Problems and disciplines framing creates new meanings, which influence back our reality. I believe we are called to be wildly creative in the coming years in how we describe and act our presence in the world.
The Max Planck Institute proposes the establishment of ‘geo-anthropology’, the science of human–Earth interaction
, as an interdisciplinary space to create a holistic approach to our presence on the planet:
“Information technology is the opposite of an immaterial technology. Even the smartest device needs dumb metals. At least 40 chemical elements are used in every smartphone, which means we carry around one-third of the periodic table in our pockets. (…) As meatspace and cyberspace converge today, what we cannot lose sight of is Earthspace. We are obliged to treat the ‘critical zone’, the thin but highly complex layer of life extending from the lower atmosphere to the upper lithosphere, with duty and care. Yet, as scientists and humanists working in silos, we lack a shared language and method to grasp the interconnected and comprehensive character of the current threat to our life-supporting system.”
a good point is made on questioning large goals, in favour of granular ones:
A series of new micro-massive data, sensing, processing and influencing capabilities is enabling state and non-state actors to transcend the tyranny of the statistically aggregated average, and instead focus on the micro, the unique and the predictive.
The authors call them “micro-massive futures”. Among their proposals, the shift of focus on more graspable levels of governance; the idea of a “new social ecological contract” (based on the combination of hybrid participation structures with system governance beyond human governance); building service provision disintermediated from state.
“Policy experts and technologists too often tacitly accept the concept of “data capitalism.”
If this feels like a breath of fresh air, I recommend to read this proposal for a Bill of Data Rights
They see data either as a source of capital (e.g., Facebook uses data about me to target ads) or as a product of labor (e.g., I should be paid for the data that is produced about me). It is neither of these things. Thinking of data as we think of a bicycle, oil, or money fails to capture how deeply relationships between citizens, the state, and the private sector have changed in the data era.
We assume that a search engine company builds a model of human knowledge and allows us to query that model (…) Their models are no longer models. The search engine is no longer a model of human knowledge, it is human knowledge. What began as a mapping of human meaning now defines human meaning, and has begun to control, rather than simply catalog or index, human thought. No one is at the controls. If enough drivers subscribe to a real-time map, traffic is controlled, with no central model except the traffic itself. The successful social network is no longer a model of the social graph, it is the social graph. This is why it is a winner-take-all game. Governments, with an allegiance to antiquated models and control systems, are being left behind.