Nicole Frischlich: The new man

Foresight has always preoccupied us. Our thinking ahead invariably implies a life full of “simplifications”. Admittedly, we would like to give up more and more responsibility. Driving a car without thinking – buying food and exercising without running.

We would like to have a lot of knowledge, but please quite easy and without cramming vocabulary. A voice that leads us successfully through life and health that never feels pain. Everything should be simple and regulated – so life would be wonderful and noble.

Don’t we enjoy to sit in the middle of the city, passing bodies staring at us. Recently an artist friend sent me a picture. A scene in monochrome colours showing a man sideways, staring out of the window. The words I was allowed to read about it made me shudder: “I saw this guy at Starbucks today, no iPhone, no tablet, no laptop. He just sat there drinking coffee. Somehow creepy.

I felt caught. How many times have I sat in the city, somewhere in a café, pulling out the smartphone just to dive into another world. I forgot what was going on around me. Because it’s uninteresting? Because it doesn’t demand my senses? Do I drink coffee at all or what am I pouring into my throat? There was a time when I went to cafés to write. I sat in front of my laptop and hammered letter by letter together. There too I had escaped the current events and was completely in my world of imagination and memories. I used to sit in front of hot chocolate with a book when I was still a young girl.

Other times entice and tempt the thoughts to be able to turn the clock. How would that be? Could we correct the “disgraceful course” or treat the verbal attack of another Homo sapiens wiser? Often we are simply missing the right words emotionally in verbal assaults? What would be easier if an implant would guide us to the optimum? Or how about jumping through time? It would also be exciting to explore a parallel universe? An infinite number of possibilities would present themselves and optimize life! Anyway, that’s how we think. Ramifications would develop – when decisions are pending which we hesitate to choose. We would like to be able to see the future, have control over everything and anything and with as little risk as possible! We would like to trustingly listen to a technical “Alexa” who beats us to a successful life with soft tonal blows and we could swim in the waves of success without any responsibility. If everything were so wonderfully simple?

Already we can transfer a lot of responsibility to technology. More and more it is entering our lives. Surveillance has become an important word that frightens us, but has not shocked us in a long time. It doesn’t bother us, but becomes our mundane companion. Like ants we run through everyday life, dream of an “easy tomorrow” and struggle with stamina and are full of fears. Values that maintain a social fabric are increasingly being queried. Don’t the elderly always deny “technical developments”? Will there ever be a standstill? The end of the flagpole – will it ever happen? And if so, do we even know?

This Text was translated by our Fan and Friend Heidrun Klemmer.