When I look into an electron tunneling microscope, I can see the tiniest things. I can know that Carbon increases in the atmosphere.
When I look through the Orion SkyScanner 100 Reflector, I can see the biggest things. I can know how the universe was likely created.
When I look at Facebook, I can see many things from many places. I can know what success is supposed to look like.
Tools expand our senses. They are placed between our senses and the sensed.
In a way, they have allowed us to sense more.
We know that CO2 is harmful to the planet. And that it increases in the atmosphere by the second. Yet, we can’t connect it to our senses. The result is that even if we understand it, we then don’t know how to act on it. These secondary sensory inputs do not help us to make sense of the world. They show us a world in which we don’t know if it is true or not. Through tools, sensory input became decoupled from our senses. The result is that we have a vast amount of sensory input that we can’t make sense of.
Emotions are our crucial driver of action. Yet, these emotions are tied to our senses. We are moved by what our senses perceive. What our senses don’t perceive doesn’t move us. To overcome this, we can apply reason, rational thinking, and logic. Yet, reason, rational thinking, and logic don’t move us in the same way emotions do. So we apply stories to create sense. These stories can be helpful or harmful. They can be joining, and they can be dividing. The challenge of the 21st century: creating stories that make sense of a world we can’t sense anymore.