Coping with Change

...people are feeling deeply anxious about something. It’s the story of our time: the pace of change in technology, globalization and climate have started to outrun the ability of our political systems to build the social, educational, community, workplace and political innovations needed for some citizens to keep up.

We have globalized trade and manufacturing, and we have introduced robots and artificial intelligence systems, far faster than we have designed the social safety nets, trade surge protectors and educational advancement options that would allow people caught in this transition to have the time, space and tools to thrive. It’s left a lot of people dizzy and dislocated. ...

And these rapid changes are taking place when our politics has never been more gridlocked and unable to respond with just common sense — like governments borrowing money at near zero interest to invest in much-needed infrastructure that creates jobs and enables us to better exploit these technologies.

- Thomas Friedman, You Break It, You Own It, NYT, June 29, 2016

There is a portion of the population that feels threatened by unrelenting change....
- Charles M. Blow, Trump Reflects White Male Fragility, NYT, Aug. 4, 2016

An optimistic view of change:

To the Editor:

Let’s face the facts — no one likes change, even if our lives are not good, but change was necessary. Our government was at a stalemate, totally dysfunctional. We needed a major revamping.

But who could possibly do it? We needed someone brave, honest, independent, wealthy, thick-skinned, successful and brash enough to fight the total entrenchment of establishments strangling our American dream. Someone who was comfortable in front of the media. We got what we wished. Donald Trump is not perfect, but he is perfect for change.

We are now on a path into the unknown — an adventure that the American spirit has always embraced. We lost that spirit for a while, but Mr. Trump reminded us how we can regain it. Mr. Trump has proved himself in business but, more important, he has proved himself in politics in an unconventional but brilliant campaign. He defied all odds.

How can we doubt that he will succeed in his next phase — making America great again?

- Charles Slane, New York, Letter to the Editor

Jose Valera recently lamented the speed of change:

“Change has always been happening, but in the last few years, it seems to have happened so fast.”
(He was lamenting in particular the rate of gentrification of his East Austin neighborhood.)

- Joe Gose, ‘Coolness Factor’ Draws Developers to East Austin, Tex., NYT, Feb. 14, 2017

Whatever the social norms, there are questions about the wisdom of tinkering with basic biological processes. And there is general agreement that reproductive technology is progressing faster than consideration of the legal and ethical questions it raises.

“We have come to realize that scientific developments are outpacing our ability to think them through,” Dr. Adashi said. “It’s a challenge for which we are not fully prepared. It would be good to be having the conversation before we are actually confronting the challenges.”
- TAMAR LEWIN, Babies From Skin Cells? Prospect Is Unsettling to Some Experts, NYT, MAY 16, 2017

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