The more we digitise, the more we need to humanise

Human beings are social by nature. We need face-to-face connection. The more we embrace tech, the more we need to connect.

Don't expect someone else to do it for you. If you want a good life, you have to do it yourself... not alone of course, but with others who are also seeking a good life.

It was Aristotle who wrote that when several villages came together to become economically self-supporting, the purpose of their continuing was not enable their citizens to enjoy a good life.

People are social, we enjoy each others company.

  • We compete
  • We cooperate
  • We invent
  • We destroy
  • We are incredibly complicated...

We have our vices, our lust for things that mucks up society, and anyone who proposes a perfect world is not grounded in reality. But there is a need for balance as society has gone too far in a direction that makes life less enjoyable, and if our scientists are right, potentially catastrophic if we don't change how we live.

The more we digitize, the more we need to humanize.

Digital technology is a wonder, but I wonder if it is good to keep children quiet in a restaurant by giving them a tablet or smart phone to occupy them? It is said that Steve Jobs would not allow his kids to have laptops or iPads. Smart father.

Yes, the technology that is coming will perform what our ancestors would have regarded as miracles, but for all that, we are still human beings. We still have human nature and the more we embrace technology, the more important it will be to care and feed our human nature.

That means connecting with people we encounter in the street. You can't connect with people in the street if you are in your car, but you can if you are all out walking.

It means a social network facilitated not by Facebook or Linked In, but by the village cafe with its long tables so it's OK to sit down next to someone without an appointment. It's strange how Starbucks created a business plan based on the cafe society of old Europe, but when you go in you see lots of people staring at their laptops, stroking the keyboard or touching the glass - totally fixated on a world somewhere else.

Almost all of us need human contact, especially though our children and our elders. The segregation of the ages that has become the hallmark of the Freeway Era proved toxic to human nature.

A MarketTown is a human-scaled society

As you read about the many elements and patterns that make up a MarketTown, measure them by this question: "Does it separate or connect us?"