The boulevard of broken trends

IS may get the cynical prize for the best company conversation strategy

I’m afraid I’ve lost my optimism over social progress. Digital optimists like me see possibilities everywhere. But can it be that destructive powers have been most succesful in embracing our new opportunities?  They have most sticking power, they are most perseverant and it even seems as if they have most resources. That’s why I am presenting to you now my Boulevard of Broken Trends of the past year.

Big Data is mainly about more aggressive marketing and commercial exploitation. The Internet of Things is becoming creepy: the apps we use generate more and more data which is being used against us. The grassroot mobilisation technologies that were meant to make the US more progressive under Obama, have been successfully embraced and neutralised by the hard-line Republican wing. Big companies and banks are found to largely be an instrument providing a few people with capital to play a giant poker game, the winner of which will dominate the world. Multinationals no longer feel restrained in abusing fiscal and technological ¨innovations¨ to launder away their profits without paying tax, with an unbearable tax burden for citizens as a consequence. Governments are beginning to consider an increasing number of our own people as a potential danger and in the name of concern for the safety of all they use increasingly far-reaching espionage on all of us. IS may get the cynical prize for the best company conversation strategy. And meanwhile it seems that Uber and Airbnb, the posterchilds of the sharing economy – sorry: rental economy – are also starting to show truly annoying monopolistic traits. In the end, these companies merely exist to make their VC’s happy.

And still, I refuse to become a pessimist. Let’s make 2015 the year of the great unmasking. 2015 will be known for our increasing awareness of the destructive power of digital progress. Let’s stop being naive; the future is too fragile to be dreamt to pieces. Let’s make our digital future a success.


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