Conversations with normies can be quite challenging, but sometimes it can’t be helped. The sort of normie who dares say the world bubble in the house of decent crypto hodlers! Well, that was to be expected and I was prepared to put on my best ‘oh, well, we’ll see about that’ smile.
What I wasn’t prepared was how deep that sort of denial can be - maybe you don’t trust cryptos, I get that, but surely you cannot deny we’re living in times of amazing changes. I was just mentioning the impact artificial intelligence is going to make on the world and the job market in particular and I was met with a terribly patronizing ‘you and your sci-fi ideas’.
Maybe for young people it’s not as apparent, but middle-aged people have witnessed first hand the technological revolution and the world we live in today would have been totally science-fiction when we were teenagers.
Even if I’m not as old as the dinosaurs as my kids seem to believe, when I was a child the most advanced thing in the house was a big radio in a wooden box, like a small suitcase.
For some reason, I have a clear memory of the first time I read about the Internet, in an American magazine. Living in a poor country, at that point I’d never seen a real computer and there I was trying to understand what the hell did they mean by ‘click to open a new window’. I didn’t understand a word, but it was a fascinating read, which is why I never forgot that moment, I guess.
I remember the days when keeping in touch with someone meant writing actual letters, because not everyone had a phone, a landline I mean, and even if they did long-distance was sort of expensive.
The world today was just unthinkable for people my generation, yet this guy I was talking to gave me that ‘God, you’re weird’ look when I mentioned the future will be completely different from what we now perceive as normal.
I’m not saying the world will be better, some things will be better, many probably not, but it will be ‘different’. Whether we like it or not.
People don’t like change, I understand that. We even fear change, especially as we get older, because it’s sometimes hard to keep up - with progress (whatever that might meant) and with the younger generations, who have better adaptability skills. (Earlier today, my young son figured out what to do with my phone which had a weird ‘reboot or else’ message frozen on the screen and I panicked!)
Some say people cling to the notion that the world is good enough as it is and doesn’t need any improvement as they are afraid they would lose their relevance in a (brave) new world. Yet, change is inevitable and if you deny that you risk indeed becoming irrelevant or simply helpless. Whether we’re talking about digital money, self-driving cars or burger-flipping robots, there is no option but to keep with the change.
Maybe 20 years from now you won’t need a screen to read a post like this one. Maybe it’ll just float in front of your eyes or maybe it will automatically download to your brain. Sounds sci-fi? So did reading it on a mobile phone not so long ago…
Thanks for reading