Digital Legacies

In this column, Julius Wiedemann takes up a series of interesting topics as he examines the boundless possibilities and influences of digital technology in designing the future.

by Julius WiedemannPublished on : Nov 05, 2020

Maybe, for the first time in history, we have accumulated so much knowledge that we are now able to reimagine our existence in a more attainable fashion, including looking more into the outer space as a feasible proposition. We will soon be able to reprogram our genes to have a different outcome than nature had chosen for us. It might look scary initially, but we have been doing it already for quite some time. We do surgeries to change our body not because we need, but because we want. We correct failures in our evolutionary process by operating our eyes or to cure cancer. We even take pieces of our body to prevent diseases. Revolutionaries have greater will. Like Thomas Edison, Steve Jobs, Nikola Tesla, Leonardo Da Vinci, Alexander Graham Bell, Sandford Fleming, Marie Curie, and many others, they will keep coming in larger numbers, and will always challenge the status quo, our comfort zones, and will propose new ways of changing the world. The difference I try to understand, is how digital technologies have impacted not only the way we do things, but rather, the way we think about the world, and all the possibilities surrounding us. This series aims to describe different phenomena that one way or another, are shifting the paradigms of what we are allowed to imagine. This new boundaryless modus operandi has been democratised, which means many more people will be able to influence the world with new technologies. I would claim that the new frontiers are starting to be imagined now, and they are to a great extent built on digital legacies.

1. Digital Legacies: An introduction on digital cultures

‘Software was once the primary interface for all digital actions, delivered in floppy disks that were invented in 1967 by Alan Shugart at IBM | Digital Legacies | STIRworld
Software was once the primary interface for all digital actions, delivered in floppy disks that were invented in 1967 by Alan Shugart at IBM Image: Courtesy of Julius Wiedemann

The first in the series explores the idea of culture, seeking to find patterns that explain the influences and inspirations of technology and the digital era.

2. Digital Legacies: Ownership

‘Collectively owned and rented’ music on Spotify is now being taken for granted | Digital Legacies | STIRworld
‘Collectively owned and rented’ music on Spotify is now being taken for granted Image: Courtesy of Julius Wiedemann

This column questions the changing notion of ‘ownership’ within the digital era, which has created the sharing economy, online services and non-physical commodities.

3. Digital Legacies: Transparency

Citizens of the digital world demand to experience what was once hidden behind doors | Digital Legacies | STIRworld
Citizens of the digital world demand to experience what was once hidden behind doors Image: Courtesy of Julius Wiedemann

Julius Wiedemann observes that open technologies, exposed services, communication and see-through materials in architecture fuel a world of increasing transparency.

4. Digital Legacies: Education

IE Business School's virtual classroom envisions a new model for education | Digital Legacies | STIRworld
IE Business School's virtual classroom envisions a new model for education Image: Courtesy of Julius Wiedemann

This column discusses the ongoing revolution in the field of education where open-source information is readily accessible, giving rise to more questions than answers.

5. Digital Legacies: Connectivity

The Town of Internet of Things in Hangzhou | Digital Legacies | STIRworld
The Town of Internet of Things in Hangzhou Image: Courtesy of Julius Wiedemann

The columnist explores how connectivity in a digital sense has created an unprecedented global civilisation, with information constantly circulating like blood, keeping the world alive.

6. Digital Legacies: Generation Gap

Technologically speaking, devices also have generations of performance | Digital Legacies | STIRworld
Technologically speaking, devices also have generations of performance Image: Courtesy of Julius Wiedemann

Change is speeding up, says ‘digital immigrant’ Julius Wiedemann as he contemplates on generation gaps and the role of technology in causing generations to ‘evolve’ much faster.

7. Digital Legacies: Search

Humans have “become search machines” and “think search” | Digital Legacies | STIRworld
Humans have “become search machines” and “think search” Image: Courtesy of Julius Wiedemann

Julius Wiedemann goes back in time to analyse the path that brought us into a time where almost everyone has access to the knowledge humankind has created so far.

8. Digital Legacies: Data

Data connects people across the world | Digital Legacies | STIRworld
Data connects people across the world Image: Courtesy of Julius Wiedemann

Analysing how data and information are used in a world where digital tools are being democratised to advance technology.

