Nothing seems to be standing in the way of the development of contactless living. While it doesn’t quite feel like a constraint to Europeans on the whole, what they really want today is to gain more control over these practices and for the latter to take on a more human dimension than is currently the case. Having been placed in the spotlight as a result of the pandemic, the lack of “empathy” involved in contactless living is now even more striking.
More broadly, the importance assumed by contactless living has put technology centre stage. This technology can be “a useful servant but a dangerous master”, as Norwegian politician and historian Christian Lous Lange once remarked, paraphrasing Alexandre Dumas on the subject of money.
From transhumanism to hybridisation, a concept developed by Ray Kurzweil in which artificial intelligence is connected to human intelligence to enable the mind to exist outside of its biological confines, dreams of demiurgic technologies are far from uncommon. They prompt concern and questions in equal measure. They plot a path of innovation that Europeans are reluctant to follow. For Europeans, the most important aspect of contactless living is living itself (Fig. 37).