Disconnecting is healthy, in particular given that the world we live in is dominated by a daily barrage of multi-directional information which people are supposed to somehow integrate into their thinking without respite.
If you think about it in simple terms, a large and complicated jigsaw requires concentration to fit together properly. This is because humans are good at dealing with complex patterns but need the time to assess where each piece fits in order to see the whole picture clearly.
Humanity has, however, arrived at a point where the jigsaw no longer has edges or borders, the pieces are infinite and changing minute-by-minute, and people are expected to still be able to see the picture clearly.
This leads to two core problems:
- It's impossible to see the picture clearly, so people actually understand less.
- People feel inferior because the implied expectation is they can see the picture despite the fact it isn't possible, which leads to increasing levels of perception fallacy for the sake of keeping up appearances.
Ultimately, greater levels of disconnection will have to become part of life in order to reduce the societal problems this creates.
Disconnection is not just an issue relating to information barrage, however. And sometimes disconnection is a dangerous negative.
The way technology is designed is not well connected to humanity and the gap is widening, producing an evolutionary ecosystem which is based entirely on layers of bias. This is a huge issue which, if left unchecked, will continue to create many more problems than even technology itself will be able solve.
Given that definitions are important when focusing on problems and solutions, this is called Connection Integrity.
"Connection Integrity is the link between a beneficial purpose for humanity at large and a technological development."
Currently, Connection Integrity is low or absent and the reasons for this are largely structural.
The first part of this negative structure exists because the funding and facilitation of technological developments are reliant on the availability of financial input.
Subsequently, there is a significant bias impact on technological development because it leans on existing inequalities embedded in global society. Governments (ideological interests), businesses (corporate interests), and wealthy individuals (self-preserving interests) effectively hold most of the keys to technology, whether it be military, commercial, or otherwise.
In real terms, this translates to military drone swarms, consumer tracking, psychometric profiling, information warfare, system ransom, and pliable non-fiat currency which evades most state regulation.
The second part of the negative structure exists and perpetuates because of the demographics of people working in technology and the nature of socialisation across the sector.
To give the headline summary, it remains a white male dominated industry which brings with it structural bias. Added to this, herd behaviour does have an impact - creating a social reflection effect. Innovation subsequently tends to mirror the thinking of the social and personal norms of the herd, while the tech sector, now seen as its own thing, is almost entirely detached from the operational problems it is being used to solve.
The combination of the two negative structures - the latter of which exists within the former - and the perception of technology as an industry of its own (with direct entry no-longer requiring practical field expertise from elsewhere) skews the development of technology heavily in favour of its own wants and needs.
Very often, the world commentates on bias in individual systems - algorithms and AI - while overlooking the overall distortion created by this structure. Subsequently, the compounding effects are broadly ignored or misunderstood.
In order for Connection Integrity to be increased, technological development is going to have to move closer to humanity as a whole and further from its own, often insular, community and the pockets which fund it. Until that happens, technological development is likely to continue on a trajectory of its own.
While we may, for example, end up with robots doing jobs seen as beneath humans, little thought is being given to what happens to the people who no longer need to do the work, because that is not seen as technology's problem.
Connection Integrity matters.