In the U.S., when your neighbor is out of work, it is a slowdown; when your family member is added, it becomes a recession; and when you too join the same line, then it surely becomes a depression.
Unofficially, the unemployment rate in the U.S. has been pegged at 15 percent to 25 percent, while the economic turnaround seems a mirage; the closer you get, the clearer the reality becomes: nothing but refractions.
The Internet is a nation of bloggers and instant pundits who are trying hard to generate some warmth for a frost-bitten economy.
The results of last fall’s U.S. midterm elections clearly point to an even more polarized citizenry forcing new positioning in an internal civil war of ideologies among the brightest minds on the left and the right — but their weapons consist largely of dumb sound bites or silly tweets.
Is technology to blame for this downward spiral toward an intellectual void? Is it the wired citizenry that’s in a rage to change? Is it the unemployed who are taking advantage of free mediums and viral broadcasts to splinter votes and public opinion?
Technology may be blamed for the hyperspeed and massive accessibility of information, but Joe Public cannot be held responsible for shattering the credibility of sacred institutions.
However, it seems that technology now provides a halo for the enlightenment of Joe public. Truth, like a messiah, descends upon us.
Strange Days Ahead
The public and corporate images of the West are in trouble. The images of thousands of long-established brands and fine institutions are on the block.
The countdown to a global image shift points to the next couple of years, when China will overtake America as the largest economy — at least based on purchase power parity — according to the Conference Board of America.
Are Americans not aware of this tectonic shift? Or is it that they have no idea how to tackle this unstoppable change? Both questions seem odd. All along, Americans have been the best front-line trend forecasters and solution providers.
The deep silence and lack of real focused debate accompanied by action simply make no sense. The global interactive voice of the Internet, currently the multibillion-strong interconnected populace of the world — large enough that simply sneezing in sync would cause enough air displacement to create a small hurricane — is sounding deep concern over the direction the entire world and its economy are headed.
The possible second meltdown on the horizon or the possibility of a third war theater — or both — concerns all. The advanced complexity of broad-based issues requires massive interactive communication across the globe. This makes current communication technology the real thermometer for global opinion, while the Internet itself becomes an intravenous drip for exhausted nations.
4 New Dance Routines Scheduled for the World Stage
The Techno-Bhangra: When BRIC nations create their own local massive technology flood to boost their own populace to quickly become middle class in a hypertechnology mode. In a world divided into population-rich emerging nations and experience-rich developed nations, would the global image shifts toward population-rich nations become hyperproductive and further accelerate the tilt of the global imbalance in their favor?
The War Tango: When wars appear to be the only logical solution for the developed nations and when developing countries appear to provide the most fertile grounds for such theatrics. At this point, will the Internet become the real melting pot of global opinion — hot enough to sway global moods and trade agreements, creating an unstoppable swing of forces? What will the experience-rich nations of the West do at this stage, after making all these technologies freely available to the world? Should the U.S. seek to push the “Internet Kill Switch” — now a proposed bill — as a last-minute national security device to control global techno-commerce shifts?
The Zorba Dance: When American-Anglo models based on QE2 become the new setting of a Greece-style meltdown in the U.S. With PIGS already teetering on the edge, will observing their outcomes create a brand new landscape for the U.S.? Will it mark a turning point toward sobriety and productivity, or a major, long-term dissolution of the American lifestyle?
The Chicken Dance: When the IMF forecasts the need for US$10 trillion dollars needed to keep the developed nations afloat in 2011. If money printing appears to be a better way than money generation, then why not print $1,000 trillion and let the chicken dance among all nations begin? The global financial wizardry of the old school is in sync with national monetary policies of the developed nations, favoring QE2 models. The pragmatic pundits of the emerging economies are seeking brand new global banking and financial models.
To summarize, the complexity of this global crisis cannot be ignored — but neither can the pain nor the agony it is causing the entire world. All of us are being directly affected, population-rich or experience-rich. Whether our image is sharp or dull, good or bad, we all have to raise our voices and share our opinions.
Hark, the music is in the air. Tthe dance floors are busy — but be wary before choosing a tune or a partner. What do you think?
Naseem Javed, founder of ABC Namebank, is recognized as a world authority on image positioning and global naming complexities. He is currently helping corporations on ICANN’s new gTLD cyberplatforms and lecturing on cyberbranding.