I was laying in bed, sleepless late at night at Shangri-La Hotel in Singapore, Tower Wing. At that point, I felt so frustrated. I just realized that I could not solve everything with an app.
But let me begin from the start. It was 2009.
Well ,that meant a lot to me. In the advertising, I clearly understood that ‘Everything was already associated to an app‘. The statement implied that Apps would offer a different way to experience-solve every possible event occuring in my life. The voice – so promptly – implied that I could have every need solved through an app, even needs I could not imagine the existence of.
Totally engaged in the promise, I could not wait to enjoy this new superpower. Strangely I was more attracted to the potential linked to the solution of unknown needs coming from the Apps superpower more than the actual satisfaction of known needs, you know. In that sense, I felt invulnerable against perils I could not even imagine, in an omnipotent condition of pre-satisfacted events for all my lifetime. I could do everything possible. In that sense, in a life where every need can be satisfied, there is an existence of no-needs. Ultimately boring but exalting at the same time, right?
I was very excited.
But that same very night, Donald Rumsfeld – Vice President of the United States of America – got into my hotel room TV with his most famous press conference, giving to me a different perspective on my own capability to identify and understand what’s possible – and not possible.
In that 4 quadrant monitor of reality around what’s known and what’s unknown – which evidenced my poor capability to understand what’s beyond the obvious – I realised that Apps were both a superpower and a trap.
Only by the fact the unknown unknowns space exists, I can define – and overcome – the bias space: the unknown knowns space. Because only if I can consider the existence of an unattainable space of unknown mystery I can bear the material limitations defined by the known knowns, also I can enjoy the most exalting ludic experience of the what-if, might-be research, the exploration of alternative occurrences given by the exploration of the known unknowns space.
I got my all powerful condition reduced to null: if there’s an App for everything, there is one to explore the unknowns, transforming the unknown unknowns into known unknowns and then into known knowns. Destroying mystery, this god-like aura would destroy all the need I have to understand. It would automatically seek-and-destroy all the motivation to move on to explore, research, and meet new unknowns.
Differently from the Zen, this materialistic way of being would not grant bliss, It brings you into a state of perpetual instantly-solved struggles, bringing understanding through instant explanations. Needs will come, but they will be solved immediately with the use of material enablers, the App. In the transcendence culture, needs are part of the existence as everything else. In the transcendence state, you are deeply beyond the need to understand, in a way in the Apps super powered existence is giving you a tool to overcome the need to understand by avoiding it, not contemplating it. When you simply can avoid to understand because an app is doing it at your place, you easily become a mind-slave, lashed to the idea that your freedom depends on to the capability of choosing between different apps, different websites, through a search engine that could solve every need.
In other words: while intrinsically bonded to the systematic all-powerful capability of the post-internet environment, you loose the motivation to go beyond your own existence.