Sometimes I feel like I am a gadget. We all performing various specialist and general tasks everyday and somehow you feel each of these tasks are not related. And the worst part of our job is to perform something that is so tedius and doesn’t really require any creativity, analytic and imagination. And you wonder why this work cannot be done by a gadget. Or if I am doing the job, does it mean I am a gadget?
There are over 600,000+ personal pocket gadgets out there for whatever purposes and over 700,000 apps for iPhone 7000,000; Android and 99,500 Blackberrys to turn your smartphone into a gadget. There's an app for almost anything and someday my resume will look like my iPhone and people will look at how many apps I have to decide whether I qualify for that job.
Human is supposed to be good at problem solving. Or at least we think we are, I am not getting into that debate. There are differences between the different types of problem solving from pure creativity to system level thinking or analytical processing. Creativity requires periodic, temporary “encapsulation” as opposed to constant calculation or recalculation. You need time for working privately as well as times for group ideation. Encapsulation is what allows for the possibility of self-testing that enables a quest for excellence.
The big question is will the proliferation of gadgets push us towards a more creative culture where our time is better spend on the creative side while our gadgets take care of the rest or in another scenario where these micro-computing machines (gadgets) will take over and we will be pushed towards a computational culture?
All these micro devices, bit data-warehouses and pervasive communication facilities are now omnipresent in our daily activities. The way we live, work, play, communicate and interact with each other is in permanent flux due to the influence of these cool gadgets. Historically speaking, technologies are developed as a result of the need for faster means of calculation to achieve the unachievable before the world emerging into a full-blown computational culture. Emerging in its modern form in the seventeenth century after the introduction of typography, that culture, it is here argued, remains dominant today.
Can future gadgets evolve to a point that they understand our feelings and not just commands and preferences? As part of our extended mind and heart and algorithm that can add feeling to an otherwise mathematical, non-physical, and consequently non-aesthetic, thought? This is the theme of the next issue of MISC for March. Look out for the big Gadget Issue.