Social media and the culture of outrage have created the conditions where we reflexively pick sides and rush to judgment in a binary debate – no shades in the middle. What happens to perspective when the world has become a screaming match?
How scared should we be? We live in a new age of anxiety where multifaceted global industries benefit from fearmongering. But there are also dangers too significant to assume exaggeration. Jian explores the nature of alarmism, a dearth of trusted sources, and the implications of a world increasingly governed by fear. Words, original music, recording Read More »
A metonymy is a word that stands in for another word that it is associated with. But what happens in our current era of shorthand, when a metonymy is used to stand in for the caricatured traits and actions of entire groups of people? Jian explores the way in which words like “Muslims” and “Mexicans” Read More »
What does it mean when we mourn for the loss of someone who never existed? Drawing from the recent death of popular figures in this season’s TV series finales, Jian explores how our growing attachment to fictional characters is connected to the increasing loneliness and social emptiness we experience in a screen-dominated world. Words, original Read More »
In this era of globalization and migration, we are increasingly a world of transplanted beings. But if we belong everywhere, we’re just a step away from belonging nowhere. And scapegoating and xenophobia affect our concept of home. Jian explores the question of what it means to be building a planet of exiles.
We all know Yoda as a little green fountain of genius and accumulated knowledge. And we accept that his wisdom comes with his advanced age. And yet, we don’t always treat elders in the real world with the same respect. Jian explores the current pattern of dismissing seniors in contemporary western society with Yoda as Read More »
It’s a time of momentous events in the world, worthy of deep concern. But the combination of accelerated news, the internet, media competition, and Trump pronouncements has led a ubiquity of dire proclamations. Is CNN “Breaking News” broken? Jian explores the ideation that if all stories are delivered with the same hysterical fervour, it is Read More »
Can we break our smartphone addiction? And what happens if we don’t? On the tenth anniversary of the iPhone, we are a society addicted to social media and our smartphones – and it’s messing with our heads. Fear of missing out (“FOMO”) has already been a popular discussion point in the last couple of years, Read More »
In the movies, predictable is boring. In real life, a lack of consistency at the highest levels of a super power is daunting. Jian explores the chaotic and fast-paced nature of the new Trump world and yearns for a global reality with less political earthquakes and daily bombshells. Words, original music, recording and production by Read More »
How do our dwindling attention spans affect the way we experience music? On its 50th anniversary, the Beatles’ Sgt Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band is widely considered to be a classic. But would we hear it the same way if it debuted today? Jian explores the impact of attention spans on how we experience art Read More »