9. Digital Legacies: Co-everything

The Ministry Coworking Club in London | Digital Legacies | STIRworld
The Ministry Coworking Club in London Image: Courtesy of Julius Wiedemann

The column delves into the rise of digital collaborations, noting that interdependence is becoming the very fabric of future creation in more engaging environments.

10. Digital Legacies: Hyperlinking

Hyperlinks are built of the need to constantly learn | Digital Legacies | STIRworld
Hyperlinks are built of the need to constantly learn Image: Courtesy of Julius Wiedemann

Joining the dots with all the information mankind has accumulated till date, hyperlinking might lead to undiscovered ideas, further advancing the 'age of information'.

11. Digital Legacies: Reminders

Akihabara Station in Tokyo | Digital Legacies | STIRworld
Akihabara Station in Tokyo Image: Courtesy of Julius Wiedemann

The columnist contemplates how we use digital technologies to aid our cognitive bandwidths and how our phone’s chiming reminders are more than just a flash on the screen.

12. Digital Legacies: Sharing

From playlists to wish lists, we want to share our enthusiasm and revolt | Digital Legacies by Julius Wiedemann | STIRworld
From playlists to wish lists, we want to share our enthusiasm and revolt Image: Courtesy of Julius Wiedemann

To Julius Wiedemann, new forms of sharing has been a clear indication of living in different times - a time where information flows easily, quickly and benevolently.

13. Digital Legacies: Remote Work

The effects of the acceleration of remote work is going to be understood only in a few years | Julius Wiedemann | STIRworld
The effects of the acceleration of remote work is going to be understood only in a few years Image: Courtesy of Julius Wiedemann

Julius Wiedemann comments on the anticipated paradigm shift in economies, caused by the acceleration of remote work and digital technologies.

14. Digital Legacies: Self-determination

Image of a human brain | Digital Legacies: Self-determination | Julius Wiedemann | STIRworld
Image of a human brain Image: Courtesy of Julius Wiedemann

Julius Wiedemann explores how self-determination works as an important tool to aid personal and professional growth, and helps individuals develop a sense of ownership.

15. Digital Legacies: Criticism

The rating screen for online reviews | Digital Legacies: Criticism | Julius Wiedemann | STIRworld
The rating screen for online reviews Image: Courtesy of Julius Wiedemann

Julius Wiedemann delves into how criticism is communicated through technology and if forms of online moderation for opinions and ratings are a necessary evil to combat an excess of information.

16. Digital Legacies: The Original

Avatars | Digital Legacies: The original | Julius Wiedemann | STIRworld
Avatars Image: Courtesy of Julius Wiedemann

Julius Wiedemann questions the concept of ‘the original’ in an increasingly digitised world, and explores the significance of reality and physicality in the digital realm.

17. Digital Legacies: Final Product

TikTok’s first talent competition | Digital Legacies | Julius Wiedemann | STIRworld
TikTok’s first talent competition Image: Courtesy of Julius Wiedemann

Julius Wiedemann discusses the dynamic process that lead towards a final product and the possibilities of user interaction at every stage in the digital world.

18. Digital Legacies: Communities

A graphic for Communities being connected across the world | Digital Legacies: Communities | Julius Wiedemann | STIRworld
A graphic for Communities being connected across the world Image: Courtesy of Julius Wiedemann

Julius Wiedemann delves into the meaning of community and how togetherness works on digital platforms.

19. Digital Legacies: Careers

Virtual team meeting | Digital Legacies: Careers | Julius Wiedemann | STIRworld
Virtual team meeting Image: Courtesy of Julius Wiedemann

Julius Wiedemann questions the connotations of career in a fast-moving digital world and how human skills and technology can work together for the future.

20. Digital Legacies: Simulation

Forms of connectivity around the globe | Digital Legacies: Simulation | Julius Wiedemann | STIRworld
Forms of connectivity around the globe Image: Courtesy of Julius Wiedemann

Julius Wiedemann explores the possibilities of the future in the realm of simulations and how predictions can drive us to think beyond our world.

