At the CSL.org.au course last night a young woman from Westpac held a talk about “shared values”, and Corporate Australia. In her talk, social and environmental considerations were ‘external factors’, which could be put into the equation because that would lead to higher economic returns.
At question time I tried to explain my take on ecological economics, sustainability and triple bottom lines, whereby the economy sits as a subsection within the greater context of the natural world, the environment and the social component.
She did not follow my train of thought. She continued describing how Westpac will replace ‘a shitload of jobs’ (her words) with automation, but that Westpac would be all CSR and train 400 people up for other jobs. I mentioned the EU is considering a robot tax.
She then tilted her head and shot off a preconceived comment (seemingly a trained reflex-reply when the word ‘tax’ appears), questioning how that would “stifle innovation”. I did not reply, but the answer would have been:
If innovation only means to produce stuff cheaper, so to gain higher profit margins, then hell yeah let’s stifle that.
In my world the word 'tax' is related to involvement and responsibility… in this world it equates people to communists or socialists…
I think, while social media is all nice and good, it has the potential to lure you into a false sense of connectedness. On the most basic human level, social interaction is much more than exchanging information, words. It is a person’s body language, their presence, that nourishes the soul. You can’t get that through a screen. But as you wilt away, starving yourself from that oldest of human needs, you don’t know why you get sick… you only know that something’s not right… and if you’re a sucker for that, you will most likely blame yourself for being unwell, for not performing.
Our current, prevalent, archaic and unfortunate mindset of “might makes right” is at the crux of all the hypocrisy and global tragedy that we’re confronted with in our modern times. The idea associated with the phrase “might makes right” connotes that a society’s view of right and wrong is determined, like its perspective on history, by those currently in power. The term is used in the descriptive, rather than prescriptive way, in the same sense that people say that “History is written by the victors”. Because every person labels what they think is good for themselves as right, only those who are able to defeat their enemies can push their idea of what is right into fruition.
‘Kratocracy’ describes a government by those who are strong enough to seize power through force or cunning. In terms of morality, those who are the strongest will rule others and have the power to determine right and wrong. By this definition, the phrase “might makes right” manifests itself in a normative sense. This meaning is often used to define a proscriptive moral code for society to follow, as well as while discussing social Darwinism and Weberian themes of the authority of the state (e.g. Wirtschaft und Gesellschaft) in critical assessments of expressions of power. More on Might makes right on Wikipedia
Related: Moral nihilism and the Plunder of Natural Resources.
I think my impostor syndrome stems from the fact that I feel into an application much more than I understand to the atomic details why it behaves in a certain way. So I work in a field where I am surrounded by heavy weight subject matter experts, and feel like I’m the can-do-but-dont-ask-me-why kinda dude… friendly, but still…
This is what my colleague wrote to me last night:
Thank you for your nice message…
Sometimes it feels like life is happening to me as opposed to me making it happen…
I think that is where a classic expert and I differ the most… I admire her strength, rigour and ambition to make things happen, because without such drive we will never get anywhere… I on the other hand am very much a looking forward to seeing where life takes me kinda person… this might sound lame, even I myself may say so, still, it is as much as I can and want to give on “bandwidth variation” for the living spectrum, my ability and willingness to cope with highs and lows inflicted from the outside world… I think in short that means I am only a limited risk taker… and as broken hearts and unmet expectations are painful and hard to mend, I avoid them, and always give just enough love and have never too high hopes, because I need the rest of my energy to myself…
Her approach to life and databases is much more exhausting than mine… it appears the frustration is also deeper… but so might as well be the sweet high of success…
“Judging me hardly begins to describe the operation. It was a sense of invalidation and irrelevance that I felt was authentic, because those feelings have always circulated around my psyche: Where do you get to stand up and speak? For what and whom? And how deep is your experience? How significant is anything you have to say? . . . I think it really invited me to deepen my practice. Dig in deeper, whatever it was, take it more seriously.”
Cohen’s response illustrates exactly why imposter syndrome has been considered a predictor of success, even greatness.“People with imposter syndrome tend to be perfectionists, which means they’re likely to spend hours working overtime to make sure they excel in every single field. So if you do suffer from imposter syndrome, chances are you’re doing a pretty good job.”
