“forty two!” screams Lunkwill ,”You need seven and a half million years to count to forty-two ?!”. “I checked it very carefully,” Deep Thought said, “and that’s probably the right answer, the problem, I think, is that none of you actually knows the question.”
Original author: Ehud Heller (@hellere)
So they say that technology is the answer (“42”), but what is the question? If we do not know how to formulate the problem, we probably will not understand what to do and whether it is the right answer. Technology, in its sense as an electronic medium, did indeed change the face of the human race, leading it to an alternative development axis that was different from all its predecessors (escape from the Malthusian trap, for example) and certainly influenced the perception of time as the paradox of the time-shifting device, as was described by Judy Wajcman (See Postman, McLuhan and Inis). So, at least, we tend to believe and hold on. But I will try to make another argument, that it is not the technology but the philosophy that underlies its development and moreover, the basis of its intended use. Is it economic? Functionalist? Social? Or maybe humanist? Equally important is the question of the extent to which humans are influenced by the message of the medium, created as the philosophical reflection of its creators.
Technological systems are a product of the cultural-organizational environment (the hidden messages) within which they are developed and the problems they come to answer. In other words, they are developed “in the box” and dictate the desired result in accordance with the dictionary of concepts available to the thinkers of those technologies. The average person is not versed in the secrets of technology; instead, he experiences it through masking filters and mass media marketing, driven by narrow economic interests and cultural philosophies. In our age of challenges, stimuli, and passions, it is easy to confuse the knowledge of using technology with the ability to learn from it, between access to infinite information and the construction of meaningful knowledge.
“It is only in the heart that one can see well; what is essential is invisible to the eye” said the Fox to the little prince. For while it, the fox, felt sorrow for the Prince’s leaving, the flowers that are spread like a great vast carpet are busy nurturing their beauty only, the one walking in their fields feels nothing and his paws are not injured. This is how Antoine de Saint-Exupery tries to teach us about the gap between narrowing the experience to visible activity and the emotional identification and appreciation for the uniqueness arising only from a dialogue. The unbearable lightness of addiction to the endless scrolling to new sparks that yellowed because the spring is so short that the gap between the encounter with the loner in the middle of the road, and with the many who descend with noise from one to the other into a fog of data to the point of alienation of senses.
In the encounter between man and machine in the mass consumer culture that sanctifies the planned obsolescence economy, as long as there is profit to be achieved, sellers (and realtors) will systematically exploit the weaknesses of what is hidden from the eye to sell what consumers think they need instead of what they really need. In response, we need a new agile social operating system that will empower the individual and remove barriers to what is hidden, expand the possibilities available to him, help him learn, solve problems, make decisions, bridge conflicting interests and answer questions that he apparently does not know how to formulate or has the consciousness of their necessity to him. Such a system will also include symbiotic and collaborative business models based on more accurate information analysis and greater user appeal. This is the NeXT bIG NexT for a better world.