Monday, May 07, 2007

The Cultural Evolution

The Lingle-Aiona Administration is touting their Innovation Initiatives package as their legislative achievement -- even if it did not get the funding they hoped for. But just to have those ideas discussed, is significant in itself -- because in the past, they would never have been brought up, or have been derided and dismissed as being a great threat to the status quo of bigotry, prejudice, and the resistance to new and different ideas. So the fact that it is dismissed as mostly talk -- that was what, was mostly needed.

It’s really the ideas that change cultures, and then societies, and eventually, the political landscape -- which is always last, and seldom first. That’s the misperception in politics -- that it is the leading edge, rather than the validation of leading edge ideas pioneered by private enterprises and personal initiatives. Government will always be last in instituting changes -- and never at the forefront pioneering innovative ideas. But they should just be aware of those possibilities -- to follow.

The proper designation for politicos -- is therefore not off leaders, but as followers -- but those who are best, are those most skilled at reading where the future is heading -- but obviously not from the front end, but at the rear end. In the 20th century, government was sometimes at the forefront of change -- but that hasn’t been true for several decades now.

It used to be that government owned most of the computers in existence -- but now they own a small portion of the computing capacity, and certainly, not its leading edge. Ironically, paradoxically, curiously, those who were in times past, “out of it,” have taken the lead in these developments -- because they were not vested in the old institutions that formerly dominated nationalistic, popular cultures.

Now the institutions of mass (popular) culture, have a real problem with ideas that disrupt their whole notion of social purpose and stability. Those leading institutions are that of media, the schools and the universities -- and their surrogates, the unions and the Democratic Party. Their sole purpose is to protect that status quo -- in a world that supports that reality, less and less.

They have to place themselves squarely against the great trends of the 21st century -- of emerging Individualism -- as the greatest protagonists of the mass identity. There’s a tremendous culture clash ahead.

In times of great upheaval, those who are better positioned, are those with little to gain by defending the status quo. They can therefore embrace change and new ideas without the fear of loss -- while those who have been “successful” at doing things the “old way,” are really trapped in those ways -- as the victims of their own success.

Those are the lessons of history, evolution and progress: this is the manner in which the first becomes last, and the last shall be first -- in the way that rewards those who best can handle BOTH winning and losing.

3 Comments:

At May 07, 2007 5:24 PM, Blogger Mike Hu said...

I’ve felt that the best thing state and local governments could do would be to simply run an electronic bulletin board -- and let the citizens provide whatever they wanted that community to be, in that manner. Rather than creating and entrenching special interests, in an era in which total information is possible, we can dispense with the powerful interests that rose to power based on their control of information and tax dollars -- which are primarily the media, schools and universities.

We don’t need increasingly more money for those functions -- but less, because it is the information that is desired and not the hierarchies of self-serving and self-important people of a previous generation in which information was scarce.

Because of the ability to process unprecedented huge amounts of information as never before, most of those with those traditional expertise, are surpassed by today’s vastly superior information processors -- who integrate all the knowledge available from the many diverse fields to much greater synergies and effectiveness -- rendering the traditional academicians (aggregators) obsolete, yet continuing to soak up all the resources for services no longer required.

 
At May 07, 2007 5:56 PM, Blogger Mike Hu said...

I brought this up because it is one of the seminal issues of the Internet -- that moves it to another level, rather than just being a glorified bathroom wall.

The powers that have-been, would like to maintain the control in determining who “validates” information -- and it takes a while for people to get used to the idea that they collectively do, with no special interest having more right to that control than any other. Credibility has to be established momentarily and directly -- rather than indirectly, through some other agency.

People who know what they are talking about, can demonstrate it to an audience of skeptics -- and not just claiming they can, or that they once could, or could if they wanted to -- but they don’t have to, ever again.

 
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