The idea that our technology has risen to a point of synergy, intersection, and, immersion with our own human experience is not new, but, with a certain shock it appears to have already become part of our culture and experience. We are now, not just “users” of information technology we are almost “partners” with its tools, technologies and interfaces. Popular culture has shown us our deepest fears in our relationship to the future. We’ll lose ourselves, our identity, become subjected to machines, have machines as our masters. Most of all, we’ll become one with “them” to the point where we’ll lose our humanity. The idea is that we are supposed to monitor or control, define, or create this relationship with technology and not let it get the better of us.
The exponential growth of technology in the last 50 years, has the baby boomers in a twirl. Its an achievement to see how they’re catching up and staying on top of things. Not easy for a group of people who remember a record player, a dial phone or a mobile that was the size of a phone book. But that’s just it; we’re so used to this compression of knowledge that things which are smaller, are better. Its too late to go back. The iphone 4, practically a laptop in itself, has made the idea of a “laptop” computer practically extinct. I am hearing that the ipad will make the idea of a laptop extinct, but I challenge anyone to try and type a novel on one of those. Not pretty.
When a company invents a technology that revolutionizes how we live, and work, that’s really something to see. When the human element, begins to get farther and farther away from this technology, that is cause for concern.
After all, we are the humans, technology is the tool. The challenge is to find ways to make our humanity c0-exist happily with these tools that threaten to make us disappear all together.