All this wealth we’re building up….what are we buying with it? I think the surprising answer is….ever greater connectedness. I know that sounds trite, but it’s actually at the center of what we’ve been doing for a long time. The telegraph, the automobile…these were tools to destroy the isolation of distance. The telephone and television do the same destruction of isolation for the senses of hearing and sight. (jokey aside: Ever watch a cooking show talks up how they wish you could smell what they smell….”Smell-o-vision”. My feeling is that if they ever get that technology to work online the internet will fill up with fart jokes) And the creation of all our products? I think the products themselves matter….but the where and how are of less interest to us, because they don’t make us feel connected, connected on our terms. The manufacturing life, with its demands that transcend our interests….we came to see it as a chore, as something to avoid,….as “work.” Oh, we appreciate the money! Absolutely! But, despite a large amount of cultural training in that area, it was and is something we don’t want to go to anymore.
Perhaps what we are starting to spend on is the deepening of how we earn our “living” (good choice of a word, really!) and we spend our days. To really make that work we need an “Internet Plus”, the knowledge exchange functions we see on the Internet as well as other more formal connections to work, to supplies, to resources…we’ve just started this part, it’s like the highway system, circa 1920 would be for cars. How do we keep fleshing it out?
3 responses to “What are we buying?”
Years ago I took a sentence completion test. The sentence started with “I want to…” and I said, “photograph.” The psychologist said, “A desire for intimacy.”
But is it that we want to be connected, or that we just don’t want to be alone. When we are alone we have to look at our selves… and that is difficult, especially if we’ve just been spinning our wheels.
I admit to a small doubt that connecting via technology will work for a lot of people. Yes, they are good with phoning relatives who are far away. But to actually connect with others (and they do have a need to connect with others) they need to be physically in the same place.
That same place same place could be their local pub (or bar), bowling alley, or something similar. But for most people, that same place is at work. If they aren’t going to work, they lose that connection.
Now this can be hard for us to wrap our heads around. Because, I strongly suspect, most of us are comfortable with lots of technology, and have no problem connecting using it. We send e-mails. We telecommute. We post things on-line. And we lose track of the fact that we are not, in fact, the norm . . . because the people we mostly interact with are the same way.
All of which leads to this. If/when work goes away, because we don’t go there any more, all those people will need to find a place to be with others.
ah, but there’s a huge difference between YOUR choice of when and where to be with others and WORKS choice!…..it’s that latter that we are trying to kill off.