I wrote this 2 years ago, I had it in the draft map. I post it today, as it is each day more current and relevant.

 

I remember, as if it were yesterday, that day in 1999 when Federico (‘egg’ for friends) entered my house in San Telmo, went to my computer and typed: Google. Immediately a blank page with a small window appeared to enter the search word. This was an incredible (minimalist) experience, compered to the Yahoo browser page full of advertising that I used at that moment. Google became a part of my life until a couple of years ago when I discovered the business model that was behind that minimalist experience. 

In the beginning, it was very promising, and I was fascinated with their services,until the moment I knew what their business model was: to monetize our data. I realized they become an enormous surveillance machine, without even asking us permission, well they did it slowly with the fine print. Then many other companies came as well, all with the same business model: ‘sharing is caring’ was the motto.

I suspected ‘something’ with that motto from the beginning, I felt something was wrong with it, but I didn’t know what it was until 2012, when I came across people like Richard Stallman, Douglas Rushkoff or Aral Balkan, they opened my eyes. I discovered a new vision of technology based on human rights and ethics. 

I grew up knowing that opening a letter addressed to other person was an illegal act. Well, this is what Google and Facebook (among others) do everyday, letting algorithms scan our emails and ‘private’ messages, building ‘profiles of ourselves’. Yes, ‘private messages’: they altered the meaning of this term for the new generations.

I think we should be aware as society about the fact that a human right like the right to privacy is in danger. We accept a loss in stages of our privacy in exchange of ‘free’ technologies like superpower emails, like when Europeans gave mirrors to native Americans in exchange for their lands. But what worries me the most is that we don’t care much about it, this is not an important issue in the newspapers. 

I really hope it is a matter of time. The advance of technology happened very fast and now we are becoming more aware about the possibility of re-mastering technology for our own benefit. A great social design challenge for the coming years. 

 

More information:

This video of Aral Balkan is from 2014. But it is still current!

It’s in the corporations’ interests to make it easy to share your data (with them) in a way that is entirely unprotected. That’s how they make their money. It leaves us all as helpless as children when it comes to our privacy. This is why we need to create alternative technologies, and educate people about why these alternatives are important. Aral Balkan

” Big tech Internet Thinker Douglas Rushkoff states in his book Team Human that digital media have an anti-humanistic agenda. Reclaim our humanity, he argues.”

Very interesting vision about our technological future: How do we stay human in this technological revolution? 

Watch the video here

This video is on You Tube. For videos that are only on YouTube (unfortunately, a lot), you can search for and watch them on DuckDuckGo (an alternative for google search engine) for better privacy protection via YouTube’s “youtube-nocookie” domain.

 

 

 

Being aware about how different cultures understand Time is essential for multicultural collaboration. 

This study and article written by Richard Lewis, makes clear that if we are able to activate our empathy, we can value other ways of acting, thinking and doing. And that sometimes it is just a matter of relaxing and enjoying wasting time, or rather win it!

” Time is seen in a particularly different light by Eastern and Western cultures, and even within these groupings assumes quite dissimilar aspects from country to country.

In the Western Hemisphere, the United States and Mexico employ time in such diametrically opposing manners that it causes intense friction between the two peoples.

In Western Europe, the Swiss attitude to time bears little relation to that of neighboring Italy.

Thais do not evaluate the passing of time in the same way that the Japanese do. In Britain the future stretches out in front of you. In Madagascar it flows into the back of your head from behind….”

Read the full article here

We meet our friends, family and even new acquaintances with a hug and a kiss; anything else is considered rude.

Yes, we are like that! Living in North Europe is often, literally and figuratively, cold.

Interesting article and research about ‘personal space’ in different cultures, highlighting Argentinian ‘kiss and hug’ culture:

Link to article

I wonder if there is more research done regarding the way this customs affect our quality of life and relate to social anomalies like loneliness and depression. 

In the frame of a Masterclass organised by the Municipality of Amsterdam, Goood and its partners Pakhuis de Zwijger, Metabolic and Space & Matter gave a workshop session about the bottom-up circular development of Amsterdam Noord, pointing the importance to work cross-sectoral, including CREATIVES for the search of effective solutions.

Our meeting inside the Crossboat on the Ceuvel consisted of three presentations and a discussion between experts from Amsterdam and the Argentinian delegation. Caro Isern, architect, social designer and co-founder of a goood foundation, started off with a presentation about the power of bottom-up approach in urban development. She stressed the importance of design in order to accelerate the transition to a sustainable environment. Design can be a way to overcome the paradox that we cannot solve problems with the same way of thinking that we used to create the same problems in the first way.

Read the whole article written by Jan van’t Hek from Pakhuis de Zwijger here

 

 

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