Future of 'I' (self – you – identity)
The Association of Professional Futurists runs a monthly 'future chat' on Twitter. See #futrchat for more information. These chats are open to everyone on Twitter and consist of a one hour mass sharing of thoughts and ideas for a future worth understanding and striving for.
This month of 2012 the chat is held:
3/22 at 4pm NYC
3/22 at 8pm London
3/23 at 7am in Sydney (Oz).
As a co-host and the one who suggested the topic for this event I have prepared a few thought pointers.
Your future 'I' depends on you… and the rest of us; how you carve your way in amongst the rest of us carving our way, what you choose or don't from the menu of tools and directions for change – to make your future better for you and maybe, if we like what you're doing, to take the rest of us with you.
Many of the about 2700 tweets that have flowed 'out of my mind' to this shared mindspace have had something to do with the varying aspects of 'I', you, self or identity.
Some themes have been: who we really are (as species), where do we think we should go, what tools do we have to do that with, what is stopping us, what is making us satisfied with the journey, what is changing around us to make the journey easier or not, and then more challenging and perhaps a little 'black hole like' – what will these changes bring about?
To put some structure around some of those dimensions I have created a little framework for the Future of 'I'.
Our identity is
ONE part who we are now or how we're perceived now,
ONE part who we say we are and how many of 'Is' we project and
ONE part who we're becoming; is it a better version of who we were or a new us in some distinct way.
Life takes turns in these terms. If we find ourselves in a disruptive place (good or bad) in our lives, we shift to a new box, even if only momentarily, only to potentially be right back to where we started from.
Today we are in a strange place. The coalescence of factors that have opened our eyes to our capacity to change and provide us with important tools to change is phenomenal. What is in your toolbox for betterment?
Globally we are now faced with such a huge variety of possibilities of 'who to be', 'how to be', 'why to be' that we do not have be philosophers to possess an idea of the push and pull between what these two authors have said and the meaning of what they say to our potential and limitations:
“More and more, when faced with the world of men, the only reaction is one of individualism. Man alone is an end unto himself. Everything one tries to do for the common good ends in failure.” Albert Camus
“No man is an island, entire of itself
every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main
if a clod be washed away by the sea,
Europe is the less, as well as if a promontory were,
as well as if a manor of thy friends or of thine own were
any man's death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind
and therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls
it tolls for thee.” John Donne
The first tool of difference we face now is the fact that we have understood the potential for change – it is not easy but it is on offer – we can alter our bodies, our minds and our relating.
Like a pendulum we tend to swing with the novel until we find our equilibrium again. Some of us inherit and learn ways of being that are less than useful. Today as a society of sharers and blurters we have put a whole new spin on 'narcissism', not the disorder kind but the 'look at me' kind. When our identity takes many positions online life can turn into a surreal whirl. Then the question is: 'who am I for real?' or "Is my spin helping or hindering?" If we spin out of control with our wishes to be who we're not then we find ourselves in unfamiliar territory with not enough under our belt, for some this 'throwing oneself into the fire' works.
We all travel through many of these boxes and at times we put ourselves into positions of uncertainty or overshooting, even if just a little, and we have to. We cannot emerge at the other side of change without going through it first. Every little step towards the future 'I' is already in the unknown and we need to step into that new before we are fully competent.
Idea of identity
Will identity be what identity was? As a concept identity remains the way in which we make distinctions between people(s). Bar a world where distinctions were pushed to extinction, identity remains. What is different today? It is the speed at which we play with the possibilities. It can be as simple as changing some wording in our profiles or as big a taking on another life online (or offline).
Frameworks do not lend themselves well to the rather past-paced #futrchat, so I have created a list of questions some of which I will introduce during our conversation.
Feel free to introduce anything that you consider pertinent to the topic of the Future of 'I' and we'll see what takes off, what captures people's imagination and brings their experiences and thinking to the shared mindspace.
These questions do not frame the whole matter of the Future of 'I' but rather give us some discussion points of where 'I' (you, self, identity) may be in the Future.
The links are illustrations of what some have said about the thoughts/questions I put forward; you may agree, disagree, expand on what is in those links, just share your views on the questions or just go for the next question that comes along during our chat.
- "As our lives are more transparent to all – will that make us better?"
- "Will we be more (or less) defined by our connections in the future, as we interact on social networks and get enmeshed in the lives of others'."
- "The more we understand about our own neurology, the more we adjust our behaviors OR…"
- "The longer we live the more 'lives we live' and keep re-inventing our lives – does that fragment our identity?"
- "Wisdom about who we are tends to come/change with experience (age – life lived). Does an aging population make the world wiser?"
- "Will our future personal brands be more about who we are than what we do?"
- "Flippantly we say: People do not change. What does what does not ? Why/why not?"
- "If our childhood is very difficult – is our identity forever shattered? What can be done to make a difference?"
- "Tools like for example NLP (neuro linguistic programming video) provide us with some means to deal with (alter) our selves and our interactions. What is the impact on the Future of I?"
