Recently noted author, teacher and author Jason Miller lectured at Thelesis Oasis in the Valley of Philadelphia on “Strategic Sorcery For Volatile Times.” In a recent “Inominandum Memorandum” newsletter, he reprised a bit of this talk:
“After the end of the cold war the U.S Army War College introduced a term to describe the new landscape of the world: VUCA. This stands for Volatile Uncertain, Complex, and Ambiguous. The world has only gotten more so since that term was introduced. In a VUCA world the tendency is to consume more information and seek out like-minded tribe.
“On the internet this is easier than ever. The problem is that when you can easily break off into tribes of people that all feel exactly the same way, beliefs start to confirm and amplify each other and soon a few people with strong feelings become genuinely crazy. We are now at the point where we cannot even agree on what the basic facts are, much less how we feel about them. Even if we can cut through the fake news, we are bombarded by so much real news spun the way we like it that it’s almost impossible to keep your cool. If there is an issue that upsets you, you probably comment o”n it, which means that Facebooks algorithm thinks you need to see more of it – further distorting your perception of how prevalent and present a problem is.
The world is not ending. Its just more VUCA. If you are worried about the shit hitting the fan make some common sense precautions and preparations then get on with your life.
But first get your news diet under control. I recommend three steps.
“1. Eat Less. Pick ONE time of day to check the news. Two at the most. Check it and be DONE. You really don’t need to know immediately that someone blew up somewhere that you aren’t, or that Donald Trumps Microwave is now tweeting for him. If something major happens, you will find out soon enough. You might consider a Chrome extension like Remove All Politics From Facebook or Social Fixer to cut down on it in your Facebook feed.
“2. Get a more well balanced diet. Assuming that you already have a nose for routing out completely fake news, we have to acknowledge that we ALL live in an information bubble. The way that Google and FB filter news, not to mention the way that we choose to confirm our own biases, its almost impossible not to. I try to make sure that during my News meal of the day, I take in not only the liberal outlets that I generally agree with, but radically opposite views, as well as something like Reuters for the least biased news I can get. You might consider something like “Escape Your Bubble that injects articles into your FB feed that you would not ordinarily see, or Allsides an outlet that rejects the idea of non-biased journalism and gathers contrasting views together in one place. There is also Echo Chamber, which will send articles challenging my Liberal viewpoint.
“3. Ground Yourself if YOUR life. Is this story presenting something you need to know to get by, or is it just feeding your sense of dread? Are you actually working to stop issue X or just fretting about it at home? Is the news making you afraid of the police, when in reality most of your interactions are friendly and fine?”
For more information on taking Mr. Miller’s talks or arranging consultations visit: http://www.strategicsorcery.net/
email him directly at firstname.lastname@example.org
visit him on FB: https://www.facebook.com/Inominandum/