Ze Frank, who just became my favorite PopTech presenter thus far (an award ceremony will take place later), was brilliant and side-splittingly funny – part of the program segment on “happiness”. Suffice it to say you need to see him to appreciate it – I won’t even try.
But I will pass along a quote (paraphrased) of his response to an attendee who mentioned that kids, especially given their exposure to contemporary media, often are numb to the happier side of life, and how might they find it whether through technology or otherwise. He said something like, “Well, kids are insulated from the underlying joy and magic of life by its common-ness. [The problem is] no one claps when they get great search results from Google, yet it’s one of the best magic tricks around.” That may not seem as cool to you as it seemed to me in the moment, but I thought it a little bit beautiful as an off-the-cuff everyday-tech example of how we’ve become so conditioned to the magic of our world that it’s become so much background noise.
This served [to me] as a nice metaphor for our underappreciation of everything – not just search results, not just infotech, but even stuff like cars and sunsets and love and creativity. While on one hand, the hyperconnected world allows us to see so much, to experience so much – on the other hand, it can insulate us from the core of life’s magic – the essence of life that if unnoticed can make even the most beautiful and enriching life seem dull.
He also had some cool haikus about neutered dogs. 😀
Update: Ze is hanging out with me in the Press Room, and kindly assured me I have not overreached in my analysis of his Google comment – offering this Einstein quote in support, “You can either be amazed by everything or amazed by nothing.”