Being Human in the 21st Century #3 — Education & Social Evolution

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We don’t have to look far to find examples of just how much the world around us is changing thanks to technology. What continuously baffles me is the fact that we are not doing much to rethink our own lives at a very deep level, we don’t talk about how we have to evolve in order to keep up with these changes.

I hope that you’ll join me on the journey of trying to figure out just what it is that we need to do to realize own our full potential, maximize the quality of the relationships in our lives, understand our meaning in life, and leave society and world in a slightly better place than it was when we got here.

Education & Social Evolution

Education is a topic that affects all of us. Whether we got a quality one, it missed the marked on it’s potential, or we didn’t get one at all — it’s had an impact on our lives. If you’re like me and went through the public school system in the U.S., there are no shortages of examples of what’s wrong with the school system — even CliffNotes gets it. Especially given the proposed budgets and general lack of knowledge of the Secretary of Education, I am not hopeful in the slightest the public schools will be fixed via public channels.

However, when I see projects like this one in Baltimore or this one that focus on meditation/mindfulness in schools instead of traditional discipline, I get a lot of hope. Initiatives such as these show how important it is to take a much different approach to succeed in this day and age. Research has shown how fixed we can be in terms of our own thinking, so opening kid’s minds is so important. It’s great to see companies like Google finding new ways to facilitate teacher interactions and various organizations finding ways to incorporate VR and AR into the classrooms, but I don’t think that all of these things will reach their potential unless we all make an effort to change.

I read this article about an architect who turned a cement factory into his home, and one of things that stuck out to me the most (aside from it being an absolutely stunning home) is the fact that it’s meant to be constantly evolving. Life is not supposed to be static, though many of us fall into some trap of not pushing ourselves once we get bogged down with work and responsibilities. Even something as lighthearted as improv classes can really help revolutionize your life and stay in the moment. And instead of thinking of what’re the ways we can improve ourselves, so many, myself included, are hyperfocused on work, work, work to the point where not working devalues our self-worth. And if it’s not work, it’s experience and non-purpose-driven socialization or social media stealing our attention.

How many people do you know who are doing jobs they hate and don’t do anything about it, despite the increasing amount of content available on what successful people do and reasons to pursue what you love. Even companies that desperately need to embrace creativity and innovation get caught up in chasing immediate profits. I mean, SpaceX is pushing the bounds of manned space exploration, a Japanese CEO is doing what he can to speed up getting to the singularity, transport solution are coming where people will move at 700 MPH, and researchers are looking into using DNA for data storage — life is getting so amazing! Yet until all (or at least more) people start really pushing themselves and embracing change and ambiguity, how can we expect our children to? Schools can only do so much — the rest is on us as parents, uncles, aunts, brothers, sisters, friends, and community members. Let’s all start pushing each other to achieve greatness so that future generations have even brighter futures to look forward to.

In other news, these two articles put a smile on my face given the current pro-manufacturing and pro-fossil-fuel views coming from the white house: weed jobs to outpace manufacturing jobs within a few years and a coal plant closing because it just doesn’t make business sense.

Highlights of what I’m reading and listening to

Videos

Evolution of Video Game Graphics 1962–2017 — Data Radar, YouTube

Articles

Startup workers see sexual harassment on ‘breathtaking’ scale in Silicon Valley — The Guardian

Shipbnb? Tech entrepreneur floats idea of sheltering homeless on cruise ship — The Guardian

Meet the Wunderkind Economist Behind LinkedIn — OZY

Inside the Secret World of Russia’s Cold War Mapmakers — Wired

Why China’s $60 Billion Alipay is Recruiting Blockchain Engineers, Experts — CoinTelegraph

‘Guesting’: The Podcast Strategy You Haven’t Thought Of Before — Cheryl Snapp Conner, Medium

An AI Hedge Fund Created a New Currency to Make Wall Street Work Like Open Source — Wired

Google doc with a full list of consumed content in the last week.

Happy learning!