Tuesday, 10 March 2015

Apple Watch: Just another Gadget, or
has Einstein’s Fear Finally Come True?

“I fear the day technology will surpass our human interaction. The world will have a generation of idiots.”

Image Collage by PeapodLife: Einstein’s Fear Come True?

Yesterday Apple began taking orders for the Apple Watch. Today we ask the question: has the day finally arrived that Einstein feared—that technology has surpassed human interaction? Have we become a generation of idiots?

What are we talking about? On some level you probably already know—at least, you do when it hits home in your everyday life. But for the sake brevity, here’s a popular YouTube video as a little reminder…

Video: A generation of idiots, smartphones & dumb people.

Now don’t get us wrong, there’s nothing inherently wrong with technology. There is a very strong case to be made for technology and how it has made humanity’s life easier on a number of levels and in a number of ways throughout our history.

But it’s undeniable that human nature is such that we take things too far. Anything in moderation may be okay, but we tend to indulge; getting “too much of a good thing” seems to be our modus operandi.

So let’s take a look at one of the consequences of this over-abundance, technology:

Video: Humans Need Not Apply

Are we taking technology too far? In the above video, the answer is likely no, not yet. If anything, we (the wealthy west, anyway) are on the cusp of The Leisure Economy. Let’s face it, humans will always busy themselves with something. And many look forward to the day when we don’t have to work to survive anymore; but rather, work on what we are passionate about: art, music, acting, playing, nature…whatever.

The problem arises when we start losing our humanity to technology. There is nothing inherently natural about going to work and making money to make a living. These constructs may as well be replaced by technology. But there is something natural and fundamental to human mind, consciousness, contemplation, comprehension and awareness—of our immediate surroundings and our inner psychology.

Cybernetics challenges this fundamental natural state. And believe it or not, the Apple Watch is a significant step in the wrong direction. Technological augmentation of human beings is the next major step in technology—bridging the gap (the “bottleneck”) between the human-machine interface. In other words, putting on an Apple Watch—and other “wearables” against our skin is getting us one step closer to the day the computers will literally be under our skin.

No longer will you need to be aware of how you feel, your Apple Watch will tell you: your heartrate, blood sugar, and who knows what else? Eventually EEG’s? But these are just numbers. They say very little to your intellect, let alone connect you to how you actually feel. An increasing or decreasing number on a screen doesn’t tell you whether or not your exertion or rest is beneficial for you or not.  And your intellect cannot know this based on a number measured against some arbitrary “statistically significant mean.”

Technology of this kind shifts our consciousness to our head and out of our hearts and bodies. Our attention is shifted away from the moment, the people, places, events and phenomena in the here and now, and we focus instead on what the little mechanical device can show/tell us about that moment…in other words, technology is a hyper-extended version of what our “crazy minds” already do.

Having a photography and video studio / publishing / distribution mechanism in our pocket at all times has robbed countless millions of precious magical moments they will never get back. So what if they have “a record” of it? A photo / video can capture some—but not all—of a precious moment…but trying to capture the moment on photo/video can rob YEARS from your life…a life that you’ve recorded but haven’t actually lived.

This message is made very clear in the snow leopard scene in The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, who has lived his whole life in a dream world most of the time, and must go on an actual adventure to track down a missing negative for the final cover of LIFE Magazine.

Video: The Secret Life of Walter Mitty EXTENDED 6 Minutes Trailer

When he finally catches up to Sean Penn’s character, a globetrotting freelance professional photographer who is there to capture a snow leopard on film, he finds him watching the animal at a safe distance…and is baffled when he doesn’t take the picture. He tells Ben Stiller that sometimes if a moment is perfect, he just enjoys it. Taking the picture is secondary. He shoots on film, by the way…not digital.

So this is how Walter Mitty comes to realize what’s important…and how much more rewarding being here and now is than being in our heads all the time. The Apple Watch is a mechanical externalized version of what Walter Mitty does inside his head—and what we all do to a degree. It can only take us further away from the beauty and the wonder and the magic of the moment…the people, places, animals, plants, rocks, and events around us in the here and now. And having these experiences, digesting them fully and completely heart, mind and body, is what it means to be truly human, to be truly alive. And Einstein, I’m afraid, knew this, too…   

“It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has exceeded our humanity.”

Image Collage by PeapodLife: Einstein’s Appallingly Obvious Observation: Technology has exceeded Humanity.

The slow steady march of technology in our lives is inevitable. But we can resist it in areas where too much of a good thing crosses lines which should not be crossed, where it impedes our birthright to pure unfiltered experience of life using fully developed natural human capacities and faculties of consciousness.

Where some technologies want to exceed our humanity, and make us more machine-like than we already are, others strive to deepen our experience of what it means to be human. Building EcoSystems and Technologies, for instance.

PeapodLife ecosystems are a balm, an antidote for the machinations of the digital age. To experience the energy, vitality, colours, sounds, scents, harmony and symbiosis of an indoor ecosystem is to reawaken faculties of conscious awareness and natural capabilities of conscious experience. To simply sit in the company of a high-order rainforest ecosystem is an exercise in rejuvenation and renewal of what it truly means to be human…and relaxation, inspiration, imagination, meditation and comprehension are among the benefits.

Living the PeapodLife is about getting out of our heads and back to what matters in life: to be here, now: with ourselves, our surroundings, and the people we love. It’s about establishing and maintaining REAL connections, not some networking definition of “connectivity.” It’s about enjoying REAL experiences, not virtual ones. It’s about how deep we LOVE life…not how many “LIKES” we get.

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