Saku Panditharatne @asteroid_saku Founder @Asteroid_AR. Assisted creativity, culture trends & productivity growth. "Punk rock is over ... go to business school, [email protected]%$£ things up from the inside". Mar. 08, 2020 1 min read

Something bad happening in China makes the """American decline""" narrative much less popular. And here's an interesting paper on the root causes of previous civilizational declines, and how it could be prevented
 https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/full/10.1177/1536504211399050 

For any stagnating or calcified society, the solution has always been pretty much the same thing. Most of the time, these solutions have fallen on deaf ears. So it's good that at least today, they're being listened to in some capacity.

The author of that paper, writing in 2011, said there was no way that people would be able to mobilize against the calcified parts of US society. And that might have been true -- without the internet, perhaps decline might have been inevitable.

Two types of "anti-elitism" - the stupid kind, that needlessly attacks expertise, science, high-minded values, education and wealth creation.
And the good kind, that breaks up calcification, rigid social systems, parasitical industries.
Sadly we get both at once.

The other implication of this paper is that inter-elite conflict is a very good and healthy sign — not a bad one. So the angry press writing hit pieces about tech is a sign that something is going right.

I’m not actually sure any government action can break calcification in the US - but that’s fine, the dynamic tech economy will reach health and education soon enough.
I think the big remaining political problem is about the legitimacy of education + knowledge work.

This is why Mayor Pete would have been great IMO - a high-achieving McKinsey guy who also behaves in an appealing way. Could have redefined norms for professionals, bringing back America’s culture of excellence.
But maybe we have to wait for the economy to recover first...

Also feel like most of the “rebuild community” stuff follows straight from economic recovery. Communities are most often built around workplaces - though maybe this time around they will be built around education as well, and much of that happening online,


You can follow @asteroid_saku.



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