I see 3 trends:
- individual passivity – consumerism: individuals seek to maximize their short-term pleasure more than ever before. Shurely, some of that is driven by the relentless onslaught of advertisment and the perfection of consumer good offerings and presentation, as well as the ongoing reflection of this process in movies, tv shows and so on.
- wisdom of crowds, crowdsourcing – the whole is more than the sum of its parts: wikipedia, github, linux… examples of spontaneous, grassroots crowd organization, led by a couple of highly motivated individuals achieve outstanding feats, which they offer free of charge.
- Political Passivity – Looking Within For Change And Fullfilment: Driven By the widespread adoption of buddhist principles, more and more people simply refuse to partake in politics, which they see as a mere distraction. Real change must come from within, when your perceptions and attitudes towards the world of things change. a noble thought, that leaves the political playing field in the hands of power hawks and self advancers.
The jury is still out on what the end-effect of this will be. In my mind, a picture emerges:
Close to 7 billion humans populate our planet today. The Internet, cheap travel, affordable voice and increasingly video communication give everybody a true sense of interconnectedness and help form a global consciousness.
So we arrive in “The Age Of The Hive”. This fits perfectly with the trend of individual passivity. The individual does what he or she feels is most true to her vocation, trusting The Hive to use it in some meaningful way. Organisation arises spontaneously. Planing, politics and long-range goals become less and less important or tangible. Lately we could see the development of a crowd-sourced symphony piece. Kickstarter launches tens of projects each day. Individuals offer their output to The Hive, that, driven by feelings, attachments and sentiment grabs and amplifies some of the output, some not.
The individual that initiated the creation becomes a queen bee, for a short time, only to return into the fold of The Hive later to restart the process… Resistance is futile!