Safari – Setting Out
On a brief safari through the Technojungle
Infinite to finite—two worlds collide
The foundation of the Technojungle and computers is to take us from an analog world of the past to a digital unexpected world of the future. However, how do we understand each other if we analog humans don’t speak the same language as digital technologies?
Way back in my high school days, in math class, we had to do a bit of computer programming. My school didn’t have the computer, another high school did. So we were given cards, about 8 inches by 3 inches (20 cm by 8 cm), with small markings the same size as the holes in a punch card. We had to use a dark lead pencil to fill in the correct holes in a stack of these cards. Then we wrapped our little program of cards with a rubber band and off it went to the other school. Usually the result was that the program failed to run. In other words, all I learned from the experience is that one single mistake in the digital world of Technojungle computers can cause failure. If I did the math myself with a paper and pencil, I could probably figure out where I went wrong. The Technojungle computer cards were far more difficult to deal with. I never expected I would have to be perfect in a future world of computers.
- Analog and digital are two worlds that are colliding.
- When humankind crossed over to using digital technologies, a fundamental change occurred.
- Two very different kinds of technology in the Technojungle—analog and digital.
- Analog technologies seem more human-friendly than digital technologies.
- Looked at obstacles in communicating, or interacting with a computer because of humans being analog while computers are digital.
- Can you understand a computer without the information being converted from digital to analog? Have you experienced how awkward and cumbersome it can be as an analog being to communicate with a computer or other digital device?
- Analog is an analogy of the passing of time.
- A digital gauge can only tell you sampled increments of time.
- Was the Technojungle computer as we know it the first digital technology? Light switch example of the binary system of numbers which only uses two numbers, 0 and 1, referred to as base 2.
- The system of numbers humans use, base 10, has numbers from 0 to 9.
- A Technojungle computer is simply a massive number of switches that get set in various combinations to form patterns representing our words and numbers and turn pixels in a screen on or off, or represent pitches of sound.
- Can you think of any other Technojungle digital technologies besides a computer?
- Do you prefer to use a digital or an analog clock or watch?
- How and why is the digital world limited?
- What happens when I look at colour or hear sound? There are an infinite number of values. Describe a rainbow.
- From one pitch of sound to another, there is every possible pitch in between. Have you ever listened to a trombone player or violin player slide from one note to another?
- How can digital devices represent these colours or sounds?
- What is in oscilloscope and how does it display analog and digital waves?
- Can you define frequency and Hertz?
- I explained what happen when I play my 100 year-old cornet.
- How would a digital device produce a sound that imitates that of the actual guitar string, or my vibrating human lips with my cornet for that matter and what are the difficulties in doing this? What were some of the differences?
- Can you think of other influences on analog sounds?
- What are the differences in digital and analog images?
- Can you explain what a pixel is and what happen when you reduce or enlarge an image? What is resolution?
- Can you start to see some of the difficulties involved with the digital Technojungle relating to us humans?
- We looked at photography and scanning. What were the issues mentioned about scanning photos and not keeping the paper prints?
- Analog technologies are full of imperfections.
- Do you find analog technologies are more native to your human world, easier for you to relate to and interface with than the digitally based side of the Technojungle?
- What are some characteristics of the digital Technojungle compared to the analog world?
- There was the example of the TV manufacturer.
- Are digital technologies actually cheaper than analog? When devices are replaced where do all these replaced devices go?
- What are some of the differences between printed and digital books? Which do you think is actually cheaper, a digital book or an analog book? Would it be true for most of our information?
- The Technojungle would seem to be quite expensive, can we expect this will be solved someday in the future?
- Have you noticed that often the quantity goes up while the quality of the message can go down? The less quality and value a message has, the more it can be considered as simply noise.
- Digital Technojungle technologies attempt to eliminate imperfections, does that sounds like a good thing? Although we are not perfect now, could the Technojungle make us perfect someday? Does a digital perfect world seem like a very comfortable and appealing place for you to exist? In what ways might it dehumanize you?
- I reminded readers of the recorded music discussion earlier in the book.
- Do our human brains learn to deal with the imperfections of analog? Do we tune-out the imperfections?
- That which may be lacking with analog actually engages our brains to imagine and fill-in the missing details.
- I mentioned the expression veg-out, such as to watch TV. Then I asked, what happens in our brain when we experience less information such as with a radio drama?
- Is there is a difference in warmth between the digital Technojungle and analog human life? Does digital seem cold, hard and unfriendly, while analog seems warm, soft, and friendly, but aren’t these three characteristics that we associate with being a good person?
- Our analog world has been on a collision course with the new digital world.
- What would the world be like with only analog computers? Do we really need so many small computers in our lives?
- It seems that the computers of the Technojungle suck away our time and energy, stealing us away from being together where we can touch each other both physically and emotionally. This has certainly been the result from physical distancing and social isolation during the COVID-19 pandemic with people longing to get back together.
- Is the Technojungle serving us humans or are we serving the Technojungle? Are we being better human beings through the digital Technojungle?
As our lives and world become more of a digital Technojungle, as opposed to mechanical analog, they also become less real and less human. We can end up becoming dehumanized and more like the digital devices that are supposed to be making our lives better and hopefully more human. Through the online world we can connect together in so many ways. Is this one aspect that outweighs any drawbacks of the Technojungle?
As we connect computers, they connect us to communicate in new ways, but are we really connecting? Is it really social?
My daughter called me one day from Australia—the other side of the world. The call was free, thanks to an app on my iPhone that does Voice Over Internet Protocol (VoIP). Usually, the quality of the connection could sound better than a regular local phone call. If we want to leave messages for each other, we have some text messaging options within this app. Sometimes we even use a video call and there are a couple options for that. We can connect through the Technojungle, but it is not until we are together that I realize just how limiting that connection is. Technology-mediated communication can be quite different from face-to-face communications.
- We humans have never been so connected and yet at the same time so disconnected.
- Why is it that with so many marvellous methods for communicating and connecting, we still seem to be disconnected? Could it be that we are too often substituting a technology-mediated communications of the Technojungle for personal human contact?
- In a world where we are gathering friends by the hundreds on social media platforms, do we really still know what it means to truly communicate and have, or be a real friend?
- Do you find it easier and resort to using the technology of the Technojungle to do your communicating? What’s the point in all these wonderful communication tools then if some people ignore them?
- If you think about a time you had a conversation in a noisy place like a coffee shop, what it was like?
- Can you explain some more ways the effectiveness of the communication can quickly deteriorate as other noises interfere and filter out some of your message?
- Extra noise elevates stress levels in humans.
- Can you describe how audio or video communications happen?
- Imagine some other methods of communication we have at hand in our modern Technojungle life. What changes in your communications when you use the telephone?
