Now we get in to the question of whether technology can be inherently “good” or “bad.
I find the new life history Timeline approach to be a way of constantly dredging up the past, to show others how it shaped this person, and it’s not necessarily the best way to define ourselves.
The complexity and freedom that have been thrust upon us, and that our ancestors had fought so hard to achieve, are a challenge we must find ways to master. If we do, the lives of our descendants will be infinitely more enriched than anything previously experienced on this planet. If we do not, we run the risk of frittering away our energies on contradictory, meaningless goals.
But in the meantime how do we know where to invest psychic energy? There is no one out there to tell us, “Here is a goal worth spending your life on.” Because there is no absolute certainty to which to turn, each person must discover ultimate purpose on his or her own. Through trial and error, through intense cultivation, we can straighten out the tangled skein of conflicting goals, and choose the one that will give purpose to action.
There’s a self-defeating unwritten rule in society that politeness mandates tolerating other people, and I just don’t believe that’s true. Everyone is entitled to their opinion and their life, but they’re not entitled to have it overlap with your life unless you want it to. Don’t be afraid to fire acquaintances, friends or clients. We’re alive for a very short time, and we have more important things to do than worry about corrosive relationships and experiences.
I tried to make my presentation explicitly (and perhaps exaggeratedly) personal. I wanted to work at a company that liked me exactly how I am, and I don’t consider myself a very good employee. I have a very specific relationship with my work, my coworkers, and my bosses. I get upset easily, I have an anti-authoritarian streak, my interests wax and wane unpredictably, I swear a lot. Yet, they still wanted me, and it’s not totally clear to me why.
Peers can have expensive expectations. Peers need you not only to buy an iPad, but also to believe in the magic of it. Peers need you not only to go and see Sleep No More, but also to be overwhelmed by it and hungry to see it again. Peers need to cut your hair and they need to charge you a bit more for it, because peers need money to buy an iPad and to see Sleep No More. The circularity of peerage quickly becomes exhausting, and does so at a considerable cost. Anyway, I really enjoyed the $12 haircut I got on Monday. I’ll probably get a $35 or $40 haircut when I feel like having a pretty girl shampoo my head, rather than a burly Russian.
Spider graphs, sometimes called radar graphs, are rarely as well done as the ones for worldshapin by Carlo Zapponi and Vasundhara Parakh. This site looks at different countries and their attributes such as; education, health, population and so on. By plotting this on a spider graph in the round, you can easily compare how “well-balanced” are countries. With nice transparencies and soft edges, you are worried less about the exact values and more about the intercomparison.