Don’t live by the old rules.

January 5, 2008 at 2:33 pm (General, Internet tech, Politics, The Economy) (, , , , , , , , , , )

The old rules no longer apply, and if you try to live by them, the least you can expect is some discomfort.

Bold, sweeping statement, Dave. What do you mean by that?

I mean that, unless your residence is a remote cave or the underside of a large stony object, you should have noticed that there have been a lot of changes in the last 20 years or so.

Those of us who are baby boomers were raised with certain rules, goals, expectations, beliefs, and societal framework. Trouble is, those conditions no longer exist, and many of us are still operating as though they did. (Maybe to a lesser or greater degree. It depends on the individual or the issue.) After all, it’s human nature to expect things to stay as they were when we were growing up.

They didn’t.

The list of disruptive technologies could easily fill a page. Perhaps even a book. Just think about these:Robotics

  • Containerized shipping
  • Robotics
  • Personal computers
  • The Internet
  • Cellular phones

That’s just a start. Can you imagine life without them? 40 years ago, container ships were still a new idea, and the others? Merely a gleam in the eye of science fiction writers such as Asimov or Clarke.

So what, you may be saying? Unintended consequences, says I.

Containerized shipping, robotics, and cheap oil led to American manufacturing jobs being lost to Asia.

Personal computers, the Internet, and cell phones have completely changed social interaction. MySpace,, chat rooms… completely new ways to “hook up” that never existed before. Add that to the sexual revolution of the ’60s, and it’s small wonder that more than half of all marriages end up in divorce court (mine included).

So, what are the new rules? Got to tell you, I’m still figuring that out myself. Here’s what I believe are some of the latest rules, to the best of my ability to discern them:

Job security is extinct. Corporations view employees as interchangeable, disposable, exploitable commodities, and you’d better conduct your career accordingly.

There’s nothing in it for a man to get married any more, unless he wants to raise kids. Dating – like jobs – has also become commoditized. If your partner is boring you, go get another. Welcome to the consumerist philosophy, extended to human relationships.

The only constant is change, more than ever before. The pace of change seems to have increased, so it’s vitally important to stay abreast of the latest cultural and economic trends.

Dave, SimpsonizedCredibility is the new currency. You can do or be whatever you like, as long as you have credibility. Sometimes, that credibility is earned. Sometimes, credibility is simply declaimed, self-announced and self-reinforced. Guard and build your credibility. It’s solid gold in the Information Economy.

These are the first four New Rules that come to mind. Anyone out there have more? Let me know – comment below!

(Good lord. Has it really been more than two months since my last post? I really must rant more often.)



  1. Happy Birthday, Internet! « We All In Trouble… | Dlock’s Pop Culture Reflux said,

    […] are, of course, a few problems.  First are the unintended consequences such as economic disruption, and the social implications.  The Internet has certainly changed dating and relationships for […]

  2. Google Bailing Out of China? « We All In Trouble… | Dlock's Pop Culture Reflux said,

    […] So, will there be no more kow-towing to the Great Firewall of China?  It’s a bit early to tell, but I think we’re looking at a “irresistible force vs. immovable object” situation here.  And it’s a safe bet that the US State Department will get involved at some point in this new cyber-brouhaha.  Trade agreements, loans from China to the US, Chinese imports, most favored nation status… there are so many factors that tie America to China at this point, that any disruptions could cause significant and unforeseen consequences. […]

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