The Adventures of a Technoshaman Guiding Collective Realities – Virtually

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I have recently been connected with the creator of this digital artifact as he, like myself, is exploring the use of technology, story and creativity to inspire movement towards a more sustainable planet. He calls himself a ‘Technoshaman’ and from reviewing his artifact his magical abilities are truly apparent.

Angus (Technoshaman) is using the power of digital technology to show people the effect of their actions, bringing the user on a journey from present to future realities, depicting, presenting and inspiring timelines, as shamans do, utilizing the beauty of story. Showcasing what the future will look like if we continue on current timelines and what it will look like if we change our actions.

He invites open collaboration and community building – on a possibly similar idea to open street map. Except Technoshaman is envisioning ‘alt.city worlds and cross link narratives and characters’. He is using digital tools to inspire future city planning, correlating data on the rising sea level against our current infrastructure, in this ‘Story World’.

His ‘Big Idea’ is I believe still an idea, but one I feel is infused with palpable intelligence, seeds of golden innovation, offering a direct, creative and somewhat magical response to our current planetary needs. I feel it is projects like this that need to be cared for and supported as it inspires true innovation in a connected world. It is projects like this that Lawrence Lessig speaks of, and is playing his part to protect as is depicted in ‘The Future of ideas”.

In one sense Technoshaman takes the fantasy out of the game, matching ‘the content’ to our current real life situation, this may reflect the current trend away from fantasy reality and identity towards a more authentic presence and a move towards what is ‘real’ on the internet as Koster speaks about in his article on open democracy.

However Technoshaman still holds an element of otherworldliness and fantasy as he weaves the vision rather magically – which I believe is necessary when enticing users to get involved with information that is more real than most of our everyday reality! Information that most would rather push under the virtual carpet so to say, information regarding our current planetary crisis.

Perhaps many people are attracted to virtual worlds such as There as they offer a space where one can live in a sort of utopia, not having to deal with the limitations and pain of our current reality, this is promised as part of the ‘deal’ when signing up.

“There is everything you’ve ever imagined and wished for. It’s the place you’ve dreamed about; it’s all the good things in life, and if you can’t find them, you can make them. It’s a place where your spirit can soar and you can fly—literally.”

It is rather genius when you reflect on how Technoshaman is using this same digital space, however enticing people to connect with and get involved in the truth of our shared reality, constructively and creatively.

“The movement now is towards people-led social evolutions, chosen, designed and implemented by the people themselves. Knowing that the ‘Government-corporation-military complex-Greed Machine’ does not have our interests and health as concerns, the people have been meeting in public open forums across the world, using horizontal democracy methodologies to figure out how They themselves can solve their local problems and develop future plans. To imagine a future city you want, and to blend it with the communal vision, is to activate the manifestation of this dream.”

What I also found interesting in Kosters article was his plea for a new use of virtual and game based technology.

“But to someone who cut his virtual world teeth on more immersive, 3D environments like There and Second Life, these never-ending announcements of new companies trying to jump on the social gaming bandwagon have left me with one nagging question: Where is the innovation?”

How Koster answered the question:

“The innovation lies in making something that matters to ordinary people.”

I feel this digital artifact I speak of holds seeds of true innovation as it is envisioning something that is hugely important to all people, ordinary and every other type – our shared home, Earth, Gaia.

It envisions using creativity, storytelling, open source technology, linked data, and cross-cultural collaboration to weave a beautiful response to our planetary needs – envisioning a harmonious future, becoming involved with this vision through action, virtual city planning and story.

I truly admire this vision as many aspects of it reminds me of my own, quite literally, showcasing how there is a greater intelligence underlying and weaving through all. The Anima Mundi as it is called in the life sciences, which is calling intelligent innovation to emerge within society through the genius of technology, among other things. Innovation that is a response to what matters – which seems to me, may show up rather magically amongst Techoshamans globally.

I feel true innovation will emerge in virtual world game design when we get real about what’s important. Not another war game, not another walking penguin advertisement, not another virtual farm revenue stream. True innovation will happen with projects like this that look beyond revenue, advertising and profit building schemes towards questioning simply how digital technology can assist humanity, how digital tools can assist our shared home and most importantly our ‘internal’ growth – questioning ecology – rather deeply, as we consider how the internet reflects our shared mind space.

