The wave of technological change underway will shatter identity at the individual and national level.
In this report:
This month’s Podcast (link below)
Fragmentation: The wave of technological change currently underway will shatter identity.
A short description of an AI/AR feature set that would become indispensable.
Most people can appreciate the ability of technology to change how we do things, and few appreciate how much technology affects us and how fast that change happens. Here’s an example based on social security disability claims:
Notice the spike in musculoskeletal disability in 1995? That’s the year the Internet took off, and computer technology went mainstream. Up until that time, people mainly used computers only at work. After the Internet arrived, people didn’t just use computers at work; they used them at home1. So, although a small amount of that spike may be explained away by an aging workforce (SSA disability is only paid to people between 18-65), the more likely explanation is that the Internet made people more sedentary because they didn’t just use computers at work anymore, they used them at home too.
Of the changes underway, the most profound is technology’s impact on how we see ourselves (our identity) and changes in identity, as Marshall McLuhan pointed out (see: McLuhan on War unlocked on Patreon) have led to bitter wars and the toppling of dominant institutions. Here’s a snippet from that earlier report:
Changes in the dominant technological medium would create profound changes in identity -- how we see ourselves and this new identity will demand equity. This, naturally, creates a rift between those who identify themselves in traditional ways and those who identify themselves in the new way. Worse: these two groups don’t even think in the same way. This rift causes wars (terrible ones). The classic example is the printing press > the Reformation > and the rise of the nation-state.
We’re already seeing changes to identity happen all around us.
The networked tribalization of politics has created political groups in a constant state of warfare, unable to agree on even basic facts.
Flags are now used to declare loyalty to groups other than the nation-state people are citizens of (from the Ukrainian flag to the rainbow flag). This may signify that a new global (pan western) identity is forming.
However, of the changes underway, the most dramatic have been changes in sexual preference and gender identity at the individual level; let’s dig into this a bit.