- The Technojungle video phone was more than a promise, many years ago it was going to be a sure thing for the future. I don’t see a video phone, do you? Why aren’t video phones common? What were some of the abilities of the telephone answering machine?
- How carefully and thoughtfully do we prepare our ideas into a message that will be easily understood with minimal misunderstanding, as was usually the case with letter writing? Do you experience any misunderstood communicating?
- How often do you see well written communication? What must a reader do to understand poorly written communications? What does poorly written communications say about us as modern advanced humans? Are we now a casual even sloppy society that can’t take the time to communicate carefully and effectively? Are we actually tolerating poor quality communications? Are we also sloppy in other aspects of our lives? Are we making Technojungle communications easier while messages are carelessly constructed? How can the Technojungle worsen or improve various communications to make our communicating more or less human?
- What is one of the goals of effective communications? Can noise actually be considered a message, or part of the message being communicated? Could noises such as the ones in the cafe example affect people in other ways in addition to stress?
- Is your E-mail InBox is a Technojungle within a Technojungle? Valuable messages are often not written clearly. Important messages can be missed due to being bogged-down in the foliage of noise. What are your experiences with communication methods such as E-mail?
- What are some types of well written and well edited forms of communication? What other forms of information delivery compete for our attention? What do these take us away from?
- Just how much do we really know about each other?
- One day I heard someone say that, “People today have never been so connected and yet so disconnected from each other.” Another person stated that, “We have never known so much about our world and yet know so little about who we are.” It’s a sort of like, the more you know, the less you know.
- Have we moved from knowing a lot about a little to knowing a little about a lot?
- What are these statements saying? Are we in danger of spending so much of our time communicating through technology, that we can’t use more effective forms of communication to really come to understand each other and ourselves?
- Is the Technojungle baggage burying us in such a foliage of a complexities of communications and connectedness that we can’t think and reflect on the messages we want to communicate?
- Have we forgotten what it means to know another person and relate to them on a truly human level?
- We need to be extremely careful about understanding the pitfalls of each method of communication and to not come to rely on it, or to give it a value of effectiveness that it does not actually have.
- Who in your list of social media Friends is really your friend? Let’s get together more often in person and learn to communicate creatively and emotionally face-to-face.
In this connected online world of the Technojungle, how well are you connecting and communicating to the people in your human life? Are you able to connect through all the noise? What is noise anyway?
Shhh… it’s a noisy place
Is noise the message?
When I was in high school I had to do a report and the topic I chose was noise pollution. It was the dawn of the 1970s and people were beginning to get up in arms over air pollution. Both of these pollutions are byproducts of the Technojungle. I was quite amazed to find out just how unhealthy and physically damaging noise pollution can be. Some problems are: high stress levels, hypertension, hearing loss, tinnitus (ringing in the ears, or other constant noise in the head), sleep disturbances, plus many others. As I edit this book, I have to endure the constant noise of construction on the new townhomes next door and the massive highway interchange going in a block away. The banging, in particular, is nerve shattering and the modest, but continual sound of the motors on the compressors for the nail guns leaves me on edge. Then there is the pile driving down the road for the highway, traffic on the highway, sirens, trains—it is endless Technojungle noise pollution and I remember a little from my report as to what it does to me. Noise pollution is just one form of Technojungle noise.
- Noise pollution is not only from sound, information can pollute. Do you sometimes feel like you are swimming up a Technojungle river, against the current? Can you describe how you are striving with every stroke, being carried away in the current and flow, treading hard to keep your head up—to keep from drowning in the oceans of information? Should this be human life in the Technojungle?
- What is good information?
- We humans are surrounded by plenty of information from the Technojungle, but how much of it is valuable, useful, accurate, or even true? What did I describe as ‘the message?’
- What is that ‘other’ information? What is all the less important and less valuable information? Can you learn to ignore this noise, or at least deal with it quickly? What happens when you don’t? What are some of the impacts of noisy information and what will all this noise do in your life?
- Can any information from any media have a noise component? Shouldn’t we all be critically thinking about what information we are consuming and how it is affecting us, making us more or less human?
- Could there be a Tinnitus equivalent for information—information that is persistent and never goes away?
- We covered what valuable and useful information is. What other forms of information noise can you think of?
- How can you verify information from the Technojungle? How are traditional news sources, the media, struggling?
- What is fake news? What sources do you follow that you feel are accurate? Do you read, listen and watch with a critical mind?
- Can ordinary people start a frenzy or panic by propagating erroneous or fake news through the Technojungle? Or, would such an occurrence be corrected by other people at the source who might tell a different story?
- Do you think a thinking machine could one day have human-like wisdom? How do we obtain wisdom? Is good judgement based solely on accurate data and information?
- I suggested an analogy that information is like food. What are some of the comparisons? Could we get Technojungle information indigestion?
- Do you believe that the world has changed with so much information such that, if you immerse yourself in the sea of information, the message will get through?
- Can the human mind sift and sort out some wisdom from all that Technojungle information noise out there? Can we get the correct message from among the noise? Do you think that maybe what’s important stands out, no matter what the flow of information?
- Should we care? Why not simply go with the flow? Why not just see where we end up somewhere down the road in the future and enjoy the trip through this noisy Technojungle? Should we let technology carry us away, down the Technojungle river into the info-abyss? Is the Technojungle making us too machine-like and eroding away aspects of what makes us human, such as wisdom, creativity, intuition and spontaneity?
- The online Technojungle world of social media is a noisy place. Is it worth the cost of contending with the daily din in hopes that you might actually stumble upon something of value to you in all the rubble of information?
- What is the jungle juggle?
Have you been aware of information noise pollution before reading this chapter? Can you recognize this kind of pollution better now? Pay more attention to actual sound noise pollution. As we trek around in the Technojungle, are we leaving some kind of artificial, or virtual, footprints?
Everything we do online in the Technojungle can be tracked and recored, so how do I virtually look? Like walking in sand, we leave footprints everywhere we go.
I got a strange weird feeling the first time I saw a website tell me what computer platform I was using along with other information including my web browser and its version. That’s when I realized whatever I do in the online Technojungle, I not only announce myself, but also leave a trail. Unlike physical footprints in the natural world which usually get obscured or in some way disappear, digital ones on the servers of corporations remain and can get copied and passed around to other corporations.
- What is a Digital Identity or Persona?
- Could information about us can get misinterpreted, or simply be wrong?
- Are you one of the people who enjoy being able to easily and instantly publish and tell the Technojungle world so much about what you are doing, or what interests you? Is this so important to you that you don’t think carefully before to contribute to the online Technojungle?
- Is it possible to go on a safari to rub out some of our footprints as we might with footprints left in real sand? How would this be possible or impossible?
- What can you describe about data storage? What are some of the storage media used today or in the past?
