You know how they say that history never repeats itself, but it rhymes?
Well someone drop a beat because Run His-Tor-E is about to spit that fire! (see what I did there? 😎)
Do you remember, about 15 or 20 years ago, when globalization was all the rage?
It was this unstoppable force taking the world by storm.
There would be winners and losers, but there would be more winners so the losers would just have to deal.
There would be ideological casualties along the way (nationalistic pride, cultural homogeneity, industries specific to a particular region), but there was no sense fretting the inevitable.
Finally, it would be very difficult and complex to enact and deploy, but the bankers and financiers of the world had everything under control.
And we all know where that story landed? The global financial crisis.
To be clear, it would be a vast oversimplification to try and draw a cause and effect relationship between globalization and the GFC, but I imagine there might be some connection. Global markets and interconnected credit systems means that local credit crunches become global ones.
If you put your ear close to the wall, DJ His-Tor-E seems to be revving up for a second verse.
Think about the narrative around the technological revolution that we currently find ourselves in.
Technology is an unstoppable force.
There will be winners and losers, but ultimately more winners so just deal.
Many jobs may disappear, privacy as a concept might cease to exist, truth itself may come under fire, but these are cultural artifacts that must be sacrificed on the way to a techno-utopia.
And it’s super complicated, but don’t worry because the jean wearing Patagonia vest wearing tech bros in Silicon Valley will all drop out of their ivy league schools to save us.
Those 2 stories sound eerily similar. And during times of polarization, nationalism, and populism, the last thing we need is for people to think that technology is coming for them. So it seems to me that we may need a different narrative around technology and we also need to think more seriously about what is it that we’re trying to accomplish through technological change.