What I Am Thinking About Now

Segmentation by Generation: Every generation looks at the next couple generations and decides that “these damn kids” are different, that they don’t share the same values, and that they’re making a mess of things. The Millennials all got awards at the end of soccer season, even when they lost. They don’t care about money, and they are never going to leave their parents’ houses. They’re way too open-minded. We’ll see. One thing is for certain, the generations before them won’t understand them. It’s a rite of passage. My bet is that they won’t be all that different, but they will feel the same way about their children and grandchildren.

A Lot of Research Isn’t Useful. Yet.: I love it that we can do fMRI imaging of brains. I am certain there are great insights being discovered every day. But they are absolutely meaningless in practice. There is nothing neuroscience has taught us that is applicable when you are sitting in front of another human being that human evolution didn’t already provide. You want to know how to tell if someone is lying based on the latest brain research? You already know when someone is lying, don’t you? Your gut tells you. This will, however, change. We are going to figure out what we are figuring out, and it will be useful.

It’s the Creative’s World (You’re Just Living In It): Everything that can be done by a robot or a computer eventually will be. That means the future is going to be owned–even more than it is now–by the creative class. The people who are going to be in greatest demand are people who can create, people with imaginations, people who can produce new works. Also, people who know how to work with their hands, craftsmen. Some of the first craftsmen are going to make individual works using new technologies, like 3D printing. You are going to pay for things that were not mass produced.

Fragmentation: We used to have three television channels. Everyone had a common set of experiences because of that box. We had a few channels on FM Radio, and the powers-that-be (or powers-that-were, more accurately) used to determine what music we listened to. We had common experiences. Big stars were made. Now, everybody has access to the tools to create and distribute. This has resulted in serious fragmentation. We no longer share the cultural experiences that television, radio, movies and entertainment provided. There are no great acts.

Polarization: More and more, people are being polarized by their political beliefs. The discourse is coarser. Things that should unite us divide us because the political parties and their staunchest supporters frame every issue with the sole intention of reaching some segment of the population they believe necessary by demonizing someone or something else. Politicians no longer stand for anything. Instead, they just oppose things. They don’t have a vision of their own. They just oppose the other side’s vision, which doesn’t really exist anyway.

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