Cyreenik Says

September 2017 issues

The good news: 911 is history

This year's mild response to the anniversary of the 911 Disaster is good news. This means that 911 has become history and as a result it is now creating no more blunders than, say, the JFK assassination.

911 was deeply shocking and scary when it happened. Sadly, many of the responses to it look even more shocking and scary when viewed through cool-headed eyes, and we still live with some of those consequences today. (what I call Blunder Scars)

But, again, the good news is that 911 is now just history. That is a big blessing in terms of getting on with our lives.

Which is more important: "Who" is doing the creating or "What" is getting created?

This year the media has been devoting a lot of attention to who is doing the creating. This shows up as lots of attention to the ethnic, gender and cultural background of people who are doing the creating in entertainment and technology industries.

All this interest in "who" is displacing interest in "what" -- as in, what is getting created.

This is important because our material prosperity depends on what gets created, not who is doing the creating. The time and attention we spend on who is creating is time and attention that is not getting spent on what is getting created. This means that less is getting created.

This trend is good at helping some people sleep better at nights, but it is not good for growing our material prosperity -- which is what helps poor people in particular sleep better at nights.

In sum, if we want to grow our material prosperity quickly we need to stay focused on what is getting created and how we can do this creating faster, better and cheaper.

Living with the fruits of school education based on urban legends

The big benefit of basing school education on urban legends is that they are comfortable and easy to understand. This means the students will learn them fast and remember them well.

The big drawback is that urban legend does not match what happened, or happens, in harsh reality. This means what is being learned is not going to help the learners cope well when they have to deal with the real world they live in. Up to a point... if they are getting along well with their peers because both are sharing urban legends then the kinks with the real world don't seem so serious or dramatic.

Another place this enthusiastic support for what has been learned shows up is as enthusiastic denial for contrary points of view. We are seeing this aspect this year in all the protesting violence surrounding free speech on campuses and in companies.

The spooky part is that the more automation is responsible for our material, service and transportation-related prosperity, the less the disconnect matters between people thinking and harsh reality.

This means that free speech is likely to suffer even more over the coming decades... spooky indeed!



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