Sunday, August 23, 2009

With great abundance comes great responsibility

The success of new applications has a lot to do with freedom and abundance:
  • The mobile phone liberated us from having to sit at the desktop phone.
  • VoD liberates us from having to watch linear broadcast TV.
  • Social networking liberates us from having to be friends with family, neighbours, colleagues etc. only, because it allows us to explore the entire world.
  • The digital camera made us much more independent from the photo store and the limitations of 'analogue' (chemical) photography.
  • etc.
Imagine what the Snapdragon-based smartbook will bring about (always connected, 3-D graphics, GPS, video calling, full web browsing, all-day battery life, etc.).

There is however a shadow side to all this and it has to do with quality, art and science.
  • How does a gallery owner select photographs in the age of digital photography? ("Everyone can be super! And when everyone is super ... no one will be.") Which raises the wider question: What is art anyway?
  • How does a teacher put together a curriculum in the age of Wikipedia? What do you teach kids when they can look-up and download anything from the Internet?
  • Where do you get a profound musical experience (check out Cesar Franck's Piano Quintet) in the age of MP3-files, flat fee access to millions of songs and DJs being promoted to artist status?
  • How do you engage in profound relationships in the age of e-mail and social networking?
  • etc.
To paraphrase a famous quote: With great abundance comes great responsibility.