The potential in a networked world to be more ourselves, towards perfection or destruction


A nice video titled On the Brink of a Networked Society, shown below, has just been launched by Ericsson. It includes a series of excellent interviews exploring some of the many implications and directions of a connected world, including health, industry structure, how we socialize, and far more. It’s well worth watching.

The single quote in the video that struck me the most was:

“There has not been a time, I don’t think in history, that has enabled such rapid change, and in the most optimistic view, which is also simultaneously the most pessimistic view, a time that is enabling humans to be more of what we are.”
– David Weinberger, co-author of Cluetrain Manifesto

This extremely closely echoes my own views. I have written and spoken frequently about how we are discovering our ‘latent humanity‘ – who we fundamentally are yet have not so far discovered.

I am an optimist. I believe that many of the social changes over the last two decades have been very positive, particularly in terms of people’s breadth of outlook and ever-rising expectations of institutions and their impact. Being more ourselves will lead to us doing our very best to create a better society and world. There are massive obstacles in current structures, but we have not only the will, but increasingly the ways to create a better world.

Yet I recognize that a solid case can be made that human nature is fundamentally flawed. We fight, we hate, we destroy, or at least those few of us who do are enabled to destroy far more than ever before.

In many ways our journey over coming decades, or possibly less, is to discover who we truly are. Let us hope we like what we find.