Against Automation: Pause and Beauty

The negative of the automation of thought, feelings and actions is that it prevents us from leading a genuine life. The pause and the ability to appreciate beauty are two ways to combat that senseless mechanism.


In many cases, we have compared the processing of information that computers do with the processing done by our brains. The two systems have several memories in which they store the information and with specific regions dedicated to working with it. On the other hand, the digital era -was of technology- has made us adopt some terms specific to computing to refer to our way of working.

Thus, we can say that the human being has entered into the logic of automation. In fact, not only has he entered, but he has let himself be invaded by it. What does this mean? That first with mercantilism, then with industrialization and more recently with the digital era, we have ended up mechanizing, simplifying and repeating processes so many times, that most have ended up becoming routines. Thus, the clock marks conditionals and we respond as machines.

At the center of that transformation is the concept of time. It is one of the realities that has changed the most, practically becoming the axis of automation. The slogan of the human being is sometimes too similar to that of the machine: to produce more, in less time. “Maximize” the production time. Be faster in everything and discipline time. All this amounts to what some call “efficiency” and “efficiency”, two great values ​​in today’s world.

“No computer has ever been designed to be aware of what it is doing; but most of the time, we are not either.”

-Marvin Minsky-

The colonization of free time

It is assumed that one of the purposes of technology is to free man. Allowing you not to invest so much time in mechanical tasks and have more free time. However, the digital era itself has designed spaces and devices that, in one way or another, also ended invading the moments of rest and leisure.

First it was the mass media. They broke into society as entertainment channels and facilitators for the circulation of information. The radio, or the cinema, the first media, were not there 24 hours, everywhere. Television, on the other hand, inaugurated another culture. It turned many human beings into passive consumers of entertainment.

With the digital era the colonization of free time was consolidated and with it the automation of the human being. Reality is not seen through a screen, but we can interact with it in that virtual world, anytime and anywhere.

Many free hours are dedicated to social networks, or to go from here to there in cyberspace. Free time is also preformatted. In parallel, the double moral promotes and proscribes addictions. The industry, legal and illegal, generates an impressive amount of money with the “free” time of the people.

Against automation, pause and beauty

Every time we are less patients. Less able to get involved in realities that require working with difficulties and contradictions. Allowing processes to flow and conflicts to be addressed and resolved goes against automation. In this, what matters is to simplify and achieve observable results as soon as possible. This new way of reacting to reality is the effect of that passion for immediacy, speed and the desire to fill the time of whatever.

The immediate produces pleasures and forms of happiness that are often temporary. This way of experiencing life easily leads us to anxious states. It is as if we “swallowed” the experiences, without tasting them. Also a way to increase the number of experiences, reducing the quality of them. Pausing and slowing down is a necessary condition to overcome automation, that is, the frenetic consumption of experiences.

Beauty is one of those highly rewarding experiences of life. Discover the beautiful in a word, in an act, in an idea, in a person or in any kind of reality full of joy. However, the beauty is not usually that which is captured at first sight. Quite the opposite. The truly beautiful takes time to manifest. In turn, the beautiful has an enormous power: full of life.

Automation is reflected in routines and in everything that is repeated incessantly. Words, ideas, actions, ways of doing, etc. Its most negative aspect is that it deprives us of genuine and profound experiences. It also removes the possibility of looking at reality from another point of view. It leads us to act without thinking or feeling intensely and, eventually, it depresses or anguishes us.