From Politics to Cybernetic:

Evolving Connections

by Léa Gontard, TEDxEcublens Reporter

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After seeing the evolution of connections in the different discussion spaces, the matter of cyberspace and public knowledge arises. Since 1990 a new public space has expanded, the World Wide Web. Two social groups are to be distinguished, whether the individuals were born before or after this turning point. The former had to adapt their lives and habits to fit in this modern world, while the latter grew up with it. Virtual communities evolved and crossed physical borders. Thinkers and scientists have worked towards the regulatory system of this «civilization of the mind »and in 1996 John Perry Barlow, Pioneer of the Free Internet and poet, published «A Declaration Of The Independence Of Cyberspace ». Modeled on the declaration of independence of the United States, it advocated a free and self-regulating space independent of the states. Nevertheless, with the increasing number of internet connections and uses of technologies, cyberspace changed over the years and those initial beliefs with it. Even though some aspects were changing for the worst, some were for the best, and we will develop a few of them in the following article. The digital as a software tool enabled countless innovations, which still implement new networks today and get us a little more connected. All those changes widen the power of connections and challenge our representations.

As an immediate response, we decided to enlighten some of those crucial issues with the approach of two past TEDxEcublens speakers, Enrique Alvarado and Niels Weber, who wanted to share their ideas, prospects, and ambitions.

 

Enrique Alvarado, enthusiast of blockchain technology and crypto asset management, illustrated how to connect and build through digital on a new level that could revolutionize investment and economy, through cryptocurrency and blockchain.

The main idea would be to democratize investments through those digital currencies, which needless middlemen or transaction fees. It would permit many projects around the world to have a chance to flourish with the funding they need. On a larger scale, it would also help to determine what value we can attribute to something immaterial. The funding being digital and the projects being physical, like farms or shops all over the world. Mr. Alvarado connected the dots and established that «We are developing new solutions using blockchain for impact investing. […] The reality is that digitalization and connectivity, like blockchain, will be the key to the development of the next generations. The key is to embrace the change. ». Eventually, these digital currencies allow us to overcome the physical and logistical boundaries we have today, to found real projects all over the world.

 

Niels Weber, Psychologist-Psychotherapist Consultant and president of the Gaming Federation aspires to understand and support the social and personal development in the virtual sphere. He is currently working with young people and their families on the matter of video games. He balanced both points of view and discovered that those virtual games were not the enemy strictly speaking. According to his researches, it could help children to gain confidence and sharpen their interests in front of other players. Therefore, it is important for the family to be supportive and to acknowledge this part of the context. He also clarifies that «as in all cultures, there is a good side and a not-so-good side of video-games, but the more we create the opportunity for players, especially the youngest ones, to express their feelings, the more they will be capable of identifying the not-so-good side. ». Parents are right too with their apprehensions. However talking and trying to understand allow us to equip young people to discern the traps and to become responsible users, as well as responsible adults. Ultimately, being curious and willing to understand what children are experiencing and seeking in these games could lead to a better perception of the children themselves and help them self-manage in this digital, yet consequential world.

 

As discussed throughout this TedXEcublens edition, the power of digital connections is not to be proven anymo re. What is up for discussion is which way to go next, in a time where every decision can lead to unpredictable chain reactions. We have provided some insights into the debate, but here ends our mission. It is now up to you to make an educated guess. Now is your time.