Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Alan Moore on the 'the toxic tail end of the industrial age'

On November 17 I will be speaking at Monitoring Social Media in central London. Which is nice. If you're in London or anywhere close-ish, you should come.

So will the author of Communities Dominate Brands Alan Moore.

Alan, a very good friend of mine, and a collaborator over at 90:10, is also speaking at London's MIT Enterprise Forum on the same day, following in the footsteps of Guy Kawasaki, among others. There you go - two good reasons to be in London that day.

For the detail, go here.

But for a taste of the thinking... here's Alan:

We are witnesses to a structural and transformational change in society, what many describe as the toxic tail end of our industrial, mass consumer, mass media era. The tragic legacy of the last 150 years is that humanity has been thin sliced and deconstructed almost to the point of destruction. Human beings have become little more than individual units of capitalism – pawns of economists and unfettered capitalism.

But the fact is, “I needs we, to truly be I,” wrote Carl Jung, and this is why we as a species are at the barricades of a communications revolution, in which humanity is renegotiating the power relationships between; people, organisations, and even governments. As social philosopher Richard Sennett argues, we want to, “recover something of the spirit of the Enlightenment on terms appropriate to our time”.

The tools of the revolution are digital communication technologies, but the drivers are about human connection and human identity. Technology does not come out of nowhere, it is indeed a human invention in the first place, and these technologies succeed to the extent they meet fundamental human needs. The rise of the networked society is no accident, and a new philosophy is needed now to enable individuals and organisations adapt to a new way of doing, trading, educating, living.

Therefore, our imperative is to de-school ourselves in a philosophy and a way of thinking and acting that has delivered us into a cultural, ideological and economic cul-de-sac. We need to liberate ourselves from how we were once taught to think and live our lives, stemming from the ethos of industrialisation and the mass consumer society.

Don't miss him.

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The rate of change is so rapid it's difficult for one person to keep up to speed. Let's pool our thoughts, share our reactions and, who knows, even reach some shared conclusions worth arriving at?