The Digital Human is an excellent podcast on BBC Radio 4, it looks at how technology is shaping our lives. Episode seven is particularly interesting as it poses the question ‘Can serendipity be engineered by digital systems?’
Serendipity is a subject that always intrigues me, this episode of the series through up some very interesting parallels with this project. The theory of Dérive is mentioned:
‘In a dérive one or more persons during a certain period drop their relations, their work and leisure activities, and all their other usual motives for movement and action, and let themselves be drawn by the attractions of the terrain and the encounters they find there. Chance is a less important factor in this activity than one might think: from a dérive point of view cities have psychogeographical contours, with constant currents, fixed points and vortexes that strongly discourage entry into or exit from certain zones’
Also mentioned is the Slow Down London movement; “Slow Down London is a new project to inspire Londoners to improve their lives by slowing down to do things well, rather than as fast as possible”.
Slowing down helps spawn serendipity? What a wonderful by-product of slowing down. The deeper I get into this project, the more I start to think that slowing down is the only way to live your life in today’s modern world.
This is a rather wonderful series that you can listen to here