The new new overlapping with the decaying nearly new. Messages pour out on a daily basis that the hyper entrepreneurial ethic of a small minority should be what everyone should embrace. Both in what we should consume and our career paths. We’re seized by it.
Waves of false bravado emanate in this mythology. Innovate or die. Don’t trust anyone over 30. You are hopelessly excluded; but you who look and think like us are in.
A HBO television situation comedy Silicon Valley was recently released which satirizes the silly inflated egos of the techies and their imagined futures. The bottom line is we are seeing socially awkward teenagers who refuse to grow up. Mostly it’s a psychology of impermanence and restlessness.
A burgeoning toy making economy has arisen that steam rolls over everything in its path. Geeks and nerds are the ones operating the machines with the financial backing of hyper-materialistic venture capitalists generating products for people who have a spiritual void remedied by the coolest new technology that affirms their self-concept. This tripartite has created an economy that sees human labor as causality to seamless delivery of entertainment and information.
We can pave under or dismiss the social cost and complex human interactions as the price of doing business. However, this way is monstrously off course. An unhinged, one-sided culture destined to fail.
Exponential change is underway in 2014 but too many believe this is incremental shift. There is an urgent story and mythology about our technology that is being lost. An undertow. And it’s being played out in the economy, employment market and in public dialogue.
Picture a man or woman texting the positive and friendly to those they want to impress from their high-tech workspace. Then traveling home on the secret company buses back to San Francisco for the evening.
They settle into their home office to generate a prolific stream of hateful and threatening dialogue in response to online articles and web stories. Frowning in the blue light of their screens. Their attacks deployed like drone missiles as they hide behind the safety of their aliases and their certainty about the future and life.
How can we bring balance to the trajectory so we won’t be destroyed by the juggernaut? We need dynamic tension. That requires depth and reflection. In good stories and exceptional individuals, you recognize this tension of opposites. Truly electric and greater than the sum of its parts. There is power in duality. The emotional and rational working in concert. Conscious and unconscious. The balance of light and shadow. You know it when it’s present. This force emanates from a person, economy or culture. If it’s done right, the good rises up from below like an iceberg from the water.
More than anything else we need a different perspective. Even the grown-ups of Silicon Valley are losing their bearings. There are lots of confused and perplexed people out there so your questions below are welcome. Write me and I’ll answer back.