(this part is by Marco Emanuele)
SPEED AND “NEW” CREATIVITY
The time we live in is crossed by speed and “new” creativity. Youtube, as happens to many of the innovations that seem unsurpassable because – in a given moment – they reach a frontier never reached before, gets old. Experts say that Twitch is now the chance for streamers to go viral of participatory entertainment products. This part of the article is edited by a fifty-year-old who, very curious, wonders about what the infosphere makes available to us, about our responsibility in use, about opportunities and risks. Certainly the pandemic has given a decisive boost to many news on the net. All of us, and young people in particular, need to find forms of communication that make us overcome the forced isolation in which, despite ourselves, we are immersed.
ECONOMICS AND WORK
Innovations, also thanks to the thought of a generation that works a lot on its role in the infosphere, often become an opportunity for jobs not yet known and, therefore, are also an economic fact. All this is positive and moves within a metamorphosis never seen before in terms of speed and radicality. Today’s young people, the so-called Generation Z, experience constant thrusts forward. Maybe we too, in our 50s today, had the same tensions in our twenties. What makes the difference, without wanting to generalize, is that today the sense of tradition should be recovered. Can we “become” without knowing who we have been? Tradition cannot be considered a museum material. It’s certain that Twitch is just one example of a changing economy, a changing capitalism and of a job market that, no longer having the protections of the past, must continually rethink.
Many intellectuals, philosophers and others, reflect on our sociality during and after the pandemic. We should “rejuvenate” the reasoning and, while continuing to place the importance of human relations at the center, we have to consider that the infosphere confronts us with a sociality that seems to leave aside ancient paradigms that are largely consumed. If we must continue to work on the extremely real issue of inequalities, even in accessing the infosphere, the real issue is not when we will return to kiss but what sociality we find ourselves and we will find ourselves living thanks to and within the infosphere. It is necessary, and I write it as a “former” young man, to imagine mediations capable of facing and solving the problems that the pandemic (which is only the latest of the crises, as the philosopher Massimo Cacciari pointed out in the interview granted to The Science of Where magazine) provoked. These mediations, of course, must be fed by the design possibilities offered by the infosphere and, more generally, by new technologies.
Tradition & innovation work together. We need a complex and transdisciplinary approach – thinking in the future already present – which finally makes us aware of the limits of linear thinking in the current reality. By now we have understood that there is no real and virtual reality but that there is a single dimension of reality in which deeply interconnected dynamics live. I don’t want to give advice to young people: I would rather leave the floor to the young co-author of this text.
(this part is by Antonio Mone)
Before I even begin to talk about the topic at hand, I would like to thank my co-author for the opportunity to participate in the writing of this text.
EXPONENTIAL AND NON-LINEAR
The reality in which we are immersed today is evolving rapidly, hand in hand with technological progress. Thinking of Raymond Kurzweil’s law of accelerating returns, according to which the rate of technological progress is not a linear but an exponential function, it is clear that our reality is destined to be increasingly subject to rapid changes of course dictated by the new possibilities that are becoming available to us every day. It is also clear that this continuous progress brings its consequences to many aspects of our lives.
THE PANDEMIC ACCELERATES PROCESSES
The pandemic has highlighted and reinforced a transition that has been going on for years. The very concept of ‘youtuber’ as a profession is more than 5 years old, and the fact that this relatively short period of time seems large enough for those who, like me, experienced the formative years witnessing the birth and development of similar platforms (and technologies) tells us a lot. It tells us how the concept of time itself is changing. Technologies and the idea of time are changing, but also our human society itself, at the level of socio-economic dynamics and at the level of personal perception. With the pandemic, we have witnessed an explosion of streaming services (and not only), but this should not come as a particular surprise to us: most of the services in question have existed for a long time and, in the last decade, their growth has never stopped. Just think that Netflix, now a giant in the entertainment and film industry, was born in 1997. Certainly, with new technologies a world of possibilities opens up within reach of anyone who wants to grasp it but, responding to what my co-author wrote, we cannot ‘become’ without knowing who we have been.
WE CHERISH HISTORY AND TRADITION
History and tradition teach us to react, to understand our mistakes and, in a transition phase in an era where technology will increasingly permeate our lives, being able to avoid mistakes is of paramount importance. As well as the positive possibilities opening up before us, there are of course also many terrible negative possibilities arising from a lack of responsibility in the use of technology. Examples of these negative possibilities are cyberbullying and FOMO (fear of missing out). The responsibility for these problems lies not with technology but with man. Technology is a medium and how it is used and the consequences it causes are the responsibility of the user. It would be impossible to go into a topic like this in a few pages, but in my opinion it is important to highlight the difference between the responsibility of human society and the responsibility of the medium that is used, especially in a historical period like the one we are living in.
If it wasn’t for the pandemic, we wouldn’t have seen the boom in entertainment and streaming services, but we would still have seen their growth. In the run-up to the pandemic, the standard-bearer for all this was TikTok, a social network characterised by short videos and quick interactions which, in the quarter September-November 2019 alone, saw its Italian audience increase by 202%. TikTok, which made the geopolitical headlines also for having become an emblem of the crisis between the US and China, is an example of a technological and social transition that has already been underway for a long time and that, going forward, will certainly revolutionise the ways in which we will interact with each other, the modes of communication (also with respect to the structure of language) and, as is already happening, the end of old jobs and the birth of new ones.