In this Brave New World, fear is in the loss. In the change. In the becoming something more than we are. It occurs to me that in the evolution of our species (which is truly what is happening), we fear losing ourselves. Even as we have generational evolution and even perhaps in some sense, a devolution.
An interesting conversation has been brought up dealing with the “middleman”. Going to begin with Uber. Yet, Uber is the “middleman”. The fear isn’t in the breaking of business models, strangely they haven’t been broken. Strangely, it is in the fear of obsolescence. Fear of loss of jobs. And yet, services like Uber have brought to the average person more opportunity for such. Yes, it is more mundane work, but in the socialization of capitalism, it is more broadened.
There will never be in our lifetimes the full loss of a “middleman,” only of our will to grow and become more. What these new advanced do, however, is increase efficiencies and decrease overhead. Or, perhaps they reduce the surplus population. Perhaps they reduce the aver average person to a service level.
Maybe, these changes from such as Uber, DoorDash, Lyft, Porch and the like do more to make us strive to be more. Maybe they also push us to learn more, do more, be more efficient as individuals. Maybe respect more of what we have built and will build. Maybe these “middlemen” help us to be more human than human.
Perhaps these changes also make us the robots we fear to be. In a socio-economic sense, these changes may bring the class divide so broad that the Brave New World will be less a Utopia and more a Orwellian world, one of which the Technocrats and the Autocrats rule and the majority are the true surplus population that Dickens spoke of. Where the human is drained out of us.
As an optimist, I see this change as something of a true evolution, however,. One that allows each individual the room to benefit. By now being more self sufficient, or to build on their own. For their own, understanding the true nature of commerce. To not learn, is to be made obsolete. Time to grow.
Uber Freight, for instance, is testing some technology that will not be cleared for many years. But the true fear is in the 3PL, or brokerage, arena. One that is truly inefficient, but also one that can be more. The human factor of logistics will exist for many generations. Us humans will still be needed on managing, driving, moving, and marketing our trades. We are not yet in the world of Wall-E, where our little robots will remind us of our human nature, bring us to our true selves again.
We have most often failed to adapt to our own technology. We have become more lazy, as we have technologically progressed as a society. We fear what we have become, and what we have lost. This is nothing new, this message. We are a commerce society. We consume, we build, we brake, we fix, we die. We lose.
We also change, adapt grow, become more than we are. As a species we have become complacent in our personal growth, because we by nature are a selfish species. Our pleasures built our systems of commerce and politics. Our passions, however built much of our temperance. And our warmongering. In some sense, it is our greatest strength and our biggest. weakness.
We can make these new technologies work for everyone, without the requirement for the majority to be reduced to serfs. We can become more educated, more efficient, less reliant upon the immediate but upon the important. These new “middlemen” actually can allow us to have more time, as Americans primarily, to remember why the rest of the world lives and exists in a state of more balance. We are still adapting to the Work-Life Balance. The Human Life Balance. As a people we are truly innovative, and yet the more resistant to change, for our health as a people. Obstinance is the way of the DoDo or the Lemming.