Do smartphones make people more shallow?

I probably shouldn’t post this blog. I share some of the guilt. After all, I’m a producer of internet content.

During my walk through Balboa Park today, I felt creeping despair.

Balboa Park is an amazing, wonderful, special place. Lifted eyes see a world that is infinitely interesting and beautiful.

About one third of the people I observed had their eyes absolutely fixed to the tiny screens of their smartphones. They were too obsessed to notice the vast world around them. Nor other people around them.

Of these, many were grown adults searching for a virtual Pokemon, a game fit for the simple mind of a child. At least these people looked up from time to time.

Yes, I know some people were busy communicating with friends, or perhaps looking up information, or a map of the park.

I also know that our lives are complex and so is human psychology. Everyone is different. I, too, have my silly, simple pleasures. It’s hard to draw firm conclusions. Technology changes. The culture changes. People change. Fads come and go.

But it does appear that humans are powerfully drawn to stimuli on isolated screens.

And, of course, the wonderful thing about smartphones is they can make life so much easier. Eye-to-eye politeness is no longer required. The potential for vulnerability in spontaneously spoken words is thankfully avoided. Problem solving is automatic. Critical thinking is less and less necessary. Simple and self-comforting ideas flood social media. Self absorption is made as easy as pie. Narcissism is rewarded.

I often wonder, as virtual reality becomes increasingly prevalent, whether people will permanently insert their whole selves into shallow, shrinking virtual worlds. The Matrix, of our own calculated making.

If it feels good, why fight it?

Fun sights you can discover in San Diego!

How time flies! Cool San Diego Sights is almost five years old!

You might not realize it, but Cool San Diego Sights now has hundreds of unique blog posts, and thousands upon thousands of fun photos that you can explore!

One easy way to revisit old blog posts that share a particular theme or subject is to click a tag. You might be surprised by all the diverse, unexpected things you’ll discover!

Some of Cool San Diego Sight’s more interesting tags include: history, public art, nature, eventsarchitecture, Balboa Park, Gaslamp, Old Town, beaches, Comic-Con, street art and museums.

Click one that interests you!

As you explore my blog, you might notice there’s a whole universe of tags. You can find a handful of pertinent ones located at the bottom of each post. If you’re interested in a particular San Diego neighborhood, those tags exist, too!

There’s also a handy search box that you can use. Look for it in the sidebar.

Make exciting discoveries and have fun with me as I explore San Diego! I’m going somewhere fascinating this Saturday that very few people know about!

If you’d like, you can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!

A wordless story told on St. Patrick’s Day.

I went on a long walk yesterday between rainstorms. It was St. Patrick’s Day.

Many carefree people were heading into downtown to celebrate all things Irish: to attend the big Shamrock event, drink green beer, listen to music, dance a jig and party. Others were not thinking about St. Patrick’s Day.

There are countless participants in San Diego’s life.

One day in the city is infinitely complex. So many untold characters–bending forward in time–crossing paths, weaving a mystery.

Here is a wordless story for the eyes.

Three photos from steam ferry Berkeley.

My home internet is being changed, so I probably won’t blog for a few days. This weekend I might simply relax and read.

Meanwhile, here are three cool photos that I took yesterday before sunset from the passenger deck of the steam ferry Berkeley at the Maritime Museum of San Diego!


Thank you to all of my readers! Enjoy the rest of your week! Take care!


Pinterest pins of beautiful Balboa Park!

Pinterest pins of beautiful Balboa Park!

Do you love Balboa Park?

I just added a bunch of colorful photos to my page of Pinterest pins concerning Balboa Park. You can see them here.

These represent some of my best photographs from my special blog Beautiful Balboa Park.

You might also visit some of my other San Diego Pinterest boards, which I update from time to time. I have pins of places and events, San Diego Comic-Con and street art, and all sorts of cool, surprising stuff!

Feel free to pin or repin anything you’d like! I love the way Pinterest organizes so many memories all together in one place. If I’m stuck indoors and miss walking, a jumble of wonderful visions is just a click away!

Help raise awareness for World Rare Disease Day.

World Rare Disease Day is February 28, 2018. Show you care by spreading the word.
World Rare Disease Day is February 28, 2018. Show you care by spreading the word.

I learned something important today. This coming Wednesday–February 28, 2018–is World Rare Disease Day.

I wouldn’t have known this had I not walked through Mission Beach’s Belmont Park and met some smiling volunteers. They are working to raise awareness about rare diseases. They had a table set up near the carousel and told me a little about this often overlooked problem.

Rare diseases are usually caused by faulty genes, and about half of the people affected by rare diseases are children. Almost a third of these children will not live to see their fifth birthday.

Sadly, about half of all rare diseases do not have a specific foundation supporting or researching the condition. As you can see, it’s critical for many kids that we spread the word and provide support for those who are sick, and fund research in the search for effective treatments.

Two websites where you can learn more and perhaps help are here and here.

Please click my photo of the information chart, and it will enlarge so you can read it. Feel free to share any of these images.

These cool volunteers at Mission Beach's Belmont Park were informing the public about rare diseases.
These cool volunteers at Mission Beach’s Belmont Park were informing the public about rare diseases.
Rare diseases are often caused by faulty genes. They impact more people than cancer and AIDS combined. Only 5 percent have an FDA approved drug treatment.
Rare diseases are often caused by faulty genes. They impact more people than cancer and AIDS combined. Only 5 percent have an FDA approved drug treatment.
Help fight rare diseases by learning more and spreading the word.
Help fight rare diseases by learning more and spreading the word.

Are you a blogger? Do you want to help make the world a better place? You might want to join Bloggers Lifting Others Generously.

A story about creativity, truth and deception.

A patient spider waits for flies.
A patient spider waits for flies.

My short story The Taste of Flies has been bothering me. It hasn’t seemed right.

Even after publishing it on Short Stories by Richard, I’ve rewritten many of the words over and over and over again.

I think–possibly–that I now have the thing right. The unusual tale is about creativity, truth and deception. And impulsion. And indecision. It seems to be about a great many difficult things.

You can read the very short story here.