- So what what happens to all those footprints of yours out there all over the Technojungle? When equipment gets replaced, does the data get totally erased so it can’t be stolen? Do storage devices get destroyed? Can your identity or entire persona be stolen by a digital dumpster diver?
- I told the story of my experiences running a BBS. Are you a different person online than in real life?
- What would be a way to take some action to throw trackers off track?
- What was the word I used which means to be obscure, evasive, or unclear, purposely to throw someone off track and create confusion even bewilderment? Are corporations and the Technojungle doing this to you? How might you create some obfuscation in the Technojungle?
- The footprints we leave in the Technojungle reveal a sort of digitized personality of us—our Digital Identity and Persona.
- What is one major source of personal data and information collection?
- In what ways can your digital identity become humanizing or dehumanizing?
- Do you think this information collects all over the Technojungle as useless piles of data nobody could ever sift through? Can you explain what big data and the Internet of things are?
- How many Technojungle devices of yours are listening without you knowing? Do your computer and cell phone listen without your permission? Can the webcam of your computer be accessed by someone out there to see what you are doing without you knowing? How is the Technojungle listening in on your life to learn more about who you are as a human being? Is this humanizing?
- How is someone to know absolutely for sure if recording or transmitting is occurring from personal and home assistants? When it is recording and transmitting, where does the information go and who owns it? What happens if something illegal takes place and a recording is collected by a corporation? Can police get the information? Could information collected without consent by one of these devices be admissible as evidence in court? What might be the responsibility of the device manufacturing corporation? What about hackers, can they gain control of these devices?
- What are other ways information is collected about you?
- Your information forms a digital image of who you are in the Internet online Technojungle world and there is nowhere to hide out there. You can’t just disappear into the crowd anymore. There are ways to find you.
- There are human hunters, or hunters of humans, out there. They are like digital detectives in the Technojungle and may not even be human. They might be software, such as algorithms and bots.
- Do you think the constant flow of information from you is just useless chatter and bits of information that gets lost in the sea of data out there? Isn’t the Technojungle listening, reading and watching your every move—everything you do? Is the Technojungle Big Brother?
- Take careful steps in the Technojungle because you are leaving footprints everywhere you go.
Whether we like it or not, we have a second life and identity and it is growing by the day in the Technojungle. You might even be somewhat of a different person, or animal, in the cyber world. So, is there hunting going on in the Technojungle? How is tracking and tracing part of life in the Technojungle?
Careful, you’re being followed
When it comes to jungle safaris, tracking might be one idea that springs to mind. How does tracking and its cousin tracing, happen in the Technojungle?
The first time I ordered something through a company on the Internet, I was surprise how I could track the shipment. Every time the package moved, it got scanned which left a footprint I could track. We can track to follow a parcel to our doorstep. If it doesn’t arrive, the path can be traced.
I can remember using a special kind of semi-translucent, or semi-see through, paper called tracing paper. We would lay it on top of a picture and follow the lines to make a tracing which we could colour, or change in any way we wanted. We had a copy which we could somewhat modify. This is one of my early uses of the word tracing.
Then there’s the guy in a scene of a movie who wants to find out where someone is going. The person just drove off in a car, so the guy runs up to a taxi and shouts, “Quick, follow that car!” The taxi dashes off before the guy can get into the taxi. We follow to find out something.
- Can you give some examples of tracking and tracing?
- Other than the examples given, what kinds of tracking and tracing have you seen?
- What sorts of tracking and tracing do you do, or could you do in the Technojungle?
- What are some of the ways you may be tracked and traced based on your activities in the Technojungle? Do you use Technojungle services, such as search engines and shopping websites? Have you notice advertising that follows you around the Web? What do you think about this and how do you feel about corporations profiting from selling information about you? Are you aware of any results from you being tracked and traced?
- Do you see corporations as like wild Technobeasts? Who might be tracking and tracing you and what might their purposes be?
- What is facial recognition and how is it used?
- Do you give permission for all this tracking and tracing? How? Is it confusing?
- What ways would you suggest that would make licence agreements clearer?
- Do you think corporations would agree to make their agreement simpler, less confusing, and explain exactly how and when they do tracking and tracing? Would they track and trace anyway? Why?
- Do you believe you know how to check to see if you are being tracked, traced, or watched in any possible way?
- Should surveillance just be an acceptable reality of life in this Technojungle world? Much of it may come under the auspices of protecting us from terrorist activity, so why would we give terrorists the ability to opt-out? How many other dehumanizing aspects of the Technojungle world are we accepting as just a reality of life?
- Is Big Brother watching you?
- What happened with tracking and tracing during the pandemic? How has tracking and tracing increased both in capabilities and need during the pandemic?
- How has China used tracking and tracing during the pandemic?
- How do you feel about the vaccines?
- Do you feel like a target and a suspect with your Technojungle paths open for scrutiny and inspection? Do you feel hunted and prey for corporations?
As hunters and the hunted, we can be trackers and tracers, but we are also the tracked and traced. It can be a dangerous place. What about your own information, that which is personal to you? Do you feel it is safe and private? Can you hide in the Technojungle?
No safe place to hide
Safety, Security & Privacy—one or two, can we have all three? Do we have to give up one or two to have one? Has the notion of privacy become obsolete?
Before the digital age of the Technojungle I don’t recall thinking too much about safety, security, and privacy of my information. These privileges of life related primarily with regard to the physical world. At school we had the Safety Patrol to help children cross the streets near the school. Security was a person in a blue uniform who watched over places to make sure nobody intruded or stole something. And then there was the privacy of my own home. It was all pretty simple and straight forward until one day I began to realize that things were quite different in the digital online world of the Technojungle. It was not as easy, if not impossible, to be sure of how safe, secure and private my information—my life—actually was. I was shocked to discover that many people, mostly young, didn’t seem to care, probably because staying on top of these three was simply too difficult. Then tech company CEOs and other experts began to announce that privacy was a thing of the past. Does that mean that safety and security are also a thing of the past? Judging from the track records of tech companies, can I trust what they tell me is their truth concerning safety, security, and privacy?
- Did you take the short safari back through human history, and can you describe some of the threats we humans have lived under? Haven’t safety, security and privacy always been of huge concern? Why should today be any different? How might safety, security and privacy issues be different today? Do you feel you are in control of your safety, security and privacy both in the Technojungle physical world and online?
- Do you feel safe when you lock the doors of your home, vehicle, or any other private place?
- If we are so careful about our physical houses and belongings, why does it seem so complicated to protect our online Technojungle life and make it safe, secure and private—more human? How confident to you feel about the software settings you have configured for your online activities and on your various devices? How do you get insurance on your data and information?