- "Eyes are the window to our soul" What is that soul? Is it reflective, do we change our souls by changing our eyes – the way we look at things and people?
- "Your body language and facial expressions are read – city cameras are studying you – is acting going to be a key skill for us all?
- "When in love we can conquer the world - we are invincible – how can we use that knowledge better?"
- "Our mind is our connected minds (e.g., Mindsight) – our sensory apparatus is part of the overall 'mind' – what does 'I' mean?
See you there!
Are you a pastist, presentist or futurist?
How would you know? Are these terms related to a particular personality profile, are they something in your upbringing, in your experiences or your firm beliefs. Does your orientation depend on what happened in the past, how your present satisfies you or what is in store for you, that you know of, in the future?
I like creating new words when what’s available does not help. My spell checker has trouble with pastist and presentist. However it has no trouble what so ever with futurist. How interesting and yet it is often the ‘futurist’ time dimension that people, not familiar with the tools and applications of it, have most difficulty with.
I guess one could argue that there is already a great word for pastist = historian. However, I believe what I am talking about here is a little [or a lot, you choose] different. I see a historian as a recorder of the past. Often also a communicator of it. Previously this was mostly done by professional drafters of the official past. Today this includes the every day stream on the net on what makes up humanity’s experience of the events. Love it! (more…)
Posted in: Foresight, Humanity, Life Tags: eric hoffer, Foresight, foresight identities, Future, howard thurman, human, Humanity, identity, ideology, intuition, jonah lehrer, learned, martin luther king, opinion, Prosapience, research, science, sisu, timing, william gibson
Just like we are different people to different people Foresight Identities are different approaches for different needs…
I gave a talk on Foresight Identities and my journey through them at the ‘Futures Hot House’ at AMP building in Sydney last week, thank you Janine and thank you audience for the wonderful questions.
The NINE different ‘Foresight Identities’ respond to different foresight needs. Their drivers are different and so are the ways in which the foresight pulls us in, transforms us or the groups or societies where the foresight is applied.
I will start with Intuited Foresight.
Malcolm Gladwell’s “Blink” eloquently describes how intuition works and how we use it all the time.
The need to measure and the idea that better decisions are ‘rational’ decisions have led to decision-making being equated to 1/ load me with facts 2/ show the many research studies to prove it 3/ show me where it worked before.
All of these are fine qualities for those who make decisions based what others do. As we have to make decisions with less historical facts, then we need to go with what it is that our gut is telling us about the situation. Is it aligned with what and who we are or want to be? Does it feel right? Does it look right? Can we hear the cheers? Is this what we want our future to be?
It is done
Now I have a new passport arriving from France with my maiden name, which was already there anyway, but the passport needed to be redone, getting in to the biometrics era. I have received my name change document from the Australian births deaths and marriages office and I just got a letter from Finland that my name change has been approved. That is kind of funny cause hey it was my name to start with but processing my name reversal is one way to make money for the government.
In Finland it is actually rather cool. The officials called ‘Maistraatti’ will have the name change on their systems and hence many official parties will see it automatically. In Finland I don’t have to carry a name change document with me everywhere I want to make a change, like I need to in Australia.
Finland is one of those countries where ‘big brother’, aside from being a global/local reality TV show, which has hopefully run its course, is one of the least feared issues of the Connected World. In the US and in Australia such access to information seems to cause people some privacy issues. I guess cause people have so much to hide???
After several years of dreading the effort, I am now taking the plunge…..
There are two nice ways to pronounce my name Jaurola….. the French and the Finnish way. First is something like ‘Jorola’ [French way] or ‘Yaurola’ [Finnish], emphasis on first syllable. Gosh I started to try and do this in phonetic language – that is complicated to create….gave up for now. Need a phonetic language muse.
Why change my name? Why now? I know it is a bit strange as I’ve already heard from some people….
When I got married I believed the advice of a work colleague that it is best to have the same name as your child = change to your husband’s name, to avoid confusion at day care etc. So I changed my name from Jaurola to Purcell. It was a very practical decision at the time.
I thought about a hyphenated name but I was having enough trouble with first name – one last name on the phone. Imagine this, Dominique Jaurola-Purcell. That is a lot to spell. In fact I thought that as we were looking to make Australia home it would be easier cause I would not have to spell Purcell, everyone would get it, ha ha, not so.
When my father died my need to change my name back to Jaurola became stronger than it had been before. So now, 7 years after his departure, I’ve done it. I am officially Jaurola in Australia and France and I await the results of the Finnish ‘jury’.
Next I’ll have to get into action with several banks, post office, passports [French one done], driver’s licenses, ID cards, work, etc. It is interesting that in France you do not in fact change your name, you keep your maiden name and your passport may say ‘epouse Purcell’ = married to Purcell. In Finland the rules changed around 1986. Had I married before that date the name change would have only required my notification, but it was after that date I had to go through a full name change process, including payment.
…and BTW husband is supportive…:-)
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