Forecast / ideation / Technology

Forecast Friday: How Technology Joins and Separates Us and the Real World

In my youth, I used to see someone jogging through the neighborhood with a set of headphones on and joke that they were being remotely controlled. To some extent that was true; they weren’t completely immersed in their physical surroundings – they were augmenting it with music, then later with conversation as cell phones began to proliferate. Not quite as bad as people isolated from reality in their own dream bubbles in Fantastic Planet, but getting there.

Technology is a mixed bag – it offers us the opportunity to add more to what we can experience, who e can connect with, and yet we become more separated from each other in our connectivity. I wonder how isolated from our physical world we can become.

In ancient (and not so ancient) times, you knew the people in your tribe, or your village. Technology (faster cheaper travel, instant communications, mobile connectivity) have expanded the raw number of people we can establish some sort of connection with. I’ve read that the optimum group size for human beings to have social relationships with is 150 (see Dunbar’s Number ) Now, the number of people we can establish even loose connections with dwarfs this many times over, but technology hasn’t made our primate brains any larger, or capable of more meaningful connections, so as we connect with more and more people who are physically distant, we have to reduce the number of people we relate to in our personal physical space. This is how we’re dealing with RELATIONSHIP OVERFLOW ™ – a larger and larger percentage of our relationships are with people we’ll never be in the same room with (NO – I DON’T MEAN TALK ROOMS.)

I called it Relationship Overflow because of its resemblance to INFORMATION OVERFLOW. We’ve all experienced it, haven’t we? There’s so much data out there, we can’t keep up with it all, so we ignore the things that don’t matter, and only focus on the information we need. AUGMENTED REALITY will offer a similar challenge. Exactly how many detail points can a human being keep track of at one time? The more we augment the information presented by a scene, the mor we will have to choose to IGNORE WHAT’S ACTUALLY AROUND US.

Of course, we’ll be able to tell what’s really important, won’t we? (Glad we’re not worrying about lions anymore.)

Just saying…


GoddessesCoverThis is the official release date for “Goddesses”:

A young man lands a seemingly perfect job serving a beach full of scantily clad women. But one should not be too eager to undertake labors proffered by goddesses.

“Goddesses” is a speculative fiction short story; it’s available now at various locations, including, but not limited to:




CollectionFirst3CoverWilliam Mangieri’s writing, including his most recent collection The First Three ‘Things I Could Get OUT OF MY MIND’,  can be found in many places, including:
• Smashwords:
• His Amazon Author page:
• Barnes & Noble:
• Createspace (if you prefer physical books):
• His site on WordPress:
• “William Mangieri’s Writing Page” on Facebook at:
• His Goodreads author page:
• Or on twitter: @WilliaMangieri



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