We’ve Got it Pretty Good

Listening to Jordan Peterson and he was talking about the tower of Babel. This is worth listening to. It made me think…

Right now, in the United States, we have a movement, generally spearheaded by the young, to overthrow the current systems. They consider the systems unfair, immoral, unjust, or whatever.

What we have are, at least, 2 groups pushing this.

The Youth:

The youth, who, with a lack of life experience, lack of living through truly tumultuous times, don’t understand how good they have it today. The United States in 2020 is one of the best times and places to exist. This is true regardless of your race, sex, religion, financial status.

But the young don’t know this. They never experienced what it used to be like. And they think it is as bad as it once was. Firstly, because they’re told this “fact” constantly, and secondly because of lack of experience. How many of them sat at the back of the bus, drank from a blacks-only water fountain, etc?

I have a theory that the worst experience in your life defines your ability to understand horrific experiences. So, if we were at (-100) before the civil rights era, and we’re now at (-25) [or pick your number], you are emotionally unable to understand what it used to be like.

We have a complex system that has corrected to move the needle from -100 to -25. Any change to a complex system is likely to have profound unintended consequences. And the less you understand the system, the more likely these consequences will be negative.

For example, if you have 1,000,000 lines of code and just make a slight change, you may well have unintended consequences throughout your entire code. I’ve experienced this many times when I would QA/QC clinical or scientific systems. A slight change in the registration module might have profound and devastating consequences in the clinical results section.

The Intellectuals

Which brings us to the 2nd group. Those are the intellectuals, especially the academics. They are people who spend most of their time in theory rather than reality. They have debates amongst themselves, they create models, they think they know what’s going on. They even succeed in the debates or their models predict something.

So, in their infinite hubris, they think they know the system and how it actually works. Unfortunately, it is often the case that for a system such as the United States, the complexity is beyond belief and beyond understanding.

But the intellectuals think they know and understand. They then convince the naïve kids that change is easy and necessary. The kids don’t know better, so they go off looking to burn the current system to the ground and replace it with some vision of utopia.

Unfortunately, this rarely works. Much more likely is the development of a Soviet Union, Nazis, or China and the inherent evils of those…which, oddly enough, many academics and youth don’t believe in.

What do you think?

Try the thought exercise and see if this makes sense to you or now. I’d love to know what you think especially if you have a better explanation.

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Michael Barnes
Michael Barneshttps://awakened-innovations.com/
Michael Barnes is founder and CEO of Awakened Innovations, Inc. Awakened Innovations helps nonprofits to save time and money by connecting them with high-quality, vetted, service providers. Previously, Michael has been a business coach; Director of Lab Operations at, Assurex Health (a genetic testing laboratory); and built the Cincinnati Biobank and Cincinnati Children’s Hospital. Michael’s overarching passion is to help others succeed and fulfill their mission in life.