Occam's Razor & MIT

26 Nov 2007

MIT’s Futures of Entertainment conference last weekend was a stunna. The crowd was an even split of industry and academia; each camp was curious about the other and left their kool-aid and navel-gazing at the door. The lodestone for this was that the panelists and the audience both asked “WHAT is the Future?” – not stated “This IS the Future!”

And it’s this compass of questioning that helps keep a mind sharp. Even though the event was at MIT, I noticed that a fair amount of people in attendance did not have PDAs (aka Silicon Handcuffs). Curious, I asked why, which lead to convos along these lines: Supposedly PDAs make us more efficient. But efficient at what? Actual creative thinking? Or just the new call and response pattern of email and TPS reports?

Teasing out that thread – much of our techuse – AIM, PDA, Twitter – does not truly make us smarter. But it’s not the tech itself that’s dangerous, it’s our wonton use and the patterns formed in the name of progress. True progress is most often found by bucking patterns and remixing the norm. Without distance or a curious eye toward our techuse, soon we might have to stage South Korean style tech interventions for our USDA Millenials. Progress? jump-up.jpg


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