- For most people Technojungle safety, security and privacy is just too daunting. Have you given up and don’t care, perhaps thinking that your information is going to be taken no matter what you do? Have you simply decided to leave security and privacy of you data and information in the hands of the corporations that provide the services you use? How safe or secure are these corporations? Isn’t this just more unexpected baggage that we should deal with? It is dehumanizing.
- What kind of privacy and security do we have when information can be sucked from us even when we believe we are safe, such as when using a private browsing while accessing websites? Can we actually protect ourselves in the Technojungle?
- How are you willingly, or being seduced, or even tricked, into eagerly offering large amounts of information to Technojungle corporations? Have you used software that starts out as free, but to actually use it you need an account and pay an often very large fee? Did you consider that you are paying a fee to give them your information, or at least put your information at risk on an unknown server?
- Do you believe that a Technojungle company gathering your personal data and information can continue to keep it private forever? Do you care? In what ways would this be difficult? Have you heard of any breaches of information by an internal employee who either willingly or mistakenly lets information get into the wrong Technojungle hands? Have you seen instances of larger companies sharing data and information with smaller companies who provide a value added service or feature to what the larger company does?
- Have you heard of institutions, agencies and governments, being hacked into? Do you think most get reported?
- Did you ever stop to think that in the Technojungle, you are your information? This is who you are as a human being in the online Technojungle world. What is Personal Terrorism?
- What would happen if we actually knew the extent of cyber attacks? What would that mean for Technojungle corporations?
- Has cyber crime or identity theft happened to you? How did you feel? What if your compromised credit card that was automatically cancelled was your only card and the primary method of purchasing what you required to live on? Was it a card on which automatic payments made each month through the Technojungle for something like life insurance and did you miss a payment?
- What are chip cards, sometimes called smart cards and what is RFID (Radio-frequency identification) technology? How many cards do you have and how do you keep them? How do you think the Technojungle companies are working to resolve the card problems?
- Consider the digital ID vaccination scenario mentioned in the previous chapter. Would your personal information be safer if it was part of your body?
- Have you felt encouraged, even forced, to surrender more of your personal information to services on the Internet and the corporations of the Technojungle? Have you felt compelled to do things online that you felt were unnecessary? Why do corporations want us to store all our information, do all our communicating, and do so many of our activities through the online Technojungle even when it is not necessary? How has the pandemic affected these issues?
- Does part of what actually makes us human include our information?
- Who would want to buy information about you? Do you believe that your life is not influenced by advertising?
- Do you believe that since your data and information are so scattered all over the Internet Technojungle that it’s rather useless because it gets lost in the monstrous Info-abyss of data that nobody could possibly sort through?
- How are corporations building your online body? What is the type of mining of the Information Age called?
- Since who you are in the Technojungle is your information, and those who have this information actually seem to own it, aren’t we essentially being owned by corporations? At this point in our early lives in the Technojungle, can we possibly fathom what this might mean in the future?
- Even though we may notice, perhaps only a fraction, of what is happening to our safety, privacy and security, don’t we get lured into the traps of the Technojungle?
- In a free society, shouldn’t safety, security and privacy be a right? What can result without this right?
Safety, security and privacy are huge and important issues to contend with in the Technojungle. It is difficult to know just how safe, secure and private our Technojungle lives are and most of us may avoid thinking about this. Our daily activities contribute to a rapidly growing Technojungle and in that sense are we humans are feeding it?
Feeding the Jungle
The Technojungle is hungry and gets us to feed it, but what exactly is it eating? How does it get its food?
I often make bread and used to make pizzas every week when I was less busy. The first step is to prepare the yeast. I keep it in a jar in the fridge and as I’m reaching for it I hear myself think, “Get the wee beasties.” Yeast is dry and granular looking. I warm some water, add a bit of sugar to feed the yeast, add the yeast, and wait. Soon there is a large amount of foam as the yeast beasties come to life—yes, they are alive. It has then become a foamy jungle of life. After kneading in flour, the resulting dough will expand, called rise, as the yeast creates air bubbles. It is then ready to bake.
- Do you feel urged, not just by corporations, but also so many people in your life—even friends—to use the Internet more for just about everything possible? All this information we contribute to the Technojungle tells a lot about us and who we are as human beings.
- Are corporations technobeasts? Are we providing the foliage for technobeasts to feed on? How do you perceive the metaphor of technobeasts and what they feed on?
- Can you think of other metaphors and ways of looking at them?
- Where is all the data and information the technobeasts devour going and how is it being used? Who is using it and what might the future hold for us as this massive digital and analog accumulation of human activity grows?
- How do you feel about the idea that our data, information, even our deepest human knowledge and wisdom, is some form of nourishment that is being harvested from us? What does that lead you to think? Are we a garden or farm getting some sort of attention and even care to ensure we continue to produce until the season ends?
- Are we feeding and parenting something that is growing as if it is living?
- What do you believe will be the future of us humans in the Technojungle? If it is not already, will it become your best friend? Will it always have our best human interests as its primary goal? Will it simply grow to be able to care for and continue to help us more as we safari into the future?
- What do you discover when you consider the reverse of the above, if we are caring for the Technojungle? Can you see some ways the Technojungle seems to be feeding us?
- If we are being fed by the Technojungle, what is it that we are being fed and how is this food or nourishment being used in our lives? Or is it more for the benefit of other people, groups, governments, or corporations?
- What is the food? What happens when we are fed back more of what you like?
- Can inconsistencies be introduced by people, corporations, groups, and even bots? What would be the results?
- How does information get filtered and how does this affect you? Is it is usually done just to reduce the amount of information you need to deal with in a particular situation? Can changing information even slightly add a bias that can sway what you believe? This may be unintentional, but could it sometimes be intentionally controlled?
- What is a recommender and how does it work?
- If we are feeding the jungle, shouldn’t we endeavour to discover ways to feed our humanity even more?
Whether you want to go as far as this metaphoric chapter suggests, it is true that we are feeding the Internet Technojungle. It has become the largest human creation with each of us finding our own areas to wander in. What is turf and what does it mean in the Technojungle? Is it real?
Artificial Turf, Artificial Lives
The places we spend much of our time are not real. Does that mean our lives are becoming unreal?
When I was a kid my bedroom was my own turf. I could do what I wanted with it and arrange it any way I desired. For my family, it was our house that was our turf. As I think about real turf grass and artificial turf grass, I see an interesting metaphor. If my bedroom or house is my real turf, then my computer devices and online spaces contain the artificial versions. They are not real in the sense that they don’t actually physically exist, yet they are my turf. Yes, the devices exist, but the software, information, and online Technojungle places that I can manipulate don’t. The more time I spend in these virtual artificial (human-made) places makes me feel I may be living a partially artificial life.
- I started of by mentioning that we live in three worlds, what are they?
- What are artificial turfs or cyberturfs?
- What online places do you spend your time?
