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A Packet Switched Society

A Packet Switched Society

The world of human social interactions
evolved as a small network
of circuit switched conversations
and interactions.

Happening in real-time
and space, together,
within sense-shot, it has built the modern edifices -

those we now take
so much for granted:
institutions, technologies
and frameworks for society.

This movement in
evolutionary space,
distinguished us
from most other creatures,

Now almost a platform,
plus or minus a few
black swan events
that could flatten it all

Into the beginning
of the next random walk
down life-space and gene-pools,
in an eyeblink of geological time.

The tools of this revolution,
our senses,
were perfect to build
the societies of yesterday -

Where circuits of conversations
led to breathtaking jumps
in the evolutionary space of
tools, ideas, conversations
and social change. 

In those times,
we had very few channels,
mostly single channel face-to-face,
building out extensive new creations.

With brains adapted
to this way of working
so much that
our institutions reflect our reality.

We have moved from
the blind watchmaker of evolution
to a guided design
in the real world.

Where, for the first time,
intelligent design is something
we can do,
and something where gods
   (real, imagined,
    argued for/against,
    or negated)
don't directly get involved.

This is a rare movement,
of such exceedingly low odds,
that we won't believe it
if we didn't see it ourselves.

But every successful movement
carries with it the seeds
of its own success
in becoming irrelevant.

But here lies the chance
of the next movement to build,
not from irrelevance,
but as if it were a platform.

We stare now,
at a potentially different level of society,
potentially new direction,
perhaps to evolve
the very meaning of society.

In the past two centuries,
we have built a separate sense apparatus -
the packet switched platforms  of
industrial revolution,
completed by the digital.

We are in a world
of digital emotions,
or the digitization
of social interactions.

From the e-business
to the social-app,
conversing in very different modes
than what we were built for.

Our new wings:
the power to converse with
the entire world, anytime, anywhere,
in single or multiple channels,

at will, provided,

we have mastered the struggle
of being free enough
from our basic survival work
to pursue this avenue.

Our social interactions -
packet switched,
full duplex,
multi-channel, parallel.

Communicate simultaneously
to each other, crossing words
and paths without shouting over
each other.

Our feelings travel in small packets,
through any medium
that connects
or is willing to connect.

We don't
have to think continuously
on each social interaction

What is the result?
we are doomed!
Hard to tell, too early.
It is a great new thing!
Ah, it's the same old, we will come back full circle!

Map of our minds.

One view: we have an
impedance mismatch
between our natural strengths
and the reality.

Hence, we multi-task,
and un-task.

And our children,
are becoming
a read-only society
where it is possible -
where an immediate response
is not required.

We can either
attend a concert or
watch it on TV,
at specified time and space

but now, we can
also splice it,
replay it and watch
a small fractional packet,
anytime, anywhere,
in the middle of
any other social interaction.

It seems, we have
unleashed a genie.
Will it change us?
Will we change it?

[To be contd...]


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