The first 2 parts of this series have been an attempt to suggest that changing the way that we think of ‘the Internet’ can alter how we decide to use and apply it.
Its mix of properties, part-spatial, part-material, instantaneous and distance-less, can combine in a myriad of ways with our own physical world and therefore with what we wish to achieve or realise.
But all of these potentialities can become inaccessible through our commonly used language and thinking which can act to obscure that which is right in front of our noses.
It’s no surprise that we should always look deeper for answers and solutions.
Our challenge as a society, as explorers, as creatives, artists and entrepreneurs is to reach further than the superficial and reflective exterior we are presented with.
To contemplate a more radical future by lifting this veil and glimpsing the digital mundus imaginalis which lies beyond, a place of coexistence for our shared potential and creative capacities.
That is a realm where we can distance ourselves from the constraints of the world we have built and reimagine a place where values and principles are woven into the very fabric of reality.
What we too often bring to the table are limitations. Convergent and unimaginative they present a continual downward trajectory, a path we have for too long accepted as unavoidable.
We need our imaginations wearing rocket packs, boosted out of reach from the downward pull of gravity and orthodoxy.
We can work out the differences upon our return.
Can we resist the temptation to reproduce that which we have already created and envision a new world that lies outside of facsimile, mimicry and echolalia?
It isn’t about what is. It’s about, what can be.
We stand at what is a new frontier for civilisation.
It is important to recognise that it is only by intentionally bringing forth the best of who we are into this new world that we will realise its liberating and transformative potential.
This digital realm is not separate from the environment, or our needs. It need not be value neutral or devoid of justice. It can embody principles of mutual development and shared stewardship of planet and resources.
It should be our choice to embed these values and principles within the networks, objects and artefacts we create with and within this new dimension.
By doing so it becomes possible for us to move beyond the superficial and into a limitless deep, an infinite realm of imagination and creativity.
Information, knowledge, and technology are about to lead to an exponential expansion in our understanding and abilities. We should be thinking about how we ensure that humanity benefits, all of us, for all time.
The upcoming leaps will be rapid and far reaching, we shouldn’t let the future escape the values which we hold dear.
We should inscribe them into the very materials and ways of thinking with which we can build tomorrow.
It begins with a story
Millennia ago our ancestors looked up at the wheeling constellations and weaved themselves into the firmament above. In doing so the night sky became many things; archive, source, teacher, template and guide.
It was a universal library for civilisation, illuminating humanity through the light of celestial objects. It was a network that could be woven and repurposed to suit the times and the minds of those who gazed upon it.
How often have we looked upon that canvas and wondered what was and what could be? What endless possibilities it holds within its unknowable depths?
The relationship was always mutual. We formed it and it formed us.
Today civilisation needs a new story.
It is time for us to reach beyond our reflections and to dream a new reality into being. To build a new kingdom within the very material of the digital realm and to enter into a new relationship with the world, with each other, and with the universe itself.
The key to this future lies in connecting our imagination to our values, it’s our duty to turn that key and walk through the door.