Everything is wonderful but nobody’s happy.
Why is that?
As everyone from capitalism apologists to Enlightenment defenders (i.e. Pinker) constantly repeat, our lives are healthier, wealthier and generally better than ever before.
They’ll hyperventilate pointing out plots of child mortality rates, or income growth in the developing world. And they all get completely wrong why humans are dissatisfied with the material conditions of their lives.
Studies show humans judge themselves by relative wealth, not absolute. They’d rather make $80k in a $70k world than $100k in a $150k one. What matters is the Radius of Envy around them, their cohort of comparison, not the infant mortality rate of 18th century English peasants.
Since @Ocasio2018 is officially a thing, and since I’ve witnessed my surnames get more mangled by more presenters or bookshop owners than I care to remember, it’s time for a tweet-lecture.
The binomial system of Hispanic nomenclature!
Pull up a chair, anglo.
Hispanics have two surnames since they carry both a patronymic (from the father’s family name) and a matronymic (from the mother’s).
Thus, if Juan A-B marries María C-D, their child is Juanito A-C. And so on down the tree, with the first (male) surname being preserved.
(This is obviously patriarchal, i.e. macho, but current Spanish law allows either paternal or maternal surname to get top billing with a child, so in some sense it's elective now. I'll be discussing the traditional protocol though.)
Observing the public conversation around FB, and the private ones happening among techies and ex-FBers, I think the mutual misunderstanding is worse than when I set out two years (and 500 pages) ago to (in a small way) bridge that gulf.
We're basically fucked.
The tech world has gotten so huge, self-reinforcing, and insulated from reality they can no longer even vaguely look at themselves (and their actions) as others do. They just live on a different planet than most people.
Conversely, the average tech consumer doesn't understand the technology that has slowly taken over their lives, and their designated emissaries to figure it out--politicians, pundits, regulators, journalists--understand it barely better than they do, and have their own agendas.