Saturday, May 5, 2018

Remaining Human in a Technology World

Image result for berry zimmerman

The AppsJack crew gathered to continue their discussions on causality.  This month, the topic was about humans and we talked about benefits.  Benefits accrue to entities whereas outcomes are higher level.  David talked about their being only two types of jobs: service jobs and design jobs.  Service jobs directly interface with customers and design jobs do not.  There seems to be quite a gray area between these distinctions and most jobs are probably a mix between service- and design-related tasks.

In the house we had Berry Zimmerman leading us, a new attendee named Louis Sweeny who was smart and awesome, Susan Stringer, Reba Haas, David Slight, Jean Bishop and AppsJack founder Eric Veal.

Reba recommended the Humans are Underrated book and was telling us about Amazon getting into the real estate market with a new set of services.

Someone made the claim that, "People are informed but don't care." ie they are often apathetic.

The group talked about the influence that marketing and other people's designs has on us on a daily and unconscious level.  People need to be aware and alert of their environment and recognize what kinds of messages they may be receiving from the designers of their environments. An example of this is our "feeds" online and how they may be curated and presented.  Clearly the tech services providers have a lot of power over our perceptions and what inputs we receive for processing.  We need to be conscious of what we are processing and mindful.

Louis mentioned some innovation that Uber is doing in helping its riders find drivers and vice versa.  They are releasing a flashing colored light called Beacon.  With, users can barter skills and services online.

Eric made the point that being 'humane' is far more easier to understand and think about than being 'human'.  Being human includes everything, whereas being humane is only a subset of the features we would value and want from an individual.

Berry shared several human-defining traits with us: choice, a belief of control, unique experiences, independent, social.  Berry also dropped big questions on us like, "What is the purpose of humanity?"  The group thought the question was perhaps a bit too broad but it definitely got them thinking.

Louis mentioned the 2016 feature film Arrival and others agreed it was a good one.  "Linguistics professor Louise Banks (Amy Adams) leads an elite team of investigators when gigantic spaceships touch down in 12 locations around the world."  And he also shared that he likes the book The Top Five Regrets of the Dying.

The movie The Perfect Human Diet was also cited as an interesting watch by Berry.  "Filmmaker C.J. Hunt searches for a solution to the obesity epidemic using dietary science, historical findings and ancestral native diets."

Also mentioned were Esther Perel's TED talks.  David is a fan of Jeremy Rifkin who stars in the 2017 film The Third Industrial Revolution and also really likes what he sees from organizations that follow the Holocracy practices of self-organization.  The group talked about Dunbar's Number which states that a human can't scale beyond 148 meaningful relationships.  Humans on BBC was recommended as was the Seattle Liberating Structures group and Crucial Conversations book.

Join us in May to contribute to the fun.