Marquee Moments

Historically a marquee was a large and often sumptuous tent. When I grew up, it was the big lit sign outside movie theaters and concert venue. In recent years we have heard of marquee customers, clients, accounts, assets, players, performers, and marquee environmental laws.  It has been used to mean several things including exceptionally popular, skilled, outstanding, flagship, the crown jewel, prized advantage or highly visible symbol of success. 

A recent exciting usage I am expanding upon here in today’s posting is Marquee Moments, which seems to imply moments of great importance, code for makes for a good headline.

To my mind, they can be more than a headline but an opportunity for change or pivoting based upon insights, newly revealed, discovered or invented. Or dare I say innovated? You knew that would be coming right?

Innovators tend to have many impactful professional moments. The first invention first shipped product, first funds raised, first time meeting a payroll, first time not meeting payroll, next revs of each rapidly follow early successes and first failures.  Some of these moments stand out head and shoulders above the others, referred to as Marquee Moments.

My First Marquee 

My first big one occurred on my first day of school in the schoolyard before classes began as a five-year-old casually asking some of the other kids what books they were reading and what they thought about them. This outreach garnered pretty much no response at all, so I asked a few other questions which generated a worse reaction. I was told to stop using big words because they made people feel stupid. Now as a first child the only conversations I had previously, were with my parents and relatives, so I was stunned and genuinely asked which words were the big ones. It only took a few more minutes before I determined I had better relate by being an athlete than a conversationalist.

This realization that I was not like most of the other kids in the schoolyard was a real shocker, and I am sure many of you have also encountered the mismatch between “normal” and “you.” On the other hand, I had many other things to read and think about as well as learning how to play stickball, dodgeball, punchball and to fight (this was Brooklyn in the 1950s).

Being all of five, I did not dwell on differences between me and the other kids much although it was crystal clear that I was operating using a different core logic than others, a fact reinforced every day. Having been surrounded by inventors, artists, musicians, and other marginalized deviants, it all came out in the wash, only recently resurfacing as the press describes the marquee moments presumably all of society and the nation are currently facing.

Much to my amazement, thinking creative people are baffled by what is going on outside of us. It is indeed an unusual time, even for one who grew up in the sixties where our agenda was to dismantle society and change the values so deviance could be tolerated and also celebrated. 

What is more distressing at this moment in time is the wave after wave of poor behavior and poor decision making, the people who think they are running the world are exhibiting, and I do not mean to limit this to the most elevated levels!  At this moment neither government, nor business, nor religion, nor do educators know what to do, how to do it or even to behave correctly.  In short, things feel like they are falling apart more than usual and I have never been a massive fan of authorities also as I became one.

It appears that we are reaching s super marquee moment where humanity is going to have to either take responsibility and learn how to collaborate or continue to be selfish and greedy and die out. The good news is we do have the opportunity to get our act together mostly due to the democratization of technology which has radically reduced so many barriers to change, the primary one of which is the ability to communicate. We have become a networked species where almost everyone on the planet has a supercomputer in their pocket that is not only super computationally powerful but also super connected in ways that are mind-blowing even for someone who helped invent them.

Seriously, folks, the time has come for us to get it together and that means to vote and to communicate and most of all to stop assuming that society has any idea at all how to manage itself. Our schools and governments are failing, and yes our businesses are making money but still disenfranchising the vast majority of the human race.  In short, this is as unsustainable as the dark ages were for a straightforward reason – thoughts, once thought,  cannot be unthought. Since there are now many millions of networked connected people who already have personally experienced how well collaboration works, those unwilling to work together will either have to kill the majority of the human race or get out of the way. 

In 2005 when I founded SVII the very first web page key message was Innovate or Die. This statement is far more true today than it was then. I have gone out of my way for these last thirteen years, not to be political, for I found it too divisive. Society seems to be seriously busted, and our democracy is in danger of failing. Also, our school systems are not teaching people what they need most in the world, how to learn. Increasing numbers of coaches and preachers are perverts. Our political leaders have no idea how to do anything other than be self-serving and are too insecure to have a real conversation and at least there is one thing we can still count on, many bosses and companies are still exploitative. 

We currently produce enough food to feed the planet and enough energy to power the earth. So what is the problem? Simple, the deep hole in the soul of the zero-sum game folks, who derive power stealing it from others cannot be filled up by consumption, nor acquisition of power. There is nothing external that will ever solve their issues of existential angst. Life and happiness are an inside job and now more than ever no one should be depending on anyone outside making their life work. The loyalty of employees toward their employers and vice-a-versa is now gone. Marriage is not doing that great either. If people do not work on themselves and work on getting along, they will be leaving a world for their kids not worth having.

Let’s begin by making out clear by voting that we are unwilling to accept this atrocious behavior on the part of our leadership. And if that does not work quickly enough to save humanity, then let us hack and drive the techno-illiterate vampires back into the dark ages. If small cells of terrorists can take on large governments, it should not be too difficult to hack the businesses and properties of those who are screwing up the world. They are already demonstrating just how impotent they are, why not merely destroy their ability to do business. No violence is needed. No bombs. No anthrax. As an example say there was a particular unresponsive insecure hotel owner, how hard could it be to entirely digitally overwhelm their enterprise’s ability to function?

Engineers and scientists gave all countries their roads, highways, hospitals, and infrastructure both analog and digital. They can be taken back or just not repaired when they fail due to poor maintenance and greed.

The pen has already proven to be mightier than the sword. The internet is merely a turbocharged pen. Communication and Information is power. Engineers could join with Hollywood, Hollywood, Netflix, Hulu and the networks who are producing plenty of content calling people on their stuff.  

By the way, I doubt very much that the group of people who want to use the clock back to the good old days will ever read a word a person like me writes. There is a message to deliver to them when you encounter them in life as we do have to work together.  Time travel to the past is not possible, for it no longer exists. The world has moved on.  Additionally, the people who want to go back do not have the skills to recreate or to create, and we will not help them to do it. Let’s see how far they get without medicine, communications or computers. 

If Congress will not do it job and continues this travesty of irresponsible behavior, let us fire them!

If a fake unauthorized by the democratic process Supreme Court tries to go backward to work to undo decades of progress made toward a collaborative civilization, lets just technologically shut them down. How hard would it be to shut down a handful of individuals determined to drive humanity backward? I bet they could not write a single line of code or fix their cars, or debug their phones or computers. 

Sorry for the anger but I have been patient for many years and saw instead of progress a de-evolution and have no intentions of supporting an attempt to return to a dream which is not a reality and to even possible. The disenfranchised population that is terrified of learning new skills and jobs and becoming part of the future understandably wants to go back to something they understand. Unfortunately even though I get why they want to go backward it is not possible so they are ongoing to merely die unhappy unless they change their expectations and learn how to be a new person who is after all the job of all of us – to learn how to grow and improve and be better than we were.  

It is quite narrow-minded to attempt to force upon the world which is ready to move ahead, a minority decision desire to go backward.