IF IT’S MAGIC, IS IT MAGIC?

So its 1994, and young Jeff Bezos is noticing that internet usage is growing a gang-busters-y 1000s of percent year on year, and resolves to leave Wall Street.

An earlier name for the soon-to-registered ‘Amazon’ was ‘Cadabra’.
He envisaged a web-based business so that books, initially, would whoosh from his garage to our homes as if – by magic.

Whoosh.
Click your fingers. Done.
Speed has some amazing effects.

When Google researched search times, teams discovered that cutting search time from one second to a tenth of a second changed user-behaviour. Respondents could not only search more, but also more deeply. From observation, ‘ways of thinking’ changed.

Our lives really, really have speeded up.
Whatever we want can appear in the blink of an eye.
It’s like waving a magic wand.
If speed is the new black (and fast v slow the new powerful v weak), what is the new……..magic?

Speed is having some odd effects on us, and on our sense of value and relationship with others.
A drone delivering a purchase within minutes or a contactless payment in microseconds divorces us from the effects, in the real world, of our activities.

The Slow Movement can barely keep up (sorry).

It’s been noticeable recently when working with teams that silences are felt to be terribly uncomfortable. (While always true to some extent, the new discomfort is a reaching-for-a-device, make-something-happen discomfort rather than an ‘isn’t anyone going to say anything?’ unease.)  It takes a while for everyone to get to a stage of pausing, wondering, and thinking without pressure. Especially in front of others.

Too much of a luxury, perhaps?
Too self-indulgent?

Which leads to a bizarre worry while hurtling towards this jointly constructed future.
What if our idea of what is magical changes from waving a wand for instant ‘whim satisfaction’ into something about timelessness – and pointlessness?

Might watching paint dry feel magical to a future generation?

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