There was a time when we knew our neighbors – even if you had nothing in common OTHER than the fact your houses were on the same street, that was enough to make us aware of each other. For decades we have bemoaned the changes in neighborhood dynamics. Maybe it was our more mobile society, where we can practically sell our hoses and move at a moment’s notice. It could be that being able to travel freely dispersed us out off the street most of the time, or that the increased availability of home entertainment (radio to television to videos to streaming) kept us isolated in our homes – walls and a world away from each other.
Now there are extra influences separating us further. The internet makes it even more possible to associate with people who have the same interests as we do, and we only hear the echo chambers of our own thoughts. It’s harder to identify with the rest of humanity if you can’t hear them. If a tree falls in the forest – or a cat’s in a box with poison…
Then there’s targeted marketing that tries to partition us by what we SHOULD be interested in, rather than what we REALLY care about. Because I’m of a certain age, I received a personalized offer for a “Free Prepaid Cremation.” I regularly receive offers for free meals (us old folks never have enough to eat) to listen to presentations for social security, retirement, nursing homes. I get phone calls for free hearing aid trials (do they think I need one if I can hear them?), nursing homes. I get phone calls for free hearing aid trials (do they think I need one if I can hear them?) This sort of demographic targeting is being done to the young’uns as well. The upshot of this is that we are becoming more and more balkanized. The more what we see is different, the less and less likely we are to identify with people who are outside our designated group.
Take this a few years into the future, as AI becomes more astute and skilled at further subdividing us. Will we ever really know our neighbors? And once the AI have succeeded dividing, then they will be ready to conquer us.
It’s out there! This is the release date for The First Three ‘Things I Could Get OUT OF MY MIND’ – a collection of my first three OUT OF MY MIND collections (a total of eighteen short stories in all.) It’s available at several online sellers, including, but not limited to:
(It will remain at the preorder price of 99-cents (such a deal!) for part of the weekend, so get it while you can. Enjoy!) (and if you could give me some reviews, that’d be great, too!)
William Mangieri’s writing, including his previous publication “Some Kind of Luck,” can be found in many places, including:
• Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/NoTimeToThink
• His Amazon Author page: http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B008O8CBDY
• Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/s/william-mangieri?store=book&keyword=william+mangieri
• Createspace (if you prefer physical books): https://www.createspace.com/pub/simplesitesearch.search.do?sitesearch_query=william+mangieri&sitesearch_type=STORE
To CONNECT WITH HIM (and LIKE and FOLLOW), go to
• His site on WordPress: https://williammangieri.wordpress.com
• “William Mangieri’s Writing Page” on Facebook at: http://www.facebook.com/NoTimeToThink
• His Goodreads author page: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6893616.William_Mangieri
• Or on twitter: @WilliaMangieri