…and it always brings baggage. This book has a long title and we have talked about the first two parts. Let’s look at the last part. What is baggage?
It’s here, the future has arrived! Wow, that’s a lot of baggage, the future must be here for a long stay. We should unpack the baggage, but how?
They always seems to tag along with most technological advancements. Those unexpected, even undesirable issues arriving with the future can be called baggage. Can you think of baggage the future has brought to your life? Do you often feel burdened by information overload, instead of liberated by knowledge?
There are three kinds of baggage. First is the personal emotional baggage that tags along with feelings such as love, hate, fear, that we have as human beings. Second is baggage that we need so we can carefully and safely safari to explore and examine the Technojungle. Our eyes and ears, our minds in curious mode, questions to ask—this would be good baggage, more like luggage, to pack. Third is the baggage referred to in the book title; the unexpected aspects of technological change which we must contend with as we move on into the future. We will be learning how to spot and unpack some of the unexpected baggage that our technology of the future brings.
We all have baggage in our lives. Your past experiences create baggage in your life. It is often negative feelings from experiences of the past. Baggage is our bad, but very human, habits that can irk other people. There may be positive baggage, however most of the time the focus seems to be on the negative baggage that weighs us down. When two people get together in a relationship, the two bring their baggage of life along and suddenly there is the baggage of two people combining to make the relationship more complex and even cumbersome. I recently read an article about two previously divorced people with children who married, only to discover how difficult it was to blend the families that were brought together. It was unexpectedly difficult due to the baggage of all the members of the two families.
Then there is baggage we can take with us on safari through the Technojungle to help us learn how we can become better prepared for what is coming in the future. Since we are actually living in the Technojungle, when we go on safari we are really just opening our eyes, ears and mind. We want to be able to Look around at what is happening, to See what is actually going on, and then be able to Ask questions to think and reflect on what sort of change we might want to see happen.
Look, See, Ask then becomes part of what we need to pack in our baggage for our safari. My goal is to help make you aware of what to look at and for, how to see what is actually happening, and to ask questions that get you thinking about issues arising from technological change. We can use experiences and observations to illustrate points and help draw out questions. Questions can begin to prepare and equip you to go on your own safaris and to find ways to live a more human life in the Technojungle.
If we want to expect the unexpected and be able to prepare for the future, we must always be attempting to gain a better understanding of what has happened, what is happening and what may happen in the future. We need to be realistic, not overly negative or alarming, but careful and thoughtful about our expectations and how we will react to technological changes in our lives.
We should face the fact that the Technojungle is something that has risen from human endeavours and will always be flawed. Since humans are not perfect and have plenty of baggage, we can conclude that the machines and technologies, even the information, of the Technojungle will probably always have baggage too.
Might it be a huge mistake, perhaps even arrogant, to think that any man-made creation will one day become perfect and solve all the problems of humanity? Could the faults of humans and unexpected baggage always exist in all that we involve ourselves with, and from whatever arises through the endeavours of humans? Would it be naive to think that anything humans create might somehow overcome and be devoid of baggage? Will having faith in the Technojungle for a better future always hold some level of disappointment and have unexpected results?
The Technojungle and the future does and can have positive outcomes. With the tools we pack in our luggage for safari, let us use them not just to spot the problems, but to discover that which we may use to improve our lives and make us more human. After all, technology is part of what makes us human. It can also dehumanize us.
As you read this book, remember, our goal is not to have technology as our primary focus or as the end goal. We want to focus on learning and understanding how and when we are dehumanized by technology so we can begin to aim for our ultimate goal—being human beings and living in this world of technology—the Technojungle.
Baggage comes with being human beings and also comes with the future through the Tecknojungle. Just what does it mean to be human?