Calm Technologies as the Future Goal of Information Technologies

Calm Technologies as the Future Goal of Information Technologies

Alexandru Tugui (Al I. Cuza University, Romania)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60566-014-1.ch026
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Abstract

The evolution of the human society over the last 50,000 years has been greatly influenced by technology. The last 200 years have brought about technological achievements at a breathtaking speed. For about six decades, we have been the beneficiaries of the information technologies, which have acquired, over the last 20-25 years, due to the communication technology, an exponential proliferation. In an ideal world, computers will blend into the landscape, will inform but not overburden you with information, and make you aware of them only when you need them. Therefore, the human being is a mere subject of technology, and his everyday life has become increasingly stressing. In order to diminish this stress, solutions have been considered, designed to “tame” the technologies that the human being uses, so as to become calm technologies, that is, technologies that affect neither the human life nor the environment. We can say that everything that surrounds us is technology! Be it or not natural, It influences the environment we live in. Here is a serious reason for every technology to be calm! This article basically deals with the concept of calm technologies and with the characteristics that should be emphasized in the field of the information and communication technologies aimed at turning them into calm technologies.
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Introduction

Everything that surrounds us is technology! Be it or not natural, It influences the environment we live in. Here is a serious reason for every technology to be calm!

The evolution of the human society over the last 50,000 years has been greatly influenced by technology. The last 200 years have brought about technological achievements at a breathtaking speed. For about six decades, we have been the beneficiaries of the information technologies, which have acquired, over the last 20-25 years, due to the communication technology, an exponential proliferation. In an ideal world, computers will blend into the landscape, will inform but not overburden you with information, and make you aware of them only when you need them. Therefore, the human being is a mere subject of technology, and his everyday life has become increasingly stressing.

In order to diminish this stress, solutions have been considered, designed to “tame” the technologies that the human being uses, so as to become calm technologies, that is, technologies that affect neither the human life nor the environment.

We can say that everything that surrounds us is technology! Be it or not natural, It influences the environment we live in. Here is a serious reason for every technology to be calm!

This article basically deals with the concept of calm technologies and with the characteristics that should be emphasized in the field of the information and communication technologies aimed at turning them into calm technologies.

Is There a Law of Global Calmness?

We believe YES! From a distance, any system leaves us with the impression that it is dominated by a global silence. Yet sometimes, there occur phenomena and processes that influence this global silence. We mean, for instance, the occurrence of a supernova in our galaxy (for example, the observations of the Chinese of 1054 A.D. about the appearance of a supernova). (Figure 1)

Figure 1.

Galaxies seen from 8 million light years1 (left), and 2 million galaxies2 (right)

We believe that our universe is a calm universe. At its turn, our solar system is a system with a high degree of calmness, that is, planets have stable routes and are not “absorbed” by their sun and there are “suppliers” of global calmness (we mean the giant planets that draw “intruders” into the system).

As for the Earth, seen from space it seems a huge “oasis of calmness,” where almost nothing happens. As we get closer, we see this calmness affected by natural phenomena and processes or by the avalanche of technologies invented by man.

Regarding the appearance of life, we think that it appeared there where it was best and favorable for its development, against a background of minimal global calmness. Any perturbation of this minimal calmness leads irreversibly to life damaging. We sustain that life could not have appeared on Earth if this had not made available to it a quiet, calm environment. To this respect, specialists believe that the disappearance of dinosaurs is the result of the clash between Earth and a large body (of about 10 km) that would have led to the troubling of the existing calmness on Earth, with direct effects on the life of that time.

We can say that everything that surrounds us is technology! Be it or not natural, It influences the environment we live in. Here is a serious reason for every technology to be calm!

Therefore, we all agree that the technologies used by man in day to day life are dangerous, as they overlap with natural processes and phenomena and may influence negatively the minimal conditions to maintain life. This is why we have to prevent our technologies from disturbing this calmness.

Generally speaking, we think that in all systems there is an orientation to a global calmness specific to its own development stage. In other words, we may say that there is a law of global calmness to which any system is directed.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Calm Technology: Understand that technology that does not affect life or environment in which (or for which) it produced.

Bio-Techno-System: Hybrid systems between biological systems and technical systems, by means of computer (science).

Information Technologies: Collections of technological fields that develop simultaneously and interdependently.

Information Society: Information-based society.

Internet: A network of all networks.

Knowledge: Information with sense.

Aggressive Technology: The technology that is not calm.

Cyberspace: Space of action for information and communication technologies.

Digital Economy: The networking of the economic entities, by entity’s flow and process digitalization and by the creation and the exchange of digital assets (virtual assets) against the background of the physical extension and the development of Internet.

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