Stumbled across a talk by Benjamin Bratton that shares an interesting perspective on TED. To me it’s also a stimulating comment on the increasing bubble of design-thinking, placebo-innovation and increasing shallowness of social-media.
“Perhaps the pinnacle of placebo politics and innovation was featured at TEDx San Diego in 2011. You’re familiar I assume with Kony2012, the social media campaign to stop war crimes in central Africa? So what happened here? Evangelical surfer bro goes to help kids in Africa. He makes a campy video explaining genocide to the cast of Glee. The world finds his public epiphany to be shallow to the point of self-delusion. The complex geopolitics of central Africa are left undisturbed. Kony’s still there. The end.
You see, when inspiration becomes manipulation, inspiration becomes obfuscation. If you are not cynical you should be sceptical. You should be as sceptical of placebo politics as you are placebo medicine.”
I found this particular part of his speech to be very much to the point:
“The potential for these technologies are both wonderful and horrifying at the same time, and to make them serve good futures, design as “innovation” just isn’t a strong enough idea by itself. We need to talk more about design as “immunisation,” actively preventing certain potential “innovations” that we do not want from happening.”
I really would like to see the field of design (rapid-prototyping, visual storytelling, …) to be used as a tool to evaluate technological possibilities. Rather than being used as an instrument to manipulate and to beautify technology without questioning its range of application.
“So why do we talk about the Norden bombsight? Well because we live in an age where there are lots and lots of Norden bombsights. We live in a time where there are all kinds of really, really smart people running around, saying that they’ve invented gadgets that will forever change our world. They’ve invented websites that will allow people to be free. They’ve invented some kind of this thing, or this thing, or this thing that will make our world forever better.
And this is the problem with our infatuation with the things we make. We think the things we make can solve our problems, but our problems are much more complex than that. The issue isn’t the accuracy of the bombs you have, it’s how you use the bombs you have, and more importantly, whether you ought to use bombs at all.”
Dave Gray-Knowledge Games: A Grammar for Creativity and Innovation. (via gamestorming)
The starting point of the presentation with the Kalashnikov metaphore seems a bit strange to me. But I like the idea of games and fun as a starting point for something new. Also the sketchy look and the simple pictures a great inspiration for telling stories.
I’ve always loved books. I’ve always loved computers. We are currently experiencing a very unique convergence point for things digital and analog. Because of this, I think that right now is a very exciting time to be involved with storytelling.