Friday, December 23, 2016

From Hunting and Gathering to Agriculture, from Ag to Industrialization, next?

One of the common themes on this blog, along with , "the essence of normality, is the refusal of reality", is that we're in the middle of fundamental transformation that is completely changing the way we live, work, and learn.

I've irritated folks over the years, and probably stretched it too far, by arguing it's the root cause of every major political event in the last 20 years or so.  Why do people fly planes into the World Trade Tower, this transformation led by globalization has them really scared and they acted out of fear.  Why would people vote for someone like Donald Trump, who by any standards is not only unqualified but not a decent person that anyone should aspire to emulate much less follow... because they're scared and want someone to "fix" it, stop this transformation, stop these changes, make things like they used to be.

A piece of this going forward about 30% of the population are going to thrive and 70% are going to struggle to make ends meet.  This fact will continue to raise animosity, polarization and ultimately conflict for scarce resources.

Richard Florida had a nice thread on Twitter about this a few weeks back -

"1. We are undergoing several nested transformations at once that are causing incredible disruptions of the economic social & political order

2. The first is the shift from natural resources & physical power/labor to knowledge - where the mind has become the means of production.

3.  This shift advantaged roughly a third of the workforce/ population while 66% falls further behind.

4. The second shift is from toward clustering as the source of innovation & economic advantage.

5. This massively concentrates talent & economic assets in a handful of super-star cities & knowledge-tech hubs ...

6.  The world becomes spikier & spiker, across nations, across regions, & within cities ...

7. This clustering of talent & economic assets also makes the city/ metro the new economic & social organizing unit ...

8 Undermining two core institutions of the old order the large vertical corporation & the nation state

9. I would suggest this transformation is perhaps the most disruptive in human history -  the clustering of knowledge > physical labor ..

10. So it should not be surprising that such a widespread transformation & the upheaval of myriad social categories leads to backlash ..."

A couple of books on the subject worth checking out;

Nine Shift: Work, Life, and Education in the 21st Century

And this one definitely worth preordering -