We used to simply dangle from the DNA of our ancestors, then we ended up in groups, civilizations, and now that we have thoroughly infested the planet we keep running into each other and the results are so unpleasant that at least some people are renting a virtual, artificial girlfriend for $1/minute.
It’s hard not to get a little existential about the human race with all that’s going on these days with technology, the global economy, wars, and where people are focusing their attention. They’re not really separate things. They’re all connected in some weird way, just like most of humanity.
They are connected in logical ways, we like to think, but when you get large groups of people logic has an odd tendency to make way for rationalization. There are pulls and tugs on the rug under the group dynamics, eventually shaking some people free of it for better or worse.
This whole ‘artificial intelligence’ thing has certainly escalated technology. The present red dots in this regard are about just how much the world will be improved by it. We’ve heard that before, and you would think that with technology now reflecting more clearly our own societies through large language models that we might be more aware that we’ve all heard these promises before.
I can promise you that for the foreseeable future, despite technological advances, babies will continue being born naked. They will come into the world distinctly unhappy with having to leave a warm and fluid space to a colder, less fluid space. From there, they seem to be having less and less time before some form of glowing flat screen is made available to them, replete with things marketed toward them.
It would be foolish to think that the people marketing stuff on those flat screens are all altruistic and mean the best of the children as individuals and humanity. They’re trying to make money. Everyone’s trying to make money.
I don’t know that this is empirically true or not, but it seems to me that when I was a child, people were more interesting in creating value than making money. If they created value, they got paid so that they could continue creating value. It seems, at least to me, that we’ve been pretty good about removing value from the equation of life.
This is not to say I’m right. Maybe values have changed. Maybe I’m an increasingly dusty antique that every now and then shouts, “Get off my lawn!”. I don’t think I’m wrong, though, because I do encounter people of younger generations who are more interested in value than money, but when society makes money more important than value, then everything becomes about money and we lose… value.
To compensate, marketing tells people what they should be valuing to be the person that they are marketed to become.
I don’t know where this is going, but I think we need to switch drivers.
Maybe we should figure out who we are and where we want to go. Without advertising.