- What artificial places of the Internet Technojungle do you spend huge portions of your life using? Do they seem or feel real to you like physical places? What does this mean with respect to your life?
- Do you feel really connected to people, actually friends with hundreds of people, have knowledge (keep in mind what knowledge is) at your fingertips? How much of this were you expecting as being part of your future?
- If people treat their artificial turfs as if they are as real as the real world, what prices are they paying?
- What is a concrete jungle? Did you take a short metaphoric mind safari and compare the city and the Internet? What do the similarities and dis-similarities mean to you? What do they mean to us as humans?
- Have you ever heard someone say, “Get off of my turf!” Or, “That’s my turf!”? What are turf wars?
- Have you ever watched a soccer game, or perhaps field hockey, played on an artificial turf field? How does a soccer or field hockey game differ from one played on a real grass field?
- Do you ever think that in some ways the online Technojungle world we partially inhabit seems sterile?
- Can you see how it is possible look at the characteristics of one thing and apply them to another to get some additional insight?
- Did you learn anything from the soccer analogy story that you can relate to the artificial turfs of the online Technojungle?
- Have you noticed that there are always problems in the paradise of promises—the Technojungle, no matter how clever and perfect they devise the technology to be? Do we often trade one problem for another as we live evermore in the Technojungle?
- If the Technojungle places where we are spending so much of our time are artificial turfs, could our lives be becoming somewhat artificial? If the places we humans spend our time in the Technojungle are artificial then could what we do there be described as artificial?
- In what ways are the relationships we have with the Technojungle artificial — real and not real?
- If I am leaving aspects of my human life, information, around in the artificial turf worlds of the Technojungle, might I be building for myself aspects of my life that are also artificial turfs? How much substance is there to what is on the Internet? Do you want to be artificial, even just part of you? Can you think of ways to be human in the artificial turf worlds of the Technojungle? Could we one day find our humanity has migrated to the artificial turf of the Technojungle and that we truly can live artificial lives? Would artificial turfs then become real? Would we still be human beings?
There are plenty of unexpected questions to ask in this Technojungle life of the future. Our artificial turfs can bring us artificial lives. But the information is so scattered and even fragmented, how can this sea of data be useful to anyone, or the Technojungle?
Seas & oceans
Seas of data and oceans of information. With so much data and information collected and being collected out there in the Technojungle, what good is it? Can somebody use it? How does all that data and information affect your life?
Data, data, everywhere,
And all our words do shrink;
Data, data, everywhere,
Nor any thoughts to think. — Modified from The Ryme of the Ancient Mariner by Samuel Taylor Coleridge.
- Do you believe you live an autonomous, or at least semi-autonomous, human life? How can colossal amounts of even unimaginable amounts of data and information be used to guide, manage, even manipulate and control our lives in the Technojungle? What value is it, and for whom?
- What is GAFA? We talk about the World Wide Web (WWW), but do you sometimes feel that all our connected devices are part of an even more massive web that is capturing our information in ways we can’t imagine? Have you ever watched a spider take it’s prey, caught in the web, and wrap it up for dinner later? What is an online spider?
- Define big data and the Internet of things (IoT), or the Internet of everything (IoE). How do you feel about being surrounded by cameras, microphones, and other sensing devices everywhere? Can you think of some everyday items in your life and imagine them with a computer connected to the Internet?
- We can predict that, as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and the surge of online activity, the growing seas and oceans of data and information will somehow be used for pandemic purposes. In what ways can you see this happening?
- What unexpected results might emerge in the future from the use of all the data and information being collected?
- In what ways does modern computing power allow information to be manipulated and managed? What is unstructured data? What is Data Mining?
- How is Big Data used? How might big data become something that is even more important in your human life?
- What sorts of wearables or other smart Internet of things devices do you use and how do you use them? You probably don’t have, or would ever want the smart underwear I mentioned.
- Can you spot where smart devices are turning up in unexpected places and where they might turn up in the future? What data and information might they collect and how it might be used?
- Who is in control of all this new technology? Do you believe they have your best interests at heart? Why not?
- Devices seem to lead to more devices which all need to talk to each other. What was birthed to meet the need for devices to talk to each other from anywhere in the world? Briefly explain how it works.
- How does the Wild West compare to the Internet?
- What else might the spider-like webs do someday? With these webs, are we the spider or the prey?
- Will money become unnecessary in a Technojungle world where our human privacy and attention are the new monetary funds? Is your privacy compromised as corporations sell what they know about you to marketers who then seek your attention to sell you more and more products?
- If we give up our privacy and surrender our attention to the Internet Technojungle will it, in turn, look after us? If you desire a moment of privacy, will you pay with your attention, or something else, to the Technojungle? If you want to think on your own, will you pay with your privacy by letting the Technojungle listen in on your mind?
Every moment of human existence now creates massive amounts of data and information that the Technojungle swallows. While we may not be able to make sense of it, our Technojungle machines can. Humans used to be the greatest influencers to the lives of other humans. That has all changed and we now live in a different world of influence.
It’s an algorithmic world
What is an algorithm? Is it math? They are increasingly running the world.
I don’t remember algorithms being covered in my schooling, such as in math classes, back in the early seventies, but the subject must have come up. We did do a little computer work. In the last few years though, I have learned some important points about them. Algorithms determine most of what we experience through the Technojungle Internet through content filtering. These algorithms impact our real world in serious ways. Somebody has to create the algorithm, so that means they always have biases, are not impartial, and can be discriminating. Increasingly, they create each person’s perspective of their world through relentless attempts to personalize what information they are fed from the Internet. Because algorithms use information known about you, they create a requirement for more data and information collection. Instead of actually serving the humans using the Internet, they end up serving Technojungle corporations. Algorithms are secrets. Nobody outside of the people in corporations employing particular algorithms know anything about how they work. They are quite simply curating the view of the world you see through the Internet. I wouldn’t argue that they control and manipulate our lives—even our beliefs, values, feelings—in subtle and hidden ways we can hardly imagine and that make them dangerous.
- Just what exactly is an algorithm and how are they used? Do you get all possible matches when you do a search using a search engine on the Internet?
- Can you briefly explain how an algorithm works?
- Can you think of instances where you can recognize algorithms are at work in the Technojungle?
- Can you list some biases that might be built into predictive policing algorithms? What other situations can you think of where algorithms might be used and biases could cause serious problems in the Technojungle?
- Other serious problems were discussed. Can you explain a few of these?
- Can you think of what can happen when negative impacts become amplified through algorithms used in combination with AI, Big Data and The Internet of Things? Can human problems and biases built into algorithms be somehow purged to produce a perfect system? Or, will they remain lurking in the background also becoming amplified as algorithms grow in complexity and then spread throughout the Technojungle? What happens when AI uses machine learning to develop algorithms based on the ones humans developed?
