Feb 20, 2023

Ad astra per aspera - Latin for "to the stars through difficulties." Also the motto of Kansas, where I grew up and went to college. John James Ingalls coined the motto in 1861 stating, "The aspiration of Kansas is to reach the unattainable; its dream is the realization of the impossible." According to the Office of the Governor of Kansas: "This motto refers not only to the pioneering spirit of the early settlers, but also the difficult times Kansas went through before becoming a state. The anti-slavery forces and slavery proponents waged battles in the electoral process as well as on the battlefield. Kansas earned the nickname "Bloody Kansas" because of the war regarding slavery, much of which was fought on Kansas' soil."

Doomscrolling - When you keep scrolling through all of your social media feeds, looking for the most recent upsetting news about the latest catastrophe. The amount of time spent doing this is directly proportional to how much worse you're going to feel after you're done.

Information Revolution - A period that runs from 1969 to present. In 1969 ARPA (a US federal government agency predecessor to DARPA) transmitted messages between two computers over what we now call the Internet. The development of microprocessors, sensors, and other technologies are included in this period. The use of digital technology in business has increased productivity, similar to how mechanization in the Industrial Revolution increased productivity. The development of Artificial Intelligence and automation are the latest advances in this period, which as of the third decade of the 21st century is only just beginning.

Industrial Revolution -  In the US, the latter half of the 19th century. Advances in mechanization such as the steam engine, railroads, and the use of oil led to massive productivity increases in business. The Industrial Revolution brought sweeping social changes, among them a significant decrease in the birth rate as families stopped needing more children to work on the farm.

Neoliberalism - Neoliberalism is an economic and political ideology that emphasizes free market principles and policies, such as deregulation, privatizing state-owned industries, and reducing government intervention in the economy. It emphasizes the importance of individual liberty and limited government, and the belief that the market is the most efficient mechanism for allocating resources. The term "neoliberalism" is often used to describe the economic policies that have been adopted by many countries since the 1970s, which have included a reduction in tariffs, the deregulation of industries, and the reduction in the size of government. Neoliberal policies have been associated with globalization and have been credited with increasing economic growth and reducing poverty, but have also been criticized for increasing inequality and exacerbating social and economic problems.

New Cold War - a superpower conflict between US and Chinese blocs in the mid-21st century

New Gilded Age - The period from the end of the Cold War to the COVID-19 pandemic, characterized by increasing inequality and neoliberal economic policy.

Surveillance Capitalism - A new mutation of capitalism practiced by information firms, who deliver “free” products to consumers in return for their behavioral data. They then use that behavioral data to sell prediction products, including but not limited to advertising. Just as the industrial capitalists turned nature’s raw materials into value, surveillance capitalists turn human nature into value.