Why this Matters
“Our technologies have immense powers of both creation and destruction — the two agents necessary for the one constant in our world: change.”
Tech leadership now holds more power than any government agency or group of people on this planet. Why? Because they drive the creation and distribution of new and powerful technologies.
Products tend to re-generate and amplify the emotional states and culture they were generated from (see Snapchat’s yellow filter, Steve Jobs’ isolating iPhones, and Harvard’s lack of women’s restrooms). Our creations affect us, because ultimately, as humans we are products too. We live in a riddle: creators creating the creation creating the creator.
In this vein of thought, the emotional state of tech leadership creates the tangible reality of the future.
We suffer from too much, but too much of what?
Today, in the western world we suffer from too much. Too much intellect, too much innovation, too much consumption. Why is it too much? Not because of the values themselves, but because of the imbalance. Our intellect is not tempered with experience, our innovation is not tempered with gratitude, our consumption is not tempered with stillness.
Our technologies have immense powers of both creation and destruction — the two agents necessary for the one constant in our world: change.
Change becomes growth when destruction is followed by healing. Otherwise, change becomes death. But no matter what, change always welcomes creation. However, creation is neutral to humanity. Neither kind nor malicious. Without healing, we run the risk of changing and creating ourselves out of the picture.
Rebalancing the equation through storytelling
Aimed at tech leadership, Compassionate Technologies tells the stories of technologies that shape our lives — which is really the story of humanity. It asks the big question “who are we?” Are we a product of our technologies, or are they a product of us? How will creation and adoption of technologies change who we are? Biologically, culturally, and spiritually?
By reframing the picture and connecting the disjointed verticals of science, technology, business, and social impact, we aim to foster discussions that are crucial to the survival of our humanity.
Through storytelling, the magazine weaves the narrative of each technology as it emerges out of history and human context. It takes readers into the nascent womb of research labs, into the maturing hands of technologists, thrust out into the world by businessmen, and felt in the lives and hearts of people all over the world.
Finally and eventually the technology descends back into the future, but not before changing the fabric from which it arose, providing fertile soil for future technologies and culture. Just like us, technologies arise and fall, from ashes to ashes, dust to dust.
Encouraging ‘effective compassion’
Telling the stories of technologies in this way provides the groundwork for fostering effective compassion in readership. Joining the compassionate desire to help with the effective ability to.
Compassion is rooted in understanding and connection, and once it grows, it inspires feelings of goodwill, curiosity, and patience. Traits which are currently weak in the stressful, competitive, investment-driven community that underlies technical creation today.
Both sets of seemingly contradictory feelings are necessary to create, build, and shape our future. Without investment and execution, solutions to problems would sit in our minds, never acted upon. Without compassion or curiosity, we will never understand our problems enough to generate effective solutions, should we choose to keep humanity in the picture.
Compassionate Technologies is a spiritual and scientific inquiry into who we are and who we want to become. It is a practice of the dialectical, holding both eastern and western values together, stillness and motion, softness and sharpness.
Only in this way will be be able to move forward and not be swept away by the large waves of technological change that are coming our way.