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Nations Fight for Relevancy, While Tech Fights for a Mission.
I think there is has been a flip in roles. The nation now follows the tech incumbents.
“There is no strife, no prejudice, no national conflict in outer space as yet. Its hazards are hostile to us all. Its conquest deserves the best of all mankind, and its opportunity for peaceful cooperation may never come again. But why, some say, the Moon? Why choose this as our goal? And they may well ask, why climb the highest mountain? Why, 35 years ago, fly the Atlantic? Why does Rice play Texas?
We choose to go to the Moon! We choose to go to the Moon…We choose to go to the Moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard; because that goal will serve to organize and measure the best of our energies and skills” - John F Kennedy
In the 60s, president JFK announced that we would have a man on the moon, 10 years later we did. This dream, lead by the tireless efforts of NASA and the national competition with Russia inspired the nation. That momentum got the United States to space, and that momentum got the United States to the moon.
I don’t feel that we have a “moon race” anymore as a nation. There’s no developments pushing human kind forward, there are only countries dividing the world and managing their domain, establishing ownership and nationalism. The ocean that connects us all to a planet, is used to divide the nations not unite them. However, humanity does seem to be progressing, we seem to continue to still solve problems that plague us. I think the government has lost relevancy in the modern day. I believe it has become something that people fear, but no one connects with, which leads people in pursuit of other connections.
I connect with the nations of Google, Facebook and Amazon, the way that my parents connected with the United States. I see their bold visions and I connect with their desire to take “Moon Shots.” We as a nation, or nations watch them with their every move, we glamorize their hustle and their ambitions, and we connect them with the United States, when they are truly something greater. They are ubiquitous, their digital presence transcends physical boarders. They don’t care about the physical land, they are attempting to unite the world rather than divide it.
When I was in kindergarten I remember “pledging allegiance to the flag”. I didn’t know what the United States was at the time, but my peers all seemed to participate in pledging, so why not? If Instagram made you “Pledge Allegiance” every morning, I’m pretty sure every consumer would.
We as citizens follow ambition, and the US has moved from ambitious and free to regulatory management and free-ish. Our imaginations are now captured by the ambitious nature of “organizing the worlds information.” Or “Connecting the world on one network”. And we don’t watch as a nation, but as individuals hoping for connection to more.
We haven’t had a “JFK” level ambitious speech in my life time.
I think that every nation is thinking about how to work with Google, Facebook, Amazon, Baidu and Tencent, and I believe that those corporations are probably figuring out how to get the nation out of their way.
Where the nation used to pull the boat forward, it now tells others how to pull it.
I actually am pro-gov. I just want a higher service quality for the price we pay.
By Adam Draper
I ponder as a VC.
It's a quick one minute read to make you think, smile, or laugh.
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