The promise of the new diversity in the House of Representatives
by Mike Meyer
We are usually overwhelmed with worry. The shit has hit the fan so frequently in the last few years that we have almost become accustomed to the smell. All it takes is one more video image of Donald Trump spewing lies, news media’s fascination with yet another fascist wannabe, or yet another mass shooting in America to bring down the clouds of disgust. And that doesn’t even consider the blatant stupidity of what passes for politicians as we accelerate into the mid 21st century.
But even with all that the amazing thing is how well things are going. Its enough to make you want to get up and dance. Yes, really.
Let’s look at this directly. And, no, I’m not going to point at a bunch of good things totally unrelated to the bad things. That borders on distraction. Let’s look at the good that seems to be coming despite the bad.
It has been obvious for many years that our success in full information technology has built the foundations of a new world. We have command of information and communication in ways that were beyond belief even twenty years ago. Progress is always a double edged blade. You tend to get cut, sometimes badly, learning to handle totally new tools that you can barely comprehend.
And that scares the crap out of a significant segment of the population who were having difficulty handling television and rudimentary science education. Figuring out how to handle that portion of the population is proving to be a huge challenge but it doesn’t slow things down at all. We’ll come back to this a bit later.
Consider what most post-industrial countries’ educated people are worrying about: 1) The replacement of up to 40% of existing jobs by robotic automation, 2) Ethical issues and legal liability of self driving, autonomous vehicles, 3) Achieving sustainable economies to reduce atmospheric carbon and resultant global warming, 4) Genetic editing of animals and humans with CRSPR Cas9 technology, 5) The effects of continuous smart phone interaction on our children, 6) Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality (Mixed Reality) in work and education.
All of the things listed are understood to be workable now and are being integrated into human society at an astounding rate. Those same people are also aware that there is no turning back and the mix of these technologies is transforming human society in ways that we are now, only beginning, to understand. And there is a palpable sense of excitement about what this means.
These are all incredibly dangerous tools with micron cutting edges but we are learning how to use them. We are learning how to use them very, very quickly. The move of new technology from “OMG what does that mean?” to “Oh yeah, I just got one” once took several years but now takes several months. Or less.
The more we do this the more comfortable we get. We begin to understand the principals that are new and then begin to understand the implications and how these systems produce new interconnections to things we do everyday.
Please understand that I understand that the tiny list of things that I have given you is only a fraction of what is happening all around us. There is so much more that we are on the verge of learning or doing. The most important thing is the decline of fear among the population that has been so worried for years. Think about that in your own life a minute.
It tends to happen between fits of depression and fright at the stupidity of the people that have managed to take over the US government. But they are stunningly incompetent with their skills limited to manipulation of those folks still intimidated by the 20th century. That is not the majority and it definitely is not the people who are becoming more comfortable with instantaneous diversity in all aspects of our planetary societies.
But back to those very people who aren’t taking this as scary but exciting but, instead, as direct personal attacks on the world that they were barely able to manage. These are the people who are generally frightened of diversity. These are also people who are prone to authoritarianism because they have limited ability to deal with change and tend to paranoia before anything else. They have been taught to hate in order to manage their public influence for those that manipulate them for personal gain.
These people are suckers but have, at best, a level of cunning combined with little or no understanding of ethics or morality and that makes them dangerous. What we are seeing now is the beginning of a transition to anew type of connected society that can mobilize to stop this old style of fascism.