How it IS not how it WAS, or how you thought it was…
Tuesday, 21 December, 2010 Leave a comment
“When it comes to epidemics of disease, financial crises, political revolutions, social movements, and dangerous ideas, we are all connected by short chains of influence. It doesn’t matter if you know about them, and it doesn’t matter if you care, they will have their effect anyway. To misunderstand this is to misunderstand the first great lesson of the connected age: we may all have our own burdens, but like it or not, we must bear each other’s burdens as well”
Duncan Watts, Six Degrees: The Science of a Connected Age
When I have the time I hope to sit down and prepare a presentation based around how a “post critical society” may look but I suspect it will frighten a lot of people and cast me as some kind of prophet of doom. That really isn’t me!
But I can see how we might arrive there unless people (you and me) start taking responsibility.
Thanks to the ability to communicate, discuss, learn and question like never before, citizens have slowly come to realise that the institutions in whom we trusted for generations have consistently breached that trust in pursuit of their own agendas. In history the most successful civilizations e.g. Egyptian, Greece, Rome, Mayans, Inca, etc. eventually lost their power. They became victims of their own complexity and the people who stood to lose most were the one’s most resistant to change. Ultimately it cost them everything….more of that in a moment (see below).
Before we could afford the type of technology that enables us to communicate across the globe, these institutions had their own global “intranets” and these were used to good effect to maintain their power bases. Only now are we realising that, when something went wrong and people, cultures or environments were damaged (or destroyed), what appeared to be – and were often dismissed as – rare, sporadic or local issues were, in truth the outward manifestation of how rotten things were within.
I am not suggesting for one minute that the following terms refer to all or each and every such organisation but these are just a few expressions that may help identify the “type”: Top down, hierarchical, command and control, divide and conquer, autocratic, bureaucratic, authoritarian, elite, dictatorship, etc. (feel free to add your own).
Here is an excellent infographic illustrating why WE should be fully aware of just what we are dealing with.