Walking to work this Tuesday morning with my new iPod (which I know I've been bleating about far too much), I understand why gadget geeks love their iPhones and smartphones, iPads and various other techno-ephemera. I say ephemera, as it's constantly changing and evolving. We all know that there's always something about to roll into the shops following another high profile launch.
It might sound a bit of an old-fashioned thing for me to say, but we are living in The Future. At least, a perceived vision of it. It's not just the fact you can watch TV shows and movies, as well as listening to your whole music collection from one device. It's not about being able to communicate visually as well as verbally between two wireless devices. It's more about the fact that information itself is a two-way street. We're just missing teleports, flying cars and fast space travel.
I'm not saying anything new here, I know, as we can share information at lightening speeds, interact, comment, and enlighten. Yet, as a species, we seem no smarter. I can download, right now and cheaply, the complete works of Tolstoy. I can get an app that delivers detailed information on artists and their works just like that.
Why don't I?
The technology is clever, but we are still human. Why stretch my brain when I get home? I just want to switch off, maybe watch some TV (that's possibly been downloaded), and not learn stuff. And therein lies the basics of human interaction as a whole.
Imagine if aliens were to show up today. I know, that's a bit random, but just picture it. We're becoming a technology based race and we have a lot of knowledge flying about. We also have petty jealousies and power struggles, and to a much larger degree, civil unrest and wars. We all have our biases, whether we admit it or not. It would probably instil the same reaction felt by the Conquistadors when they came across the Aztec empire. And we know how all that ended...
But I don't want to leave you with such a bleak outlook. The point is, as I have previously said, we have more access to information than we ever had before. This could actually be a turning point in human development. There will always be conflict, there will always be fear and hate. Because of this, we need to at least use the information that we have at our fingertips to understand a little more of the world, and the people, around us.