CITY CITY BANG BANG

The Times of India (New Delhi edition) - - Times City -

SAN­TOSH DE­SAI

Some Democrats in the US are de­mand­ing that Twit­ter ban Don­ald Trump from the plat­form. His re­cent threat of civil war in case he is im­peached and re­moved from of­fice is cited as the lat­est rea­son for do­ing so. What­ever the mer­its or oth­er­wise of this de­mand, what is in­ter­est­ing is how the world has changed. Usu­ally de­mands are made of the gov­ern­ment to reg­u­late a pri­vate player, but here, a pri­vate sec­tor com­pany is be­ing pe­ti­tioned by mem­bers of a pow­er­ful po­lit­i­cal party to reg­u­late, of all the peo­ple, the Pres­i­dent of the coun­try. How did this kind of power shift take place so quickly and why is it so dif­fi­cult for so many to make sense of it?

In the nat­u­ral scheme of things, tech­nol­ogy moves fast while so­ci­ety changes slowly. But tech­nol­ogy has a way of rad­i­cally re­order­ing so­ci­ety with its dis­rup­tions. The so­cial con­se­quences it un­leashes might not be in­ten­tional, but they are sweep­ing none­the­less. Tech­nol­ogy comes in through a func­tional door, by of­fer­ing us new ca­pa­bil­i­ties, but pro­ceeds to trans­form many as­pects of how to we live our lives. The re­sul­tant gap that gets cre­ated be­tween tech­nol­ogy’s ten­dency to dis­rupt and so­ci­ety’s abil­ity to ab­sorb the changes it brings about cre­ates an enor­mous amount of so­cial dis­lo­ca­tion. Tra­di­tional con­cepts and men­tal mod­els look hope­lessly in­ad­e­quate to deal with this shift.

Oth­er­wise, think of how long it would have taken for so­ci­ety to tran­si­tion from one where the right

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