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 Wiedemann Published 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.

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