I recently read a blog post that I felt was rife with subtle permaculture-based concepts, titled "Technology, Design and Values", and thought I'd share it. It was written by Nipun Mehta, who was recently acknowledged by the Dalai Lama with an "Unsung Hero Of Compassion" award, and whose work primarily deals with merging the spheres of Silicon Valley and non-profit service.
I haven't really read anything written in quite the same context before, and was really intrigued by the overlap of technology and values.
that ponders the idea of the "labor of gratitude" as a potentially regenerative emotional/spiritual cycle within a gifting economy.
Some of the questions I've been thinking about recently ...
--When we are overloaded with information, tech provides us filtering
algorithms; nature provides us intuition. How do we contrast
algorithms and intuition? Put another way, can all problems be solved?
Is a death a problem to be solved
--Google engineering director, Ray Kurzweil, recently said
"Google will know you better than your spouse. Better even than
yourself." Are we giving up this power consciously, or are we being
mindlessly seduced into it?
--Heard at TED
this week: "People will use nanobots to connect the capillaries of
their brains to the cloud, merging biological thinking with artificial
intelligence and enabling a leap in human capabilities equivalent to the
great advances of millions of years of evolution." But what's the flip
side of that technology going into hands that use it for self-centered
purposes? What is our safeguard against that?
--Doctors have a Hippocratic Oath
. What about the twenty-something engineers, who are just trying to do 'cool things
', and affecting how trillions of people connect? The pace
at which we are developing platforms, do we even have time to ask such questions?
--Larry Page recently said
, "I'd rather leave my millions to Elon Musk than charity." Are corporations
our best bet for innovations that will change the world?
--Google started with "Do No Evil" motto, but as they scaled massively, they seem to have changed
value system. How do we contrast design principles of Google versus
Gandhi (who spoke about decentralization, precisely due it to capacity
--We tend to view labor as toil. What if labor wasn't something to be done away with, but rather an instrument for transformation
sustained a gift ecology? Can we identify technologies whose design
heuristics are to be "slow, inconvenient and unsensational"?
--We have a lot of faith in money and markets, like this couple
who pays each other to put kids to bed and do dishes, or kids who are paid
to do their homework. What about innovations around the power of non-financial incentives?