The Opacity of Scale: How numbers blind us to meaning
Sue Walsh
617

To Scale Problem Add Complexity & Velocity of Change Problems

The contemporary zeitgeist is increasingly disconnected to what reality is expected to be and what the future means. Inasmuch as the impact of technological innovation civilization is just now reaching its inflection point, and the informational firehose is increasingly polluted with post-truth, post-fact trolls, the situation you surface here grows worse by the day.

Said differently, individually and institutionally our sensory and cognitive abilities to process what’s going on in the world around us are overloaded and overwhelmed. Thus, we’re unable to make sense of it all and structure priorities adequately or with any confidence. This leads to short hand references.

More importantly, as you point out, this means the ability to respond and adapt to changes appropriately or in a timely manner is a moving , shapeshifting target that’s eluding us. This is fertile ground for demagogues, snake oil salesmen and carpetbaggers to prey upon anxieties with pithy quick fix slogans and gimmicks.

As a society, culture and species we’ve enter a new era in human evolution. To grasp and grapple with the gravity of the situation requires, at a minimum, a new and easily understandable way contextualize where we are in evolutionary space and time that can help map out options for preferred and desirable future we can target. Absent this the default future will be far more unpleasant.

Having spent decades anticipating and assessing this situation — problems of scale, complexity and velocity of change — and approaching crossroad, you might find some of my articles on my Medium publication, A Passion to Evolve, of interest. For example:

Our Twilight Zone & What Comes Next

Infinite Present — Our Digital Dark Age

Doc Says — Our Emotions, Institutions and Technological Capabilities Are Mismatched

Quicksand of Our Past

Macroscopic Evolutionary Paradigm

Doc Huston