BoSacks: No B.S.: Fear and Survival
I want to discuss with you two concepts that have been with us as far back as humans can remember, perhaps even before we can remember. This is intended to help us understand the publishing industry today, and the preconceived notions of coming change. Of course, it includes the fear that comes along with change from what was once known and comfortable to what is unknown.
Those fears are sometimes rational and well-thought-out, or so it seems at the time, and sometimes they are just an irrational reaction to an unpredictable personal future. After all, when you get to the bottom of the fear, it is all about how we will survive to feed and take care of our families. A career is about survival of the fittest where the jungle has been swapped for a desk and a paycheck.
James Burke, a science historian, is well-known for his documentary TV series "Connections" (1978), focusing on the history of science and technology interjected with a fair amount of humor. Burke said that understanding change is a detective story, that no one can fully know any outcome from today's perspectives, and we can only guess at where we are going and then act on those guesses. I agree.
Burke goes on to say that no one can anticipate the full results of change. No one who invented anything truly understood the full effects of his or her invention at the time.
We are living through Burke's observation today, because change happens faster now than ever. We are living through the frantic white heat of technologic change that is happening faster than anyone can predict or understand. And since we can't understand it, we fear it. We have been changing and adapting for a millennium, yet at each moment of the change, the pundits of the day try to resist the inevitable.