Much has already been written about boxes. As much as we dislike if someone puts us into a certain box, we are constantly boxing ourselves. Let’s face it, we like boxes and apparently many of us bloggers like unboxing even more. It may be our way of making sense of the universe, to connect and separate at the same time. But…
Can we find the connection between the limited and unlimited? Where is the particular in between which Berlinstagram tried defining visually? If we could find the golden formula, can we find ways to interconnect chemistry, literature, art, physics, mathematics, linguistics and music?
I’m not sure isolation is the way forward and can’t help but wonder how such a connected world would look like. A world in which the individual sciences stop defending themselves and work towards common ground. Will we then be able to understand the big picture again?
The keyword here is synthesis.
In essence, it is the process of combining various, contra dictionary elements to form something of substantial greater quality. What is needed? A common ground between thesis and antithesis. Not an easy endeavor. And us humans rather stay in groups where our opinion or version of the truth is well accepted rather than leaning towards expanding our version of the truth.
To give you a real-life example here and jump right into the central problem.
As I write this text, I’m speaking to you but I’m speaking to you in an indirect manner. I’m presenting a text and you are reading. Maybe you form some sort of opinion and if you are truly engaged, you may even leave a comment. It’s not really a dialogue. There is not much room for weaving a greater spider web here. It would be different if we would have a proper conversation face to face. But that is the more challenging territory. You could even get all angry. How do I know that you would not throw the tea in my face when you say the universe was unlimited and I’d say it’s not?
We naturally stick to people we have common ground with, it’s safe. We find reassurance that our version of the world makes sense.
Let me tell you how many times I have clashed with characters, strangers or colleagues who were living in a different version of my world. Even movies portray the witches, the weirdos and mad ones as characters you should better keep your distance from. But I have always put in the effort to understand them because a voice kept telling me to do so. I've sat with homeless people in a park at 3am in the morning, listening to their story. In fact, my day job involves bringing different parties in a company to talk to each other. I’ve been to many battles but ultimately always made an effort to understand a member of a different tribe. The reward is an increased awareness of oneself and more so the macrocosmos.
To find the proper coordinates in space and time now is a time where the little Tamagotchis have actually changed the way we are looking at the world. What strange world within a world which we describe as meaningful. I can’t get over how foundational these human designed terminal devices are. Machines promising new ways to authenticity.
You may not like it if I bring the word of capitalism up here yet in many ways our actions in real as well as in the technological life, are governed by societal, political and economic structures. No social media platform is free, they are all built by design. Do we want to live in a world where the like is the non plus ultra? How shall technology organize moral experiences? How can it embody values, norms, and ideas?
Art seems to be the way forward as everyone loves a good old story and the musician and physicist both visit the museum. In such, art succeeds in tying various separated strings together. But then again, only if you are brave enough to confront your own depth, you can find freedom and elevate yourself from the system you find yourself in.
All thoughts and ideas are coming from the July issue of fatum, a magazine created by the Munich Center for Technology in Society.
You can download all past issues for free as pdf – how awesome is this?
So, how do you combine the odds?