Thoughts on "What the Hell is Going On?"

This essay is fantastic.

Two things stood out for me:

Rather than controlling speech itself, people can control speech by determining the limits of acceptable conversation. As Noam Chomsky, the father of modern linguistics said: “The smart way to keep people passive and obedient is to strictly limit the spectrum of acceptable opinion, but allow very lively debate within that spectrum…”


According to Gurri, modern information technology enables the public, composed of amateurs, to break the power hierarchies of the industrial age. As the floodgates of information open, the public, organized on social media networks, is clashing with hierarchical, Industrial-era governments and institutions. To illustrate the point, Gurri cites political uprisings such as the Arab Spring in Egypt and the Occupy Movement in the United States.

I’m intrigued to think about how this affects families. It used to be that one person in the family probably controlled the dial (dad, right?). Now, everyone has their own dial and TV, and can take it under the covers and explore whatever information they want. This familial information asymmetry probably means a lot more stress, and with stress comes growth and transformation.