Miguel Panao | Professor and Author

Finding ways to improve scientific writing and academic productivity.

Where can we find our life’s relational depth?

While reading the last posthumous book by Stephen Hawking on “Brief Answers to the Big Questions” I began thinking about our life’s relational depth and where can we find it.

“When I was younger, the rise of technology pointed to a future where we would all enjoy more leisure time. But in fact the more we can do, the busier we become.” (Stephen Hawking)

Isn’t this lack of leisure time one of the greatest paradoxes of our time? We create AI to do some of the simple tasks for us, but instead of using the time available to invest in learning new things, or enjoy leisure time to allow our brain some creative space and develop our skills, we opt for instant gratification.

The extra leisure time is also useful for deepening our relationships. With ourselves, others and the world around us.

“The world has been changing even faster as people, devices and information are increasingly connected to each other.” (Stephen Hawking)

But, does increased connection means deeper relationships? The later takes time, patience and long-term and lasting gratification, while connection means the opposite in the kind of digital lives we take.

We seem connected to each other, but we’re not relating to each other as we could. Connection is just a support platform. Relationships require depth, conversation, and face-to-face interactions.

I think it’s time to invert the trend because there is so much unexplored potential in what we can achieve when our experiences are real in the physical world.

About Miguel Panao

I am a Professor at the University of Coimbra in Mechanical Engineering. I am also author of books in the fields of environmental ethics and Science and Religion. From the several research projects, this site is personal and dedicated to the search for the best approaches, tools, techniques to improve scientific productivity.

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