Disruption and dysfunction.
Inextricably linked, and the latter often the product of the former... particularly in our digibabble world.
Truth is, I had planned to ramble on the subject and had built up a case file with examples from Amazon to Zipcar.
It will have to wait.
The murderous events in Paris and sadly elsewhere around the world impel me to apply the topic to current events and more so to implore my readers to take action.
Disruption comes with the territory of societal advancement. I'd even argue that's the point... if I was in university, I'd write the paper.
Chipping flints into tools was disruptive; the wheel was disruptive; working metal was disruptive... and so on through the ages... all advanced society in exponential ways and directions.
Yet that same disruption... that same positive force that changed the world for the good and better also caused dysfunction that still plagues us today.
Flint tools, the wheel, metal implements all turned into weapons of war... the plowshare turning into the sword... the wheelbarrow into a chariot... leading of course to the reverse and the Biblical future vision of peace:
They will beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks. Nation will not take up sword against nation, nor will they train for war anymore. Isaiah 2:4
In our day, the disruption is clear (maybe) but so is the dysfunction.
The same digital magic that has added so much to our world through its positive disruption is also adding unspeakable horror and global dysfunction.
The Facebook that we obsessively post to, the Twitter that we tweet from, the YouTube that we watch ad nauseum -- all benign, all personal, all giving us our 15mgs of fleeting fame, all fun or cathartic, all core to our sharing experiences as our natural tendencies to do are enhanced digitally...
All of those wonderful tools have been co-opted and highjacked and their true intent turned dysfunctional as psychopathic terrorists pervert their power into tools of death and destruction.
You and I post open reflections on our day -- they post hate-filled diatribes.
You and I post pictures of beautiful days, smiling children and the cool-looking hamburger we are going to bite into...
They post instructions on how to build bombs and use knives to kill.
You and I post funny or poignant videos that speak to us -- if to no one else...
They post beatings and beheadings.
So much for that Biblical vision...
The upshot is that we blame the channels. Facebook promotes violence; Twitter allows hatred to spread; YouTube spreads terrorism...
True in the same way that an ultrasound is related to a nuclear bomb -- it's all in how you use it, all in what you make of it. It's about remembering what it was created for in the first place -- much like the Prophet's vision.
We live in a world where the promise of greatness has never been bigger and where the tools to get there have never been better.
Yet we also live in a world where political correctness has replaced common sense to the point where already, even in Paris, the victims -- the murdered dead are being blamed while the murderers are getting a pass...
Time for all of us to take action.
This is not about politics or your national beliefs or religious convictions. This is about humanity, people... you and I... because just like Niemoller reported, if you are quiet -- if you don't speak up when they kill others -- no one will be left to save you.
Bottom line, the issue isn't Facebook or Twitter or anything else. The issue is us and us alone, and what we allow to get by and what we will tolerate and what we will ignore in the hope that it goes away.
Action -- stop the hatred and the madness. Don't allow it. When you see it, call it. When you see it, share it to shut it down. When you see it, demand that it be denied access. When you see it, show it up for the unadulterated trash that it is.
Only if we take a stand. Only if we can come together and at least agree on this will we keep Paris et al from spreading even more...
As I think of disruption and dysfunction in the social order of the world, I am reminded of the first message sent by Samuel Morse's telegraph in 1844. As he ushered in the age of the elimination of time and distance in communications, Morse keyed the following message:
What hath God wrought. Numbers 23:23
I have always wondered if he was worried about the dysfunction that his clear and fantastic disruption would bring to the world as this new marvel of change found its way to war rather quickly.
Nothing much seems to have changed in our human interactions since we began turning every new disruption into another way to take from someone else and impose our will.
We can change the world with the tools we have or we can watch them be used against us...
#Changetheworld... we are in the vanguard. We talk about disruption and change. It has to mean more than we are letting it.
What do you think?