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“I never stopped to think about it!”

©Sérgio Spritzer, 2021.

“I never stopped to think about it!” reflect people when they item insights-insights-that change the way they think and act. I ironically: And what would it be like to think, without stopping? The client laughs and complains that he doesn't have time to think about the things he does, and this has affected his quality of life in virtually every dimension. He also realizes that others also spend their lives “chasing the machine”.

Everyone strives to offer a better life for themselves, the people dear to them, but they realize that in this journey they suffer and lose the very quality of what they do. Living without time to live is the paradox of our civilization.

There is an imaginary machine in the personal and collective mind that presses people to do something faster and more things in less time. The result, obviously, cannot be what you want.

“Just do it”, “buy it now”; "Subscribe now"; “last vacancies”, “don't leave it to the last minute” - a paradoxical appeal to do something with a sense of urgency, blaming the person for not doing it without thinking. Everything seems to be urgent to be done and the human relationship, the interaction with the facts and with the experience seems to be left out.

Stop to think. A reflective examination can make us realize (stop and think) that we are automated like stupid robots consuming what lies ahead without putting human relationships and coexistence in the foreground. Evidently, living through this bias, we serve as consumables for machine algorithms, being imaginary they are the ones that “dominate” and consume us. It is an imaginary that, like a prophecy, if not examined, is self-fulfilling. But do not need be like that. The spell of creation of machines turning against the sorcerer.

Or the creature turning against its creator as in fiction films from Dr. Frankstein's monster and Isaac Asimov's Robot Revolt, Blade Runner's android hunter, etc. But that says more about how human relationships are than the relationship between machines. And that might be different.

Human interaction has become increasingly complex and challenging since the dawn of civilization. Every technological revolution is followed by a revolution in human relationships, implying our way of understanding ourselves and our relationships, including with the world itself.

Understanding human interactions and forming a coherent representation of reality has gained scale as we enter industrial society and even more so with the high-tech revolution represented by the internet. From the way of perceiving within the digital society, it seems imminent that human relationships will lose their place to the automatisms of machines. And even more: that at best there will be intelligent machines that will take our place.

The idea that we are a kind of self-programming cybernetic supercomputer has thrived from the “machine revolution” as I call the industrial revolution to the “algorithm revolution” as I call the high-tech digital one, the so-called “ digital age”, a social imaginary in which we live until now.

It is giving way to another revolution, also technological, but this time by analogical ways of thinking supported, yes, by high technologies of the new generation: Analog. Without analogies it is not possible to establish relationships in a human way. A scholar was once asked if he was not afraid of being mistaken for a computer. Gregory Bateson, in this case, would have replied: well, if I ask the computer who you are and he answers me, "I'm going to tell you a story" then I won't be afraid to identify with him as my equal. The similar seek to communicate through analogies that both understand because it is precisely the experience in common.

We talk a lot about the internet of things with the advent of 5G transmission speed and soon 6G. But still few have the horizon of what can be called a society with communication technology, internet, focused on people, for human interaction. An internet of people not one focused on things. That would indeed be a revolution of our collective consciousness. In it, the focus will not be on the contents of the information and on the instrumental work, but on the people and the quality of human relationships. Not doing relational.


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