Reflections: Save Good Values

We live in an era of technical disruptions and innovations. Used wisely, tech can improve life and the planet. But when we spend too much time with tech instead of people, we become trapped into filterbubbles and comfort zones, resulting in dehumanization, demonization, polarization and enslavement. To preserve human values, mankind must control tech and not the contrary. And instant accountability is vital.

Filterbubbles are typically created by that invisible hand – AI and algorithms.

These filterbubbles seldom encourage curiosity or acceptance to new ideas or perspectives. They can even be misused for propaganda. But they are very comfortable as they do not challenge your mind or habits. It takes energy to open your mind to another mindset or knowledge.

A stunning art performance outside Market Art Fair at Liljevalchs.
A stunning art performance outside Market Art Fair at Liljevalchs, Stockholm 2019. I see dancers taking a red route in red pantalons, and splashed with red color. It is a ballet drama in red which ended up with a skateboard ride. This can absolutely be analyzed, but I will leave that for you. Love it, thanks to the artists.

Adding Instead Of Replacing

To save good values and humanity, it is necessary to add new mind-sets and build upon what we already know. Adding is better than replacing and unlearning.

Exposing your mind to another culture or mindset can be very enriching. Some of us are open and look out for these opportunities, while others prefer to stay in their comfort zone. Social skills are often a learning process, not necessarily just a talent.

Short Tweets Must Be Substantiated

When Internet was new, we hoped that it would enrich humanity by enabling us to move across borders, cultures, geography and provide an endless source of worldwide knowledge.

Unfortunately, it seems that the invisible hand with filterbubbles and comfort zones took control over our dreams and hopes. And I would argue that this has lead to dehumanization, demonization and polarization. Short one-liners on Twitter without the necessary elaboration amplifies the polarizing effect.

Demonization Leads To Polarization

Dehumanization and demonization occurs when we stay in front of our screens and devices. Demonization’s breeding ground is distance and tech. The best way to fight demonization is to meet people IRL, engage in conversations and to exchange views, ideas and opinions face-to-face. It fosters compassion and understanding.

We don’t need to agree. Consensus is not the goal. But we need to see our opponents, hear their voices and reasons to better understand that the world is larger than ourselves.

Yes, social media can really become anti-social.
Yes, social media can really become anti-social. Let’s meet IRL and talk to eachother again.

Decisionmakers Are Isolated From Grassroot Reality

Compartmentalization also describe how people are intentionally isolated from eachother.
Typically, politicians are isolated from ordinary citizens and the grassroot reality. Politicians tend to isolate themselves, and staff surrounding them assist in filtering the messages. Think of all the press secretaries working with the brand values of the politician instead of ensuring the mission he or she was elected to serve.

When politicians are comfortably isolated from citizens, there are very few opportunities to voice critique, witness accounts and independent facts. Thus, the bubbles increase in size and scale which also lead to demonization and polarization – sometimes very intentionally.

Some Values Are Non-Negotiable

These days, families and children spend their time and attention on screens instead of people. Children grow up with a device and virtual games as a best friend, spending more time with them than with friends and family.
Children learn the distance, not the dialogues.

Moreover, the business-minded person is eager to teach people to negotiate, to compromise and assign a price tag to everything. Combined with tech, this attitude attacks good values.

Because some human values – and human rights – are absolute and non-negotiable.

So how do we teach our children good values, social skills and compassion? How do we avoid destructive filterbubbles, comfort zones, dehumanization, demonization and polarization?

Personally, I think that children growing up with respect, close to family relations and friends will develop skills,  boldness and humbleness to readily meet these challenges in life.
Updated 20190504
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