Unplugged in the Golden Hour (with Matthew Pinder)

It’s the golden hour. I’m finally winding down with my children for the summer, forcibly ‘disconnecting’ for a while. I sit outside, overlooking nature. The magic of this unique ethereal light envelopes the landscape, my soul, evoking strong memories of a childhood spent in open spaces, open arms and lengthy conversation. Cherished days gone, of time with my late Dad.

Disconnect with me, into this space, just for a few minutes, accompanied by the beautiful tones of Matthew Pinder; his “Golden Hour” depicting the sublime hush, just prior to the demise, the departure of something you love ( Radic, 2019)…

Mesmerizingly beautiful.

Let me plant a seed for harmony

As a mother, educator, researcher, citizen, I worry. I am not anti-technology. I embrace and even look forward to life-saving, life-augmenting innovations. But I fear the dark side of the fourth industrial revolution, as we hungrily embed all facets of our lives into the grid, at an exponential rate.

We are now more connected than ever. A constant stream of beeps and buzzes.  But how is it altering our sense of self? How long before,we reach a point in time when technology hijacks human intelligence and society. Our cognitive senses and intuitions are already driven by data streams pumping out constantly from IOT devices (Jha, 2018).

We are all connected in some way to servers, databases, cameras, data feeds, and devices; all tracking our activities, movements, thoughts. 24 X 7, sometimes without our knowledge. Human augmentation, brain-computer interfaces, gesture-control devices. These applications already cognitively augment and enhance humans in a variety of contexts (Cinel et al., 2019).

Yet there is an imbalance to the innovation, the research and the discussion. A considerable paucity on our understanding of the implications on the biological, chemical and physical changes that technology is bringing to the human brain, or the bio-physical and sociological changes (Jha, 2018).

Reframe

The research that I have become subsumed in over the last few months excites and frightens, and is mostly individualist in focus. Modifications aimed at improving individual human performances. In the words of Cabrera of the Center for Ethics and Humanities in the Life Sciences , a more inclusive understanding of AI and enhancement “that acknowledges the relationship between individual–society–environment, and balances social needs with individual preferences” is required.

Return to the light

I hope, that we all take some time out, to contrast our ‘highly technified lifeworlds’ (Böhme, 2012) with the magical light of an unplugged life, and to be cautioned on what we may lose when life morphs in to one of the trans-human (Connell, 2018).

I wonder what memories my children, the future generations, will call upon in their ‘golden hours’. I hope that there will be still space among the technological imprints of a modern life, for real, unfiltered, warm, soulful ones. Cue some more Matthew Pinder.

Thanks to Matthew Pinder for kind permission.

More By Matthew Pinder: https://www.matthewpindermusic.com/videos

References

Böhme, G. (2012) ‘Invasive Technification: Critical Essays in the Philosophy of Technology’, Bloomsbury Publishing: New York. 

Cinel, C., Valeriani, D. & Poli, R.. (2019) ‘Neurotechnologies for Human Cognitive Augmentation: Current State of the Art and Future Prospects’, Frontiers in Human Science, 13 (13). doi: 10.3389/fnhum.2019.00013.

Jha, R.K. (2018) ‘Are humans really ready for smart living’ [blog]. Available: https://medium.com/datadriveninvestor/are-human-really-ready-for-smart-living-2a75c4d588fd [Accessed 30 July 2019].

O’ Connell, M. (2018) ‘To be a Machine: Adventures Among Cyborgs, Utopians, Hackers, and the Futurists Solving the Modest Problem of Death’ Granta: UK.

Pinder, M. (2019) ‘Golden Hour – Matthew Pinder (Official Video)’ . Available: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sqimgfkcdh4 [Accessed 30 July 2019].

Radic, R. (2019) ‘Matthew Pinder strikes gold on ‘Golden Hour‘ [blog]. Available at: https://www.rawckus.com/matthew-pinder-strikes-gold-on-golden-hour/ [Accessed 30 July 2019].

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