2016 was an odd year, full of surprises, and joys, and some disappointments. We want what we need, but sometimes we get what we do not deserve. Where do we travel from here, together, as a nation — while split apart at the inseams of belief, shredded in the threads of faith, and torn asunder by the warp and woof of radicalized empathy?
If we become what we hate, then I am concerned about the political taste of the nation. We are in for a harrowing year no matter which side of the aisle you stand. We find ourselves at a crossroads, and instead of making a choice of path, we are turning away and walking against the forest alone.
There is some satisfaction in disconnecting, but then events and decisions will happen without you, and there will be no one left to raise a fist in dissention. Sometimes, properly functional anarchy is exactly what a nation needs to speed healing back to neutral.
Our technological lives in 2016 felt stuck in stasis. Was there a “Wowser” product that reset expectation and led us into a new dimension? I can’t think of one. The iPhone feels old. Google is AI imitating Amazon. New computers just run all the old stuff but with now with worse battery life.
This is progress?
Meanwhile, Facebook and Twitter are now pits of fake news stories where nothing is real and, in effect, nothing matters if you aren’t a billionaire. There’s no truth any longer. Facts are not necessary when everything told is a lie. Only orders from our overlords have context and meaning now.
Even our educational institutions are under assault. The student loan debt problem plagues every USA citizen in some way and, if the loans are ever truly forgiven — and not reported as income to the IRS when they are “forgiven” — then the nation is on the hook for over $100 billion in write offs.
Still, that’s a cheap price to pay for a smarter people, but unfortunately, too many of our leaders who can make a difference, do not believe in the mandate of a non-profit, free-thinking, education — and so, we’re all repeatedly dumb stricken.
In an effort to provide some human context for believing, and knowing, and understanding, I started two new efforts in 2016.
The first is my Mechanized Morality newsletter. Every week, I address current hot topics that reside in the core of us, and we examine how we are outsourcing what matters to us to machines and other objects of derision.
I welcome you to subscribe to the newsletter — if you’re new to David Boles, Blogs a window will have already popped up allowing you to directly subscribe — or, you may visit the Mechanized Morality landing page and sign up from there. Be sure to be in touch once you’re in the mix of it, so I can share what you’re knowing, with others!
The other project I started in 2016 was the Human Meme podcast. The podcast is an effort to learn, and share, what makes us human, and to discover the how and the why of what we think we know, and how we then propagate that wisdom beyond us. You may subscribe to Human Meme via iTunes, and I thank you for listening, and for any five star reviews you might choose to leave on iTunes!
All these connections matter, and they all add up to something more than the greater of us — and that’s why it is vital that we all combine together to put good energy and right thoughts back in the world. We don’t need any more hate or cruelty than we all already own — by both choice and imprudence — cleave the heat; flay the desire!
And so these are the lessons of 2016 — of being ripped apart and then trying to sew ourselves back together again with string and sealing wax — and, as our Year of Reckoning winds away and continues to unravel into 2017, and I quietly wager the New Year will quickly become: The Year of Revulsion!
And that is when we begin to stand and fight.