day 11, 12. berlin
tonight, i leave berlin. in it's simple beauty, this city is just amazing. while i can't point to a single moment in time, i really like berlin.
the past three days have blessed me with an unique opportunity. not only was i able to interview three really unique individuals, but i also had the opportunity to share the house of two good friends and break bread with their new york friends.
when i departed, i was sad that my dear friends could not join me. after spending four days and three nights, i saw parts of myself i had not seen. the reflexive quality of this journey has yet to be fully understood, but knowing that a quarter an earth away reside a group of people who understand you is comforting. finding those same type of people on a random to berlin is even more comforting.
while i didn't see half of the things i should have seen as a tourist, that doesn't bother me. the time spent interviewing regine from we make money not art, dave from twittervision and travis, a budding entrapenure, couldn't have been better spent.
buried deep within the conversation with regine, dave and travis we spoke briefly about technology symbiosis, the future human cyborg, and dental care.
ok, they may seem a bit abstract, but here's the gist. long ago someone told me i was a cyborg. when you take the new oxford american dictionary "a fictional or hypothetical person whose physical abilities are extended beyond normal human limitations by mechanical elements built into the body."
then you remove "fictional or hypothetical" you can use the definition to describe someone wearing glasses, uses dialysis, takes medicine or has implants of some sort... the person we are now defining uses technology to augment their limitations.
if i asked a majority of you how you use your cell phones, 99% would say for communication. the other 1% use it for pleasure... in my mind, a cell phone, a computer, a network connection are all extensions of the human network. (editors note - yes, i know that's a cisco advertising phrase.)
that human network is alive and the connections on the digital network are also alive. too frequently to we mistake digital communications as impersonal. the advent of sony placing a camera within the confines of a laptop might have been to sell more laptops, but it eventually spurred many clones.
some may say with digital networks growing faster and ubiquitous, we have reached the dawn of a new era. i disagree, we are just moving along.
BUT at times we don't think of the consequences of this digital acceptance. my friend's at greenpeace have always made a good argument when it comes to technology. we need to be greener. we need to think about the over all consequences of the hyper connected world we participate within.
we have the power to enlighten our bad habits and explore our obscured connections. we have the power to use mechanical elements to explore the beauty of humanity and make this place better.
ok, did i really see all of that in berlin? well not really.
the long history of germany and the division between capitalists and communist was clear and present. the duality of a pacifist west and a militant east, and the subsequent rise of an east/west art war blew my mind. the fully adorned children's parks with young kids running naked and topless adults spoke of their true liberation. the formal direct language, and the cheap delicious food... all spoke to a world under construction.
what berlin presented was not another dirty megatroplis like new york, but a vision of something far better than what most americans see on a daily basis. i'm not sure who takes what for granted. in my eyes, i am ashamed to know of a pedestal where "liberty" is valued but you can't have more than 49 people assemble in one location.
oh how i could go on about the liberty of americans, but that would be self defeating right now. many more questions are festering and i'm about to be heading to a country that has more networked cameras per square mile than broadband... or something like that....