Ladies, Gentlemen, Oxen and creatures of unknown provenance: this is your final warning.
Okay, that’s a little over dramatic. It’s not your final warning, because this kind of disaster is slow-mo and will be playing out over the next ten years, (and the recovery will take longer than that) and I will try to give more warnings, and yes, material help or intellectual help if I’m in a position to do so (which depends on my getting serious about this crap instead of half measures).
But the thing is, what we’re caught in, the creative destruction of a technology (pardon me this use, but it’s true) paradigm shift, has no set schedule. I don’t know when it will hit my industry full on (it’s hitting it, but no one knows when the crucial grain of sand will go, and the entire industry will shift) and I know even less when it will hit yours.
The fact that this destructive construction or creative destruction is being helped by a generation of leftists who, being the result of the long march through the institutions, feel like it’s their actual job to lecture, to shape society, to change humans, to bring about justice for people who look vaguely like people who might once have been oppressed, makes the situation all the more incalculable. It is also the obvious result of the long march, and the fact it was allowed to happen.
In writing and in journalism, as I’ve told you guys before, I suspect that this creative destruction, the crash of the old and the emergence of the new, would not have happened if the people at the top of the old forms hadn’t COMPLETELY forgotten or never been taught what a “job” or “selling” or “clients” are. I don’t know the other industries as well, though I have friends in both health and teaching, and I know they’re maybe just a little behind us. And as for tech… HR departments have been making it just as crazy or the word “shirtstorm” wouldn’t exist. Journalists could flap all they wanted to, if their flapping didn’t actually affect engineers, no matter how competent.
But I don’t know. We have very few centuries of actual recorded primary source history we can check. And the “historians” of the last century have befouled that pool with their ignorant opinions and screeching enough. It was after all one of the fields taken over. Narrative over truth, etc. You can catch them at it, if you see the contradictions. And eventually people who care will sift the primary sources for the truth. Until then we can’t know stuff like this for sure, but I suspect that the sclerosis in thought is part of the change in tech, because it becomes needed for survival.
So, take in account I don’t know all the details, but I know that “the times they are achanging” and despite people’s insistence on thinking I’m an optimist, I’m not.
I’m just a long-term depressive who has therefore learned to evaluate reality dispassionately and past her biases, so she doesn’t off herself or fall into a spiral where she would off herself. Note “dispassionately.” There are times the light is small and very faint. But if it exists, I take it into account.
In this case the light isn’t small or very faint. I’m no telling you we will win all battles. I’m not telling won’t win some battles. And I’m not telling you we won’t lose a lot of them, particularly political.
Look guys, unless Trump cleans up voting his goose is cooked. Colorado has just outsourced my ability to vote for president to NY and CA and their crooked vote machines. FL in the last election passed a law letting felons vote, because, you know, that’s the best way to keep your elections clean, amIright? I suspect there’s madness of this sort all over.
And even if Trump wins, he is at best a very imperfect vessel (they all are, but Trump is basically a NY democrat, old style. Infinitely preferable to new style, but…)
There will be losses, particularly political.
But in this great technological upheaval, in the way things are changing, there is something beyond hope. Yes, sure, the tech mavens, the dead hand of the old establishment will fight back. They’re doing so. But in the process they unmask themselves. Now they’re coming out against the first amendment and yeah as you know, against life and liberty. They’ve long been for “happiness on our terms only”. The long march requires being hidden. We can see them now. And their faces are repulsive enough to scare anyone still half-sane sober. Which means even people less aware than us will fight back, or try to save themselves.
And technology favors the individual.
One after the other the old, rotten institutions are collapsing. Sure, they’ll strike back. They’ll even get blood now and then.
The next ten years are going to be a bag of suckage the likes of which the world hasn’t seen in a long time. And a lot — A LOT — of good people, a lot of our people, are going to suffer with the bad.
So, this is your warning, if you want to avoid maximum pain, if you want to survive, if you want to be here at the end of those ten years and help the rebuilding (and I do. I wish I were younger, but if wishes were horses…)
This is not gloating because I have friends depending on Journalism and university teaching, and a hundred other endangered fields to make a living.
It’s more of a warning: over the next few years a lot of us trapped behind the cultural lines are going to need to find other means of survival. If you’re one of those, and you know if you are, make plans, look around, find alternate ways to practice your profession or find other things you can do to survive and thrive.
(Yes, I am, but not as assiduously as I should be. That stops today. I need to get serious. I’ve been sensing the future and what a mess.)
Ladies, gentlemen, small startled animals, locate your parachute under your seats, get ready for the oxygen mask to drop and above all LOCATE THE NEAREST EXIT.
Because what can’t go on won’t go on, no matter how long it takes for that to become obvious. Remember these things move very slowly and then suddenly catastrophically FAST. You can’t be sure. You will think all is safe now and then suddenly, before you can think, all hell will cut loose. You will think “not me.” But yes, you. No one is safe in this. Either by our action, the counteraction, or just “change” a lot of people are going to lose livelihood and security.
The important thing is not despair, not to go under. And to prepare if you can.
I want you to stay aware, to keep your eyes open, to watch. I can’t know your field. I’m not you. Think through the trends, think ahead, figure out what happens when the skinsuit collapses, when the alternatives become viable, when people challenge the current mode of work, of selling, of service, or living.
And then find an escape route. The exit closest to you might be behind you. Or upside down. Or it might be through the luggage rack. Stay creative. Don’t assume you have all the time in the world. Chaotic creation/destruction doesn’t hit in any given order. Tech could go next. Or perhaps construction. You don’t know. Keep your eyes open. Be ready to completely rearrange your head to accommodate new concepts of “career” and “how we do things.” (TRUST ME that this is the hard part. Please. I know it shouldn’t be, but it is.)
This is particularly important if you’re in charge of a company and others depend on you.
Creatively think through exit strategies and new ways of doing things. This is really hard, but you must do it.
And then stay flexed, non-panicked, ready to jump.
This might mean anything from starting a new business now to learning new skills. (Yes, learning to code if you’re so inclined, so long as you know that that TOO is under the same forces of cracking and structural stress. There are still ways of surviving, but they might be inferior to your current skills. So it might not be worth it.)
I can’t tell you what to do unless you’re a writer, and even then, strategies of escape are still being tested and might or might not work. The same for editors and publishers.
BUT two things I know: There’s always a strategy. And this mess is going to hit EVERYWHERE.
Part of the insanity on the left is that they feel the wave of change coming, (even if they can’t think through it.) and it doesn’t accord to their prophecies, and also will take away the ramparts they’ve built over a century.
We who know that history has no arrow will at least be driven slightly less mad.
But it doesn’t mean it will be easy.
Don’t be afraid, be pro-active.
You’d better learn how to
swim code do whatever you can or you’ll sink like a stone. Because catastrophic change is no respecter of persons or ideologies.
And the times they are achanging.