- How can we learn to recognize the impacts of Technojungle algorithms on our society? Can you think about some fields and areas of your society, such as insurance, taxation, etc., where algorithms could have negative biases? What about algorithms with intentional maliciousness built in? Do algorithms keep your data and information private? More questions.
- Algorithms can find patterns and make predictions, but what are some aspects they lack?
- How is using algorithms to find terrorists like catching fish with a net?
- Do you think a cake recipe could be scaled up to build a house?
- If algorithms are not perfect, what outcomes could we be experiencing?
- Can you see the need for algorithms in helping us manage our decisions? As you safari through the Technojungle, ask why you are seeing certain information?
- Do you want to know and understand when and how an algorithm was used in a particular situation?
- As you safari remember two final questions. Why I am seeing this information? Where am I being led?
Whether you have heard of algorithms or not, hopefully you now have a basic understanding of what they are and how important they are in your life. Using algorithms, our machines are getting smarter, but how? How smart can they get?
Getting Intelligent—From Smart to Intelligent Machines
Machines are getting intelligent, but who is getting smarter? (Artificial Intelligence)
I wonder: Potential dog owners often go looking for a breed that is smart—they may even say intelligent. But give a dog enough intelligence and the owner may end up on the other end of the leash. Now that would really be a smart dog—taking a human for a walk. Maybe some dogs do that anyhow. How about our machines? What end of the leash are you on.
AI stands to redefine the Technojungle as we know it, just as the computer has, but on a scale few of us can imagine or are prepared for.
Part One — Honey, I shrunk the technology!
- If you are older, like I am, do you recall any devices that shrunk due to solid-state components such as the transistor?
- What was so different about the transistor radio? What was missing? What is a common material used in the components of the new devices mentioned?
- What became of the transistor when they were ganged together? How could they be ganged together?
- As computers were shrinking to fit on a desk, what was a main component that made this possible? Corporations and hobbyists both on in the game to bring the computer to the desktop, who rose to the top and what did they name their company?
- What was to change the world in my days? What is it now that we are hearing will change the world to come and what will it ultimately do?
- Do you think computers are in anyway intelligent? Is a ‘smart device’ actually smart? Why do you think they are called smart? Can it think? What gives the illusion of being smart?
- But what else could become smart? Will smart devices ever become intelligent? What is intelligence?
- Who really needs a smart lightbulb connected to the Internet? Computers, smartphones, smart lightbulbs, smart toilets, these machines and devices may not be intelligent, however, don’t you think they seem a little smart?
Part Two—Honey, it’s listening and learning about us!
- Will we one day be able to just think and have technology interact with us and do things for us? Have you ever thought something you didn’t mean to think of at that particular time? Can you control your thoughts well enough that intelligent technologies won’t get confused, make mistakes, or interpret your thoughts into some dangerous action?
- Have you talked to the Technojungle lately? Do you believe smart devices are listening to you? What happens to what they hear?
- Have you heard, or seen advertising trying to persuade you to buy a Technojungle device that sits in the room with you waiting for your commands? I mentioned that my daughter got one for free. Who could refuse something for free? Does this make you wonder?
- If you don’t already have such a device, would you trust that it was not capturing everything going on around it and sending it somewhere into the Technojungle? If you do have such a device, what convinced you that your privacy is safe? Do you remember HAL in 2001: A Space Odyssey? Is the concept of HAL from 2001: A Space Odyssey creepy to you?
- Why do you think AI important to focus on? What should a true AI be able to do? What is an actual AI that can do anything a human can do called? What human characteristic does a true AI need so it can understand our world?
- How do they build a Technojungle machine that can understand? How does it work? What is the mechanism that allows this to happen?
- I’m also concerned that we adults feeding the AI children, will wake up one day to find that we humans are the children trying to survive in the Technojungle—no longer truly in charge. Are we already in this situation?
- Where does all the data, information and the examples come from to train AGIs?
- Corporation will exploit as many humans as possible to get data and information. What do these corporations do with their collection of data and information?
- Should we be concerned? Do these corporations have our best interests as humans as their priority?
- Why would a corporations offer free storage of data and information, including audio, images, and video? What information can be obtained from images? How can it be used?
- With AIs, can we humans just sit back and let the machines do all the work while we simply enjoy life mindlessly frolicking in the Technojungle? What will the machines think of that? Didn’t we hear promises like this decades ago? Wasn’t this Technojungle future we are now living in going to be one where we would have so much leisure time? Do you have leisure time?
- Can we imagine what intelligent machines that can learn and out-think us humans and even read our thoughts might be like in the future of the Technojungle?
- But what do we mean when we say a Technojungle machine is intelligent and can think? Would solving a problem without being given any options be an indication of thinking?
Part Three—Honey, this is a mess!
- What can intelligent machines learn from the trail of often messy information regarding our lives in the past?
- Can an intelligent machine learn to complain like us humans? Can AI learn to nag, or even get fed-up with us? Would it decide to punish us?
- Can AI learn how to filter out the negative human character traits, like complaining, blaming, nagging, or even cursing? Can it understand when it made an inappropriate response and apologize? As a parent/child relationship, would it be the child, or would we be more like the child? Could we all be adults? What would it do to itself for making a wrong decision? What if the root of the wrong decision is discovered to be due to a human error from the past? Who will be judge or jury in cases of serious mistakes or wrong decisions?
- How will AIs deal with our imperfections and messiness?
Part Four—Honey, whose turn is to take the garbage out?
- How accurate and true is the information in the Technojungle on the Internet? Do you wonder why social media recommends people you don’t know and would never want to be friends with?
- How much information out there in the online world do you think might be inaccurate, or just plain useless? Is there information that has mistakes, or has expired? Could some information have been purposely and even maliciously made inaccurate, such as a scam or a review of a product placed to promote the product rather than give truthful representation of its value? Have you seen information that only barely makes any sort of sense even if you could understand the vague context to which it relates?
- What is Bovine Scatology?
- What is informational excrement? What would this include? Is this pollution of some sort? Who, or what, technology would clean-up and take out the trash? What does that old saying, “Garbage in, garbage out” mean? Could big data turn out to be big garbage?
- In the oceans of data and information of the Technojungle, could there be a metaphoric equivalent to the masses of plastics and garbage floating out in the natural oceans left over from the Information Age?
- If the Internet is being created by humans, wouldn’t it stand to reason that it is a reflection of who humans are? Doesn’t the Internet Technojungle include all our faults (baggage?)? Don’t we humans produce massive amounts of garbage which can include data and information?
- How can smart machines assist humans with their daily lives if the information that is available might be full of holes?
- Have you heard of Fake News? Have you ever been fooled, perhaps by a scam? Do you think AIs might one day be able to determine fake from real or what is a actually a scam? Could they understand an innuendo?
