Friday, December 30, 2016

10 years of connectivity

I initiated the 'Connectivity Corner' blog in December 2006.

Looking back, what's changed in the past 10 years?

Here are five (5) major changes.

First was the arrival of the iPhone in 2007.  As the graphics of this blog suggest, it was created during, and in response to, the BlackBerry era, when hyper-connectivity emerged as a personal/professional challenge.  But, the iPhone ushered in a whole new era of 'smartphone' technologies, the 'app generation' and ubiquitous connectivity.

Then there was (and still is) Facebook and other social networking sites, where connectivity moved from the office into our homes, schools and bedrooms, from the most mundane to the most intimate of social interactions.  We have always known how important social networks are, but this past decade has been all about the social dimensions of what we do, who we are and how we make sense of the world.

Third, was the Global Financial Crisis (GFC), where we learned too little and too late the dangers associated with super-fast computers, nano-second game-playing designed by marginally in-control humans, or rather bankers, some of whom considered themselves a race apart.

Fourth, is the rise and rise of automation and artificial intelligence, where what it means to be human in a world of brilliant technologies has captured our collective imagination.  As computers get smarter and more connected (think also of the Internet of Things), we are struggling to know what humans are for.

Finally, when I wrote about the duality of connectivity in 2008, I included forces that keep us apart (disconnects), but observed that we (the human race) were generally were getting closer through connectivity.  Indeed, at the time the world was truly getting 'smaller' as we were becoming more globally connected.  But, in the past few years, the 2000 march of globalisation has hit a snag, held to ransom by fundamentalism, exceptionalism and revitalised nationalism.

It's been a wildly exciting, and sometimes turbulent, decade of connectivity.  Here's looking forward to the future with hope for connections that bring us closer together.

Friday, December 23, 2016

Is nothing sacred?

The answer is 'yes.'

In these troubled, cynical times, when every element of human sensibility and decency seems up for grabs, it is important to see the special, 'sacred' aspects of life around us.

Time with loved ones is sacred.

Time with friends is sacred.

Family time can be sacred.

Quiet time can be sacred.

Time alone can be sacred.

Walks/runs/rides/swims/paddles, etc can be sacred.

Teacher-student (Mentor-apprentice) relationships can be sacred.

Letter writing (including emails, txts, message chats) can be sacred, especially holiday cards, of which we still get a few.

For many years, we used to create a holiday greeting card to send to family and friends.  They often featured special travel destinations (tourist shots), or mountain/river landscapes, or silly shots, like us hanging upside down ('Heading down under' was the caption.) when we got the offer to move to New Zealand.  This has been a particularly awful year on many levels and dimensions.  And, even so, or maybe because of all that has happened this year, I feel inclined to celebrate all the good we still have in our taking a Christmas photo.

Here's to whatever is sacred to you and yours.