These are still exciting times, with a different reality than we are used to.
Most services and products that are crucial for the functioning of society are under control in such a way that they remain intact. Gas, water, electricity and, last but not least, internet and television work fine. The food supply is not a problem: the farmers are farming and the manufacturers supply the shops. Security is guarded by the ladies and gentlemen in blue. Public transport is less popular, but we happily drive around in our safe car bubble.
Serious, of course, is the overburdening of care, with acute and second-order effects that do not make us happy. In many cases there are serious personal tragedies and suffering.
The very limited education that is so physically necessary is not desirable. We are creative with online and emergency solutions, but nice is different. And we long for social contact and travel and a little entertainment and relaxation. One hug contact is not enough.
Many people make a virtue of necessity and go on odd jobs, hobbies, studying, sports, hiking, yoga and lots of Skype, Zoom, video chat and gaming! We do more and more online, digitally and think it is actually not that bad – working from home, meeting online, shopping, looking for online entertainment.
With that, our ‘normal; behavior has now taken an evolutionary leap and we are on the way to becoming the ‘gay hybrid’. Fortunately, we are still able to reasonably control our environment and our body, increasingly with electronics and software. Automation is great, but we don’t like to surrender to robots we don’t trust 100%. That is why building smart devices yourself is just as much fun as ordering one from Asia.
With all the data that we can collect in our environment, we can activate fun functions, and we are increasingly seeing the benefits of playing and experimenting; to learn from it and enjoy it. Good for young people to develop and remain curious, but also a permanent source of entertainment and social contacts for adults. But we can also use the knowledge to become more sustainable.
I think that with all the possibilities of today we have an army of creative builders who can come up with and make solutions for a very large part of the challenges we face. Making energy circular? Can we. 100% reuse clothing? Can we. Produce your own food? Can we. Build electric bicycles and buggies? Can we. Create communication systems? Can we. To brew beer? Make books? Build tiny houses? Baking ceramics? Forging iron? You can do it yourself!
And when it comes down to it, we certainly will. But not just yet; because it is still so comfortable to have it delivered to your home ready to use … Think about it, should we not go step-by-step to that independence, back to local ecosystems where we can keep our knowledge in good harmony with nature and allow expertise to flourish.
René Paré – @renepare
The column appears in Make Magazine NL