This is connection

I wanted to touch on our relationship with technology and particularly at LOGIN2017. I then thought that doing so through form the perspective of the indigenous people of the Colombian mountains would be infinitely more interesting. ”This is Connection” is about human nature, emotional needs, technology, AI, the singularity, and progress from a very different angle, one embued with ancestral wisdom.

I’ve learned lots from my visits to the Aruhuaco people of the Sierra Nevada mountains of Northern Colombia. Their lessons usually make little sense at first, but deep reflection and analysis will often expose deep fault lines in “truths” and convictions we take as given. Here are 3 such lessons.

Enjoy the Silence: Silence is sacred. If you can enjoy silence with someone, you have something special. It is a solemn expression of appreciation. It’s no coincidence we hold silence for our deceased. Unfortunately, “silence” does not exist in the digital realm.

God in the Machine: We are a reflection of our environment and circumstances. Machines are reflections of us; our qualities and faults alike. We like our machines to be human (like us) but not too much, because we are ultimately scared of our own human nature. If we become better people and we treat our machines better, we will, in turn, have less to fear. It’s ironic that Mary Shelley and Isaac Asimov knew how paranoid our relationship to our creations would be.

There is no point in being more civilised if it only makes us worse humans: Technology should be there to serve us and not the other way around. This relationship is often gotten ass-backwards by business people who only see money-generating schemes to lock us into. A sense of balance and the “bigger picture” is necessary for technology to solve issues and address needs rather than create new ones. Ultimately we need to understand that our problems (the big ones) are essentially human, and technology won’t address the pressing issues humanity faces at the moment.

 

Press and Media:

Interview with Jurgis Did (Delfi.lt – Lithuanian news portal)

‘This is Connection’ musical seminar at Vilnius Login2017  (Photo Gallery Jurgis Did Facebook)

 

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