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I may be misunderstanding things.
So a complete non sequitur, Rick Wilson had a great series of tweets on the distrust and disillusionment the average American feels toward our institutions, not just government but businesses, churches, schools, etc. It’s an interesting, if disheartening, read.
8/ They’re sick of promises, magical thinking, and the inevitable failure of those promises. Life gets harder, more complex, less rewarding
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— Rick Wilson (@TheRickWilson) December 1, 2014
It was inspired by this likewise interesting/disheartening article by Ron Fournier and Sophie Quinton. My gut feeling is they’re absolutely right. I wonder where it’s going, though, and I’m not completely disillusioned. As demonstrated by the story about the churches in the article, when Americans don’t like the old model, they’ll make a new one. Obviously, we can’t (easily) do that with government, but I wonder if we don’t see more and more circumventing of old models, a new way of working and interacting with each other. We’re seeing something of that with models like charter schools, Khan Academy, Uber, Bitcoin and other “disruptive” models.
Yeah, we don’t trust institutions, but I don’t think it’s as bad as it sounds. Maybe it’s good that many people are (perhaps) willing to abandon old institutions. We’ve got a great tradition of building better mousetraps in this country, even if that mousetrap is a business, a church, a school, or a government. It’s oddly uncynical of me, but I think that the fact that everyone hates everything now is actually a positive development. We’ll be more willing to adopt better models and less likely to expect “experts” to fix everything for us, seeing as they’ve shown themselves completely and utterly incapable of that.
What do you think? (Also: This blog post is a perfect example of how my brain works: randomly. I’m sorry. Or you’re welcome. Whichever.)