Bright & Matt
Matthew Solle: design and writing


Throughout what they call parenting, there are many staging posts when you lose a little bit more of your children. Most feel incremental and merely conjure a rather short-lived affectionate sentimentality easily archived for some mythical reminisce in the autumn of years. But some junctures arrive as roughly hewn shocks to the family routine. They may creep up from the sidelines, they may just walk right in. You initially feign normality, but quickly realise the change. Handled impatiently, they quickly become mountains to climb. Acceptance and incorporation of these transformations coupled with attention, time and energy inevitably pay better dividends. Preparedness lives in words but deeds follow slowly. Parenting can be described as many letting goes and the fragile balance of holding on just the right amount. Every child has to have an ever present something to pull away from. And so parenting can be encapsulated as maintaining that tension.


The ratio of relayed experience

“In boiling everything down to digital signals, we lose the colour and flavour and turmoil of competing values” Siva Vaidhyanathan

As we struggle with a knawing social and engagement fatigue and pine for cultural refreshment and maybe a view from some higher ground, we consider the reality that we might just be hitting an ending and a new beginning in how we relate to each other and how the online social and sharing economy is driven hard by a higher ratio of relayed and repeated experience than of any new, original and/or ‘real world’ experience. We ponder whether our endings come in phases. Is it just inevitability heaped upon inevitability? Are our losses of interest contagious and when does the muting become a social mutation.

When we are no longer excited but wary of the seamlessly harmless magic around us, we have to bet our future on a larger diversity of experience and engagement. Not one funnel and maybe no funnels at all. We must branch out further into the woods, further on up the hill. The more saturated in data we become, especially poor, sad, forgettable data, the greater the threat to our future dignity and diversity. What is good for one person or one company or one country or one culture is not necessarily good for everyone.


It’s different

The thought, planning and decoration took many months. There were so many things to consider, so many great ideas to incorporate. The ruddy mixture of excitement and potential kept them awake while they poured themselves into their work building their emperor’s new clothes. There wasn’t the slightest doubt, nor any occasional pause. Just their march to freedom.

Like everyone before them, they thought their space was different, was unlike all the other surrounding and interlocking spaces. Most thought theirs was the most honest, original and successful. Theirs was the one where they had got everything right, they were the ones to finally understand everything that had gone before. Out of all the others, theirs was the one that was going to change things, and because of that previous rules did not apply.

Over the years they had visited many many other spaces – over any given day they may have passed through as many as two or three dozen. They absorbed ideas, ideals and information. They thought they had seen every possible layout and configuration and had seen the horizon where infinity begins to break. They felt ever more confident that they were right, that they had always been right, and that they were going to be proved right.


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