HSS8120 Manifesto “Digital Quest”

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More and more men and women are exposed and seen for who they truly are. Still they manage to sway a good number of people. Thanks to misinformation and falsehoods these individuals thrive in the world like never before. Coming from a dictatorship I’ve had the experience to live in a place where the truth was not common in politics. Propaganda and very few announcements regarding the country’s current affairs appeared on the news. I preferred watching Cartoons anyway.

My interest in politics only really started when coming to the UK and having internet at home. Back home I could only access the internet either at school, my step-dad’s work or an internet cafe. With this new unrestricted access to the web, I was astonished by how much I didn’t know about my home and the world around me. A thirst for all knowledge took over me dabbing in politics, philosophy, psychology, art, religion, history, physics, I.T. and more esoteric subjects like the occult, the supernatural,  Conspiracy theories, Ancient civilisations, World myths and Mythologies.

It wasn’t text book stuff, no one was telling me what I could or couldn’t read. It was a freedom I had never experienced before. My digital fluency came from years of trial and error and learning what looks like reliable information. My uncle acted as father figure when I came to the UK, always pushing me to challenge my views and the information I found online. I remember him saying it would be something I would always have to strive for.

However, my brain can be like a hyperactive sponge. Often I need to find out every detail about a subject in order to form a comprehensive mental map of the knowledge acquired. This has sent me on endless hours of reading and multiple tabs opening. This process can be quite exhausting especially when you’re looking for the definition of a word and up watching a 3 hours lesson on Quantum Physics and gravitational waves.

Like a scavenger in a wasteland of information I dig and find digital clips. At first glance they seem banal  and unrelated but by putting them together we can slowly start to create something  Using an amalgam of hip-hop funk and electro music I created, using various sound samples and videos found online, a video where I explore the idea of post-truth, mass information and technology.  Drawing on the traditions of Experimental filmmaking “Digital Quest” is a short film which explores an era of short attention span and information overload which can be arguably said to help ensure a post-truth society.

The digital age has given us more than ever before the ability to influence our realities. Our civilisation relies on technology for everything, to eat, to educate ourselves, to research, to work, to communicate with each other, to organise ourselves, to create, to heal our minds and our bodies. According to a report by the Office for National Statistics “in 2016, almost all adults aged 16 to 24 and 25 to 34 years were recent internet users (99.2% and 98.9% respectively)”. According to another report, “truth, lies and the internet a report into young people’s digital fluency” by Jamie Bartlett Carl Miller,  despite growing up with technology young peoples technical savvy is pretty poor with “only one third of 9 – 19 have been taught how to verify the validity of online information”.

This is telling us many things. One of which is that we are raising a generation of mindless robots. Easily influenced by the constant bombarding of information this can be very dangerous for the future of society. Many marketing technics already makes the use of emotional triggers to sell, it can be said of post-truth to be of the same kind of process, making you feel before you think. With ignorance and misinformation we are easily triggered into making the wrong decisions.

I believe education and digital savvy will help create a better world on the never ending quest of scientific research.