Tag: Next Nature is

Feeling lonely people while surrounded with people
Society of Simulations

What Is Next Nature? #16

According to psychologist Martin Seligman: “Social relationships do not guarantee high happiness, but it does not appear to occur without them”. Humans are intrinsically social beings. Like Lev Vygotsky, another psychologist, said “We become ourselves through others”. Both psychologists point out that social relationships are essential for our development and well-being. Considering the population density today and our social system, it shouldn’t be a problem to meet that need for social companionship. Yet somehow loneliness has become one of the major societal issues of today. Is it a matter of one or the other, connectivity versus conviviality?

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Wearing earphones without listening to music
Suburban Utopia

What Is Next Nature? #15

You need to concentrate or you simply don’t feel like talking? Just plug in your earphones and listen to the sweet sound of silence. There’s probably nothing better to hold talkative people off – without offending or looking antisocial – than simply acting as if you’re enjoying some music. It’s a very effective 21st century solution to a 21st century problem. Where to get some quality time with yourself in the midst of our buzzing cities? There’s distraction everywhere, wearing earphones creates a bubble of personal space.

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Not knowing what hanging up the phone means
Innovative Nostalgia

What Is Next Nature? #14

“I’m sliding my finger to the right of the screen to answer the call” is the modern translation of “I’m picking up the phone”. Even to the younger generation, who have never literally picked up or hung up the phone, the contemporary version sounds odd. But hanging up the phone really doesn’t make any sense today. Phrases like “rewinding the tape”, “dialing the phone”, or “cranking the engine” are called skeuonyms, expressions left over from a technology no longer used.

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Feeling as if the world comes to a hold during a black out
Wild Systems

What Is Next Nature? #13

In some urban areas blackouts are more common than others, but few areas have never underwent one. Anyone who has experienced a blackout is well aware of how dependent we are on electricity. Apparently the Internet cannot function without it! Which means that instant communication is out too. Although most clocks will keep ticking, time itself seems to lose meaning. Without electricity everything stops. The digital world is so thoroughly interwoven with the real world that we forget that software needs working hardware. For an unknown interval we live in a different world where only physical presence matters. As long as it is temporary, it might feel like a breath of fresh air. Hopefully, though, you’ve pressed the save-button first.

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Removing your make-up together with your sense of identity
Augmented Bodies

What Is Next Nature? #12

Cosmetics are so widely used nowadays, you could say they became part of a woman’s wardrobe. Everyday many women wear this ‘mask’ of make-up to enhance their facial features or to hide their blemishes, either as a form of self-expression or to meet a beauty standard portrayed by advertising and popular culture. After years of wearing make-up some women feel naked without it. Their sense of identity includes the mask they put on everyday.

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being reminded by Facebook that it's your best friend's birthday
Society of Simulations

What Is Next Nature? #11

Facebook’s mission – “to give people the power to share and make the world more open and connected” – seems innocent and noble, but the social network, now deeply integrated in the social fabric, makes us question what it means to be social. We no longer have to remember birthdays and other socially significant events, Facebook kindly reminds us important dates and it even suggests what to write to our dearest friends.

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Seeing more airplanes in the sky than birds
Anthropocene

What Is Next Nature? #10

One and a half century ago birds and insects were the only airborne creatures. The largest movements in the sky were, for example, swarms of starlings, migrating geese or a lone circling hawk. From the twentieth century a new entrant made its rise: aircrafts. Today 8.3 million people are held aloft by airplanes everyday. Commercial air traffic accounts for the 4% of the total global output of greenhouse gasses. Indeed, the impact on the environment is clearly visible and widespread. Near urban areas a clear blue sky without contrails is close to non-existent. Not only airplanes have become part of the visible and audible horizon, they also directly transform our landscape by creating cirrus cloud formations.

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Young people who are afraid of making a phone call
Society of Simulations

What Is Next Nature? #9

There is something about texting and chatting that makes it so interesting for young people. It might be that in the turbulent transition from a child to an adult text messages take away many social insecurities. The digital medium gives a sense of anonymity, and typing allows for more control over the conversation. Typing costs more time than speaking, but it permits to think about the content and to correct or rewrite something before pressing enter, managing the irrevocability of direct social contact. As children grow up using this reassuring medium they become awkward in making, for example, phone calls, where the safety net of text messages is absent.

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Seeing any way but the Milky Way
Manufactured Landscapes

What Is Next Nature? #8

Light pollution is changing our perception of the environment. People spending most of their lives in urban areas will rarely, if ever, see the Milky Way. The name itself is derived from its appearance as a glowing band of light arching across the night sky; a visual display unequaled in grandness and beauty. Until the 1920’s, when the electricity grid became more common, it was visible almost everyday, depending on the weather conditions. However, today more city dwellers have seen the Andromeda Galaxy as the wallpaper of their MacBook than they have seen the Milky Way by looking at the sky.

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