Yesterday, Florent Crivello tweeted the above graph while pondering theories in the famous book, Diffusion of Innovations by the late Everett M. Rogers, Professor of Communication and Journalism at the University of New Mexico, who analyzed how new technology spreads through cultures. Rogers divided society into five new technocratic classes: innovators; early adopters; early majority; late majority; laggards. Rogers sought to understand technological development by relating it to a social relationships. He died in 2004, before sites like Facebook took off, although he plainly anticipated social media. Perhaps it is better to consider not so much the bonds and relationships which drive social networks, as the underlying trends which drive the bonds and relationships. It's not who you know, it's why you choose to know them. Every social bond reinforces a particular view of the world.
Broadly speaking, there are two ways of understanding the world. You can turn dreams into reality. Or you can turn reality into dreams. Sigmund Freud observed this after meeting Theodor Herzl in Vienna. Where Freud analyzed the latter process, Herzl set out to accomplish the former possibility. But universal mastery resides with those who can do both. One may master the world of the self-evident to the highest degree, but still be defeated by the comatose. A quotation, wildly attributed to Marcus Aurelius and Oswald Spengler: "The secret of all victory lies in the organization of the non-obvious."
Millennial business preaches a one-way trip: turn your dreams into reality. This professional mantra is profoundly materialistic. The chart above shows that Millennial business leaders and professionals are working against the nature of the global communications trend and misunderstand the endgame of high technology. Every technological innovation in the graph moves us in the other direction, from reality into virtual reality. That mixed message creates the confusion, the frustration, the procrastination of people enmeshed at cross-purposes in a paradox: high tech societies demand that their citizens build more and more little realities, with tools plainly designed to immerse them in dreams.