Season’s greetings from IDG Connect
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Season’s greetings from IDG Connect

Hello and thank you from all of us here for following IDG Connect over the past year.

I’m hardly the first to point out that 2016 has been a strange year. Political surprises have been in generous supply and the Grim Reaper has had a spectacular time of it, snatching away a disproportionate number of our best-known artists, entertainers and others.

In the technology industry it has become commonplace to suggest that the answer to pretty well all of our ills lies in tech and some even plot an end to death itself…

This ‘tech-utopian’ view is in some ways laudable as a generation of optimists seek better education, healthcare and social justice using digital tools and data. With funding aplenty the prospects for creating new enterprises that will change the way we work and live have never been brighter.

While wishing the best of luck to these people I also think (or hope) that there is a growing awareness of the need to “down tools”. Such is our obsession with smartphones, tablets, laptops and wearables that we are in danger of no longer looking up and around us. The political blogger Andrew Sullivan has just written an interesting book about his attempts to enter a kind of ‘digital detox’ and many of us remain in a serious condition. Nick Carr has written well of the risks here and it’s common sense to remember that the digital thrum should be interspersed with other pursuits that enhance our mental and physical wellbeing.

I hope that over the holidays you get the chance, perhaps for just a few hours or days even, to forget about the binary world and rejoice in the physical one – reality rather than its virtual other. After all, from Newton’s apple and Buddha’s vigil under a pipal tree to Archimedes’ Eureka moment in the bath, it’s a truism that many of the world’s greatest ideas have come from moments when the brain was idling – or at least not consumed in drafting social media updates.

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Martin Veitch

Martin Veitch is Editorial Consultant for IDG Connect

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