Once upon a time there were few outlets for information. The world was explained to us by a handful of journalists who mostly got the inspiration from each other (shall we say copy?). We had a limited menu of views of the world, a leftist, a liberal and a right-wing. The world was easy to understand, we knew what was happening, since the important stuff was selected for us. Life was simple, few neurons were involved in making sense of the world. Yes that's a cartoon view but not far from how information was produced and consumed.
Information is not the only thing that is changing, the underlining world is changing fast too and we must cope with the new reality. Actually some older people, and a few young as well, desperately refuse the idea of change and fight it, but they will eventually become a minority, thanks to biology ... yes even in Italy!
Things get less clear when we consider the causes of change and how to deal with them. Understanding the causes depends on your implicit model of the world, that's to say, the kind of glasses you wear to look at reality. People construct their own understanding of reality through their backgrounds and tend to extrapolate from them. These extrapolations are always linear and wrong! A changing world is discontinuous, making medium term predictions impossible.
So how can we navigate the turbulent waters of change? One way is to read about many different points of view to figure out the possible future trends for yourself. Today this is possible thanks to the Internet, although it requires an effort on our pool of under-utilized neurons and it is highly time consuming. On the Internet similar opinions tend to cluster, thanks to the ability to link and comment, so we can jump from one source to another. We still use our glasses to interpret what we read, but we are also pushed to read about different opinions from our owns and compare. This is the recipe to broaden our understanding and to build a better personal compass.
Here are some links about opinions which are VERY different from mainstream thinking, you may even view some of them as exagerations, nevertheless they might help you get a different perspective.
What is happening
- The need to reboot (and not only in the US): The decline of a superpower. Collapsing bridges, street lights turned off, cuts to basic services.
- Is the US dream over? That's what Der Spiegel thinks.
- Get ready to change your expectations: Never retire. In Singapore you'd better prepare yourself.
- It is not only about us in the developed world: Even China has its illegal immigrants.
Why it is happening
- It is about age and mastering new technology: Even in Silicon Valley, if you're not young, you have problems finding a job.
- Technology is destroying jobs faster than it is able to create them. Good analysis (less convincing prescriptions): The lights in the tunnel.
- More about the above link.
How to cope with it
- Decentralize production, idea generation, power generation and even food production: Grow your own algae and food.
- Embrace change and favor it: Invest in new ideas and technology even in South America.
- Restructure your life reducing your belongings and live a happier life. The Cult of less: living out of a hard drive.
- Understand the new political reality: Fight for your own rights.
- Understand that everything is changing even books. Try to invent new formats, do not live in the past.