We often think about what our clothes and cars and robots and ... stuff will look like when we think about the future. We rarely realize that the future we've got to today, these surrealistic phones we have in our hands, aren't as much a leap in appearance as much as they are a leap in design. Design is the future's warranty. But there's more to it.
I heard an awesome sentence lately by Wade Davis. Re-counting what Tibetan monks had told him : " They said, at one point, you know, we don't really believe you went to the moon, but you did. You may not believe that we achieve enlightenment in one lifetime, but we do". He goes on to talk about the spiritual advancements of the East as an equivalent to the technological wizardry of the West. What we've accomplished through physical industry is an outcome of our collective beings. That same collective the people of the East have used to overcome their spiritual limitations.
Spiritual technology is what we'll be craving very soon. The future will be one that understands and satiates that need. A discussion with Kaos consultant Pierre-Louis Desprez lately brought me some incredible insght. He laid a wonderful quote by Pierre Levy : "La technique pense en moi". Technology thinks in me. I believe I'll encounter this ideashortly when I'll start reading "Is the Internet changing the way we think ?". It is. It certainly is.
We are what we own. But we become what we use. This is how impact-ful mass production is. When you think about searching for something, you start thinking about key words in sentences people are likely to use often. Why ? Because that's what you'll be typing in Google.
When we interact with people, it's starting to feel as if there's a Facebook-like meta-structure to our discussions. When we're working with others, we think about common To Do lists we'll be able to share. When you want to present something, you're already designing the Power point slides in your mind. When you want automate the solution of a problem, the Excel sheet and techniques pop up in your mind.
We are what we own. We become what we use. And our expectations are modeled by that very usage. Look at how you expect everything to be as responsive and intuitive as your smartphone interface. You brand new TV feels like a century old because of its buggy Operating System.
As Pierre-Louis puts it, in a world where communication has deserted the physical realm, where messages don't need a donkey to travel from a village to another, the world is shrinking that much that collisions are becoming much more frequent. The world simply will not be the same anymore. More interactions lead to a whole new game.
This is a post about the future :
- The future of our objects
- The future of our design, both technological and spiritual
- The future of our interactions
But the post is already over. The prediction game isn't one I excel at. I am an economist. I'd rather lay down thought frameworks. The way you go from 1 to 2 to 3 is through implications and compound effects actually : What you own, how you use it and how it links you to the world will model our future. That way it's neat and simple. Just like the future should be I guess. Big step for me, small step for Humanity.