Loosing the sense of true connection
We are losing the sense for connection to ourselves, to others, to society. Alexander is convinced that the world we built ourselves, the physical structure of the world we have created, is causing us to drift further and further away from each other:
The forms of environment we have learned to create in modern times have caused us to lose the sense of true connection to ourselves and our society. That has happened, in large part, because of the nature of space we have created. It has happened because the public space of our present-day cities, both legally and metaphorically, no longer belongs to us to any deep extent.
— Christopher Alexander, The Nature of Order, Book 3: A Vision of a Living World, chapter 1: Belonging and Not-belonging, section 1: Who, today, can truly enjoy belonging to the Earth?, p. 31
We are further amplifying and accelerating that process with the digital structures we built on top of this.
A peculiar observation: both in the physical and digital world, we build many of these structure with community in mind, in the digital world it’s even in the name — social networks! And yet, people living in tall skyscrapers in large cities have no idea who lives next door from them. And people connected as “friends” on social networks only know a superficial version of each other, demonstrating a perfect life, edited for public presentation.