21. Digital Legacies: Zoom (macro to micro)

Digital Business | Digital Legacies: Zoom (macro to micro) | STIRworld
Digital Business Image: Courtesy of Julius Wiedemann

Julius Wiedemann hones in on how data is understood, processed, and scrutinised at a macro to a micro level and how data analytics impact our lives

22. Digital Legacies: Designing influence

Duga antenna was designed to detect anti-ballistic missiles from the west | Digital Legacies: Designing influence | STIRworld
Duga antenna designed to detect anti-ballistic missiles from the west Image: Courtesy of Julius Wiedemann

Julius Wiedemann talks about power and control in terms of how we think and perceive our realities and how much of it can be influenced by silent psychological moves.

23. Digital Legacies: Stimulation

Different types of online avatars | Digital Legacies: Stimulation | STIRworld
Different types of online avatars Image: Courtesy of Julius Wiedemann

Julius Wiedemann discusses the habit-building effects of the constant stimulations of the digital world, and how reminders and notifications have become a part of our everyday movement.

24. Digital Legacies: Activism

Julius Wiedemann discusses ‘Hactivism’ and online activism | Digital Legacies: Activism | STIRworld
Julius Wiedemann discusses ‘Hactivism’ and online activism Image: Courtesy of Julius Wiedemann

Julius Wiedemann debates the role of online activism and how it has impacted the world in the last two decades, from politics to social media and the internet’s trolling culture.

25. Digital Legacies: Privacy

Privacy and online data | Digital Legacies: Privacy | STIRworld
Privacy and online data Image: Courtesy of Julius Wiedemann

Julius Wiedemann observes and dissects user privacy online; from data being surveyed and collected from free platforms such as youtube and Facebook to 5G and its implications.

26. Digital Legacies: Self-Employment

Digital Legacies: Self-Employment | Julius Wiedemann | STIRworld
Digital Legacies: Self-Employment Image: Courtesy of Julius Wiedemann

Julius Wiedemann evaluates the state of post pandemic workspace, the shifts in the system and virtues to nurture in the new world.

27. Digital Legacies: Non-linear Competition

Digital Legacies: Non-linear Competition | Julius Wiedemann | STIRworld
Digital Legacies: Non-linear Competition Image: Courtesy of Julius Wiedemann

Julius Wiedemann decodes the success matrix of digital companies, the business of competition and the importance of pleasure and purpose in the online space.

28. Digital Legacies: Fingers

Digital Legacies: Fingers | Julius Wiedemann | STIRworld
Digital Legacies: Fingers Image: Courtesy of Julius Wiedemann

Julius Wiedemann delves into the shift in ways we are accessing and interacting with our screen-based world and observes that fingers might now become obsolete.

29. Digital Legacies: Anonymity

Anonymity | Digital Legacies | Julius Wiedemann | STIRworld
Digital Legacies: Anonymity Image: Courtesy of Julius Wiedemann

Julius Wiedemann investigates the architecture of ‘anonymity’ in the online space today, deeming it as a quest worth reflecting on and one of the greatest luxuries of our time.

30. Digital Legacies: Surveillance

We are observed in real time in most places | Digital Legacies: Surveillance | STIRworld
We are observed in real time in most places Image: Courtesy of Julius Wiedemann

Julius Wiedemann explores how data collection systems have subtly embedded themselves into every facet of modern-day living, with their tradeoffs and potential for misuse.

31. Digital Legacies: Art

“Everydays: The First 5000 Days,” by Mike Winkelmann | Digital Legacies | STIRworld
“Everydays: The First 5000 Days,” by Mike Winkelmann Image: Courtesy of Julius Wiedemann

Julius Wiedemann dissects cryptocurrencies, NFTs, and the quantifiable value of tangible art in an increasingly digital world.

32. Digital Legacies: Value

The value of racism is not a good one, as well as misogyny | Digital Legacies by Julius Wiedemann | STIRworld
The value of racism is not a good one, as well as misogyny Image: Courtesy of Julius Wiedemann

Julius Wiedemann explores the ideas and consequences behind differing values and generational divides as they shape a world in constant flux.

33. Digital Legacies: War

Despite living in times of relative peace, we still bear witness to an unending chain of violence that is now aided and abetted by technology | Digital Legacies | STIRworld
Despite living in times of relative peace, we still bear witness to an unending chain of violence that is now aided and abetted by technology Image: Courtesy of Julius Wiedemann

Julius Wiedemann sheds light on the nature of armed conflicts along with their consequences and representations in the media during the current technological age.

