From what I could observe, society was evolving at a certain pace, with one development happening after the next when, about the end of last century, the game changed forever.
When digital technology dawned, we were no longer restricted to living one minute after the next. With the fax machine, documents could be conveyed in seconds while before it could take weeks. With word processing, we could cut and paste time. With a device smaller than a pack of cards, suddenly we had all the world’s knowledge at our fingertips.
I’m delighted as everyone with our digital tools’ amazing abilities, but I wonder what’s happening to our own. It seems we forget the powers that we humans have that our machines don’t. Our senses, especially, go way beyond our ability to see, hear and smell. We’re ingenious, creative, and intuitive. We feel wonder, love, caring and compassion.
So, after noodling all this through, I’ve come up with strategies for how we can live in better harmony with technology so we live up to our potential and act to ensure our species is neither sidelined nor superseded. We need to be durable and follow the word’s enjoinder: to be strong and productive as long as possible.
I share those insights here on this site and in my books The Durable Human Manifesto: Practical Wisdom for Living and Parenting in the Digital World and How To Be a Durable Human: Revive and Thrive in the Digital Age Through the Power of Self-Design.
Feel free to download a free PDF of the Manifesto here.
Why I’m qualified to be the messenger
Edith Cobb is an author and philosopher whose vast interests included sciences of all kinds, literature, poetry and the arts. In her greatest work, The Ecology of Imagination in Childhood, she explained how adult creativity derives directly from the play and exploration of childhood.
Cobb has been described as “the renaissance ideal of the amateur, the dilettante, who delights in the pursuit of understanding, as opposed to the dispassionate ‘expert.’” I think I’m like that, too.
Because of my science background and broad writing experience, I know how to cull through complex data, thoughts and ideas and convey the most useful. I express myself not only in words, but in video, photography, and sound. I also work hard for positive change so the ability for people to be active and durable is built in to communities.
Finally, as a parent of three successful young adults, I’ve lived the full spectrum of joys and struggles as we passed from the time when there were no cell phones to where we are today. But now that my kids no longer need my hands-on help on a daily basis, I have a lot more time to think.