Navigating The Modern World

1. No one is hip.

When someone makes fun of you for not knowing something, laugh it off.

The truth is in today’s overwhelming society no one can know everything. No one can see every movie, no one can see every TV show, no one can listen to every record. Used to be professionals would look at the “Billboard” chart and know every record. Now the “Billboard” chart is irrelevant, those trumpeting its importance are inured to the old ways, it’s too fluid, it’s not comprehensive enough and even though you can listen to the Spotify Top 50 can you do that in every genre? Absolutely not, and anybody who tells you otherwise is lying. Hipdom is a passe concept. We are all in the know in our own little universe. Wear your ignorance proudly. We live in an on demand culture. If you hear that something is good you can check it out, almost everything is at your fingertips. But usually you have to hear about it a few times before you bother, because you’re overwhelmed with input to begin with!

2. Go deep.

Find your vertical and revel in it. Being a grazer is passe. That’s from back when there were fifty channels and nothing on, but now there are five hundred channels and Netflix and Hulu and Amazon… What purveyors don’t know is we have to be grabbed instantly, no one has the time to stick with something, to find out if it’s good, to see if they like it. And don’t view this as a short attention span problem, view it as an incentive to up your game. To be great from the get-go and stay at that level.

As human beings we like to wallow and get to know people and entertainment and…

So, feel free to binge on the show. Or read up and participate in your favorite sport. The advantage in the new world is you can communicate with like-minded people, you can find your tribe online.

We live in an era where a little knowledge is not respected. But if you know a lot about one thing you become a resource. Put all these resources together and you have a functioning society. Instead of putting someone down for what they don’t know, investigate and find out what they do.

3. You can’t disconnect.

We cannot go backward. When you read about vinyl and the return to analog…ignore it. The vinyl fetishists are listening to reproductions of digital recordings on inferior equipment. Of course there are exceptions, tweaks with six figures invested listening to reissued analog recordings, and I’m fine with that, but what I’m not fine with is a media that keeps trumpeting the analog world. Vinyl records, books… Ignore the reactionaries, they can’t cope with change. The truth is digital is both easier and here to stay. We want to be able to buy a book on a beach. We don’t want to tote around a bag full of reading material. The fact that those in charge of the old school media are experiencing future shock is irrelevant.

And this affects art too. Which used to be experienced alone, oftentimes in the dark, we had time to kill. But now a big problem is people checking their cell phones in the theatre. And if you want to bitch about mobile phones I want you to give up instant access to your kids, the ability to make a restaurant reservation online…

The way to the future is not via the past. We don’t live in a disconnected, dreamy world. Which is why our music is not disconnected and dreamy. But that does not mean new twists on art cannot appear, and they will!

4. Nobody knows anything.

Don’t trust the media, don’t trust the bloviators, you’re on your own.

We used to have the illusion that people knew what they were talking about. Before we could go online and find not only a contrary opinion, but one further in depth. The problem with the mainstream media is it still believes it’s anointed. That it lords over us. But it doesn’t. We make fun of its bias, we laugh at its self-righteousness. These people don’t know, too often they’re talking heads. As for reporters… We’ve got people living the subject and testifying online, why should we trust someone with a notebook who showed up for an afternoon?

The establishment hates this. It doesn’t want to give up power. It doesn’t want to admit there’s chaos.

But there is.

5. We live in a world of self-education.

College is a joke. Diploma mills. A place where you go to get a sheet of paper that says you’re better than those who don’t possess it. Your greatest learning experience will take place outside of the classroom, interacting with different people.

So, if you want to get ahead, YouTube is your friend. Getting ahead is hard work, not cheating on the multiple choice test. All the information you need is hiding in plain sight, do you have the time to study it? Most people don’t. But if you do, you’ll get ahead, I promise you.

6. Analysis is king.

In a world where all knowledge is at your fingertips, it’s how you put it together, how you gain insights, that is king.

This is the mark of a smart person, someone who can make sense of the data. If someone is just shouting headlines, ignore them. We all have the same facts, what do they mean? They can teach this in school, but they don’t, except at the finest institutions. Which is why you want to go to the Ivy League. And you can! All the elite colleges are need blind, if you can meet the requirements, there’s no fee, assuming you can’t pay to begin with. But the rich don’t want you to know this, because they want a stranglehold on opportunity.

7. Experience is king.

Take every opportunity to travel, to meet new and different people. That was the downfall of the mainstream media in the presidential election, it was a self-satisfied echo chamber. People will surprise you. Everybody has a gift. It’s your job to uncover it.

8. Assets are passe.

Accumulation is for baby boomers. You need a mobile phone, with a fast connection, clothes, food, a roof over your head and some cash, that’s it. When you see someone spending on a car they cannot afford, laugh. You are your own status item, your possessions are irrelevant. So much is virtual, so much is on demand, so much has been commoditized. Spend your time developing your identity, not accumulating goods.

9. Relationships are key.

Watch all the online porn you want, hopefully it will get you through. But know that despite the virtual world connecting us, it’s the one on one human connections that sustain us.

10. The transition is happening.

The free-for-all piracy internet has faded. The every week a new hot app or website world has faded. We will have tech breakthroughs, but Trump and Brexit have taught us that our coming societal struggle is one of inclusiveness, how do we all live together? Finland just started paying a guaranteed wage. Even if manufacturing comes back to America, most of the work will be done by robots. What is everybody gonna do for a living? Billionaires live behind gates and fly private but are oblivious to the contempt the proletariat have for them. This division will not sustain, the walls must come down. Do your best to effect change, to work for equality, but know that the seeds have been planted, the issue is in the air, there’s a feeling that we’ve been sold a bill of goods and we can’t make it here. We keep hearing how stupid we are, how we need to pull ourselves up by our bootstraps, that the corporation is king. But now with opportunity reduced, we’re not buying it. It’s our country, and for too long we’ve been whipsawed by those who say they know better. But now we’ve discovered they don’t, they were just yelling louder. Accept change. Know that the past is history. But also know that you are in charge of the future, you are responsible. And if you’re getting high and taking yourself out of the game, the joke is on you. But the joke is really on those who keep telling us they know better. They don’t. You know as much as they do. You’ve got the tools at your fingertips. You are powerful. You are in control of your own destiny. You can make a difference. But only if you discard the disinformation and believe in yourself.

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