I got a call this morning from Steve Mills host of Perth’s 6PR breakfast show about a recent study that concluded that people fear that in 80 years we will have lost all human interaction and instead will be tethered hypnotically and blindly to a computer, or whatever technology becomes or is called by then.
OK, my first reaction, is step slowly away from the ledge and hide all the sharp instruments.
Do we really have so little faith in the human race that we buy all this sci fi doom and gloom scare mongering?
We have survived for millenniums and have never melded with machines before and it’s fairly safe that we won’t in the next 80 years.
The line between human and machine blurred many years ago, with every medical and scientific advancement we ever made including hearing aids, pacemakers, bionic ears and human implants, but we survive and are clearly still human.
People let’s give us some credit!
We are social, gregarious community oriented animals, who rely on each other to survive and thrive and even in our countless attempts to change and reshape human lives and society we keep reverting back to type.
Social media is a prime example of how we have been told that society as we know it has ended and with the advent of Facebook, Twitter, SMS, mobile phones, Skype and so many other on line rabble rouses we no longer have the need to physically meet one another.
This has never been more untrue, we statistically connect with each other more than we ever have before. Is it the same communication? NO. Is it better or worse? That’s the debate.
Let’s temper this debate though with the memory that nearly every form of technology that we have ever invented or innovated including Gutenberg press, radio and TV were all seen as the devils child in their formative years.
The good old days were rarely that good.
Time tends to diminish the emotion and angst we felt and instead leaves us with two dimensional memories safely preserved and packaged for all time as truths.
The future has not been written, these prophetic insights are not mandated.
The future can only be created in our hearts, souls and minds, so instead of invoking the worst outcomes let’s plan instead for a far more harmonious future, one in which we use our advancements to eradicate social injustices, we learn to tame and cure diseases and continue to remain vigilant about the the boundary’s between man and machine.
Now I’ll get off my soap box, let you have a listen to my far shorter on-air response and look out for your thoughts on how you see the next 80 years and beyond.