When there are times of confusion it is good to try to clear the disorder by visualizing what happens to us. Employ, therefore, the imagination to raise a scenario that somehow, even crudely, help us to put in front of our eyes what we do not see because it is noise that envelops and stuns us.
And in this time we are going through a situation of extreme confusion because we live in a world that is unhinged by another revolution that makes itself felt as an invader: we call it the digital world.
Attention has been punctured and spilled uncontrollably; and the information has been pulverized by the impact.
So, even if this image disturbs us, we could stage the alteration that we live in a sidereal clash of two worlds, and in this way recreate that hypothetical cataclysm that occurred when the original Earth collided with another planet, the size of Mars, which we call Tea .
One of the two colliding worlds is made up of places, and between them objects, people, information are constantly transported … Irresistible agitation that consumes time. It is a civilization of this world that has topped the industrial society as the supreme model. The other world has no places, no distance to travel, no time to invest to go or to transport something from one place to another. We do not call it Tea, but Red, a networked world, a digital world … And the two worlds have collided.
And the effects of this collision we are feeling, although mired in confusion. There are two effects, among many others, already well evident and disruptive: attention has been punctured and spilled uncontrollably; and the information has been pulverized by the impact.
Attention is an exercise of containment, confinement, because by nature we tend to distract ourselves. Evolution has prepared us not to be too engrossed in a task and in that way to perceive any other threatening signal of the environment and react in time. Survival. For most of our human existence we have lived outdoors, so our brain could not focus for a long time on something and attention was interrupted by any other signal that came to it.
Therefore, in a current environment full of signals the attention falters, since the human being is prepared so that the environment is not alien to him, because of the attraction he feels for only one activity. And in this anxiety we are today. In this impossibility to continue, if deep transformations do not take place, with our way of life now subjected to the irresistible alienation of this new environment.
At the same time, as a consequence of this impact, the information has been pulverized. Countless small fragments have formed a cloud that envelops the planet. But our brain needs to be helped to create order, coherence, so that the world it perceives is consistent, so it demands something less volatile, that is, the need for cohesion that gives a speech, the order of a story, the clarity of a narrative. It will then be necessary to dissipate this enveloping cloud with new ways of narrating, of thinking, of communicating in general.
In a current environment full of signals the attention falters, since the human being is prepared so that the environment is not foreign to him
Today, however, the particles of this dust penetrate, like moisture, through all the interstices of the cracked world by the impact, and it cracks it even more and in an accelerated way. And it is that it will not be possible to think that the world that until now we know and inhabit will resist unmoveable the great shock against the digital one. As in the beginning of any catastrophe, it is not expected to bring so many consequences, and it is thought that it will be something temporary or assumable. It is the reaction of closing your eyes to avoid it. Hence, there is the interpretation that the model of life will continue to be, even improved and enhanced, that of industrial society, since this is assumed better than preparing for a radical change.
Let us not forget that from the cataclysm of the clash of the two planets sprung the conditions that gave the Earth a stability, rhythms and other favorable factors so that it would take life as it has reached today, and we among it.
Antonio Rodríguez de las Heras is a professor Carlos III University of Madrid
Life in digital it is an imagined scenario that serves for reflection, it is not a prediction. Through him move the alefitas, prosthetic beings, in continuous connection with the digital Aleph, since the Red is a phenomenal contraction of space and time, like the Borginian Aleph, and not a mesh.