Tuesday, October 5, 2010

The Technology of Psychological Disruption

In his October 4, 2010 NYT column "Change or Perish" Roger Cohen wrote a brilliant acccount, tinged with both a humanist's glee and regret, about the technologies of the last decade that have transformed our lives, from search, to apps, to Google maps, and the second coming of the Tablet.

"Before homogenization, when there was mystery, before aggregation when the original had value, before digital, when there was vinyl, before Made In China, when there was Mao, before stress management, when there was romance, we had the impression we were doing all right."

Cohen cites Marx when the philosopher was right: "The bourgeoisie cannot exist without constantly revolutionizing the instruments of production ...and with them the whole relations of society."

Cohen asks, rhetorically: "How strange to think we had to change everything or we would not be managing at at."

That is probably as far as he can go as a journalist, listing the before and after and in-between worlds that technology has defined and disrupted. As a student of Jungian psychology I wonder what impact these technologies will have on our Collective Unconscious and the Archetypes that have contributed to our humanness (or lack of it) over the millennia. As my friends lament: what's going to happen to Psyche?  More simply put: what effect does a 24/7 world have on our interior life, our dreams and quiet spaces that Cohen is talking about.

During the lasr two years I have met with and listened to at least 100 tech startups of one kind or another. Most were interesting and had something to contribute to the media space. At the recent OMMA Gobal conference in New York one of the speakers spoke about all the tech companies surrounding the media space, feeding off the ignorance of publishers. He had a point, of course. I also wonder how much of this is really about revolutionizing the instruments of production? I vaguely remember some of that going on during the Dot Com period. During that time I met with dozens of companies who were going to transform the media space. Right now I have trouble remembering one of them, though I do have fond menories of the Sock Puppet.

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