As the world witness the dawn of the new iPhone, upgrading the new version of Facebook app, at the same time participating in the new twitter trend while uploading a #nofilter selfie, half way through a conversation, waiting for a reply as the traffic lights turns green. Yet another minute for a quick selfie, before crossing the street. #poutface
As Einstein once said “I fear the day when technology will surpass our human interaction. The world will then have a generation of idiots.”
That world has started to unfold. A world where we depend on technology. Where the technology is pushing us away from our roots, away from the nature. A world where we have started to follow the same pattern. When once, every new day was a new journey, it was timeless. Now, the days are scheduled. We live it the same way we lived it yesterday. When we should be doing what we want, being where we want to be.. we choose to stare at this screen.
We have become disconnected. Idolising people we never met. We witness extraordinary on the screens but quite ordinary every where else. We mirror the environment we create. We built the tools but then the tools build us. We built these smartphones and then those smartphones changes how we think and change our behaviour. This is defined as Ontological Designing.
“We design our world, while our world acts on us and designs us.” - Anne Marie Willis.
Exploring is our nature. We want to learn and discover until we are able to better comprehend not only the world but also ourselves. And in this space and time, we are co-evolving with the technology. People use technology to extent their capacity in the world. To extent their communicative abilities. This technology allows us to live in 2 realities at the same time. The expressing self. And the remembering self. To express ourselves we act now. We share our opinions, our moments with the virtual world. While to remember, we simply scroll back to them.
The real challenge however is to embrace this power, this technological framework to collectively upgrade mankind that results in a re-enchanted world where exists deeper consciousness of humankind with the nature. Its our responsibility as the co-authors of this meme space to publish great stories and to enliven the imagination. “The world as we have created, it is a process of our thinking. It cannot be changed without changing our thinking.” - Albert Einstein.
The human race survived not because we are the fastest or the strongest.. but because we work together. The most valuable resource of this planet is not in the ground.. it is us. We work the machines, we build the space shutters, we fight the wars and we all have the same dreams. Peace. Love. Happiness. We are not driven by the motive of money or power but yet we are manipulated via those very notions. Small group of powerful cooperations who own the media don’t want us to know the reality. They surround us with fantasy which is sold as reality. They Disinform us. And we choose to be dis-informed.
As Einstein said “The world is a dangerous place to live, not because of the people who are evil, but because of the people who don’t do anything about it.”
“Mis-information is rampant in this great age of mass-information. While we have more access to learning than ever before in the history of the world, we’re actually getting dumber it seems. The amount of (mis)information at everyone’s fingertips has lured us into a false sense of knowing. Whether it be information about science, politics, or theology, our society is suffering from an inability to research, process, filter, and apply. “ - David D. Flowers
In the horizon of manipulated current affairs somewhere lies the truth, covered with all the conspiracies and the lies. This complicated tangled news has drifted us away from the value. And now, we are set in the thirst for meaning. “Mainstream news wants to keep you as a useful idiot. Instead, try being a non-useful idiot.” ― Jarod Kintz
The principal goal of disinformation is to subjugate the people, a nation or even an entire world for that matter. As in the case of Aspartame. It is found in about 6000 products around the world, including carbonated soft drinks, powdered soft drinks, chewing gum, confections, gelatins, dessert mixes, puddings and fillings, frozen desserts, yogurt, tabletop sweeteners, and some pharmaceuticals such as vitamins and sugar-free cough drops. Aspartame is a very sweet chemical, responsible for a host of health problems such as obesity, diabetes, MS, epilepsy, cancer, brain disorders, migraines, ADHD, etc. With the power of clever marketing, the public has been lead to believe that aspartame is safer and healthier than the original sugar. Where as in contrary, consuming aspartame can make you gain weight by stimulating you appetite, increasing your cravings for carbohydrates and promoting fat storage. In 1965, James Schlatter, a chemist discovered Aspartame by accident when he was testing an antiulcer drug. Subsequently, aspartame was pushed for approval on the market to no avail. Scientific reports in 1977, linked aspartame to a number of side effects including a huge risk to brain tumours. Later in 1981, aspartame was reapplied for approval to be used as a food sweetener. Politics and propaganda led to the inevitable approval of the sweetener in 1985. Many studies has revealed that men who consumed diet soda more than once in a day, had a heightened risk of developing myeloma and non-hodgkin’s lymphoma. Leukemia was also associated with diet soda intake in both sexs. These study strongly confirms the dangers of aspartame for humans, but after yielding to severe pressure from the industry, the researchers down played their findings minimising the impact of the study. Despite these red flags food manufactures still continue to use aspartame for their products. Infact the international diary food associations and national milk federations have petitioned the FDA to amend the standard of identity of milk to allow aspartame to be added to it without being listed on the label. There are many such cases that directly aims our well being and health. But if you should trust “no one” then whom can you trust? Knowing about such cases help us learn how to question the motives and agendas of the purveyors of news and information. “the important thing is to never stop questioning” - Albert Einstein
This is further explained by prof Joseph Stiglitz “Just as in the middle ages, they used to put leeches on people’s bodies when they were ill and they would get sicker and sicker. And you know what they would say? they would say “you know what’s wrong? there’s blood.” so they would apply more leeches. The same method they use today. To cure AIDS, you raise the price of the medicines. To cut down electricity prices, you remove the cap and you raise the prices.”