34. Digital Legacies: Control

The possibility to control vast numbers of people has become a reality with technology such as GPS tracking to facial recognition | Digital Legacies : Control | STIRworld
The possibility to control vast numbers of people has become a reality with technology such as GPS tracking to facial recognition Image: Courtesy of Julius Wiedemann

Julius Wiedemann unravels the global web of surveillance, tracking and monitoring systems used to constrain and sway the actions and will of humankind.

35. Digital Legacies: Escape

The pandemic has forced workplaces and businesses to shift online, leaving physical spaces empty | Digital Legacies: Escape | STIRworld
The pandemic has forced workplaces and businesses to shift online, leaving physical spaces empty Image: Courtesy of Julius Wiedemann

Julius Wiedemann discusses how online and personal environments, of work and pleasure, have transformed and are here to stay, to adapt to the continuing COVID-19 global pandemic.

36. Digital Legacies: Trade

As one of the most powerful tools for peace in history, trade is rooted in the concept of interdependence | Digital Legacies by Julius Wiedemann | STIRworld
As one of the most powerful tools for peace in history, trade is rooted in the concept of interdependence Image: Courtesy of Julius Wiedemann

Julius Wiedemann traces the evolution of links between trade and international relations, arriving at their current manifestations in the modern digital world.

37. Digital Legacies: Ecosystems

We all live in ecosystems, both natural and digital, that are essential to navigate the world we live in | Digital Legacies by Julius Wiedemann | STIRworld
We all live in ecosystems, both natural and digital, that are essential to navigate the world we live in Image: Courtesy of Julius Wiedemann

Julius Wiedemann breaks down the interwoven web of systems, products and services orchestrated to engage and interconnect every aspect of our daily lives.

38. Digital Legacies: Popularity

Kondzilla, formerly a video maker for funk singers in Brazilian favelas, is now one of the country’s most celebrated screenwriters | Digital Legacies: Popularity | STIRworld
Kondzilla, formerly a video maker for funk singers in Brazilian favelas, is now one of the country’s most celebrated screenwriters Image: Courtesy of Julius Wiedemann

Julius Wiedemann analyses current definitions of popularity, honing in on how digitalisation has granted greater all-round access, contrasted by demands for constant interaction.

39. Digital Legacies: Opinion

Today, we are taught to have an opinion on everything and it is easy to form one without any basis in credible fact | Digital Legacies by Julius Wiedemann | STIRworld
Today, we are taught to have an opinion on everything and it is easy to form one without any basis in credible fact Image: Courtesy of Julius Wiedemann

Julius Wiedemann dissects current communication systems, illuminating our susceptibility to misinformation and unquenchable desire to express views in the digital sphere.

40. Digital Legacies: Perfection

Our brains have always been the ultimate reference for perfection, with over 86 billion constituent neurons efficiently processing countless activities | Digital Legacies: Perfection | STIRworld
Our brains have always been the ultimate reference for perfection, with over 86 billion constituent neurons efficiently processing countless activities Image: Courtesy of Julius Wiedemann

Julius Wiedemann examines humankind’s unyielding pursuit of perfection, its effects on technological evolution, and potential to reshape the world through the lens of sustainability.

41. Digital Legacies: Nature

While technology has brought immense prosperity to some, it has created a vacuum of understanding for others | Digital Legacies: Nature | STIRworld
While technology has brought immense prosperity to some, it has created a vacuum of understanding for others Image: Courtesy of Julius Wiedemann

Julius Wiedemann traces the evolution of relationships between technology and nature throughout history while delving into what they may spell out for the future.

42. Digital Legacies: Fraud

The digital world offers a variety of routes for fraud to be traced back | Digital Legacies by Julius Wiedemann | STIRworld
The digital world offers a variety of routes for fraud to be traced back Image: Courtesy of Julius Wiedemann

Julius Wiedemann explores the various manifestations of deceit and the threats we expose ourselves to while living in a technologically integrated society.