Continuing with this thread of musing I ask, are projects like the Technoshamans reflecting our move collectively from a disconnected war mind mentality towards a connected society? This I question in my article on nature vs technology. If what is happening on the Internet (which connects us beyond space/time) is showcasing trends in our collective consciousness then projects such as Technoshamans are truly pioneering, enlightening – possibly showcasing the seeds of innovation that are inspiring and depicting our move as a collective society out of fear, out of war mentality, out of closed system thinking towards a inter-connected society. I therefore applaud and celebrate this digital artifact as it is reflecting back to the collective this shared move towards connection, collaboration, peace and I dare to say unity – perhaps projects like this are positively inspiring our ‘Morphic Field Resonance’ – that shared field of consciousness that we exist in.

It is the shamans responsibility to move and guide people through our quantum realities, through our collective mind space where the past, present and future reside simultaneously, so it is not surprising to see a project as pioneering as this being led by a Technoshaman, poetically beautiful.

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Humans Being Data

 

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Sometimes I like to muse on Digital Humanities as the marriage of the mind and heart. ‘Digital’ representing the logical, binary, data orientated mind and ‘humanities’ representing the living, non-tangible essence of the heart.

In this passion fueled article I felt the burning invitation of Miriam Posner to all digital humanists to shift into exploring the living, non-tangible space, calling on our ingenuity to re-imagine data, possibly, in my own interpretation, – as ‘living’ data.

I say ‘our’ as I too am a digital humanist, a digital humanist who shares Posners drive towards foundational change. “It would require dismantling and rebuilding much of the organizing logic, like the data models or databases, that underlies most our work.” For me, Posner’s fiery words bring Einstein’s logic to mind.

“We can not solve our problems with the same level of thinking that created them”

What Posner is calling for in my opinion is a radical shift in how we view data. The writing displayed on the image of ‘The Knotted line’, which looks deeply at the structures of injustice and inequality in the United States, sums it up beautifully.

“When has a decision been made about your life without your input or voice?”

“When have you made a decision about another person’s life without their input?”

This, in my opinion is happening consistently everyday as each individual in society morphs into some form of metadata. Another statistic, another piece of information, data, that can be used to analyze, study, inform this, that or the other.

What I feel is missing in the current interpretation of data is ‘the living essence’ of this data, the beauty, the mystery, the soul. I feel Posner holds a key to the answer she is questioning in her article when she writes about the Aboriginal Australian map.

This map immediately transports us from the flattened world of data structures into a three dimensional network of organized, meaningful information. As is shared in Posners article, this knowledge network is living in essence, holding the wisdom of and connection with the ancestors in dreamtime. A connection that must be actively maintained through activity, singing, dancing and painting.

Unlike the current maps us westerners are accustomed to, these dhulaŋ (maps) – seem to be not just maps of the landscapes, but also maps of how to live in harmony with nature, maintaining the beauty passed down by the ancestors. They teach of morals and values such as respect and hidden meaning of transcendental worlds.

“Children can learn to have respect for the wäŋa in this way and the wäyin (game animals) that live there, and learn to mind it properly. If they don’t do that it will take its revenge. Gulumbu Yunupiŋu, 1987”

These indigenous maps move us from disconnected data towards a living presence that calls for beauty, admiration, respect and awe. We deeply engage with the information as we connect with it on many levels, not just something to be analyzed by the mind – but something to be felt and engaged with by the heart – a compass, a map for living and engaging with this world. “Thus the landscape, knowledge, story, song, graphic representation and social relations all mutually interact, forming one cohesive knowledge network.”

I believe for us digital humanists to begin changing how we view, represent, shape, interact and recreate data we need to engage with it on a fundamentally different level. We need to invite the living presence of the data to inform us. We may look towards living system theorists for inspiration, chaos and complexity perhaps. Or towards ancient wisdom holders such as the aboriginal community mentioned in Posners article. Or we could come even closer to home and explore the living intelligence of our own heart – the space that many of the indigenous wisdom elders believe connects us all. I do not have the answers but I feel these ‘spaces’ may offer some insight into how we may re-imagine and re-create the categories and data that structure and represent people’s lives.

“So maybe this is the thrill we can work toward — the thrill in capturing people’s lived experience in radical ways, ways that are productive and generative and probably angry, too.”

Yes, angry, because anger is capturing the living emotion. Lets make data angry, lets make it joyful, ecstatic, lets as digital humanists aspire towards representing the true nature of data – LIFE!

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CiaraJosephine.com by Ciara Josephine is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.
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