Inequality & Climate Change

The very definition of inequality is that in an unequal society, some people don’t suffer any consequences for their bad decisions, while others suffer not only for their own mistakes, but for the mistakes of people above them.

So asking us to fix climate change without fixing inequality is impossible, because those who are making the worst decisions are those whose unequal status is protecting them from the consequences.

The science is clear. We don’t need more data, we need more equality.

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The “Amazing” Disruption

We’re currently using technology to “improve” / “disrupt”:

– Cat video dissemination
– Stealing music, movies, and books
– Removing pesky “put on clothes, go outside” aspect from buying stuff

We’re currently not disrupting any of the following — in fact, they’re all more expensive than they were 20 years ago:

– Education
– Housing
– Healthcare
– Public Transportation

Coincidentally, the second list is the stuff that actually makes your life fundamentally better.

Instead of using technology to level the playing field, we’re using it to create exquisite distraction while we make the game even more rigged.

I’d love to see it go the other way.

The other day, I was listening to the radio as some tech entrepreneur evangelized about his “amazing” new product. “Usually, when you’re searching for a picture, you have to scroll and scroll and scroll . . . but now with {some new app} you can {find your digitized pictures slightly more conveniently}!!!”

As he explained the features of his completely unnecessary product with all the zeal of a missionary, I was struck by how utterly little any of these products matter. We have, at this moment, arguably the most minds in history and the most technology in history focused on solving problems . . . but, for the most part, they’re the wrong problems.

The Silicon Valley spin machine is busy working full time, touting each product as “amazing.” But it’s conflating “this product stands to make me billions in the IPO” with “this product fundamentally improves the world.”

They are not the same thing.

If only this man, with his massive intellect and great salesmanship, had been working on getting new and disruptive vaccines to poor villages without refrigeration! If only he were trying to ensure every American had a decent roof over her head. That, my friends, would truly be deserving of the word “amazing.”