Part Five—Honey, I’ve a feeling we’re not in Kansas anymore!
- What was your first experience with AI? Have you tried any AI helpers on any of your devices? Do you find all the responses useful? How often are the responses humorous or don’t make sense?
- Do you feel we humans might be on the path to doomsday with AI? How long could we live in a world of AI machines that just might begin to see us as inferior, even a nuisance?
- I talked about a large corporate social media provider that discovered chatbot AIs were developing their own language. I asked, what if the bots find a way to avoid human control, or pretend to be shut down? Could hackers or terrorists plant potentially unstoppable bots to create fake information or cause other forms of havoc?
Part Six—Honey, they are catching up
- What aspects of being human can we nurture in ourselves that AI would not be able to emulate or mimic? What did I suggest we can borrow from in order to live a life free from the often enslaving and dehumanizing attributes of the Technojungle.
- Does the Technojungle know that we come with baggage? What might happen when it finds out? Could intelligent machines get lost on the many paths and rabbit trails we humans have woven through the Technojungle WE have created?
- In the end, don’t all jungles, including the Technojungle, just keep growing? No matter what we do with machines, or what machines try to do with us, isn’t the human element always there and that makes the Technojungle even more of a jungle?
- The Technojungle exists because of the differences between humans beings and machines.
AI is a huge topic and hugely important. There is much more on the topic in Book Two. Please think about AI on your own as you safari. Machines have allowed us to automate many tasks in our world and the Technojungle, but what has it meant and what might it mean in the future?
Automating tasks can make our world and the Technojungle faster, more convenient, and cheaper. However, are we becoming too automatic? Is your life and our world truly made better through automation?
I’ve mentioned our old Plymouth station wagon before, however, I have not mentioned the previous car. I was very young, but can vaguely recall a light green or blue car that I believe was something like a 1952 Plymouth sedan. It likely had what has often been called Three-on-the-tree. This was a three speed, or gear, manual transmission with the shifter on the steering column. If you have ever driven a manual transmission, you know how more in touch with your driving experience you are. There is something about manual that keeps you engaged and paying attention. The red 1959 station wagon had a push button transmission on the dashboard. In fact, everything in the car was electric and automatic. It was a step toward automated driving.
- What is shadow work and how can it affect the ways we deal with corporation?
- Can you think of several instances where you are encouraged to do self-serve work? What are the experiences like—human or not human?
- If we are doing extra tasks—work—that we used to rely on an expert professional human to help with, whatever happed to service?
- Why was automation a hallmark of the Industrial Revolution? How did the assembly line develop?
- How has capitalism ruled societies? What is division of labour? Have you seen images of factories with huge wheels and drive belts? What kinds of Technojungle pollutions are we dealing with, or might have to deal with in future?
- What were some of the benefits of having one person do the same thing over and over? Who exploited the assembly line really well and what was the product?
- How has life in the Technojungle cities become safer, healthier, more productive?
- Can you describe some other aspects discussed regarding the Industrial Revolution, sometimes known as the Industrial Age? What were some of the things missing?
- Concerning negative aspects of the work in the Industrial Revolution, are there aspects of modern Information Age work environments that could be similar or comparable to our lives in the Information Age and online Technojungle? What different hazards might we be facing in the modern Technojungle we work and live in? What safeguards will we discover to be necessary for safe working and living environments?
- What was my point telling you so much about my experiences working in a dairy?
- How is a production plant an automated Technojungle?
- What is standardization?
- What was mentioned as the goal of teamwork? How can any person be exactly the same as another person? Is this realistic?
- How are educational institutions like factories? Do employers want a real human being, or a machine? If humans are to work in a workplace as a machine, then will they one day be replaced by a machine?
- Explain the peg metaphor of humans and workplaces? When machines take over all our work, will we have to go to school to learn how to be human beings again?
- Are Human Resources departments human? What previous term would be better?
- If our education and training systems prepare people to fit the norms of society today, what might be the function of an education system in the future? What will people need to study in a world where most jobs may have been replaced by AI smart automation? What jobs might be left?
- How are people recruited for a job or position in a corporation?
- Are we humans addicted to automation? Does automating our lives mean we do things better, just different? Does it make us more efficient by saving time and energy which can mean saving money? Can automation somehow help us be more human? Can it make us a better person?
- As you notice how you are automated, ask yourself if you would like to do something different, in a different way?
- Do you grab a Technojungle device first thing in the morning?
- Do you sleep in the same room as a technological device?
- Should I ask what the last thing you do before going to bed is? What does this say about our futuristic lives as trying to be human beings in the Technojungle?
- Do you have to do the same thing at the same time everyday or else you feel uncomfortable? Do you use the clock to add precision timing to your life?
- Could youth have something to teach adult humans trying to survive in the Technojungle? How often do you see them without a Technojungle device? Could being human include being able to waste time and hang out? Is that a waste if we are being human?
- Do we get more done in a day by timing our activities exactly? Do we do things better if we automate? What was the comparison I made about automated precision and the health of a country? What doesn’t this consider?
- Does all the exactness of the modern automated Technojungle actually improve our human life? How about improvements in some ways, but not in others?
- Is wanting everything to stay the same the response and result of a conditioned life in the Technojungle? Can you be more human when automated? Have we simply become convinced and conditioned to strive for automation? Is that the best or only way to survive in the Technojungle? What would a normal life be in the future? Is life more comfortable when it is automatic and automated? Or, are we more alive and more human when life gets, well lively—perhaps even messy?
- How do you see AI automating the world around you? Is it possible that, in some cases, AI de-automates, or un-automates?
The Technojungle out there wants us to be an automation nation. This can be dehumanizing. On this road into the future of becoming technological beings should we wonder if, in some ways, we can go too far?
Going too far
I don’t know about you, but before I jump into a driverless vehicle and allow myself to hurled down some highway, I want to be absolutely sure the systems in charge are reliable before I go too far.
When my daughter was attending university in Kelowna, British Columbia, I often went to visit her. I would travel from the coastal region, Vancouver, to the interior region using the Coquihalla Highway. This amazing, often dangerous stretch of road climbs mountain passes where snow often closes the highway. I in my Technojungle vehicle, traveled a Technojungle highway through a natural jungle. It was important for me to ensure I had sufficient fuel to make the trip. If I didn’t, I could go too far and pass the point of no return. If I forgot to fill up, there would be a point where I would not have enough fuel to go all the way, and I would not have enough fuel to go back. You see, there are no gas stations along the way. Also, treacherous weather could mean an overnight stay in the car and I might want to run the engine to get a little heat. So I wonder if there are situations where we allow the Technojungle to go too far, or we go too far in the Technojungle?
