The Intersection of Culture, Business & Technology Pt. 2: Leapfrogging in Rising Asia

you pause if you think you have a single sweet clue what the future will look like.  The bold above is my own. Look at the first phrase in bold. WEEKS! They were surprised FOR A FEW WEEKS. Now follow to the end. This is the mentality of the New World. There isn’t time to be surprised about anything in particular because anything in particular so frequently disappoints not so long after.  Why? Because the technological rate of change, decentralization and leapfrogging. The new becomes the old relative to our understanding of what new is. In China, everything, at every time, is new. 

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Is Cristiano Ronaldo Over-Paid? The Anthropology of Money

I vote with my wallet when I buy wholesale at Costco or at the farmers market from my neighbor. I vote with my wallet when I buy single use plastics rather than a reusable bag. I vote with my wallet when I buy a Tesla or a gas-guzzling SUV. How you spend your money is a direct reflection of what you value.

This begs many cultural questions:

Is Cristiano Ronaldo over-paid?

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Can We Legislate Social Change? Maybe. Maybe Not.

Perhaps if we are to really change the culture we need to do the hard work on the ground. We need to tell the story of social and culture change in a way that makes it completely obvious what a benefit to society equal representation would be. We need to encourage diversity in government and in the private sector and we need to discover why certain people enjoy the career paths they do and empower them to do so. If THEN we find unequal representation in certain fields, then so be it, we’ve been empowered to choose and that’s where the dice fell.

But if specific groups are excluded intentionally and walls are erected we need to ensure this isn’t possible long-term

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The Moral Machine: Am I An Extremist?

After our live podcast at SHAD 2019 at UNB I took the Moral Machine test by MIT’s Media Lab. The test is simple: you’re presented with a series of morality problems built in to code. Ex: a self-driving car is heading down the highway and an impossibly difficult problem comes about: hit and kill a small child or hit and kill an older person? Between code and a hard place. How will we code our morality?

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Coding Culture: My Favorite Question at SHAD 2019

My favorite question was about the very intersection we deal with here: the intersection of culture, business & technology.

It was related to an MIT study called the Moral Machine. The bright young man asking the question referred to the Trolley Problem: a seminal morality question that requires you to codify your morality in real-time: a train is running on a track directly at 5 unassuming victims and you as the bystander can save them by pulling the lever. The lever diverts the train on to track 2 and will kill only 1 person. Do you pull the lever or let fate take its course? The analogy to self-driving cars is clear: when it comes time to make the decision between one life or the other, what does the car choose? Of course by car we actually mean algorithm. What does the algorithm choose? It depends on how we code culture.

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The Pillars of Proximity to Power

The world is shrinking and it’s irreversible. Over 250 Million humans are on the move in the midst of the largest tide of humanity in history. The era of the homogeneous community is over. The era of the homogeneous government is over. The era of the homogeneous classroom is over. The era of the homogeneous company is over.

If we do it right, a truly multicultural society could be the key to unlocking long-term prosperity.

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The Anthropology of Business: The Ties That Bind

Apple and Disney are two of the worlds most iconic corporations for a reason. Yes, you trust them to knock it out of the park because they frequently do. Yes we’re berated by our peers that we have to see what the iPhone X camera can do and we can’t miss seeing Frozen, but that’s the easy stuff.

 What they both do better than anyone is they sell us a story. Indeed, even more than that, they sell us new worlds. Limitless possibility and limitless potential. Especially Disney. We enter into relationship with them because of what could be! The opportunity to be something more. To do more. To want more. To expect more. They sell us the story that gives us a why.

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My Brother, My Sister

Movement making is complicated. We’re crying for well led movements in 2019. We will never make sense to each-other on Twitter. It’s not possible. Making sense takes time. Movements take time. Madiba’s great grandfather was a masterful movement maker. After what would feel like a life-time on Robben Island, Nelson forgave his jailers. He forgave them for a reason. Mandela understood that there is something that comes after oppression and conflict. After war-time there is peace and peace requires forward momentum. We must honor the past but look forward. MLK was on this level. MLK very intentionally deployed the words ‘brother’ and ‘sister.’ White or Black, you became family. The color of your skin can’t change but your ideas can. Mandela and MLK were master movement makers.

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We're Meant to be Collaborators

The reality, even in my own life in some ways, is this:

If you are dependent on someone else to eat, you are not a free person.

If you are dependent on someone else to put a roof over your head, you are not a free person.

If your political views fit neatly in one pre-determined bucket, you are not a free person.

If you can’t go one hour without checking your phone, you are not a free person.

What we’re meant to be is collaborators; an economy of people with skills that they trade on an open market like any other product or service. We do jobs together if it makes sense and if we choose to and then we retreat back and engage again when the time is right.

Entrepreneurs who are beholden to no one but accountable to everyone.

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21st Century Decision Fatigue

In the 21st century we all have next to none of these things and it’s by choice. We’re inundated with so many systems that are working to steal our attention. They don’t remind you before usage that this is a non-renewable resource. There isn’t a push notification that tells you of their true intentions. They don’t tell you that the only metric for success is how much time you spend on site and they don’t tell you it’s free because you’re the product.

If you think Mark Zuckerberg cares about the breadth and depth of your relationships you’ve been Zucked.

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Stumbling on Discovery

If you continually, day after day, wake up, sit down, tune-in and put yourself in a position to be lucky you will get your 10K and then some. You will compound not only the potential of being lucky but in the process you will compound your ability and that will be worth far more over a lifetime.

SomaDetect’s origin story is one of stumbling on discovery. Of putting yourself in the position to be lucky. Better yet, of putting yourself in the position to stumble on discovery by paying attention to the world around you and then listening to what comes back.

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