DIGITAL VOICE ASSISTANTS

IF YOU WANT TO HAVE A LOT OF FUN, ASK CORTANA, SIRI, ALEXIS, OR ANY OF THESE BOOB ASSISTANTS QUESTIONS ABOUT THOUGHTS AND FEELINGS. AFTER $4.5 BILLION OF INVESTMENT AND RESEARCH THIS IS THE BEST WE GET? AND WE ARE TRUSTING OUR LIVES TO THESE THINGS!!! NUTS. 

GPS DEVICES REGULARLY SCREW UP. AND IF YOU REALLY WANT TO HAVE FUN, TURN IT OFF ON SOMEONE WHO IS DRIVING AND ASK THEM TO FIND NORTH, SOUTH, EAST AND WEST ALL BY THEMSELVES. MANY ARE REDUCED TO TEARS AND HYSTERICS WITHOUT THEIR DEVICES.

HOW MANY PHONE NUMBERS DO YOU REMEMBER? CAN YOU CALL YOUR OWN MOTHER, WIFE OR HUSBAND ON YOUR OWN?

YES, THEY ARE OFTEN TIME SAVING DEVICES; TAKING OVER THE TEDIOUS TASKS OF THE DAY, FREEING US UP TO CREATIVELY SPEND OUR TIME MAKING THE WORLD A BETTER PLACE BY PLAYING GAMES AND WATCHING PORN. MARVELOUS!

TECHNOLOGY AND HOW WE USE IT HAS A LONG WAY TO GO.

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DIGITAL VACATION

I’ve been on a digital holiday for a bit more than a month….by holiday I mean I have limited my screen and online activity to no more than one hour a day and have been trying to keep it down to just a half an hour. That includes phone, email, messaging, and any online social media activity. It has been quite refreshing. I feel like I have gotten my head back and am experiencing life again as it used to be before all these digital rabbit holes popped up.

Breakfast at the coffee shop, with friends! Bouncing around town to catch up on various goings on. Lunch, with friends! Very social. Long bike rides just taking in the countryside. All the stuff I used to do when I did not even think about being “connected”, I just was.

And then came 1993 and the standard 10 years of ‘surfing’, etc. And then I took a five year break from the Net. And then I came back and got serious about it as a toolkit for the things I was doing IRL. And then that all sort of got murky and I sort of got murky with it.

So, this has all been about integration for me…Integrating back into society, the world, and then coming back into the Digital World and trying to maintain some kind of personal integrity. I’m back now and generally keeping it to one hour max. Pretty content, I must say.

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DIGITAL DETOX – FRACTAL REHAB

I HAVE FRIENDS WHO HAVE BEEN, AND ARE, IN REHAB and the first thing I’ve noticed is that once they have broken away from whatever addictive behaviors were stunting their growth they pretty much are on the same path as me. Really, we are all in rehab. Life is broken, we are broken, put a bandaid on the planet!

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It has become chic these days to be in rehab; it’s almost become a badge of honor to admit it openly. That is partly because of the extremely high rate of opiate addiction in this country – both prescribed and illegal. It’s a growth industry. And it’s self-perpetuating. 85% of all people in rehab will NEVER be cured. They will be back for rehab 2,3,4…  if they have the insurance or state and federal aid for it. It’s just camp and a little R&R until they get back on the street and do it all over again. The death rates are astounding.

And it is important to distinguish between recovery and relapse. There is a huge difference between “crash and burn” and “trip, stumble and fall”. Rehab is the emergency room, relapse is the out-patient clinic and urgent care, and recovery is the way it really is; for all of us! In a spiritual sense of the words, we are all recovering human beings, saved by grace, constantly relapsing. So, while the paths may be different, we are all on the same journey. (As Hank William’s sang, “I’ll never get out of this world alive”; I’m just trying to get out of this place intact.)

Forget about the 1% we hear so much about. Life is all about that miraculous 15% of us – the rehabbers, relapsers, relics and ressurrected -where  life once again becomes a journey of endless possibilities and personal development. That’s where we team up, the rest of us 15 per centers, because that’s about the percentage of people actually living an integrated life. We can’t make this journey all alone. It takes two to tango and experience the dance we call life.

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Well, I’ve been dancing with digital for more than 45 years and it’s time for me to detox. I have written before about the importance of taking digital sabbaths.

It’s summer and the time when folks take a vacation. This summer I am taking a month long digital vacation. I’m not going cold turkey, but I am disconnecting from nearly all of the digital distractions in my life and taking time to disengage from this fractal reality that is now, unavoidably, my life. I don’t want my MTV for a while. I need to find my head again, regain some bandwidth here on the ground, hit the bike trails, hang out at the coffee shops, visit friends and family. Basically I need to reconnect with myself.

This digital angst is unsettling. I’m out of balance and seem to have lost my way in the real world, having spent too much time in the virtual worlds that are so captivating and demanding of my time and attention. So, I’m pulling my head out of the screens and reconnecting with the universe.

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I realize I have to do a better job of being me, of finding a wholesome integration of all these new technologies. I’ve been like a kid in the candy shop, sampling all the new flavors of tech for far too many years. I feel like Edmund and his Turkish Delight in The Chronicles of Narnia. There’s no digital anything I won’t sample. And, basically, it’s  all good. But, like anything, too much of it will make you ill. And I am increasingly aware of my ‘ill-ness’ and ‘dis-ease’, as opposed to my normal Pooh and Tigger selves.

So I’m taking a break from cyberspace and hopefully reintegrating my headspace and soulspace, so that I can more successfully navigate this mediated reality that’s become my life.

 

I’ll be back!! Enjoy your holidays as well.

