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Day 187 – Lost in the darkness


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Apple Podcast Button, clickable link that leads to an audio version of this post and historical entries. All podcast episodes are read by me, and not an AI.

We live in strange times. Some say they are better times, some say they are worse, but like with everything else in life – truth is somewhere in between.

Technological advances make our lives easier and easier every year. Not every decade like it used to be in 20th century, but every bloody year now. This is how much we are speeding up. It’s easy to take it for granted, especially when we get used to all the elements in daily life that are just there. We don’t have to think about them, and so we do not consider their role in our life. The access to information, processing many things that used to be very much manual, even paper based chores, having a lot of amenities online, virtual, not even from the comfort of our home any more, but from the comfort of our own pocket… anywhere.

But there’s also the dark side, and reading statistics, as well as observing the space of how people feel, how they perceive the world, and what the mental health state of population is, brings shivers to my spine. We are lost in the darkness. Some of us are conscious of that, but most are not. We chase the life, the structure of it, the right path, and what we think we should be doing, because we were raised in that reality. Our goals are not even ours, they are either shaped by our parents, or even earlier than that, but we never assess that, nor are honest enough to admit it. The vast amount of information that we are flooded with these days, is the other side of the problem we used to have in old days, lack of information. It used to be hard to get information back in the days, and now we have it, it’s hard to extract the right, correct, valid, and structured information that we want for our particular situation, from that enormous network of data lakes.

Social media, while they are great tool for marketers, businesses, and in some cases for communities, most of the times are factories of hate, jealousy, depression, and dark thoughts. Most of the posted material is curated by the posters, so from the very beginning we know that whatever is posted is likely not even close to what their life is, yet our brains tell us different. Our psychology works strange ways, and whoever created those machines knows how to use them, to steal our time, and exchange it for money. We often laugh at various charlatans calling us sheep, but aren’t we? Isn’t it a metaphor for a kind of animal, intelligent but still animal, that is restricted by systems around it, has certain things available to be used, but only towards the higher good of the owner? Of course we don’t have owners per se, but remember it’s just a metaphor. Unless we chose to think for ourselves, question things, we are bound to eat what we are told to (despite being told we have a choice). We have to provide for human made countries governments, and supply them with taxes that take a huge chunk of our earnings, and live at a level that is set by that. At least that was the case in the past, before facilities like credit were introduced for individual customer. These days huge part of population lives on a level that they shouldn’t, building up a financial graves for themselves, waiting until they collapse.

Such a wide topic to touch on, and so many good books, articles and video materials created around it, that it would be impossible to fit it within single post here. It’s not the purpose here though. The purpose is to refocus on what world we live in. Acknowledge the bads, and aim for the goods. Start being mindful, and stop making excuses. Think bigger than ourselves and even our families, but as a community. On the verge of Artificial Intelligence shaking the ground, causing earthquakes in information technology, many of us know, that this is the sign of new era. Not to be afraid. No. AI will make our lives even easier, better, but the natural course of this optimisation will be a lot of changes in the job space. A lot of jobs are already being replaced by automation, and more will be. It won’t happen overnight, but we should think about it now. If your job can be in any way replaced by a pattern, algorithm or any way of structured process – AI will take it over. Time is now to think about how can you pivot, and use AI to your advantage. It’s not the job role or name that will be taken, but specific form of work, so we all should be optimistic. Accepting the change, assessing our human input and value, and learn and use AI to use it to our advantage to get the best out of our work.

Another positive is something that not many see, or they see and disregard as gimmick. In the last decade, hundreds of new job roles were created just by advances in technology. 2-3 decades ago we wouldn’t even think that roles like Social Media Manager or AI Engineer would exist. Yet they do exist, and are already part of standard curriculum across majority of companies. More so, people are already a full time researchers, YouTubers, and internet celebrities. World has already shifted many times in the past, and is continuously shifting… and faster.

Embrace it, don’t fear it. Although it feels like a dark place, every change does. It feels like that because we don’t really like change. Creatures of habit we are, but it is okay to be a bit scared, because if we feel like that, it means that something good is about to happen too. It might cost us some stress, and uncomfortable stuff in the process, but remember this – there’s always sunshine after the rain. As cliche as it sounds, it’s true. Good and bad things happen in cycles, and if we only acknowledge it, accept it, and do the best we can to land where we want to be…

…well, we will land in a better place. Maybe not in the dreamland, but regardless how close to that dream we land, we are landing in much better place than we were before.

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