CES2014 is like swimming in a psychological tsunami. Imagine crunching consumer and cultural behaviour down into one event and then tossing it into the madness that is Las Vegas. It is surreal. Pure humour noir. I keep expecting David Lynch to show up screaming “cut..cut….bring in the bloody bunny heads!” but he hasn’t, at least not yet.
Don’t get me wrong, this is a dream come true for anyone interested in innovation, technology and the future. However, I’m a futurist and a philosopher or a technology philosopher to be precise. I view things a little differently. My job is to think about the future and observe the psychological and philosophical implications of our technological advancements. Why are we creating these advancements? How will wearables, the internet of everything and robots change our culture? What are our motives, ethics and intentions in creating these technologies?
This work is not for everyone. You need to have a deep feeling of empathy for humanity and a deep curiosity for people and their motives. Only then can we really understand how we arrived here and where we are going. I can tell you this. CONTROL is the watchword. Advertisers want it. Consumers want it. We all want it.
We are seeking unrestrained ubiquitous control and CES is filled with gadgets and innovations that promise you a control-rich future. Control your home, your dog, your heart rate, your car, your food intake and your mind with a touch of a smart watch. Sounds good, right? Or are we just polishing an old shoe?
I disagree with people who say that our technologies are outpacing human evolution. In fact, technology is just now beginning to touch the surface of the human unconscious mind. If we really understood how complex our unconscious minds are, we would see that technology has a long way to go to equal the capacity and depth of the unconscious mind. Human imagination and the unconscious mind go way beyond anything technology has to offer right now. Give me full body teleportation and control of the galaxy and then we will talk about technology outpacing us.
From the strange “booth babes” culture to the brilliant innovations, what you see at CES is a direct reflection and manifestation of our collective cultural unconscious minds. It is beautiful, sick, brilliant and twisted. Enjoy.