Emerging technologies are reshaping our future
Why the Loss of Humour - Laugh a little. Love a lot.
The rise in personal and social anxiety has crippled our sense of humour. Give our kids a chance to embrace the future instead of fearing it.
LAST WEEK'S WEBINAR
Safeguarding You Against Free Expression
Anxiety and the loss of humour - featuring a skit "About Nothing"
Join us 4:00PM MST Thursday
Before venturing into the topic of today's newsletter and this Thursday's webinar - the rise of anxiety and the loss of humour, let's reflect on what's causing such personal turmoil. The last two years have been extraordinary. We hardly need reminding that competing with climate change was Covid and it's impact on education and health, debt and governing. Now there is inflation with it's broad impact on preserving wealth and the cost of living. The continuing war has tipped over concerns about energy and food security. And of late there are the imposing political movements, the forced resetting of values reflected in ESG, reconciliation, and wokeism; addressing neoliberalism - the rise of the ego, the individual. Technology has offered it's own triggers including decarbonization of energy and now generative AI with the capacity to change everything that relies on knowledge derived from data. To the point, tis no wonder that when we asked youth about the future, high on the list of concerns was mental heath. Not so subtle is the rise of personal and social anxiety and with it less tolerance and a decline in our sense of humour.
Separating the grounds for anxiety from the irrelevant is no easy task as we are constantly and immediately flooded with information about events from every corner of the earth. And as for news and science, each are questioned, having become politicized and sources of biased, editorialized opinion. The biases are in the interest of attracting attention. Attention before learning. But therein lies the profit - the more eyeballs, the more ad revenue; facts don't matter - just ask FOX News. The weirder the movie, the Facebook profile, the more extreme the news and views, the bigger the audience. Tolerance is thin. Humour edgy. Consider the recent cancelling of the cartoon series Dilbert HERE
Again, facts are secondary to getting attention. Timothy Caulfield advises us in this book Relax, Dammit, that a prime source of anxiety is the overload of information including unfortunately misinformation. Paul McGhee has written several books including: Humor: The Lighter Path to Resilience and Health and Humor As Survival Training for a Stressed-out World: The 7 Humor Habits Program. Mark Anielsky in The Economics of Happiness HERE explores the relevance and contributors to happiness as something money can't by. Our options are few: ignore it or explore it, deny it or laugh it off. When asked ChatGPT provided a succinct summary of about the KEI Network's newsletters HERE. We've been exploring, sometimes with a contrarian perspective but rarely ready to fight anxiety by laughing it off. That is until today. Here are a few perspectives that may make you laugh, maybe even rediscover loving a lot:
- Chuckling. HERE is how a troubled traveler - chuckled to cope.
- Whimsy. Maybe we need to be more child-like. Whimsy is the delight of children, but lost as they too become swept up as anxious teenagers and then adults. HERE is a trove of Whimsy-like stories.
- Laughter. As the best medicine HERE
- Giggles and Guffaws. Recommended by the Mayo Clinic Staff HERE
Is laughter "the best medicine"? ChatGPT provides a more sober, maybe more objective reply:
While laughter can certainly make us feel better, it is not a cure-all for every ailment. Laughter has been shown to have some health benefits, such as reducing stress, boosting the immune system, and releasing endorphins, which are natural painkillers. However, it is important to note that laughter alone cannot replace medical treatment for serious illnesses or injuries.
In addition, not everyone may find laughter helpful or enjoyable. What makes one person laugh may not be the same for another, and some people may even find certain types of humor offensive or hurtful.
So while laughter can be a helpful tool for promoting well-being, it should not be relied upon as the sole or primary means of treating medical or mental health conditions. It is always important to seek professional medical advice and treatment when needed.
- Comedy. We have commissioned the production of a generative AI aided skit "About Nothing" drawing from the Jerry Seinfeld comedy series. The webinar about humour and happiness features avatars of the webinar personalities you have come to know. Join us this Thursday just for the fun of it - something different in the interest of lightening up our day and hopefully yours too. - Editor
IMPACT AND REQUEST
We are monitoring how emerging technologies are driving change and their impact on people and society, the economy and geo-politics. We and our partner - Troy Media, want to interview advocates for change, the leaders and the victims of e.g.: climate change, identity politics, energy transitions, healthcare reform, regulatory overhaul. Share your concerns, insights and recommendations. We are seeking stories of how people are adapting or not to change and the organizations that are or are not helping. Advances in technologies continue to shape our future for good or for otherwise. Are we vulnerable? Are our institutions capable of mitigating the risks of these technologies being used/abused in the interest of advancing utopian visions of post-modernism and identity politics? Do you have a story to tell? Let us know. Editor@KEInetwork.net