It is often not clear why suddenly a coin drops… it’s a plethora of facets that lead to knowing… trusting your instincts is an acquired skill that helps greatly to navigate through life… but it takes listening, and patience, both of which have become rare concepts these days…
Life is more interesting when it’s led by the heart. It promises more drama, more bloodshed, more banter. Life led by logic and reason on the other hand already sounds boring and uneventful only by the very composition.
So here we are, pathetically drawn to drama and sensationalism, even though we’re way past a point where we could still afford this lifestyle. And yet we don’t stop.
(in other news, and completely unrelated, a thought just manifesting as I type: public transport, in complete silence, is like group meditation… this silent train carriage is blessed with mindfulness)
Back to our problem of frantic avoidance of the unbearable risk of boredom. Just think the unthinkable – imagine there was no sensational news, just reoccurring bau, business as usual. Where people stick to plans, businesses keep their promises, governments improve on procedures and outcomes. Just imagine a world like that.
Where is the crossing on the road of life where we have to turn to get there? Where??
Das permanente Appellieren der Medien an die niedrigsten Instinkte, the permanent focus of the media on the lowest of instincts, that is what makes this world so sad, so bad, and mad. It’s like Goethe’s Zauberlehrling und die Geister die ich rief…
Also I miss @colvinius. Twitter (and Australia) is a much less good place without him.
“There was an innate fairness about Mark… capable of “10,000 simultaneous conversations and of making each person feel they were the only one he was talking to”… an oasis of acceptance, kindness, braininess and fun.”
“Colvin’s desire to lift up those around him up was agreed upon by all.
He would remember things you had done and said years ago.”
My hiatus from social media starts to carry fruit. I have recently looked at a tree for a substantial amount of time, without telling anyone about it.
But the first days were a bit brutal. I felt very isolated from a world that I had grown accustomed to, basically the world as I knew it over the past 5 years. But change is good. Anything that will get you out of your comfy zone is good. And if no-one else rattles your cage you have to do it yourself. I have since landed back on my feet, with the realisation that it’s OK if you can’t tell the world your every single thought every very moment.
Still, I miss a lot the interaction with the tweeps that have become truly dear to me. As odd as that might sound, because I hardly really know any of them. Or do I?
I think what I need to do is understand Twitter better itself, so I can go back in. As that world is what I am questioning the most at the moment. With an account of hundreds or thousands of tweeps, why do only ever the same twenty odd tweeps converse, and what the heck are all the others doing? Just reading in? Is everyone just a free content producer? To be sussed out by some marketing dude claiming to raise sales with their sekrit gruen? And wotabout the masters of SocMed, those who kinda create a connection, but in the end only to portray themselves in a better light, to make them look pro.
This month it’s been 5 years that I was on Twitter. Twitter is the only social platform I frequent; I find it already hard to keep one running while still meeting actual real people in the other actual real life.
People spend a lot of time looking at their phones. Even the word phone has entirely morphed from one thing to something completely different now.
I’m taking a break from Twitter. And it feels kinda odd. While I’ve already got more done in just one day than I probably would’ve in three, I miss the voices and the laughter. (no I’m not hearing voices) I was never one for herd mentality. Twitter lets you forget that not all is good only because the loudest says so. The integrity of a writer is not manifested in the amount of followers they have. In this short-attention-span world of ours, every single bit of critical thinking is important for sanity and goodness to prevail (hopefully, after all, fingers crossed), so don’t let anyone shout you out.
Anyway, end of rant. Nothing really matters. As you were.
The world’s crises represent three divides: ecological, social, and spiritual. The ecological divide manifests in symptoms such as environmental destruction, and is experienced as a divide between self and nature. The social divide manifests in increasing rates of poverty, inequity, polarisation, and violence and is experienced as a divide between self and self. And the spiritual divide is experienced as a disconnect between self and self — the “current self” and the “emerging future self”.
A disconnect between these two selves manifests as burnout, depression, and suicide. In 2010, more people died from suicide than from murder, war, and natural disasters combined. Suicide is not an economic problem or a generational tic. It’s not a secondary concern, a sideline that will solve itself with new jobs, less access to guns, or a more tolerant society, although all would be welcome. It’s a problem with a broad base and terrible momentum, a result of seismic changes in the way we live and a corresponding shift in the way we die around the world.
Another symptom of this disconnect is the decoupling of GDP from the actual well-being of people: we produce more, consume more, and are busier than ever before but our happiness and wellbeing are declining.