I am keen on the Neo Luddite movement, and part of me yearns for a back-to-basics world.
I am also a futurist who works in tech. And I love many of the new gadgets and gizmos that come out.
I don’t mind being a hypocrite – I think it’s almost normal to be a hypocrite. It is commonplace, and overdue to be accepted as a natural trait.
So, as someone with one foot in each camp, I am calling myself a Semi.
Guns are a good analogy. Manual guns are cumbersome. Semi-automatics are efficient. Fully automatic only have bad uses. Semi is the in-between, the ascertained middle ground, the considered sweet spot.
When it comes to technology, much of it is stupid. Recently a colleague showed me how his Samsung phone could measure his pulse. I showed him the old school way (fingers on the wrist or neck) and he was surprised that a non-high-tech method existed.
A 55″ HD TV gives me the same experience as a 70″ curved 3D UHD TV. For 1/7th of the price. (Actually, the lack of enthusiasm for 3D might be seen as a starting point for the Semi movement)
I like electric car windows, but I could easily do without them. I like air-con in a car. I don’t want or need automatic windscreen wipers or heated seats.
I understand that manufacturers need to make improvements to sell more stuff. But sometimes, enough is enough.
When I get home on a scorchingly hot day, and walk into a hot house, it takes 30 seconds for the air-con to kick and for me to start feeling cooler. I don’t need a system to detect that I am 2kms away and turn it on for me.
Our house is locked when we aren’t at home. We use a physical key to unlock it. Works just fine! We don’t need an app to do it for us. On a phone where the battery easily dies.
Some people will embrace every “advance” like good little capitalist citizens. A handful will rebel completely. And a percentage – I’d say between 10% and 50%, mostly older folk, will become Semis like me.
The concept could flow through to businesses. Instead of there being either greedy corporations, or non-profits, I see a place for Semi companies, which take enough profits to satisfy them, and not more. Who only make product changes for the good of all, not for marketing. Who advertise to promote, not to brainwash.
We live in a service economy now, which basically means that many of us have more money than we need, so we pay other people to do things for us that we could/should do ourselves. It began with paying a local kid to mow the lawn. Now we pay people to tell us how we should decorate our homes, what we should eat, how to exercise, which meds to take.
And we get to blame others when things don’t work out. The Uber driver turned up late.
I like mowing the lawn. A lawn is more than something to look at, it should be interactive. I like planting the tree that I could potentially look at every day for the rest of my life. I like walking the dogs, preparing my own dinner, and deciding what temperature to set the air con to today.
Finally, the less self-efficient we become, the less able to cope we will be if something goes wrong. And something always goes wrong.