What’s in store for us in the year to come?
To say we find ourselves in strange times is an understatement. Take the US. It’s so riddled with social justice (online) warriors, it has literally lost its appeal as an immigration destination. A destination of any kind. Who wants to visit a country where you could find yourself in deep water for calling your wife a woman (cue eye rolls)? Bloody ridiculous!
What about Zimbabwe? A failed state on the brink of secondary failure. Fuck, is that even a thing? No food, fuel, currency, nothing but a lot of nothing. What happens to those poor souls?
South Africa. Still the most beautiful country in the world, certainly in my eyes anyway. What’s in store for us? A government talking about handing over ownership of land, without reward or recourse, as if it were the era of crusades.
Not one can deny that there were times in history where some pretty crappy shit went down. People faced countless forms of injustice. Nor can they deny that every nation, race, gender, and creed on earth took part in crappy shit. Are we saying we are just going to roll back the clock? Correct the social wrongs, just like that? Reverse them is it? If we are, then wouldn’t that mean it’s time for some barbarism while we’re at it? In fact, why stop there why not throw in a witch hunt or two? I’m all in for a spot of cannibalism – if not why not?
“Opinion is the medium between knowledge and ignorance,” – Plato.
We live in a world overrun with opinions. Most formed on the back of the opinions of others, spread like a wildfire across social media, little grounded in fact let alone truth. Even facts can be interpreted to reflect a preconceived “truth,” but beliefs are not to be confused with truth.
It is best to teach ourselves, and our children, to steer well clear of opinions, and to dig for truth at all times. It is only through this we can rescue the “age of information,” from the age of ignorance.
“Create a problem and then create the solution.” A common business mantra. Being both the problem and the solution means you become the totem of your industry.
Problem: being found in an uncurated mass of data. Solution: ambiguous procedures based on secret ever-changing algorithms, avoided by auctioning attention.
This is the world of search engines. Genius – if you’re search engines. A never-ending spiral liken to gambling addiction if you are not. How addiction? Well, just like an addiction you need it, even though you know it’s bad for you. Also, like gambling, there are controlled systems designed to “steer” you into channels which complement the house.
When we are asking a question, it is a fair assumption we are either completely ignorant of the answer, can’t remember the information, need clarification, or confirmation of the answer. Therefore, we ask, correct? What then is the bleeding obsession with the argumentative retort?
Could it be people are inherently unhappy with answers they are given; the first reaction is disbelief? Is it there is so much misinformation out there, people can no longer differentiate between bullshit and the real deal? Or is it that there is so much garbage information, they can no longer trust any information at all?
Oddly, I find the first idea to be the least concerning. This just means people are jerks, and we all know this to be true already. Finding methods of counteracting this would not be as challenging as trying to fix the eventual consequences of the last two ideas. If trust in values such as good faith, expert-knowledge, and provider-client relationships are lost, then all is eventually lost. The entire system will break down.
The trouble is, the access to unfiltered information places deeply unqualified people in a position to spread misinformation and opinion, as fact. Although, this is not the real trouble. The real trouble is we are not providing individuals (especially youths) with the tools to sift through, process and recognize what is nonsense. What you end up with is entire generations who find themselves the least informed despite unprecedented access to learning. This is our fault – not theirs. We did this.
With the mania around fake news, it is easy to forget the overabundance of other information available, which is not news related or political of nature. Much of it potentially far more damaging. Even that which isn’t, just adds to the mist, the constant barrage of drivel. Eventually, the mist will be too thick to navigate and what then?