In a democracy it’s your vote that counts but in a feudal society it’s your Count that votes.
The anachronistic icon of the gold watch at retirement is a relic of fealty or loyal service to a lord.
The changing topography of our interactive environment has redefined our relationship with it and the coming wave of technological impact will turn the notion of servitude on its head.
In last week’s post we looked at the impact of machines upon work and lifestyle. The golden handshake is no longer appropriate as jobs-for-life no longer exist and loyalty to an employer has become subject to cancellation without notice. The gold watch is a symbol of becoming surplus and put out to pasture.
Our inherited work ethic comes with a sleeper program that recognises that moment of redundancy and subconsciously we devalue our worth because we’re not working.
That feeling of being superfluous is bad enough but pales into insignificance compared to the feeling of obsolescence as smart machines redesign themselves unimpeded by a biological chassis that has a much slower evolutionary spiral.
As we saw in ‘Found in a Lost World’, our place in it will be to provide that gift of love that no machine will ever have.
Our sense of self-worth will undergo a metamorphosis not unlike the chrysalis becoming the butterfly, a complete and radical transformation of the notion of self.
This is known as a ‘change of state’, similar to water becoming steam. There are two ‘types’ of heat. There is ‘sensible heat’ which can be measured as an increase in temperature. Then there is ‘latent heat’, which is the heat required to effect the transition from solid to liquid or liquid to gas and does not register an increase in temperature. As an example, it would take about the same amount of heat to convert water at boiling point to steam as it would to raise it through 3 degrees Celsius.
Now one may well ask, what does this have to do with personal development?
Personal development implies change that can be measured, however the end goal of transformation stands outside the boundaries of the process which brought it there, as with the butterfly.
Adaptation requires the ability to change behaviour according to environmental demands.
Darwin’s Theory of Evolution rests on this fact.
In Nature, survival depends on this ability.
Our future survivability will rest as much on our identity or sense of who we are, as it will on the lessons we have learned.
Even though there’s no more gold watch, time is still ticking.