YEARNING TO BE THE CENTER OF EVERYTHING WHEN WE ARE THE CENTER OF NOTHING: PARALLELS AND REVERSALS IN CHACO, HUBBLE, AND FACEBOOK

In Telematics and Informatics, in a special edition on Facebook edited by Jarice Hanson. Volume 30, 1, February 2013, pp. 35-46.

Co-author: Genevieve Gillepsie. 

Read/download the paper: Chaco Hubble

Humans have long sought to map their place in the cosmos and then situate their selves at the center of the universe. These patterns are displayed at three radically different sites — the Sun Dagger in Chaco Canyon, the Hubble Space Telescope, and social media and Facebook. Drawing from Marshall McLuhan, this article will theorize the parallels and reversals in these sites, where cosmological discoveries of the expanding universe have been countered by technological innovations involving electronic screens, such that social media counters space telescopes, cyberspace counters outer space, and Facebook counters Hubble.

Perhaps the “revolution” of social media merely parallels other cultural reversals, all of which seek to return humans to the center of the universe, when we are the center of nothing. And this desire and delusion to be at the center of everything lies at the heart of contemporary issues facing the global civilization. 

Question: If you look down through the opposite end of the Hubble telescope, would you see people in Facebook? Think about it ...