43. Digital Legacies: Nowhere, everywhere

The tension from constant connectivity in big cities creates a desire to unplug from the world | Digital Legacies by Julius Wiedemann | STIRworld
The tension from constant connectivity in big cities creates a desire to unplug from the world Image: Courtesy of Julius Wiedemann

Julius Wiedemann analyses the merits and drawbacks of constant information exchange in a perpetually connected world, and the blurring lines between real and virtual experiences.

44. Digital Legacies: Existence

What might make our planet uninhabitable, is our inability to reach a consensus on how we are to share this ‘Pale Blue Dot’ | Digital Legacies: Existence | STIRworld
What might make our planet uninhabitable, is our inability to reach a consensus on how we are to share this ‘Pale Blue Dot’ Image: Courtesy of Julius Wiedemann

Julius Wiedemann decodes the motives behind the privatised space race, its potential effects on tourism, and the need to cooperate in conserving the world we currently inhabit.

45. Digital Legacies: Management

Companies and professionals today use ready-made systems relying on real-time feedback | Digital Legacies: Management | STIRworld
Companies and professionals today use ready-made systems relying on real-time feedback Image: Courtesy of Julius Wiedemann

Julius Wiedemann delves into the evolution of modern business environments, their inherent generational divides, and the effects of ready-made systems and real-time feedback loops.

46. Digital Legacies: Power Struggle

The unlawful arrest of Belarusian journalist Roman Protasevich is emblematic of the desperation shown by autocratic governments | Digital Legacies by Julius Wiedemann | STIRworld
The unlawful arrest of Belarusian journalist Roman Protasevich is emblematic of the desperation shown by autocratic governments Image: Courtesy of Julius Wiedemann

Julius Wiedemann analyses the current climate of information control and its relation to the media’s new role of simultaneously reporting on and influencing  global power struggles.

47. Digital Legacies: Transportation

The manner in which we move people and things from one place to another has changed dramatically in recent years | Digital Legacies by Julius Wiedemann | STIRworld
The manner in which we move people and things from one place to another has changed dramatically in recent years Image: Courtesy of Julius Wiedemann

Julius Wiedemann discusses dramatic recent advances in mobility resulting from the onset of location tracking alongside the introduction of autonomous and airborne vehicles.

48. Digital Legacies: Switch

Being present in a moment entails becoming fully aware of what transpires around you, in order to relish the experience and absorb information | Digital Legacies by Julius Wiedemann | STIRworld
Being present in a moment entails becoming fully aware of what transpires around you, in order to relish the experience and absorb information Image: Courtesy of Julius Wiedemann

Julius Wiedemann examines the mental strain and attention deficits induced by contemporary demands for multitasking and constant engagement with digital media.

49. Digital Legacies: Music

The introduction of music streaming services has dramatically altered business models within the music industry | Digital Legacies by Julius Wiedemann | STIRworld
The introduction of music streaming services has dramatically altered business models within the music industry Image: Courtesy of Julius Wiedemann

Julius Wiedemann dives into the metamorphosis of the modern music industry, brought on by the introduction of digital tools and the democratisation of recording and releases.

50. Digital Legacies: Ageing

Generation gaps are an ever-present aspect of nearly all forms of contemporary debates | Digital Legacies by Julius Wiedemann | STIRworld
Generation gaps are an ever-present aspect of nearly all forms of contemporary debates Image: Courtesy of Julius Wiedemann

Julius Wiedemann decodes generation gaps, nostalgia, evolving work environments, and the new skill sets required to survive in a technologically advanced society.

51. Digital Legacies: Development

The National Welfare Rights Organization marching to end hunger | Development | Digital Legacies | Julius Wiedemann | STIRworld
The National Welfare Rights Organization marching to end hunger Image: Courtesy of Julius Wiedemann

Julius Wiedemann talks about the notion of freedom, and how social and technological changes empower each other.

52. Digital Legacies: Cooperation

New technologies open doors for different models of management and working relationships | Digital Legacies by Julius Wiedemann | STIRworld
New technologies open doors for different models of management and working relationships Image: Courtesy of Julius Wiedemann

Julius Wiedemann outlines new models of corporate management that have come to the fore in the digital age as well as the concepts and values necessary for their optimisation.

