The Disruptor and the incoming disruption

Posted on January 30, 2017. Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , |

People across the world are outraged over the executive order issued by Mr Trump banning specific group of people from entering the United States. But that’s what Mr Trump promised to people, who voted for him. And the people, who voted for him obviously want Mr Trump to deliver on his campaign promises. So why the sudden outcry ? People who don’t like the order can criticise Trump all they want, but how about those millions of people , who agree with Mr Trump ? Calling them bigots or racist, or idiots for that matter won’t solve the existing divide inside the society. It’s not about liberal ideas Versus Conservative ideas, or socialism Versus Capitalism. There are millions of people within our society, who believe that they were ignored, and for them, this is their time to be heard.

My question is, do we want to solve our problems, or keep playing the blame game ? As I see it, this is not a liberal versus conservative fight, not at all. The society is going through a grind, and in the past few years, the leaders have tried to dismiss the underlying issues using political correctness. The facts is, some people are genuinely worried about terrorism and immigration and other matters, and by dismissing their real concerns, the political class has basically lost an opportunity, to address the issues and find sustainable solutions by bringing the society together. People on both the side of aisle, and also those on the fringes will have to reach out to each other, and figure out a way to get along. Protests against a president, who is trying to represent a specific group won’t solve the divide. It is imperative that those, who call themselves liberals or conservatives find a way to discuss the issues openly.

The status quo needs to be dismantled. Liberals or conservatives, in a way are both radicals about what they tend to believe in. Calling Mr Trump or people who subscribe to his thought process, a facist or racist isn’t going to solve the problem, people will need to reach out to each other, and get an open discussion started. There is a serious trust deficit within our society, and it won’t get solved on its own. It’s time people came together, to decide the future of their society and the world. And remember Mr Trump didn’t create the problem, this is a feedback of our actions and inactions, so blaming Mr Trump is fine, but it’s missing the big picture.

He ( Mr Trump ) is basically the disruptor that, people who voted for him needed to shake things up a bit, so the society can figure itself out. In the end, it’s our society that, has to decide it’s future. But no discussions will work, if we aren’t willing to discuss the underlying issues openly, without our inherent bias or prejudice against each other. A president, a Pope or a priest isn’t going to fix the ills of our society. The underlying issues and the problems are within our own society and are a by-product of our own making, and those who disagree also have the same the rights. I feel very tempted to tell myself, please let us reach out to each other, and get talking. And while talking about the US let us not conveniently forget about, what’s been done to others in different parts of the world. The facts is, going forward US will lose some influence on setting the global agenda, because the world will have to learn to deal with a different US, and in the end, this will work out quite well for the US and the world. I see this as an opportunity, but let’s see, how many of us are willing to come together, to make good of this opportunity, to help make a better society for our next generation.

As I see it, we probably needed a disruptor to break the status quo and jolt the system, because the world badly needs to go through a rebalancing process. The outcome of this rebalancing act is obviously unknown, and will remain so for a while. But sleep walking into complacency and not being able to fix or address the issues, because of political correctness or because of our inherent bias or prejudice is, going to produce a disastrous outcome. And our world today seems to be heading in that direction. Media has too much control over shaping global opinion, also the US had and continues to have way too much influence, and its footprints are all over the global affairs. And it’s not always the case that, what’s in the interest of the world is, also in the interest of US. So there is nothing inherently wrong with America First strategy of Mr Trump.

A global community will not come about, unless and until people feel the pain or the need to come under one umbrella. Mr Reagan was of the opinion that a global society and cooperation on a global level will only come about if, humans and humanity was to face an existential threat. And at the time, he may have thought that threat might come from an alien race. But he didn’t imagine that, in fact, it will come from humans themselves. No body is born a racist , a hater or a liberal or conservative for that matter, we become that, as a matter of our personal choice. In fact, our lives today is an outcome of the decisions that we have taken or made. We are always tempted to impose our views and perspective of the world on others, without probably realising that, we are doing so. But sometimes, we do that intentionally. The future of humanity and the world isn’t set in stone somewhere, what we are experiencing today is the feedback of our actions and inactions. And this disruption is probably a good wake up call for us, to get things right, before it’s too late.

If liberalism alone was capable of creating a global society then, Beatles would have succeeded in doing that. If dictatorship was the answer then, Hitler could have achieved that. It’s not about liberal or conservative policies. Because the nature is neither a socialist nor a capitalist, it does what it does to stay relevant and survive. And that’s how it is designed. The assumption is, if US withdraws from global institutions and agreements then, it may also give away some its influence, so others including of China, Russia as well as Britain as well as countries like India, may get a better opportunities to influence the global agenda. Being a superpower is a privilege, but it’s not a permanent privilege. The institution and the system that US has, is and should be bigger than any president, so actions or inactions of any president can be undone over time, therefore the risks are manageable. So personally,I will not get overwhelmed by the disruption, but I will get proactive, because it’s time to help shape the world for the next generation. And if you won’t then don’t complain, if someone else ends up deciding on your behalf.

I do know of people, who genuinely feel being eroded, they fear of becoming a visible minority in the society and the country that their ancestors helped create. For them, the change has been faster than they first imagined it, and the society around them has changed quite rapidly. They feel poorer than before, and ignored. In short, they feel overwhelmed by the changes, without having any real control over it. And the society classifies them as working class White. So the question is, are they inherent racist or bigots ? The answer is No, and by calling them racist or bigots, the society is basically dividing itself. A caring society should be able to adapt, factoring the concerns and issues of the members and groups within that society, or else the whole fabric of that society will tear apart. A God didn’t create a white man, a black man, or a brown man. That God also did not create, an American man, Irish man or a British man. The physical attributes or features of a human being is, all a direct result or outcome of the evolutionary process. A process that enabled humans to survive in different geographical conditions across the Earth by adapting. And we need to learn to move on, blaming each other for what was done by our ancestors to each other isn’t the way forward.