Map_of_the_Hundred_Acre_Wood

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THE FOREST FOUR THE TREES

I am currently reading Daniel Suarez’ Change Agent, and it got me to thinking about the landscape in which we now live…this mixed reality of one foot on the ground and one foot in cyberspace. This past 15 years or more have been dominated by Computer Tech and the emergence of the digital world into our lives. We are developing new skill sets and lexicons…digital literacies, disruption, being agile and on and on. The Fourth Transformation we are told by Klaus Schwab:

“…the digital revolution that has been occurring since the middle of the last century. It is characterized by a fusion of technologies that is blurring the lines between the physical, digital, and biological spheres.

There are three reasons why today’s transformations represent not merely a prolongation of the Third Industrial Revolution but rather the arrival of a Fourth and distinct one: velocity, scope, and systems impact. The speed of current breakthroughs has no historical precedent. When compared with previous industrial revolutions, the Fourth is evolving at an exponential rather than a linear pace. Moreover, it is disrupting almost every industry in every country. And the breadth and depth of these changes herald the transformation of entire systems of production, management, and governance.”

And this has transformed our landscape and the forests in which we now roam; augmented reality, mixed reality and virtual reality have ushered in a new way of looking at things, a new experience of both the world around us as well as new mediated and virtual worlds that exist ‘on the screen’. We now enhance the world which we experience and experience new virtual worlds that seem to have no bounds.

Many of these have become rabbit holes; endless diversions and distractions from an increasing unsustainable world where air, food and water are no longer in abundance – where a future is more and more a hostile environment. It is no wonder so many people prefer to focus on their screens, immerse themselves in other worlds and disconnect from this one.

old-world-map

Just as we discovered the Old World, we need explorers, adventurers, trailblazers and scouts. As William Gibson said way, way back in 2003, there are No Maps For These Territories. We need map makers! And we haven’t seen anything yet, as Robert Scoble and Shel Israel so vividly detail in The Fourth Transformation.

The Cyberpunk fictions of 30 years ago are becoming all too real….near science fiction is written now about possible futures only 10 and 15 years away….and all too plausible. Our reactions to all of this range from Luddite, to Cory Doctorow’s Walkaway, all the way to the embracing of the Singularity as envisioned by Ray Kurzweil.

That’s the landscape. But something new is about to occur which is what Suarez focuses on in Change Agent. The inhabitants of the forest are about to change as well. Daniel scopes out CRISPR, gene editing technology to its conclusions in a world easily imagined as just around the corner. Technology presents us with both the good and the bad in terms of applications. So far, history shows us that with each new tech the earliest adopters and beneficiaries are crime, porn and fundamentalist preachers. Blockchain to Bitcoin to Silk Road.  Online banking and payments to identity theft, ransomware, etc.

We are about to see human, plant, animal and cellular modifications introduced into the landscape. That’s a world we better be brave for.

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There’s a Fifth Transformation coming, and it’s US!

 

 

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Reimagining the Future – A Journey Through the Looking Glass

Source: Reimagining the Future – A Journey Through the Looking Glass

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NO DIRECTION BOUND 9ED9

COMPASSES AND MAPS IN THE MIXED REALITY OF CYBERSPACE AND HEADSPACE

I keep coming back to this from many angles; Four Spaces, Adjacent Possibilities, MR, Musings, etc., First Things First, Digital Identity. In fact it seems to be the Hub. It does not matter where I start, roam or stop, I always return to this point. (pun intended). We always wake up in our head, as the saying goes….and the truth is, we are each our own Youniverse. Do with that what you will.

There is Homesteading and then their is Home Steading. I don’t know about you, but I feel a bit like Dorothy, okay, I have no idea how Dorothy felt or feels, but you know what I mean….I’m not waking up in Kansas anymore, and I don’t really know, or care, where it is. Just waking up is a feat, at my age (70) and one in which I take it my marching orders are “Proceed”; which I am going to do until I wake up somewhere else. Got a hunch there is no Emerald City in this movie…no Oz…no Toto…and happily, no witches or munchkins…just whomever I network with, on the ground and in the air (digitally speaking).

And, WHAT, exactly does that look like? Can’t even freeze-frame it any more…it’s a constantly moving blob of bits and bytes, synaptical gaps and neurons all presenting me with my Mixed Reality, my fractalness. So, I’m getting used to it…No Maps for These Territories, as William Gibson says.

Thought I could map it, but cannot even box the compass…so, back to Dylan, No Direction Bound … being as there is no ‘home’ anymore…just space. Happy trails to you.

Where’s Trigger when you need him? Enjoy your day in your own space…I’ll let you be in mine, if you let me be in yours. Cue up Can’t Find My Way Home

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PRODIGITOUSLY YOURS

So, I coined a new word today…’prodigitous’ 

prodigitous – neologism for someone who uses digital media and tools to get things done rapidly and efficiently. (coined by me, I think) It’s also a Reddit user ‘s screenname. (So I guess, he or she could claim it, but I don’t see where it was ever defined).And, really, who cares?

The idea being, one who skillfully uses all the digital literacies,tools and platforms available to seriously get things done in a speed and fashion heretofore unknown. It is a critical skill, as the less time on the Net and in the screen, the better…So important to get more bang for your buck these days.

This all comes down to reputation, blockchain and data ownership, and trust eventually. We are now known for our digital footprint in the sands of the digital boxes we play in…this Mixed Reality we now experience just IS…we all need to go back to school again…and we need to do it together;

CO-LEARNING, as Howard Rheingold calls it.

That should be plenty to muse on. Thank you Calliope!

Got a couple of cool definitions that need ‘words’, but NSFW and TMI, L8TR all.

 

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