What Bothers Us, Existentially


SOCIAL
  1. Geographic atomization of our friends and family; disruption of traditional, localized, robust and long-lasting social structures
  2. Tyranny of markets and data: pressure to measure success only in financial, or otherwise quantifiable, ways.
  3. Pressure to have our lives and relationships conform to manipulative, manufactured fantasies
  4. Pressure to analyze, regulate, control, mitigate risk of, and optimize every aspect of our, and our children’s behavior
  5. Cynicism when it comes to individual freedom, agency and enfranchisement
  6. Cynicism and mockery regarding faith and religion
  7. The loss of humor, “gray zones”, mystery; cultivation of narcissism and “outrage”
Ultimately: our inability to formulate a positive, normative goal for ourselves and our families in the current social environment

TECHNOLOGY
  1. Pressure to constantly engage machines and screens (smartphones, TV’s, work computers etc.);
  2. The dependency on machines to make non-trivial decisions for us
  3. Fragmentation of our focus due to media; the lack of “quality time” to consider topics in depth
  4. Loss of our power to fantasize and create, replaced by one-way consumption of ‘ready-made’ images, headlines etc.
  5. Hindering of our ability to judge veracity, or value, due to lack of context or quality indicators in electronic information
  6. The recording and archiving of all activity, causing a constant anxiety about how we are, will be, or could be perceived
  7. Anxiety caused by tech’s ability to reach (manipulate, and/or even destroy) any human being at any time
  8. Idolization of machines; devaluation of our bodies and minds
Ultimately: our increasing vulnerability versus “our” machines; not just physically, but also psychologically


WORK
  1. Decoupling of our work from anything physically (or even intellectually) tangible; alienation from the product of our work
  2. The cynical, group view on the “meaninglessness” and undesirability of modern work
Ultimately: the falling away of work as one, if not the, main source of meaning in our lives