The Age of Creation
“The future is about gigs and assets and art and an ever-shifting series of partnerships and projects.” – Seth Godin
The world as we know it was created by the Industrial Age and it is now crumbling before our very eyes. We grew up in this world listening to common sense: learn well to get into fine universities, to land a well paid, SECURE job with pension, and to live comfortably until you die.
This path might have worked up until a couple of decades ago, but then came the 21st century which erased any remains of job security and the promise of nurturing Companies or the State.
What the hell happened?
The Crisis of Capitalism
There was a time when Capitalism was considered a damn efficient system. Self interest as a driving force and an organizing principle of economics – it worked for a long time and let’s face it, lot of good came out of it.
The problem is that some individuals mastered self interest to the extent where it hurts the whole system, badly. When someone reaches a level of wealth on which earning the next billion is just a greedy game, that individual becomes totally unable to think like a common citizen and therefore unfit to consider the needs of such people - or the need of the planet for that matter.
Globalization, merging monetary systems, distracting and immobilizing mass media and the preservative outrageous propaganda broadcasted trough it are all just toys of these individuals and the rest of us are just unsuspecting victims of this corrupt global game.
This game has become so rampant that now the very artery of Capitalism, the monetary system itself became unstable. The never-ending financial crisis and the bailouts are just a couple of signs. The majority of the problems are still hidden from the common eye though, but not for long.
The hands of CEOs are forced too, they cannot just decide to raise benefits out of good heart or delay downsizing. They are victims of the global game as well just on a different level. The race is at a pace now where kindliness kills. The CEO has to do what investors say regardless of the inhumanity of his act, or there will be a new CEO very soon.
There is no question, this game will end, and it’s just a matter of time. The monetary system will collapse and it will take down everything with it.
But until then we all have to live in this grotesque world and make the best of it. To bet on a “secure” job in this climate is not only stupid but also irresponsible to our family and us. Furthermore there is something else even worse than the global game…
Do you remember all the women working at the telephone company always busy connecting the calls? Remember the factory workers…the elevator operators…traffic policemen? You've surely seen this in movies if not in life. Where did they all go? Technology replaced them.
At the end of the 20th century technological advancement has accelerated to an extent that a range of jobs and whole professions became obsolete, very quickly. Some of the workforce migrated from manufacturing to the service industry which proved to be a solution, temporarily. But don’t think for a moment that services can’t be automated! This is only a matter of technology which continues to develop in an ever-growing pace.
In the coming years we’ll see a range of professions cease to exist that we believe today to be secure: there will be no need for translators, call center workers, secretaries, shop clerks, waiters, cleaners, taxi drivers, and even no need for practicing doctors or teachers. In time almost all of the professions known today will vanish and taken over by machines. Just look at the completely automated, one-man-operated car factories.
So how is our society preparing for this fundamental change? It isn’t.
Clinging to the Old Ways Eyes Closed
Not knowing or accepting reality, we still send our little ones to schools that use methods basically developed in the Industrial Age. These schools prepare them for a life of servitude, producing standardized factory workers with no creativity, initiative, curiosity or free thinking.
Most of us don’t realize that the old promises of secure jobs and pensions are gone for good, and the skills necessary to survive are changing quickly…
Openness, Creativity, Communication
Training for a single profession for many years and hoping that this profession will still be around when you finish is madness. The only thing that seems to be constant now is change.
The most intelligent approach in this climate is to always learn new things, in context and implementing it right away. Do not look for knowledge in schools, seek it out yourself! That isn’t even a challenge anymore having the Internet around and all. Since there is no way to tell what specific skills we’re going to need in just a year the best strategy is to acquire several small ones.
Learn and experiment! Think out of the box, let your imagination fly! I know this isn’t easy at first… after all the opposite of this was burned systematically into our brains from our childhood. But as always, this too is just a habit, and habits can be changed.
Don’t take anything for given, guaranteed or finished! Question everything you took for certain! Be creative, curious and exploratory!
Seek out other individuals having the same openness and creativity! Technology brings opportunities along with erasing old professions. Today we have ways of communication we couldn’t even dream of 20 years ago. Use them!
Furthermore, the old, bureaucratic ways of having gatekeepers everywhere to hinder and delay our efforts is no more. It’s actually quite easy to start something new these days!
So what do we do with these magnificent skills?
The Age of Creation
Instead of hanging on to the ruins of the old world and covering up your frustration by watching TV, eating a lot and playing Facebook games, embrace rather the new world and start creating!
Doesn’t really matter how or what you do, just begin! Soon you’ll realize that what you do isn’t quite perfect or not the best way to go, so you have to make changes anyways. Don’t loiter around planning things for ages, get going and iterate!
Create new projects and give rise to open collaborations with likeminded, helpful and supporting people in a common cause!
I now live according to the rules of this new world, constantly seeking out others. How about you?
You can find with me on Twitter as @GregKeen or at my blog: http://www.GregKeen.com