Thursday, February 04, 2016

Inequality and facing the future.

A recent piece by Arianna Huffington (The fourth industrial revolution meets the sleep revolution) suggests to me one aspect of yet another driver of future inequality beyond the declining share of income going to labor compared with capital. Two clear castes of people are emerging, those who can adapt psychologically to the mind-numbing complexity of the emerging digital environment by optimizing their minds and bodies (meditation, sleep, exercise, diet, etc.) and those of lower socioeconomic status who start off disadvantaged (see yesterday’s post) and find that their only mental refuge is some form of fundamentalism, a closing rather than opening of their minds (cf. Donald Trump and Ted Cruz supporters.) Given the chaos and disruption being visited on traditional political and economic arrangements by the fusion of digital, biological, and physical advances - the internet of things meeting the smart factory meeting synthetic biology - how are all humans going to be able share in an understanding and shaping of these changes in a way that keeps human beings at the center?

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