajectory and my family and my grandparents in these stories, so the act of writing was an interpretation and a period of catching this kind of energy in these stories.

And it’s performative too, and that was also something that was coming through with the act of writing, was wanting to connect with people and maybe even travel with it, which I think could be really fun. A really casual karaoke party where people really “mean” the song and they’re not performing it, and they’re not imitating—and just play. You know, chill out, leave your cameras.

There’s no one in the audience; we’re all going to be on stage now, isn’t that what this new screen is allowing us to make—even more fiction? It’s an interesting time.

For me it’s like a separation and there’s a difference between a façade and a persona. A façade is evil but a persona is something that you play with.

A façade is something you can’t really break through.

But I think all these archetypes are all inside of us to work through, to really listen to, to be conscious of, to play with. And we should be playing with it. We should be acting out—in a safe space. Why is Halloween so popular? What is everyone getting out of dressing up for Halloween or Comic Con? There’s a real desire to break out of our skins and to be something bigger, something different.

In these digital times, all of us will put on the stage, says actress Parker Posey. More fiction will be created and more self-mythologizing. Everyone has a desire to break out of our skins and to be something more than we are. But what are we losing?

Lama Rod Owens – the price of the ticket to freedom

An ordained Lama in a Tibetan Buddhist lineage, Lama Rod grew up a queer, black male within the black Christian church in the American south. Navigating all of these intersecting, evolving identities has led him to a life's work based on compassion for self and others.

Think Again Podcasts
  • "What I'm interested in is deep, systematic change. What I understand now is that real change doesn't happen until change on the inside begins to happen."
  • "Masculinity is not inherently toxic. Patriarchy is toxic. We have to let that energy go so we can stop forcing other people to do emotional labor for us."
Keep reading Show less

For most of history, humans got smarter. That's now reversing.

We were gaining three IQ points per decade for many, many years. Now, that's going backward. Could this explain some of our choices lately?

The Flynn effect appears to be in retrograde. (Credit: Shutterstock/Big Think)
popular

There's a new study out of Norway that indicates our—well, technically, their—IQs are shrinking, to the tune of about seven IQ points per generation.

Keep reading Show less

Lateral thinking: The reason you’ve heard of Nintendo and Marvel

Here's why generalists triumph over specialists in the new era of innovation.

Videos
  • Since the explosion of the knowledge economy in the 1990s, generalist inventors have been making larger and more important contributions than specialists.
  • One theory is that the rise of rapid communication technologies allowed the information created by specialists to be rapidly disseminated, meaning generalists can combine information across disciplines to invent something new.
  • Here, David Epstein explains how Nintendo's Game Boy was a case of "lateral thinking with withered technology." He also relays the findings of a fascinating study that found the common factor of success among comic book authors.
Keep reading Show less