Michael Reddy, Ph.D, CPC
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Thursday June 29, 2017
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Trump, Twitter, Facebook, and Disruptive Technologies

spinning out of controlWho--or what--really runs our world today?  Answer that question in various ways, from different perspectives, and we capture parts of the truth.  Giant corporations, cabals of superwealthy, governments perhaps less and less? What do you think?

But why ask that in a newsletter supposedly devoted to healing and training healers?

Well, here's a question. Can we bring healing to individuals and families when the cultures they live in are clearly spinning further off of any stable, humane axis?  Not so easily. And many in the systemic community are setting up constellations that attempt to peer into and influence these larger movements in better directions.  So what are these movements?

And Then There's...whats france trumpt

"The Donald"--an apparently unhealed narcissist who is derailing a presidential election largely to Trump-et his name and face across the world.  So maybe that's another reason to ask the question in a newsletter about healing:  what, not who, runs our world. Doesn't this guy embody something that desperately needs healing?

Consider a moment. Could it be that Twitter, by degrading conversation to 140 character meaning bites, has a lot to do with Trump's success?  Would his candidacy be possible without Twitter and the way it has conditioned human communication?

OK--So What's Driving
Our Culture's Car?

One answer to what, not who, runs our world is simple, and central.  It's just not supposed to be talked about.  Rampant technological innovation, unfettered and rabidly profit-oriented, is probably the most powerful player on the stage of world affairs today. 

drink the coolaidThe primary quest in finance, computing, nanotech, robotics, artificial intelligence, weapons development, and so on--is to find the next big "disruptive technology" that will go viral and earn millions for its owners.  Oh, sorry, I meant billions.

Escalating Displacement

Disruptive technologies are those which become wildly successful by making thousands of formerly stable businesses and millions of human livelihoods obsolete.  The cool-aid an also for-profit media forces us to drink about this is:  how super wonderful to have smart phones and robots that do so much. 

robot replaces worker croppedThe elephant in the room that is never to be taken seriously is:  what about the millions of families whose lives depended on stable careers. Clerking, film-based photography, manufacturing, brick-and-mortar retail, and so on, are displaced in less time than it takes a kid to grow up. 

And artificial intelligence, the current wave of big tech investment, is already taking aim at "knowledge workers."

Technology is fine.  It deserves an important place.  But not when shaped largely by pathological greed packaged as "good for you."

What's Life Like
In Wildly Successful,
Tech-based Businesses?

But suppose we decided, consciously as a society, that smart phones were worth all that human damage.  Suppose that the rolling wave of social suffering created by implementing these changes too fast and pretty much only for the profit of a few--suppose it had to be accepted for some greater good. 

Suppose we did that, which we haven't, and likely wouldn't.  What then about these new tech based businesses that have gone viral?  Are they themselves stable?

Could we really "retrain" and find chaos monkeys coverlasting homes for so many in them?  What kind of livelihoods would they be?

A very smart, seemingly honest Latino maverick named Antonio Martinez just put out a book about his high profile, short-lived career in Wall Street and Silicon Valley. 


When the Genie of Disruption
Gets Out of the Bottle

The title is CHAOS MONKEYS--OBSCENE FORTUNE AND RANDOM FAILURE IN SILICONE VALLEY.  "Chaos monkey" is nerdspeak for a bug or virus that runs rampant in a system, laying waste to its organization.

Among other things, that's one of the points of the book.  That high-speed stock and securities trading, and companies in the Valley like Google, Facebook, and Twitter, are sowing chaos in the way a market society handles both wealth and information.  What really drives these businesses, apart from greed, is actually fear.  Because they have a problem. 

The genie of disruption is out of the bottle.  Just as they enjoyed wild success by going viral with a replacement for something slower and more humane, a hundred venture capitalists and smart kids all around them are fall of yahoonow working day and night to replace them. 

What's the Lifespan of
A Tech Business Gone Viral?

After all, look at Yahoo.  Unable to reinvent itself, the Internet pioneer was just acquired by Verizon for about 5 billion.  Only 8 years ago, Microsoft offered 45 billion. Useful lifespan: 20 years.  Sun Microsystems made it just to 28.

When Google attacked Facebook by creating a competing service called Hangouts, Mark Zuckerberg ("the Zuck") declared a "hackathon."  That means no employee leaves the building until the lockdown is lifted.  But, hey, it's ok, because their families are allowed to visit for the free dinners in plush campus cafeterias. After all, the machines can work 24 hours a day, so why not the people? 

If Martinez is right, most employees are already at work 12-16 hours a day anyway.

The powerful businesses in Silicon Valley and Wall Street are engaged in something best compared to sharks in a feeding frenzy.  They are eating each other as much as anything else.

Truthiness and Trumpiness

Stephen Colbert captured the changing zeitgeist of "disruption" in 2005 when he coined the word "truthiness."  It means "believing something that feels true, even if it isn't supported by facts."  But he's now had to replace that with "trumpiness." 

Trumpiness is a characteristic of statements that are not only not supported by facts, but don't even have to feel truetrumpiness word croppedAs Stephen says, truthiness has to at least come from the heart.  But trumpiness comes from further down the gastro-intestinal tract. 

What the Donald says does not have to be true.  He does not even have to mean it.  All it has to do is keep his name in the media and titillate his Twitter-ized followers.  

Disruptive technologies in the handling of money, computing, and weapons have marginalized and made homeless so many people that they are confused and angry enough to become chaos monkeys themselves. 

This is a despairing and nihilistic wave and Trump arises to surf the crest of it.

Real Power has to Heal

My indigenous and mixed blood shamanic teachers taught me 30 years ago that the ability to heal is the ONLY kind of "power" worth seeking and having.  Anybody can destroy things.  Nothing else is really deserving of the name "power."

To my colleagues in the systemic community who are involvedearth squeezed in hand in setting up constellations to image and bring healing to the larger forces at work in the world today--I suggest you include a representative for greed leveraged by disruptive innovation.  Call him "Greed Based Tech" for short. 

He's a big player in the current archetypal crunch, and someone needs to bring him back into the field of humane human love.  Greed has stolen technology.  Perverted it really.

And for everyone else, I have a question.  Where do you think cultures that exploit and trivialize human communication by reducing it to superficial meaning bites is actually heading?  Trump, I submit, is that answer for you. 

Sanity is not a Luddite

world on knife edgeWhy not reconsider the cool-aid that says that unmanaged technological change for the purpose of obscene profit is good for you?  It's impoverishing human skills and compromising democracy itself. 

I know... they'll call you a Luddite.  But you're not one.

You're just being sane.

Would it be so terrible to tune the pace of development to the time it takes to raise a human kid?  Couldn't everybody prototype like mad for 5 or 10 years, and then we get to vote on what changes to implement on the "viral" scale??  Is that being a Luddite?

We'll need plenty of high tech to hang on to the planet--just not the kind wholly devoted to creating obscene wealth as fast as possible.










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