Pandora’s Neocracy #1
I got the idea to write what I would like to call Pandora’s Neocracy. Currently there are five and I am planning more. This first one was, once again, published on www.crossmedialab.nl on 29 November 2009.
Let’s not argue over the fact whether Pandora had a box or a jar. According to my source her original container was called pithos. Whatever may be the ultimate truth, as we may learn from Greek mythology, Pandora gave us ills, toils and sickness. And hope. Zeus ordered his friend Hephaestus to create a woman – Pandora – to punish mankind after Prometheus stole the secret of fire. As the story goes, Pandora had been given a large jar [pithos] and instruction by Zeus to keep it closed, but she had also been given the gift of curiosity, and ultimately opened it. When she opened it, all of the evils, ills, diseases, and burdensome labor that mankind had not known previously, escaped from the jar, but it is said, that at the very bottom of her box, there lay hope, good old hope. Apparently, once Pandora understood what had been in her pithos, she quickly closed it.
Just imagine the blame that came upon Pandora. She had been created by the Gods to give man all he disputes. Pandora had been made to show the world, no better, experience the downside of what we are. Let us believe for a moment that these pre-Christian Gods were never distilled from the human brain but actually were the existing creators of all we are. Were they than not the first to deliver us hope by feeding us with curiosity (open the frapping thing up, Pandora!), hope and, ultimately, our search for a better world; Utopia? We should thank Zeus and his merry band up there on Acropolis.
It was the great humanist Thomas More who came up with the word Utopia. On his island Oceania, all would lead a perfect life. People would work to earn an income (in those days a pretty innovative approach), each would have the same rights and obligations and there would be perfect harmony. A propos, if people would not cohere to this perfect society, they would be punished severely.
Zeus ordered a creation to challenge man to obey the rules of superiority and More created his own little Utopia. The two collide in what I would like to baptize as Pandora’s Neocracy. And I have some thoughts on this issue as I am focusing my research on what may well be a new pithos; the mobile phone.
I am sorry my introduction took a while but there is a reason. ‘Pandora’s Neocracy’ is my endeavor that will, hopefully, lead into the caverns of how, what and why people do with mobile phones in the context of crossmedia. I regard the cell phone as pithos. It is more than a communication tool. It is Pandora’s box, most likely leading us away from traditional social patterns and bringing us new ‘living-togethers’; neocracies. Hence Pandora’s Neocracy. Subtitle: understanding how people use mobile phones and crossmedia to reinvent their social environment. To be continued.
Source (refference in italic) Verdenius, Willem Jacob, A Commentary on Hesiod Works and Days vv 1-382 (Leiden: E.J. Brill, 1985). ISBN 9004074651.