From Consumerism To The Act of Creating

tegen-charlotte-consumerism-1I have been lately studying my patterns of work and monitoring the time I spend in different activities to try to improve my productivity and results.

And after applying a lot of tactics like Pomodro, 7 principles of highly effective people, eating the frog, delegation, GTD I was still wondering why I don’t see a lot of results from the things I do.

Then a few days back I was reading this article regarding Side Projects and how to find time for them, and suddenly I stumbled upon on this amazing concept, I didn’t realize until now: switching from consumerism to the act of creating. I realized I was exactly doing that: consuming not creating.

Even though I was involved in a lot of tasks and projects like: learning a new language, or reading blogs about internet security, go to some seminars  up to more obvious tasks like buying a new running shoes (which in my mind was a task rather related to doing physical activity) I realized I was only consuming not creating.

Consumerism is a sneaky little fella, it tricks your brain into thinking it’s doing something, doesn’t take a lot of effort, so you feel satisfied but at the end of the day you don’t have any practical results.

I was feeling so proud of myself because I wasn’t one of those kinds of people who read gossip blogs or watch TV or even sports; I was dedicating my whole time to learning smart stuff. But I was still consuming content without doing anything with it.

One famous quote resumes my point very well…

“I have been impressed with the urgency of doing. Knowing is not enough; we must apply. Being willing is not enough; we must do.” 
– Leonardo da Vinci

In the same period of time I read an article about getting fit. And this lady was telling her story and said something like “knowing the solution for something doesn’t necessarily make a difference, unless you put what you know in action”.

Then I though back to the moments I felt most productive and active, when I had a specific problem to solve, or a specific thing to create (I once was able to make some amazing things with Photoshop in just 3 hours by knowing what I want as an end result).

So it was clear for me I need a paradigm shift. So that’s what I recommend you also do. Every time you start doing an activity, or task ask yourself this: is it a consumeristic or a creationistic activity. Try to maintain the creationism as high as possible. I’m sure you will not be able to give up consuming things but try to incline the balance in that direction.

The funny thing is that while doing some research for writing this, I was trying to find the appropriate word for defining the Act of Creating, it’s somewhere near “Creationism”, but that refers more to the religious views, “Producerism” has some negative connotations, expressing a negativity towards the non-working, thus non-producing elements of a social structure, and at the same time producing isn’t the same thing as creating and “Creativity” is more of a trait that the actual act of creating. So given that there isn’t even a word for it, no wonder we don’t even think about it, or have it as an ideology.


Image Source: Tegen Charlotte – Consumerism




What Jobs Will be Left for Humans in the Future After Machines Take Over?


If machines replace humans at work, how will we still make money? Or maybe we will not need money…

I’ve recently seen this video about how machines are easily taking over humans’ jobs, and robotics and automatization are becoming the replacement for workers. They were comparing humans with horses, that in the past there was a huge demand for horses in transportation and other fields, but after the invention of the car, horses were less and less needed, fast-forward to the present, horses are only used for hobbies.

Nowadays technology has become so advanced that it’s replacing the jobs of humans.

Not in a very distant future there will be no longer a need for human doctors, as robots have the capacity of analyzing a way bigger amount of medical cases than a human, and by processing this large amount of data to find patterns in symptoms. They will become better than humans, with a bigger capacity to process information. Robotic hands don’t tremble. So robotic surgeons don’t need sleep, don’t get tired, and don’t grow old.

Self-driving cars are easily replacing drivers. These have the capacity to compute shortest pathway possible by taking in real-time traffic information, avoiding road blockages, not fall asleep on the wheel, they don’t drink and drive, they don’t text on the phone while driving.

When I hear all this, honestly I feel overwhelmed and think, what is there left for humans? What jobs can we do?

I was asking a friend this and he said…well Art, Art is left for us humans.

But if you look at the latest technological progress you can see that there are robots that can paint, as good as humans, and also there is a robot mentioned in the video, Emily Howel, which can compose and play music.

Then what is there left for humans?

I think it’s emotion. When I look at robotics I don’t see them mimicking or transmitting emotions. Ok, if you are a cynical you can say emotion could be generated by applying electrical impulses to the brain (at the end what else is emotion but if not electrical charges between the neurons). Bodily sensations trigger impulses to the insula in the limbic system, but recalling a book I read on happiness, called Satisfaction by Gregory Berns, a doctor studying what makes us humans happy, this concluded that surprise, and unexpected things is what gets our brain going, new experiences make up that hormonal cocktail that brings with it the „feel-good” sensation.

The ability to visualize, imagine and transmit emotions is what will be our unique human feature. From a scientific point of view it’s the mirror neurons that help us communicate this, but beyond that there is something more, something that connects us humans.

So don’t be scared, in the future machines will replace the boring, dull mechanical jobs. They will easily take over even parts of the beautiful-creationist activities, but emotion is what there is left.

If we keep an optimistic and constructionist view on the future (some of us might not even get to this future yet, so we worry for nothing) we can use all this innovation to our advantage. It is a means, a tool that will make our lives even more meaningful.

I’m not trying to reproduce Utopia here (in Utopia all people were allowed to have food and whatever they needed for free, because there was plenty for everybody), although this scenario actually isn’t so far-fetched if you think about the fact that machines have the capacity to produce for everybody at infinitesimal costs, which might in a perfectly implemented system have 0 costs.

Is this utopic enough for you? Why 0 costs? You might say, yes but machines need energy and that costs money. I know it’s a bold idea, and it’s against everything we have learned, and everything we have been educated to think. But what if there would be no need for money?

No need for money

Every time my boss screams around in the office or threatens he’s going to close the company down, I get this fear, because without a job I will not have any money, and without money I don’t have anything.

But if you think about it this is it pretty stupid. The earth doesn’t ask you for money when you put in seeds that grow into plans you’re eating.

Energy, you can use solar, wind or hydro energy, the sun will continue to shine, without asking for money, the wind will continue to blow without asking for money, the water will continue to follow its course without saying: that will be 10$ please.

So that’s why in a very well implemented system, everything will be produced in plentifulness and we will not need any money, there will be enough for everyone.