The Internet is so saturated with unsolicited life advice; why would I ever share my midlife self-absorption publicly? In case it serves someone else, as Steven Johnson’s birthday reflection from 12 years ago served me then, and served me again today.
Unlike previous generations, we no longer look at work simply as a source of income. We want our work to expand our sense of identity, meaning, and purpose. And yet, once we graduate with our diplomas and idealism, Capitalism seems to force us to choose between money and meaning, between a decent return and higher goals.
Eventually we discover that compatibility is not a precondition of love. It is the achievement of love.
Some conversations are boring; some people come off as boring. In fact, no one is boring, they just haven’t been edited properly.
We’re not getting any better at dealing with these problems; we may be getting worse. At their root, we fail to recognize our fragility and vulnerability. Technology makes our lives easier, but it won’t make us happier until we develop our emotional intelligence, including kindness.
Surely, there will be wonderfully creative applications of textless technologies. But then some things will be lost.