Being Human – The Intimate Dance of Data and Desire, Humans and Machines, Connectivity and Context

My latest Medium post is up here. 

Here is the intro:

Only connect! That was the whole of her sermon.
Only connect the prose and the passion, and both will be exalted,
And human love will be seen at its height.
Live in fragments no longer.
Only connect…
—E.M. Forster, Howards End

“Live in fragments no longer,” E.M. Forster wrote in the classic Howard’s End. With the advent of unlimited channels, unlimited applications, unlimited news, unlimited information and unlimited entertainment — why are we feeling more isolated?

Has the technology of connecting human beings and ideas only begun to tap into fulfilling the most fundamental human needs? Even as we are living through a transitional period where we are now able to instantly “attach” to other people and ideas, why are we longing less for “instant messaging” and more for “meaningful messaging?”

We’re casting a broad net these days and can easily get caught up in a universe of “shiny objects” to play with all day long in our digital lives, but that experience is more and more fragmented. Will the next evolution of real time communications technologies more directly mimic the human experience? Will software and devices that carry that software be more sensitive, more aware of us as individuals — our physical well-being, our movements during the day, our heart rates, our insulin levels, and even our emotions based on recognition of our facial expressions?