Do you realize that the pendulum switched? The future is here. There were only a few gaps to close, why even the digital generation has not been aware of losing their possibility to pull. It is definitely history that with free choice we can selectively draw from the endless streams of tunneled information to which we are bound. In the past you could find out where things were coming from without having to reveal your own origin / location. Today this is exactly the opposite. Today, in every area of life, things are pushed to us by the invisible, de facto uncontrollable global and artificial intelligence-enabled online content and service providers. These pushes are non-locatable and ubiquitous at the same time. There is no “where” anymore, except for ourselves, where we are assigned IP addresses, IDs, and usernames.
Our lifestyles and businesses now definitely got dominated by the rules of a (dystopian?) virtual world. This connectivity-enforced new disconnectedness will leave us for some time with mere memories of having lived in an in-person-world, where citizens had the choice between onsite and online services, where customers used to be king, where people were asked about the ‘why’ behind their data, and where they exchanged goods for tangible values. Internet platforms are inherently gravitating towards dominant market positions. Gone are the times where monopolistic situations and the related risk of abuse of power could be regulated, gone are the times where the “where” could be located and where the truth could be verified. Welcome to the no “where” generation.
By the way:
In the course of the upcoming ongoing mutations of viruses and the expected communication of the continuation of the contact restrictions, will we then receive a QUOTE FOR GOING OUT? Will citizens receive x tickets for cultural events such as concerts and museums, y vouchers for parties and z tokens for dining out? In this way, seditious uprisings by the people can be prevented (we’ve already come to terms with the privileged opportunities of richer citizens), and the online industry does not have to forego the continuation of the profits it has made since the beginning of the Corona crisis …
There may not be all bad:-). However, for alternative, possibly more humanistic approaches, there are a lot of ideas you can find on my website www.mathias-sager.com.
• Late Roman decadence = late capitalist decadence
• Gladiators = social media «influencers»
• Visitors/Spectators = On the screens
• Plague = corona virus
• Decline of business and culture = “Corona” measures
• Further elimination of democratic elements, “royal” campaigns in the deserted areas (e.g. under Charlemagne) = “Corona” consequences (weakening of the middle class and sell-off of SMEs, expansion of global online monopolies)
If the economy is not in constant struggle anyway, then during Corona times there are increased signs of war effects. Understanding the wider context is important. It takes critical thinking, courage, and a belief in positive change. But how? My repeated lesson is: win self-control instead of economic wars so that everyone benefits.
The virtual realm was slowly but surely occupied, administered and borrowed again by the large technology and telecommunications corporations. Compared with the acquisition of the physical land at that time, the www landowners have now also established themselves. The main shopping streets are no longer in the city center, but on the well-known online markets. With the cell phone in everyone’s pocket, cyber space has become an omnipresent and real shopping, experience, work, and communication space . Despite the predominance of monopolistic Internet providers and platforms, the virtual world was not yet fully conquered. There were also alternatives (such as platform cooperatives [2, 3]) and free web addresses for development. Certain data, the oil of today, were not yet in the hands of the information processors, although these global companies have probably already known more than the respective governments themselves for some time. The race for the few not yet occupied network areas and their positioning was definitely still in full swing.
A lot of money is invested in Silicon Valley, where investors slowly become impatient as new investment gains, e.g. in the area of social media, didn’t realize surely and rapidly enough. In general, the profit-seeking economy was overheating. I feared war because war is profitable at this level . With Corona, a lot is now also going online and the major providers were able to step in quickly. Small and medium-sized businesses, on the other hand, have to close or sell cheaply to investors who then earn double during the rebuilding; this war effect works well with corona measures.
Fortunately, the total mortality does not seem to be any higher this year than in other years, with Corona or not ; The idea of a disease that would “solve” the “problem” of an aging population and thus an unproductive and pension-devouring population would be terrible. Where it is not about the digital economy but about natural resources, we will continue to see traditional wars. In most countries, possibly thanks to measures such as related to Corona and the resulting asset redistribution, these are no longer necessary. There is no need for conventional armies of soldiers today. To dictate the direction of the crowd, digital distraction, incitement, and advertising are also sufficient [6, 7, 8] *. The battle for people’s attention has been very advanced for a long time: Advertisement and monitoring at any online occasion, anywhere, anytime. Technology-related ever shorter attention spans of people only make them more prone to following whoever shouts the loudest (or who can spend the most money on positioning of content).
Hopefully, after the shutting down of the traditional local offline economy in favor of the global online tech world, there will be some calm again, respectively enough capital of the capital holders will have increased and the threads in the puppet play of the global digital economy under control as desired. In that case, if the widening gap between rich and poor [8, 9, 10] does not lead to local unrest, a lot of blood spilling and the environment might have been spared for a moment; apart from technology / energy consumption and psychological factors, which also lead to mortality.
At least, a physical war attack is difficult for the individual ordinary citizen to fend off; However, staying psychologically healthy is always in our individual control given the appropriate knowledge and discipline (11, 12, 13) and depends little on economic factors (14, 15, 16). Perhaps psychology will soon be taught in schools instead of the history of battles and wars . I would still be for such an approach. The way to peace seems to lie in the ability of each individual to self-control and to be moderate through a reorientation towards intrinsic rather than extrinsic motivation [18 – 24]. In this sense, the focus would shift from technology and a capitalistic economy back to people [25, 26], and so-called humanitarian crises (crises that are actually economically caused) would be prevented in the long term.
Is there any hope of change? Yes and no. The individual psychological forces to establish and approve systems that disadvantage the general population are very strong. Unfortunately, it is often the particularly disadvantaged who justify authoritarian forces . Whether, despite technology, enough fears can be distributed locally in political and social structures to keep people fearful enough not to wake up, remains questionable. It is to be hoped that the critical thinking, courage and belief in positive changes that are also widespread, can ultimately prevail. It is important to strengthen the self-confidence of each individual; Humanistic, transpersonal psychology, art, and sport are feasible ways to do this, which I also consistently advocate.
* Once more self-serving fake news? Not too credible? Not enough likes? Would you like more information? You are welcome to read the scientific sources and backgrounds in the resources listed below (which is not available even in renowned media). This is important to me, although many readers can no longer muster the attention span even for this length and type of text. I hope you find a lot of exciting things about it, and thank you for your attention. Please share the text if you find this valuable. All the best – Mathias Sager