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The new space factories

Still in its beginnings, virtual reality allows to be in non-existent dimensions (which, however, feel very real). And it's just one of the many ways that new technologies allow us to be in a place of indite ways Credit: Betto Rodrigues / Shutterstock

For reasons that are perhaps obvious (or perhaps are completely cryptic) to humans it reveals
time, but no
space. I imagine it is due to our finitude. But I don't know. In any case, the space (I do not mean the cosmos, but the types) has much less prestige and less mystery. So much so that we feel we can sell or rent space (a house, a land, a tent). I say "we feel" because, because of time, every real estate operation is by transitory force. On the other hand, it is known that – unfortunately, because some of them are left over and others are missing – we cannot buy or sell time. Renting it will constitute, I fear, a contradiction. At the very least, an uncomfortable juxtaposition of agendas.

We can travel through space (to go to work, for example), but the
time machine It remains an exclusive science fiction device. And even there it is not exempt from paradoxes, which is much to say for a genre who, without going any further (sorry, that was unintentionally), gives himself the luxury of traveling faster than light (space, again, it turns out a second).

This is the reason, I suppose, that we talk a lot about how new technologies have made us more efficient, how they have altered the way we take advantage of time, etc. But we don't see how much they have transformed what we call space.

Typewriter + collective + subway

An anecdote clarify this point, at least in one of its aspects, because it has many. When I started in this trade, I worked as a collaborator for all the media I could. It was the only way to raise an acceptable salary at the end of the month. Well, not every month; But that is another story.

At that time, I still didn't have a PC, much less the Internet. Now, although it is true that you work faster (and more neatly) with a computer, the main obstacle was not time, but space. Finished a number of articles, I had to take the bus or the subway or both to the different newsrooms to deliver my texts. And then come back. Space, not time, meant money to me. Those distances have disappeared with digitalization. Today I can send a text in seconds to any point on the planet. The world has not only shrunk, as we usually say, but
certain distances have become null.

It may be a bit abstract for the one who didn't live it. But those of us who were born in the mechanical and analogical era and are going through the transition to digitalization know well that the data is brutal. There are spaces, distances, places that have disappeared. Still more. As I will see soon, even when I take the subway I can continue doing things with a very crazy device that I carry in my pocket; Such a device, when I started in this trade, was something impossible, although not unimaginable.

The nothingness itself

This is already a lot, but there are more. The new technologies have created spaces that violate the laws to which we are accustomed. In my phone I carry
about 300 books.
I will not say that they are the same as paper ones, but I can read those texts whenever you wait for them (which are overwhelming) surprise me. Three hundred paper books weigh about 150 kilos and occupy about 10 meters of shelves. It makes no sense that all that fits in a 140 gram apparatus.

They are new spaces. The most impressive is that of the
virtual reality. Beyond
the setbacks that still face, today it is possible to dive into places that do not exist or exist in the way we want them to exist, as if they were a lucid dream. The most extravagant of virtual reality, especially with simulators capable of emulating the movement and G forces (such as those used by professional pilots to train and test), is that
the mind does not perceive any difference between that abstract and the real space. I say it from experience. Many of these simulators have been tried for a note many years ago, and the commander even allowed me to fly the ship for a while. Whatever they say, it feels like space.

True, time is also perceived in different ways, according to the circumstances. Pass quickly when you're happy and crawl during a boring class. But
we can't produce time, which is really a shame.

Chocolate for the news

One more thing. We have also learned to multiply space. This is, of all, the most disturbing. We have never been able to be in several places at once. At the most, with the phone tube between the shoulder and the head, perhaps we were able, vaguely, to participate in two different phenomena in different places.

Today, instead, we have WhatsApp. Ms Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and everything else. Look around. Hundreds of people are still looking at something that looks like a chocolate tablet. It is a smartphone. And although the image is a different movie, the truth is that these people are there and at the same time in other places. Now, as I write this column, I am participating in
a number of other activities in other places, without moving. Of course, in many cases it is not the same to be there in a virtual way than in person. But, for the first time, that of being in many spaces simultaneously has become a reality. This text ends here, which you may have read while receiving notifications or replying to messages from many places. Some, remote.


. The new space factories – LA NACION