Headline, July 19 2020/ ''' '' GEN Z GET '' '''

''' '' GEN Z GET '' '''

GEN Z ACTIVISM SO FAR SKEWS BOTH IDEALIST AND DYSTOPIAN. A common thread between that idealism and dystopianism is most likely a deep feeling of alienation, which -

Joe Bernstein at BuzzFeed News argued last year was one of definitive effects of technology throughout the 2010s :

Feelings of powerlessness, estrangement, loneliness, and anger created or exacerbated by the information age are so general it can be easy to think they just a state of nature, like an ache that persists until you forget it's there.''

TEENAGERS AROUND AMERICA AND K-POP FANS took a victory lap. Times reporters pointed recently to a weeklong viral campaign by TikTok users and fans of -

Korean pop music [K-pop] groups to sabotage the rally. The online communities claimed to have registered for hundreds of thousands of tickets for the event to flood the Trump campaign with fake data and inflate crowd-size expectations. One part prank, one part protest. 

The Trump rally troll helped cement a narrative among a number of online liberals. Just as millennials were clumsily dubbed the ovacado-toast loving, industry killing generation, the Gen Z stereotype is an equally reductive portrait :

A sardonic, nihilist, climate-change conquering group of social media vigilantes, righteously trolling for social justice [and roasting millennials in the process]. Gen Z may just save us all all, the theory goes - or at least save us from another four years of Donald Trump.

It's a comforting thought in these unstable times. But reality is far more complicated. The kids/students aren't all right [though many are].

The kids/students are fed up. More specifically, Generation Z is disillusioned by a country and its myriad institutions whose moral arc seems to bend toward corruption and stagnation.

It is also like any generation, not monolithic. And the way that its' justified disillusion will play politically, culturally and socially is unknown..

IF RECENT MONTHS HAVE SHOWN US ANYTHING - It's that the world is not just flat. It's damn, damn fragile.

And humans are the ones who made it that way with their own damn hands. Just stop and look around.

Over the past 20 years, we've been steadily removing man-made and natural buffers, redundancies, regulations and norms that provide resilience and protection when big systems - be they ecological, geopolitical or financial - get stressed.

We've been recklessly removing these buffers out of an observation with short-term efficiency and growth, or without thinking at all.

At the same, we've been behaving in extreme ways - pushing against, and breaching, common-sense political, financial and planetary boundaries.

And, all the while, we've taken the world technologically from connected to interconnected to interdependent - by removing more friction and installing more grease in global markets, telecommunication systems, the Internet and travel.

In doing so we've made globalization faster, deeper, cheaper and tighter than ever before. Who knew that there were regular direct flights from Wuhan, China, to America and elsewhere?

Put all of these three trends together and what you have is a world more easily prone to shocks and extreme behaviors - but with fewer buffers to cushion those shocks - and many more networked companies and people to convey them globally.

This, of course, was revealed clearly in the latest world-spanning crisis - the coronavirus pandemic. But this trend of more frequent stabilizing crises has been over the past 20 years : 9/11, the Great Recession of 2008, Covid-19, climate change.

Pandemics are no longer just biological they are now geopolitical, financial and atmospheric, too. And we will suffer increasing consequences unless we start behaving differently and treating Mother Earth differently.

Note the pattern : Before each crisis I mentioned, we first experienced what could be called a ''mild''  heart attack, alerting us that we had gone to extremes and stripped away buffers that had protected us from catastrophic failure.

In each case, though, we did not take that warning seriously enough - and in each case the result was a full global coronary.

''We created globalized networks because they could make us more efficient and productive and our lives more convenient,'' explained  Gautam Makunda, the author of ''indispensable : When Leaders Really Matter.''

''But when you steadily remove their buffers, backup capacities and surge protectors in pursuit of short-term efficiency or just greed, you ensure that these systems are not only less resistant to shocks, but that we spread those shocks everywhere.

The Honor and Serving of Latest Great Thinking and Writing on The State of the World, continues. The World Students Society thanks authors Charlie Warzel and Thomas L. Friedman.

With respectful dedication to Gen Z, Students, Professors and Teachers of the world. See Ya all  prepare and register for Great Global Elections on The World Students Society: wssciw.blogspot.com and Twitter - !E-WOW! - The Ecosystem 2011:

''' Fear & Form '''

Good Night and God Bless

SAM Daily Times - the Voice of the Voiceless


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