53. Digital Legacies: Humility

The rate at which technology is advancing is a fearsome prospect and we must be humble about our ability to comprehend the consequences of such progress | Digital Legacies by Julius Wiedemann | STIRworld
The rate at which technology is advancing is a fearsome prospect and we must be humble about our ability to comprehend the consequences of such progress Image: Courtesy of Julius Wiedemann

Julius Wiedemann analyses the effects of humanity’s limited capacity to comprehend consequences of the digital revolution and the need for humility in approaching new concepts.

54. Digital Legacies: Climate Change

It has become more difficult to dispute the consequences of climate change due to the rampant increase in natural disasters alongside improved climate modelling systems | Digital Legacies by Julius Wiedemann | STIRworld
It has become more difficult to dispute the consequences of climate change due to the rampant increase in natural disasters alongside improved climate modelling systems Image: Courtesy of Julius Wiedemann

Julius Wiedemann discusses the transformation of attitudes towards man-made climate change with improved climate modelling technology and increases in extreme weather phenomena.

55. Digital Legacies: Naming

With the sheer number of brands currently operating across the world, the creation of unique names has become harder than ever | Digital Legacies by Julius Wiedemann | STIRworld
With the sheer number of brands currently operating across the world, the creation of unique names has become harder than ever Image: Courtesy of Julius Wiedemann

Julius Wiedemann delves into the present-day competition over naming rights and recognition, with regards to their applications in online domains, branding, and social media.

56. Digital Legacies: Valuation

Tesla’s emergence at the auto industry’s vanguard reflects a paradigm shift towards financial valuation based on the evolutionary scope of types of technology | Digital Legacies by Julius Wiedemann | STIRworld
Tesla’s emergence at the auto industry’s vanguard reflects a paradigm shift towards financial valuation based on the evolutionary scope of types of technology Image: Courtesy of Julius Wiedemann

Julius Wiedemann explores prevailing systems of financial valuation and the paradigm shifts they have catalysed in various global markets and sectors.

57. Digital Legacies: Rebranding

Facebook has been rebranded as Meta; CEO Mark Zuckerberg at F8 2019 | Digital Legacies: Rebranding | STIRworld
Facebook has been rebranded as Meta; CEO Mark Zuckerberg at F8 2019 Image: Courtesy of Meta

Julius Wiedemann investigates Facebook’s rebranding as Meta, where CEO Mark Zuckerberg plans to build the “metaverse”, a digital world comprising AR and VR headsets.

58. Digital Legacies: Politics

The delivery industry is now a major player in the growing global gig economy | Digital Legacies by Julius Wiedemann | STIRworld
The delivery industry is now a major player in the growing global gig economy Image: Courtesy of Julius Wiedemann

Julius Wiedemann examines the emergence of on-demand delivery services, with regards to their exponential growth, strong market allure, and grand designs for global expansion.

59. Digital Legacies: Politics

Technology has changed the face of contemporary politics, transforming it into a game of communication and manipulating information | Digital Legacies by Julius Wiedemann | STIRworld
Technology has changed the face of contemporary politics, transforming it into a game of communication and manipulating information Image: Courtesy of Julius Wiedemann

Julius Wiedemann dives into how technology has transformed the systems and practices behind the game of contemporary politics, along with the unscrupulous tactics it now involves.

60. Digital Legacies: Naivety

The death of naivety in contemporary society comes at a time where rampant misinformation and manipulation are spread in the name of compliance | Digital Legacies by Julius Wiedemann | STIRworld
The death of naivety in contemporary society comes at a time where rampant misinformation and manipulation are spread in the name of compliance Image: Courtesy of Julius Wiedemann

Julius Wiedemann dives into the death of naivety and the need to be hyper aware of heinous misinformation and manipulative tactics employed by individuals and societal institutions.

61. Digital Legacies: Business as Unusual

A look at technology led hubs and start-ups in the city of Shenzhen, China | Digital Legacies: Business as unusual | STIRworld
A look at technology led hubs and start-ups in the city of Shenzhen, China Image: Courtesy of Julius Wiedemann

Julius Wiedemann contemplates the boom and prevalence of tech-led start-ups from all over the world, fitting into our commercial and capitalist lifestyles with technology at the core.

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