I think the tech elite have habits of staying busy, and tightly defining their roles. They don’t see that much more is possible.
In seeking support for PeopleCount (see PeopleCount.org/how.htm), I’ve run into this a lot. They donate millions to the projects they know and end up being unreachable for other projects. Some have billions but refuse to take a chance on a phone call. We all would rather be reasonable rather than heroic. We believe in our own internal thoughts that spout conventional wisdom, rather than seeing that much of the greatest changes in the world come from unconventional thoughts.
I don’t think they see it as cowardice. We think of cowardice as the stark fear one feels when leaning over a precipice. Fear mostly controls us in micro-doses. Insecurity about looking bad, doing something that’s not “wise.” The automatic flutter in the stomach that we think “tells us” something isn’t right. Perhaps the biggest fears are to engage in a live conversation, and to not let that inner nay-saying voice of reason kill a new possibility.
We do what we have to do. Perhaps real bravery is declaring to oneself that an uncomfortable and entirely optional choice is a must.
PS: To be accurate, we’re all heroes at times. And we’re all cowards at times. Mea culpa. Usually, we regret our lack of heroism later. PeopleCount will fix politics- please help. After it’s successful at every level of government worldwide, I’ll look for a way to enable us to realize the error of our lack of heroism the moment it happens. Perhaps postponing this is cowardice, too.