Monday, October 10, 2016

Shifting Sources of Power and Equality
All animals are equal but some are more equal than others.
George Orwell,  Animal Farm
As everybody knows,  social trends shift.
These equality shifts, often decades in the making, include:
·         The shift from masculine to feminine.  Women now dictate power shifts – in politics, in boardrooms, in the professions.  We shall soon have a woman president, more corporate women CEOs, more women lawyers and doctors and other professionals. 

·         The shift from traditional conservative values to more progressive secular values.  We see this everywhere, from attitudes towards gender equality, to same sex and cross-racial marriages, to more permissiveness towards teens,  to more acceptance of marijuana use.

·         The shift from nationalism to globalism.  Immigration across borders is growing,  more international trade is the norm,    more acceptance of other cultures is said to be desirable,  international travel and education is on the rise.

·         The shift from straight unadorned talk to political correctness. Politically correct speech is telling people what you think  they want to hear without offending anybody in a totally tolerant world.

·         The shift from individualism to corporate and large group activities.   You see this particularly in medicine.  The social media  ostensibly has fostered individual ism,  but in reality,  Facebook, Twitter, and iphones  and  the like are social collectivism activities and account for the world’s fastest growing international corporations.

·         The shift from privacy to transparency.    With emails and algorithms and open computer systems  and electronic health records,  credit cards,  and big data tracking,  nothing is private or confident anymore.

·         The shift from human decision making to machine decision making.    The use of machine learning and algorithms  over humans to solve and monitor complex problems.
Some of us yearn for the good old days when men were men, and women were women, and you could tell the difference; when you knew where you stood  based on values embedded over generations;   when you accepted the belief that it was the right thing to be patriotic and that your  country stood for what was good and noble;  when you acted on the basis of what was good for you was good for society and did not need outside management; when individual privacy  and confidentiality  were respected; when you didn’t need an algorithm to tell you how to act or think;  when you said what you meant and meant what you said.

Ah, yes, those were the days.











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