Irina Ideas Jan 22
first published on medium.com in Data driven investor publication
Separated and finally segregated into numerous groupations but also Centuries in terms of the mindset and it is still doing that exponentially, diverging before our very eyes while we occupy ourselves with myriad of short term interests and solutions
Millennials may have hacked the system, but they have hacked themselves too in terms of long term vision, and this is a cry from a Millennial for things to change and more young people to start seeing a long term vision as a priority and then deal with short term solutions/achievements. I fear an intellectual decline in the wake of so many life coaches, positive psychology quick fixes and the like. I will start tackling this with technology that transformed us:
There is a disturbing trend among young people and some may call it opportunistic behavior, others may call it hacking of life, but overall I think that our existence on this planet as a sentient beings is much more than just getting into what we view at any moment in time as the comfort zone.
I am going to dissect the line about the Internet into the subtitles of this post, because that way I hack Google’s robots which may find it good Search Engine Optimization. I am joking but it is actually true that the choice of words surface the content, among other factors instead of quality. I have also learnt that it is fairly useless to even learn more about SEO, because it changes so often as a protective mechanism against those who exploit the rules and I find this exploitative behavior sad because we need to raise our system of values, rather than dealing with remedies all the time.
World Wide Web came
Sir Tim Berners-Lee came up with this wonderful invention as the conditions were right and technology was infrastructurally ready. Something wonderful happened to humanity, it became free to use, it took some years for the critical mass to adopt it, but just a decade afterwards it became ubiquitous.
The excitement among those shaping it was exhilarating and it is at that point when the open source movement was born. People started imagining how it would have been much better world if everything was open, if knowledge was unrestricted, if the global mind called — internet, connected the planet without borders and cultural barriers.
Presented opportunities to the otherwise disconnected
Those with access to the internet in most of the countries and regardless of their financial situation or social advantage/disadvantage could reach the world, make partnerships and even extract themselves from their bureaucratic and sometimes corrupt governments which wouldn’t have nurtured their progress if they stayed. For example, computer programmers and other experts poured into the West from other countries. Many ended up working for Google, Apple, Facebook,.. They reached the idea of the American dream, but is the American dream a true fulfilling future?
Algorithms separated us from the initial vision we had for the Internet and united world full of diversities, learning respect for each other and immediate opportunities. Instead the inevitable happened (Google, Facebook, Apple,…). Huge companies started analysing everyone, categorizing, matching and unmatching. This mechanism should be renamed as Destiny for whoever believes that the universe revolves around certain rules, algorithms have infiltrated this system. This was also inevitable, because we made them in the image of ourselves and that is simply what intelligence does, it finds patterns, classifies and designs in order to fit the overall vision. The overall vision now appears as not so benevolent and especially since it is coming from the old paradigm which is to accumulate power through financial gain so that the world can revolve on an equilibrium that is ever changing and brewing.
Segregated into numerous groupations but also centuries in termsofmindset
“Centuries” is the most important aspect of this post, it is actually the core and the elephant in this room we call planet Earth in the 21st century. What I mean by this is an observable phenomenon where we actually see the trends of which one side is going on in the exact reverse direction from the initial vision of what internet can do. On one hand I see young people learning, progressing, in one sentence harnessing the original vision that internet is. Also hacking (I am using hacking slightly derogatively and will explain underneath why) their way through life and traveling the world, leveraging off of the internet, as location independent or digital nomads, who will eventually arrive at their independent destinations and organize their life in a comfortable way or indeed some small % from this group may come up with the unicorn and change or influence the world.
On the other hand I see generations upon generations getting set in their ways, either frustrated because their jobs have been taken by a robot or a script, they lack a sense of purpose and mission and feel lonely among social networking opportunities presented before their eyes, in most cases with the bait to sell them something. If only they had Universal Basic Income?!!!!! Or they still work in cubicles, like caged birds, dreaming about freedom or retirement even. These are the generations captured by the algorithms that increasingly rule their lives without their even noticing it and their only power is to react to the technology that is already organizing them to fit profilesthey have been predefined to fit by the calculus of a machine.
The only task the global machine has to do is to condition obedience, distribute recipe for happiness and make everyone set in their ways.
Now the “centuries” comes into play, because as the algorithms classify and stratify individuals, they are also doing the same on the level of countries and the divide is actually getting larger. At one end we have technical capabilities to unify all, and give opportunities to all, but on the other we still have the small percentage behind large computers (as in mega companies) that are farming and harvesting.
The disadvantaged groups are left to the mercy of charity and the pecking order that their ever increasing corrupt local government imposes. In a way we are pushing certain countries (or at least % of population in those countries) even further away from the 21st century. The Balkans for example is infested with reality shows, blooming use of Facebook and talents shows that are traumatizing children. This has all been due to the internet going sideways, from the initial enthusiasm towards learning, connecting and now into the entertainment of the lowest order where participants are even losing the general sense of what is knowledge, education or art even. The word art has been misrepresented so many times in the context of entertainment that it is a wonder we haven’t invented another word.
The mindset of medieval times seems to be arriving and getting stronger, we have all witnessed the outburst of the intolerance groups, such as jihadists, white supremacists, et al. Numerous conspiracy theories are blooming….Us vs Them, instead of decreasing, seems to be increasing thanks to the Internet now!
Diverging before our very eyes while we occupy ourselves with a myriadof short term interests and solutions
I see a diverging point, sadly where one group is hurling with ever increasing speed into the 21st, and 22nd century, while the other group is going with the equal speed towards the centuries before us, and this first group, while aware of this, doesn’t seem to particularly care. It seems to me that as long as the bubble is undisturbed, the bubbles inhabitants will shut out the rest without a further thought but can it really be undisturbed in the global world? Can we live separately from each other and not be affected by the divergence happening around us? Can we ignore the ones at the disadvantage be it from their local government or lack of knowledge of indeed large internet companies that are designing their lives, and them instead of acting, in fact reacting to it?
Can we have a future without moral order, in which ethics are only as good as the most powerful person dictates. I think that Ancient Greece produced the basis of our civilization, a myriad of philosophers, mythological characters, foundation of our legal system and general definition of what a human is, on the ground of safety and nurturing. How is it possible that today when technology gives us the opportunity to be more than what we think we can be, we seem so occupied with producing small projects that generate money, but dedicate very little interest to the general direction the human planet is taking? I have noticed a rise in interest towards the snippet style philosophical thoughts, particularly in twitter, which suggest that the hunger for knowledge is ever present, but I have a feeling that the young people are preoccupied with their standard of living to be concerned with the long term visions.
The Future is always created first in the mind and I think that now that we have the big machines (Google, Apple, Facebook) established in their ways and doing the behavioural manipulation at a large scale, it is more important than ever to dream big and act upon technology rather than letting it define us. We can’t curb technology, the same way as we can’t stop a spring of water coming out; what we can do, though, is direct it towards serving human values.
I recently did a DNA test and I had an interesting correspondence with a friend which actually prompted me to do this article as I realized that when we look at humanity as a whole and think about the short term interests of individuals, it doesn’t bring progress nor is it honoring the intelligence bestowed upon us. When we further compare the functioning of our genetical stew and the favoring certain genes over others through natural selection, we again come to the same conclusion that it wasn’t the traits that make us more opportunistic that are the most dominant or are they? Did we arrive here purely by chance, taking the most convenient route disregarding the right and wrong?