- What if it was my self-driving car that suddenly had a glitch?
- Can you list a few glitch incidences from your own experiences?
- Just how safe and reliable to you believe the Technojungle is? Will we one day, just go too far in the Technojungle? Do you think we may already have gone too far?
- When a minor failure occurs with any of Technojungle devices or services, do you ask why should I trust these Technojungle technologies? Corporations want us to trust our lives to a self-driving car, are you ready for that? Do we have a choice?
- How concerned are you about autonomous driving, or driverless, vehicles? By the time you read this, these driverless vehicles will be on the road, so won’t your life be on the line anyway? Aren’t you being forced to trust the autonomous driving systems? Shouldn’t the systems running these vehicles be absolutely better than a human who is not impaired medically, or by any other form of impairment? Wouldn’t we be better off developing ways to ensure, no human operates a vehicle if they are not in tip top shape?
- What are some other examples where we trust our lives to the Technojungle? How about examples where we trust our information?
- Self-check-out systems in grocery stores certainly don’t make groceries any cheaper. What sorts of problems have you experienced with Self Check-out store system?
- The more sophisticated the technology, the more careful we must be, and we can never be too careful. How do you think AI relates to this statement?
- Explain doomsday, and what is MAD?
- What is the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists? What gets included in their calculations?
- As of January 23, 2020 and prior to the world Coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic, the clock was set to 100 seconds before midnight, the closest it has ever been.
- Could we at some point discover the clock setting could indicate that we have gone too far and the clock can’t be turned back?
We humans desperately want to survive. Even more we should thrive. If we go too far, this will not be possible. We do to use technology to make our lives better and to make us better humans.
Building Better Humans
We use technology to help us do things we cannot do on our own, or to help us overcome problems, but can technology actually build a better human?
I wonder, “What is a better human?” When we are sick, we get better. When one person accomplishes more than, or triumphs over, another person, they are said to be better. We can do things that are better for us than other things (eating better foods, comes to mind). It occurs to me that without technology, humans are subject to extensive dangers, such as wild animals or, the elements. Technology allows us to conquer the dangers and become better humans. Yet, as we are learning, technology can also present dangers. Further, since I am editing this durning the Coronavirus COVID-19 global pandemic, we see that technology can’t be relied on as the final saviour of humankind. The best defense against the virus is to distance from other humans. This, of course, is dehumanizing. A simple cloth face mack cover half the face thereby extinguishing half of ones facial expressions and reducing the effectiveness of face-to-face interaction. But how might the Technojungle have played a part in the pandemic and how the Technojungle might help rescue humankind is still to be discovered. Ultimately, I feel as if all technology of the Technojungle is, and will be, at play here. This is a fascinating time and keeping an eye on the Technojungle is more important than ever. Humans can make better products and do things better (improvements), but can we make better humans? We want to be better humans, but we want to be human, so taming the Technojungle is a priority.
- Do you sometimes think we simply let let the Technojungle dehumanize?
- What would we do without technology and the Technojungle? What would life be like? Would we still be able to be human beings?
- As we take action to harness and steward this Technojungle to help us be the most human we can be in the future, how does the baggage that comes with the future humanize or dehumanize you and other people?
- How does the technology in your life make me more or less human? Is technology changing my life in ways I really want, or like?
- Technology helps in the field of health and medicine, but re all medications or surgeries necessary?
- From what a doctor told me I asked, does this imply that we run to the doctors first for Technojungle solutions, before we let the natural abilities of our own human body do their job? Do you expect technology to heal you? Or do you expect your body to heal itself and that your part is to help it to health and to stay healthy? Like other technologies that can cause our own abilities to rust, could some medical technologies and medicines cause us to lose some of our body’s own healing abilities?
- Can you make similar statements about other technologies we use? What happens when we use Technojungle technologies like calculators and spellcheckers before we exercise our brain in doing it? Might we be leaving behind our ability to do these tasks naturally? Is it not better to exercise our minds? Are we losing skills and abilities that we should hold on to, or should we be letting them go as we safari into the Technojungle future?
- What is the more human way of doing a particular task and obtaining a particular result?
- What happens when the Technojungle replacement parts become better in some ways than the real human body parts? Would a smart limb with extra features be advantageous for some people? Would somebody with a non-limb threatening injury opt to have an artificial limb to gain extra abilities? A football quarterback could throw perfect passes. How would that change the game? In the future, will certain humans be modified to better perform certain functions in society—humans with bodies built for particular purposes in the Technojungle? What if the replacement part is connected to the Internet of the Technojungle? Would there be an app for that?
- How often do we use an Internet search engine to find information that we might already have known in the past? Where is this leading to for life in the unexpected future of the Technojungle? What baggage is there to unpack here?
- What would Plato say about AI?
- How often have you used a communications technology when a real face-to-face human communication was possible? What are you avoiding in these instances? What would Plato comment here? What else would Plato say about our ways of communicating and connecting?
- What are some drawbacks to carrying around devices with our important personal information? Have you ever lost your smartphone or left it at home? How did that feel?
- In what ways do these devices make us better humans or not? What might you have thought about this if you lived fifty years ago?
- If these devices are just an interim step toward some unexpected future, what might be coming down the Technojungle path? What Technojungle development could be spawned by the COVID-19 pandemic and how will they impact our humanness and humanity?
- Can that which we use externally from our own body and mind make us better humans? Does Plato object to using writing?
- Will devices, machines, and other technologies, such as biological, end up building us in some way? How do you see our machines and technologies defining who we are, what we do, and how we live our lives today? What would define an even better human? What changes would we call improvements?
- How will the problems associated with carrying devices around be solved in the future by making the Technojungle, part of our bodies? Could embedding sophisticated technology in the human body to merge human and smart machine be one day considered normal? Do you think this might make us superhuman? Can you think of any baggage that might come with such a move of the Technojungle? Surely by then, this will mean we have built better humans.
- The pandemic has introduced many changes to our lifestyle and increased the importance of vaccine technologies. Will other pandemics follow? What other emergencies and disasters will likely come in the future? How will the Technojungle jump in and play a role?
- In what ways are our lives and world nearing what would most certainly have been referred to as far-fetched only a few years ago? Do you believe experts when they say certain technologies are a long way from becoming a reality in our lives? Do you see them as notoriously short sighted in their predictions?
- What Technojungle technologies have you seen or experienced that you would have considered far-fetched earlier in your lifetime? How have they changed your life? What other far-fetched technologies can you imagine for the future? Why might they come into our lives sooner than we think?
- Should we be attempting to build better human beings—even being superhuman beings—by making the Technojungle part of our bodies? Wouldn’t learning to naturally be better at being human beings make more sense?
As we build better technologies, we are also building better humans and better human lives. With better the key word, we need to keep our eyes on just what that means.