Joe, it is this impossible to see delicate balance of coming together, but also of ‘creative destruction.’ At the same time we must figure out how to rise as a center, but also ‘fight’ it a way that is as productive as possible.
This too is part of humanity.
This is the primary populist’s misunderstanding. There will always be needed those who pursue “the highest score.” The needle to be threaded is this:
1) Affirm the need for the existence of competition and winning and validate those who are wired this way — for it, too is part of the machine of humanity.
2) Punish those who play outside the rulebook appropriately such that the result is at the cost of others, balanced by mercy to scale.
3) Rewrite the rules in a way that make more sense for everybody.
The problem is, the whole thing is a house of cards. The change of paradigm required would reshuffle the deck — the question is how much, how thoughtfully we shuffle, with an understanding that there are those who are already ready to throw the deck up in the air and let it reshuffle itself, and finally those who are so sick of the rules of the game, they want to burn the deck of cards entirely and wait for the next game.
It’s a giant game of blind man’s bluff — that card game where you stick one of your poker cards on your forehead and try to wager on the rest of your hand, and how everyone else reacts to your card.
We all really don’t know the card we’re holding, because we can only be outside of ourselves so much. Everything is built on our individual perceptions.
Right now, in this game of blind man’s bluff, enough of us can look around at the other players, see their hypocrisies, but also that all of the players that we like, that are like us, that seem like the majority of the center of the country, are all saying “something’s not right here.”
The only question is how do we find out what our cards are when we find out how big an asshole we’ve been.
Wait, was that card game blind man’s bluff or asshole? I’m uncertain.
Yes, the “Faux News” or “Fake News” or ‘infoWars’ or, in my case ‘TheRealityWar” has weaponized the information age. And we should not only be concerned about this, we should be asking ourselves is it time to build an open source Manhattan Project?
I registered my domain a year ago after I talked to Edward Snowden on stage at Johns Hopkins. As I realized what was happening a year ago last night. I have been staring this in the face for years now, understanding what a lit fuse this has become, but unable to communicate it to those around me.
And I know why. It’s because this whole thing is a powderkeg of shame and fear and a system that has no choice but to collapse — the only question is when, and it’s seeming more and more like “pretty damned soon.”
Because propaganda has become truly, truly weaponize in the digital age, we have rapidly lost any sense of shared common morals as we’ve become more and more segmented.
In a way we are as different as we’ve always been. In another, we’ve never been more diversely evolved. In either case, the way we’ve become instantly connected has changed absolutely everything about our species in a way that is completely unprecedented, due to it’s immediacy and near-universality.
I have isolated myself from my family arguing about this, because the problem cannot be solved by people banding together on digital islands. Can that be an organizational tool? Sure.
The problem is the reality bubble that is in place between you and those closest to you, that the internet has exacerbated.
But just like the global house of cards, there is also a personal house of cards.
These are the same things. It is fractal.
We need nothing short of a rapid near-global change of paradigm which somehow avoids the devastating war that usually comes on the tide of such changes.
Especially now that those changes can happen nearly instantaneously, compared to the lag measured in years, decades or even centuries before.
This is probably the most I’ve written on medium since election day. If you clicked my video link earlier, you’ll probably understand why, or understand me better.
This is only one trajectory of the greater “thing” I see. There’s so much more, but it’s like we can’t take another step before we acknowledge we’re standing in the middle of a nuclear minefield, we all have imperfect information, and we need to reevaluate.
Because most people can’t get to the bottom of this many words. Think about that, if any of you made it this far. Understand how different that makes you than 90+% of the people alive today — on the other side of the bell curve lie people who just want to fight by their gut feelings, and the rules they’ve been taught. And those things conflict, and they don’t know why.
And they understand in tweets.
That does not make them lesser. That makes them very, very different. If they hear the wrong “code words” they start punching.
And THESE TWO THINGS TOGETHER is what we should be afraid of.
Because I am a glutton for punishment, I ask myself if I am not simply doing the same thing? Writing propaganda based on a pattern of “code words” which has triggered me?
This is infinite paranoia. But it is also the understanding of the card you are holding on your forehead, unaware of it’s suit or number — no matter how much you think you’ve figured out.
Can we thread the needle?