The Forum – Radio Four – The Power of Technology

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How will human experiences survive the post-digital generation? Radio 4’s The Forum discusses this and other topics at Aspen

Generation Y-ers (of which I am one) seem to be increasingly musing the possibility of real life experiences being lost as digital product creation falls into the hands of those with no knowledge of the pre-internet age.

This absorbing radio show aired on Sat 1st September, came from the Aspen Festival of Ideas and brought together some leading figures in the understanding of how a world of digital technology will affect us as humans.

Key takeouts for me were:

  • There is no way now to un-internet the world – if we try to do that we’ve failed.
  • The Internet is absolutely a catalyst for openness, for better or worse.
  • To that end it’s essential that we work out how to interface the face-to-face presence of real life experiences with this network. It’s a matter of the intent behind our use of technology for connecting. This can open up opportunities for diversity.
  • It can also close down opportunities for true randomness, creating echo chambers in which we inhabit narrower and narrower frames of reference.
  • Creativity exists when passions are allowed to be harnessed. We need to try to encourage people to retain childlike tendencies throughout adulthood
  • However, just because everyone can participate now, doesn’t preclude the need for visionaries. Sometimes the world needs an inspiring teacher and not just collaboration.
  • Innovation on the edges will do a better job of controlling the bad stuff that happens on the internet than any central movement could do – Like a biological system that evolves – let the body grow immunity rather than doing centrally.
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