I also know a group of religious people, who are genuinely concerned about Islam, and they believe that Islam is becoming too dominant, the ideas promoted by Islam is somehow causing them real concerns. They worry about the society and the next generation. The fear that ISLAM will one day change their society is real to them, and they fear what Islam is. They feel that, generally, people who follow Islam do harbour sympathy for radical Islamists, and eventually, the followers of the faith want Islam to be established as the only dominant religion on Earth. Now, the question is, are these people Islamophobic ? The clear answer is NO, but yes , they are genuinely concerned about Islam as a religion. And without addressing their concern, or by labelling them Islamophobic, the society isn’t going to far. Putting all these concerns under the carpet of political correctness is also not going to solve the problem.

And there are also a group of people within our own society, who genuinely feel that, they are being made a target by the west and also the foreign policies pursued by the western countries is, somehow always trying to demean their culture and religion. They do not feel part of the western society, even though, they were born in it. And these people are classified as belonging to the muslim faith by the society. So how we do as a society address their concerns ? By asking them to go back to their country ? The answer is NO. They have genuine concerns, and these issues need to be heard and addressed. It is only by trying to weave them in the overall fabric of the society that, we are going to make them a part of the society.

So let’s get talking, and let’s reach out, because what we do today and right now is going to decide the future our society. No religion or political leader can fix the ills of our society, it is the society that needs to come up with a sustainable fix, and to get started, we will need to learn to get rid of our own bias, prejudice and hate when reaching out to each other. Let’s start a journey with an aim to arrive at a place where we can all agree to co exist as the same race that we have learnt to know as HUMANS.

A God is not going to help, and prayers are for those who feel helpless, but helpless humans are not, or else we won’t have survived. The Humans and Humanity of thousands of years from now will look and think different, but their future is in our own hands. Future is a range of possibilities, and the Input will decide the output, and therefore what we put in today will be the output later. Today, we are dealing with the feedback of our actions and inactions, and thus feedback is important, because it is telling us that, we need to get it right.

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Talking about globalisation, productivity and Universal Pay

Posted on January 20, 2017. Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , |

For starters, what is globalisation ? And is there a metrics that can help us measure the level of globalisation ?

The standard acceptable definition of Globalisation is that, it is a process that has enabled interconnectivity, thereby increasing trade and exchange of ideas as well as cultural experience among other things. Globalisation, as a process spread over 100 plus years has made the world richer, in terms of GDP. The process has also enabled the local champions, to become international bigwigs. And these international bigwigs have then, gone on to influence the change, or in other words, the process that, we have learnt to call ” Globalisation “.

To understand the affect of globalisation, we could look at how our main cities and societies living within those cities, have today become truly global, and therefore globalised in their views. So starting with New York City, which has an estimated GDP of around US$ 1.5 trillion, followed by Tokyo with an overall GDP of approximately US$ 1.4 trillion, and then London with an estimated GDP of approximately US$ 700 billion, followed by Paris with an overall GDP of around US$ 625 billion. And the other emerging global cities including of Delhi, which has an estimated GDP of around US $ 368 billion, are all bigger than some countries, in terms of their economic size. These city economies have reaped the benefits of the relatively freer flow of people as well as ideas supported by flow of capital from around the world. And it is quite safe to assume that, majority of the people living in this global cities, will have a favourable view of globalisation and the interconnected world.

Capital and ideas do not have geographical boundaries. Any attempt to limit or restrict the flow of capital along with ideas will only stifle progress, and it also goes against the natural evolutionary process. Over a 100 year period, human productivity, which is generally measured as a ratio of total output versus total Input, has benefited tremendously from innovation. And we are slowly reaching a point, where in certain sectors of the economy especially manufacturing, humans productivity as well as efficiency is no longer able to compete with the automation process driven by robotisation. Also, there will be increasing pressure on human as a labour force, to continuously reskill themselves. We may work longer, but on a lesser pay ( in terms of overall living standard ) than the previous generation. Technology may have made our lives easier, but it hasn’t increased the overall disposable income of people in general. So, a sizeable percentage of the population within our society will continue to feel under constant pressure. And this pressure and feeling of being slowly eroded isn’t all due to globalisation. The answer and the underlying reasons are more complex than some of us would like to suggest or believe.

The society that, we live in and along with it, our economies changes over time. And that’s part of the natural evolutionary process. Our body changes as we age, that’s how the biological process is designed. We aren’t physically capable of doing things that, we could do as a 16 year old, at the age of 60. So, we learn to adapt accordingly. Humans and humanity’s ability to adapt to change has been at the forefront of our evolutionary advancement. And the next generation of humans will have to be much better equipped than us, to stay relevant. Genetically speaking, humans are 99.99% the same, but we are still different in many ways including in our overall level of individual productivity. Not all the work force doing the same job, will have the exact level of productivity.

A human life is, more of a marathon than a quick sprint, and in the end, how we run the race decides where we end up. And the idea that, governments and political leaders can somehow help us stay in the race by changing the rules of the race in our favour, isn’t a permanent solution. We may get tempted to vote for those who identify with our problems, but the solution to the problems won’t come from pushing back against the natural evolutionary process. To facilitate a change, we must be prepared to change. And to change, one has to be ready to adapt to the changes.

Universal pay guarantee for those living below a specified and tested poverty line, could serve as the spring board, to help support those who may start to fall behind in the race. The fact is, not all of us will win the race, but we could try to finish it, without worrying about our individual ranking. We join the race, the day we are born, so we don’t really get to choose. But we can learn, how to run the race better. This is where, the society and governments could help, and they should.

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