Its not that people don’t care, but we live in a world that actively discourages engagement in politics. News is the medium and (dis)information is the message, as Marshall Mcluhan said, “ the medium is the message, because, it is the medium that shapes and controls the scale and form of human association and action.” But news has always been crowded out by entertainment. The media plays an important role in developing our relationship with political change mainly by ignoring politics and focusing more on celebrities and scandals. But even when they do talk about the important political issues they do it in a way that discourages engagement or follow ups. They purposely miss out the mention important information of what, when and where. As defined in the book Flat Earth News “ a story appears to be true. It is widely accepted as true. It becomes heresy to suggest that it is not true - even if its riddled with falsehood, distortion and propaganda (Davis 2009) however the rules of productions follow the same pattern -
1. Run cheap stories
2. Go with moral panics
3. increase revenue by giving them what they want.”
Today information conveyed to adolescents comes largely from the media and peers, much of it is incorrect or misleading or embodies values that are inimical to young people’s self image and health. Today’s Y generation (15-34yr old) is 80% social network active, 63% have a bachelor’s degree, inspired by music and pop culture, 4 out of 10 having a tattoo and mostly believe in the notion that technology makes life easier.
The Millennials are said to be addicted to technology and highly self-absorbed. Jean Twenge goes ahead and coins this generation with the phrase “the generation me” Even after being on the go and “forever connected”, it is famously stereotyped, the generation Y is the least politically active/aware and more over lazy or disinterested to do so. A worldwide survey discovered that 90% of Gen Y check their emails, texts and social media accounts using their smartphones before they even get out of bed, amongst which 83% take pictures and further shares it on social media while only 21% surfs the internet for news. Some may argue that the anti-capitalist protest ‘Occupy movement’, launched on October 10th 2011, organised by gen Y, could only be organised because of the availability of social media and technology that connected like minded notions. Agreed. However, movements and protest have always been a major part of the history, even when technology and social media was not at dispose. People still got together and protested. Ideas and notions where shared and circulated. Henceforth, what have we accomplished with the use of technology that wasn’t done before?
“You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete.” - Buckminster Fuller
Technology gets a lot of criticism and thats because technology has been a double edged sword. When we discovered fire, its been famously said you could use fire to cook your food and that led to this acceleration and our capacity to absorb nutrients. But you could also use fire to burn down your enemies. Similarly you could use the alphabet to write Shakespearean sonnets that enrich the imagination or you can use alphabet to compose hate speeches and lead people to kill each other. So technology extends, but it can extend in any direction. And its how we use these tools ultimately that determines if they’re good or bad. But in macro trends overall, we tend to use things for good. As Marshall Mcluhan explains “ many people would be disposed to say that it was not the machine but what one did with the machine, that was its meaning or message. In terms of the ways in which the machine altered our relations to one another and to ourselves.”
Kevin Kelly successfully defines the true value of technology and its futuristic existence. He says “how impoverished we’d be if we didn’t invent oil painting, a technology, in time for Van Gogh’s genius to unfurl through it. Or if we didn’t invent musical annotations or the instruments, both technologies, in time for Beethoven’s genius masterpieces. So if we rob ourselves from creating these new tools, we will be robbing ourselves from creating next Beethoven or the next mozart or the next Van Gogh who are going to use these tools to build things we can’t even imagine.” Getting rid of social media or in overall technology or its devices is not the answer to the prevailing disinterest or ignorance. The ideal revolution would be when these tools of technology will be utilized to its potential for a better cause.
The world has become so advanced and the smartphone revolution or the revolution of connectivity has created an all-on-demand economy. As Kevin Kelly puts it “Access is now more important than ownership.” The idea that goods and services are just a rub on a magic mirror away from being fulfilled. And this notion of extending our will, magic is described as willed intend. “I summon and it appears.” “As I imagined so it becomes.” And this is the world we are living in now. With services like Uber and AirBnb that will literally summon the ability to go stay somewhere and the means to get there at the speed of thought almost. Even the fact that Uber can sync with your spotify playlist so that when you summon the car to take you to the place you picked on Airbnb, you step into a space and time where the experience is awe struck. Through this all-on- demand-economy, with the choices we summoned to, we step into a new space of consciousness. We step into a new way of perceiving reality.
To conclude all these thoughts and beliefs together, with this project, the aim would be to connect these key points for the sole purpose of not losing that human interaction when we enter this new technological space of magic. Developing a space where we use technology to its potential, while targeting the millennials, to be more informed and diverse while utilizing technology and not just using it. This project shall aim at a futuristic and optimistic approach towards technology making a humanistic experience while utilizing the potential of connectivity, or technology overall.
The Problem Project (vol 1) Dollcee Khattar