My day job is like many people in a so-called professional trade: I work in a beige box of some sort. I type on a keyboard. I do stuff. My specialty is techie stuff. What I do specifically does not matter. If I were to describe what I do, it would be a bit like an old Star Trek script where the author would write a sentence and put the word TECH in place for the purpose of the dialogue.
More important, it seems at times, than what I do daily is what seems to actually drive the day: Meetings. Emails. Stand-ups. More meetings. Emails generated from said meetings. Meetings about the emails. Etc.
I don’t mention the meetings and email culture to complain.
Rather, I mention it to make an observation.
When archeologists probe the remnants of our digital culture somehow many centuries into the future, they will see the reflection of what we value in society. We worship the mighty Outlook and seem to perform ceremonies around it based on “action items.” Crumpled prayer cards with strange numbers are printed out nearby that venerate the “Way of the Sub” and detail offerings made to the Outlook deity.
Perhaps a bit far fetched.
Heck, it is far fetched.
But our debris does reflect the culture that generated it.
I look at the Chacoan culture and see beautiful potsherds from vessels that were both practical and works of art
Roman frescoes adorned bath houses where regular people gathered.
I know there were scrolls, writings and other minutiae of day to day that aren’t far removed from my snarky Outlook observations above.
The amateur historian in me just wonders what legacy people the future will see, commemorate and admire centuries from now.
The sleek styling of an iPhone? The simple and elegant functionality of a Leatherman tool? Morbid admiration for the nuclear weapons we have seemed to accumulate?
Or will they just look at our millions of emails and meeting requests and wonder how the society functioned at all? 🙂