A Decade of Cognitive Dissonance
[Note to readers: I have been AWOL here for the past few weeks as I had to finish the last draft of this latest book of mine. I am back to regular posting here. Thank you!]
The 2020s will be a decade of cognitive dissonance. We will all experience more cognitive dissonance in the 2020s than in any other time of our lives.
Cognitive dissonance is the conflict between what one thinks reality is and what it actually is. So, quotes and definitions:
Here is Webster:
– psychological conflict resulting from incongruous beliefs and attitudes held simultaneously.
– In A Theory of Cognitive Dissonance (1957), Leon Festinger proposed that human beings strive for internal psychological consistency to function mentally in the real world. A person who experiences internal inconsistency tends to become psychologically uncomfortable and is motivated to reduce the cognitive dissonance. They tend to make changes to justify the stressful behavior, either by adding new parts to the cognition causing the psychological dissonance or by avoiding circumstances and contradictory information likely to increase it.
Two great quotes about cognitive dissonance:
“Sometimes people hold a core belief that is very strong. When they are presented with evidence that works against that belief, the new evidence cannot be accepted. It would create a feeling that is extremely uncomfortable, called cognitive dissonance. And because it is so important to protect the core belief, they will rationalize, ignore and even deny anything that doesn’t fit in with the core belief.” – Franz Fanon
“Wisdom is tolerance of cognitive dissonance.” – Robert Thurman
Think about it. COVID-19 has to some greater or lesser degree put you in the state of cognitive dissonance. The reality you thought you would spend 2020 in at the beginning of that year was not the one you actually entered. Instead, you were in familiar surrounding at home, with familiar people but there was danger outside, your workplace was now at home. Your vocabulary expanded to include “social distancing” “double masking” “vaccines” “COVID-19” “quarantines” and “shutdown” and of course you went out at odd hours to find toilet paper, paper towels, and if you were lucky, antibacterial wipes. What is this reality?
Disruption and accelerated change on a massive level triggers cognitive dissonance as it causes one to live in, work in, and navigate an unfamiliar reality. One for which you must adapt and pay attention to as it is unfamiliar.
As readers of this column know, I wrote a book last year titled “The 2020s: The Most Disruptive Decade in History” I wrote several columns about the subject. That this decade will have more change than any other decade or several decades in history. Unprecedented change and upheaval.
The reality of this decade was also discussed in a column here entitled “COVID-19 is a bike with training wheels for the 2020s”. This became part of Chapter 2 of my just published book “The 2020s: A Decade of Cognitive Dissonance”
In this new book I explain what it means to live in cognitive dissonance and why we may well be living in this state for much of this decade. I look at all the ways our reality will be changed and disrupted in the coming years. I compare this decade with three huge eras of change, all 50-75 years in length and make the argument that there will be as much change in the 2020s as there was in the eras of 1450-1525, 1775-1825 and 1875-1925. Only this last 50-year period can match we all face.
Since about 2016 it became increasingly clear to me that several of the big dynamic trends I see altering our collective reality in the future, would all be intersecting in the 2020s decade. That this time would be disproportionately affect the rest of the 21st century, or at the very least our future up to 2050. When people asked me about the 2030s, 2040s and 2050s, all I could answer was that such conjecture was irrelevant as these decades would be determined by how humanity navigates and matriculates this decade.
The climate crisis will last for decades. What we do by 2030 will set the trajectory for the rest of the century.
How we think about, manage, plan and design Artificial Intelligence/Technological Intelligence in the immediate years ahead will determine whether it could become either the most profound and evolutionary next step or become a Hollywood dystopia. How we create appropriate standards and ethics around altering our genetics must be done this decade before Frankenstein is let out of the bag. How we adapt and update capitalism to deal with the global problem of historic wealth inequality must be determined before there are huge negative outcomes that might become violet and chaotic.
In a recent column I spoke about the #forkintheroadproject [ https://forkintheroadproject.com/ ] which is rapidly becoming a global initiative of futurists and thinkers who agree that such critical issues must be faced by 2030. This became the genesis of Chapter 9 of this new book.
The Future is Here
Right now “The 2020s: A Decade of Cognitive Dissonance” in available on Amazon at the promotional price of $2.99 for the eBook. I did this to provide clients and loyal readers such as you with the opportunity to purchase at a cheap price. In addition, Amazon only lets people who buy books from them to write and post reviews of the book. By asking you, loyal readers, to take advantage of this promotional price, the opportunity is created for many more reviews of the book.
This offer will end by April 24 when the paperback version will be published, and the eBook will go up to market price. If you only read print books, you can wait a week or two and then make your purchase. Otherwise, and certainly if you read eBooks, please take advantage now. Here is the direct link