What are the emotions these recent happenings evoke in you? Anger? Hate? Disgust? Fear?
I generally avoid news, most of it is toxic. The important stuff filters down into daily conversation, a screen nearby or a social media feed, unless you are living under a rock (which I try very hard to do!)
But I recently listened to a Keynote entitled “Never Been Better, Never Felt Worse: Inside the Rise of an Integral Global Operating System for the 21st Century” by Robb Smith of Integral Life and his analysis of the situation we find ourselves in blew me away in terms of depth, clarity and pinpoint accuracy. I wrote down close to 50% of his talk, which I have never done with any video ever before. So I wanted to share with you what I found to be the most significant parts. Enjoy!
“Social platforms emerge as new power players, but have not yet discerned how to wield that power properly.”
The unethical behavior we have witnessed has brought these much needed conversations out into the open. What gives me hope is the international outrage that has ensued. While much of it was crude, offensive spread of hate, there was much that was sincere and elegant. Not all outrage is created equal. The expression holds within it the true message.
“We are like a rapidly darting school of fish, enmeshed in the flow and rhythm of crowds. Our values and communication changing subtly, but so quickly. With the pace of social feedback accelerated.. giving us the feeling of constant whiplash.”
I believe it is a catalyst. We are entering a new era of global accountability. It is getting harder and harder to get away with unethical acts. The whole world is watching, and they are not afraid to speak out.
This is not a hate post. They are human beings going through a human experience. I did not have their childhood. They are not evil people, they are lost, confused, lacking morals, maturity and a conscious awareness of other human beings, living in a fantasy world where their behavior is justifiable.
Condemnation and hate only breed more of the same. How can we help them grow up? To expand their consciousness? How can we send a message to countless others like them, hidden among us, less vocal, less accountable and largely invisible without millions of followers. Once seen as role models, one would now have to seriously think twice before saying “I hope to follow in [insert ego-driven personality]’s footsteps.”
They are just faces, a reflection of our general level of consciousness of our global society. How would I speak to a friend or my child had they made a mistake? First, realizing they know not what they do, on an intellectual level they may, but on an emotional human level, the pain and suffering caused seems to be strictly outside of their awareness. Then firmly letting them know that the behavior is absolutely unacceptable, and creating an environment and culture where that behavior can no longer take place.
“It’s leaders betraying our expectations that they uphold even the most basic of civil norms.”
Let’s not forget that the system we have created has put these people in the positions they are in. From the votes people cast to the movies they watch to the videos they like. The system, at one time innovative and has now become outdated and is in need of an upgrade. Unfortunately in many parts of the world, we still live in a male dominated society, but there is hope as more and more women come into key roles in leadership.
“Things have never been better, but they have never felt worse.”
We need to be grateful for all that we have, keeping a long term view of where we are going, not getting stuck in the recent drama on Facebook or YouTube or in life. It’s not an easy transition because we have to let go of what was familiar and trust in the uncertainty of our conscious evolution.
“A recent study by the American Psychological Association reports that two-thirds of Americans feel stress about the future of the nation.”
I am neither American nor have I ever lived in the US, but the effects of globalization have made it such that YouTube, Hollywood and American Politics are a global phenomenon, with rest of the world empathetically wincing along for the ride.
“The messenger becomes the message: loud, shrill and frequently immoral, Trump was able to speak to the grievance of people who feel unsafe, who feel threatened racially, who feel uncertain and left behind both culturally and economically.”
The American populace, particularly those in more rural areas who have been impacted by globalization and automation, wanted Trump to win, disenfranchised with the effects of the growing progressive movements. The same is happening all over the Western world, illustrated by the recent baffling Brexit. There is a yearning for a return to an industrial era, but the world has moved beyond the point of return. And that’s a good thing, though the transition may get even more painful.
“It’s easy to lose sight of how good we actually have it today. Human life in all of its history has never been better than it is right now.
The past 200 years of progress have been mind bending, to the point of inconceivable. In the past 20 years alone, global poverty has been cut in half, and we’ll likely wipe out poverty in our lifetime.
In 1950 less than 10 percent of the world population was considered middle class, today it’s almost 50%.
A century ago, just a few countries were actually democratic, and those only partly so. Today, nearly two thirds of all countries are democracies, with 64% of the worlds population living in free or partly free conditions.
200 years ago, only 12% of the world’s population could read. Today 86% of the world can do so.
Alongside of this we are eradicating crippling disease.
In addition to these truly extraordinary outcomes, we are seeing an incomprehensible explosion of innovation throughout human life. We are interconnected by global data networks not only to each other but to all the knowledge and the wisdom that the species has created to this point.
Genomics is revolutionizing medicine and promises to provide everyone fully personalized, genetically tailored interventions within a generation. We may be on our way to stopping aging in the next few decades.
We can harness the power of big data to generate insight that can dramatically improve our lives, and machine learning is giving us back time and energy dedicated to everyday life tasks. Automation and advanced manufacturing are simultaneously lowering the cost of producing everything while enabling the cost of producing anything.
Clean energy is changing the energy grid and mitigating the carbon surplus. A future of clean free power is credibly visible for the first time.
The blockchain is liberating the power of transnational trustless recordkeeping and is creating innovation in everything from cryptocurrencies to providing a mode of exchange for the internet of things.
And it’s not just technology. We’re seeing a veritable explosion of innovation in our social systems, in political activism, fundraising, coalition formation and direct democracy…and there remain real and significant challenges of course, with each of these things posing new dilemmas along the way, but it’s precisely because this explosion of innovation poses these challenges that we know our current operating system is ill equipped to the demands of tomorrow’s governance.
This suggests that we’re not just in an average moment of political disruption or even economic reorganization. We are entering an age of transformation.”
It has been clear to me for the last decade (Robb Smith puts the date at 2007), the transformation is inevitable due to the decentralization of information through the proliferation of smartphones and the connection to the internet through 3G. This became readily evident to me growing up in Africa where kids on the street may not have a place to sleep or food to eat, but they would without a doubt have a smartphone.
Everyone now has a voice.
How will you use yours?
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