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Intro to the Series: Good Lives in a Tech-Mediated World?

“To be truly radical is to make hope possible, rather than despair convincing”. Raymond Williams (quoted in Positive Deviant: Sustainability Leadership in a PerversWorld by Sara Parkin)

“Hope calls for action; action is impossible without hope….to hope is to give yourself to the future, and that commitment to the future makes the present inhabitable.  Anything could happen, and whether we act or not has everything to do with it”.  Rebecca Solnit, Hope in the Dark: Untold History of People Power.

I’m a lucky fella. 

During more than a decade working in television and radio journalism I’ve had the chance to meet and interview thousands of people.  Whenever I could, I asked about hopes and dreams, worries and fears.  I asked what matters most in life, what makes life good, or what ‘s important for happiness and fulfillment?  I asked similar questions to doctors, dentists, comedians, bin men, butchers, bakers and candlestick makers.  I asked undertakers, whippet racers, murderers, nurses, terrorists, astronauts, school kids, war veterans, dying mothers, grandmothers, politicians, and transvestite prostitutes at 3 o’clock in the morning.

For almost every person, his or her response essentially boiled down to the same thing.  It wasn’t more stuff, technology, or gadgets.  No matter how differently they expressed it; everyone wanted to love, and to be loved.  It seems most of us are striving for belonging, to find a safe and secure place in the world, to experience a little kindness.  I reckon whoever said, “be kind; everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle” was rather wise.

I was going through a tough time while researching this blog series.  I imagined everything was falling apart health, wealth, and wisdom-wise, and that I’d end up living under a bridge on the M6 motorway. 

Thankfully, I was mistaken.

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As a consequence of writing and sharing these posts via my smartphone, I could become one of the most loved and respected human beings in history. 

Yes, this can happen in the digital age since it’s now possible to instantly connect with millions, perhaps billions of people.  Who knows how a person’s ideas might spread?  That’s the thing, with the current speed of change, and exponential technological development, we have amazing power in our hands as we rush into the unknown.  In an era of virtually unlimited excitement, boredom, opportunity, possibility, challenge, choice, freedom, fun, control, manipulation, meaninglessness, threats, fears, frustrations, joy, pleasure and peril….anything could happen.

These posts are about broadly defining, and embracing “the good life”, imagining alternatives to the not-so-good life in a technologically-mediated world, and how, by putting the vision and values horse before the technological cart, we can each contribute to bringing self, society, and nature into better balance. 

They’ll explore how the 3Cs of “Giveacrapanomics” (consciousness, caring, and connecting) encourage thoughtful and deliberate actions and interventions that align more closely with personal, social, and planetary well-being. 

I hope you enjoy them, and that they’ll give insights into my developing thinking about what technology gives and what it takes away from our capacity to realise sustainably good lives for all.

BLOG 1 – Turning down the magician’s bargain for a world that just might work: toward the good life in a technologically-mediated world

BLOG 2 – Giveacrapanomics: the good life and flourishing in a technologically-mediated world

BLOG 3 – Bloated and starved in a technologically-mediated world:  waking up to the not-so-good life (part one)

BLOG 4 – Disconnection, dysfunction, and delusion in a technologically-mediated world:  waking up to the not-so-good life (part two) 

BLOG 5 – Putting the 3Cs of Giveacrapanomics into action: consciousness, caring, and connecting for the good life in a technologically-mediated world

BLOG 6 – Vision to Pursue:  good lives in a world that just might work

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IAN ASPIN

  • Ian AspinLocation: Lancaster Lake District, UK
  • Bio: I’m passionate about my work:TV journalist, producer, presenter, business ideas person. I care about: family, friends, helping people, finding meaning, running