News and Events Pearls

Everything you know is wrong

We live in a time that is a combination Gutenberg printing, Industrial Revolution, nation-state building, roaring 20's, civil rights movement, and so on all combined into one.

We don't know what the world is going to look like in 20 years. All we know is that it cannot possibly look like it does now. Everything is broken.

Education is broken. It no longer makes economical sense to teach kids in groups at the same pace by underpaid teachers in physical buildings together. What kinds of geniuses will the world produce under this new system in 10 years?

Media is broken. Books were one of the last pieces of media to cross into the digital normalcy. Books are one of the most important parts of civilization. It brought humanity out of the dark ages. Now, no knowledge can be controlled due to artificial scarcity. Students don't buy textbooks. How will the economics of information work?

Opportunity is broken. You used to have to know someone in the record business.You had to have a friend in a university. You needed to get that interview at that big company. In the 21st century, you produce your own hit movie, you make your own billion-dollar company, you create your own job and job title, you publish your own book. How will people capitalize on overabundance of opportunity? What will they make?

Communism and socialism and capitalism are broken. Communism is dead. Europe is feeling the weight of overpromised social services. Capitalism causes the smartest minds to spin wheels, cash out, and let the market crash, and it has hardly had new ideas in 200 years. Lack of scarcity, ease of group formation, near symmetrical information, and a large wealthy satisfied middle class corrupt past fundamental assumptions. What will the economy look like in a digital age?

Privacy is broken. Cameras are everywhere. The government monitors your every email and phone call. They know everywhere your cell phone goes. Your friends post photos and create permanent records of what you do. Your computer keeps a fingerprint of nearly everything you do or think. How will we avoid abuse of this information? Will we have a new fascism?

Secrecy is broken. Wikileaks demonstrates that a secret known by enough people will be known by everyone. Everyone knows about Freemasons. Wikipedia has instructions for cooking crack. You can build a nuclear reactor. Everyone knows everything. How will governments keep secrets? Will they at all?

The political social contract is broken. Democratic republics were necessary due to the inability of citizens to participate in direct democracy with limited communication. Today, people feel disenfranchised, and a revolution originally limited to despotic countries extends to disaffected groups in democratic strongholds. Arab countries won't look like they do now, but neither will the US. How will the US participative democracy work in a digital age?

War is broken. China is making air drones that can attack and target and destroy aircraft carriers. Carriers cost $100 billion each and now a group can destroy them for a million dollars. Cyberattacks cripple government and business targets from zombie computers within borders with no state attribution. Many of the tools that the US has armed itself with for trillions of dollars to defend the country are entirely useless today. How will we avoid war? Who will win if we fail?

over 5 years ago on October 12 at 10:45 am by Joseph Perla in news, world


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Joseph Perla studied writing at Princeton University. He has been published in Business Today and LAUNCH. An independent journalist, Mr. Perla has thousands of followers and regularly reports on arts, business, technology, and their intersection. He is a proud member of the National Press Photographers Association.

Twitter: @jperla

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