[Opinion] The Quality of Mercy Doesn’t Scale…and Never Will…

By | Jesan Sorrells Blog, Leadership Philosophy, Leadership Theology, New Posts, Old Posts

From the Coliseum to Facebook, there has rarely been any mercy from the mob watching the participants in the arena.

The reason the writers of the Constitution favored a Republic over all else, was that they believed the mob was a dangerous, unpredictable force that moved without logic, rationality, reason, or mercy. And then the horrors of the French Revolution proved them correct about human nature.

In modern times, we have psychological and sociological surveys, assessments, and experiments, that show that when it is possible for individuals to stand-by, and watch degradations happen to others, people will. This is called the Bystander Effect.

In modern times, we have psychological and sociological surveys, assessments, and experiments, that show that when it is possible for the mass of people to suffer the injustices of the moment as long as those injustices do not personally affect them in any way, people will. This is called social proofing.

In modern times, we have psychological and sociological surveys, assessments, and experiments, that show that when it is possible to go along with others en masse as an event of any kind happens, because that even happening confirms a belief deeply and long held, people will. This is called confirmation bias.

The quality of mercy comes about when you know someone personally; when you are connected to their story intimately; and when you empathize with their struggle in a real and powerful way.

The quality of mercy cannot scale.

The outcomes of mercy—justice, forgiveness, reconciliation—can scale, but the actual quality of mercy comes along in an individualized process that cannot be scaled, and must instead be seeded, from one person to another.

No matter whether you’re among the mob watching in the Coliseum, or among the mob engaging on Facebook.

[Strategy] How to be the Nicky Barnes of Negotiation

By | Jesan Sorrells Blog, Leadership Philosophy, Leadership Theology, New Posts, Old Posts

The savvy entrepreneur in an ever changing business environment, should take a page from the book of entrepreneurs in other spaces. Particularly, that least savvy of all spaces, drug dealing.

Now, I am not advocating for drug-dealing, illicit drug use, or engaging in illegal activity.

Far from it.

What I am advocating for is looking at the techniques, practices, tips and trick that individuals who engage in the selling and distribution of illegal drugs use to negotiate in an ever changing, unpredictable market, filled with unpredictable, ever changing, personalities and people.

The business environment for illegal drugs is highly fluid, the market for drugs is inelastic, and the demand curve for illegal drugs is only trending upward (and has been for the last thirty or so years). From these three factors alone, we can also conclude that there is a lot of competition in the market for illicit drugs, thus there are competitors in the market that might be tempted to negotiate with each other with violence rather than with words.

Which is where the power of negotiation as a method of persuasion comes in.

In a situation where drugs are being dealt, contrary to popular opinion, the first move is not to get a weapon and being shooting—that’s actually the last move. The first move is to talk.

Particularly as a person moves up higher and higher in the ranks of the entrepreneurial, drug-dealing world, talk matters more than violence (of any kind), which is why “foot soldiers” in gangs engaged in drug dealing tend to have arrest records far longer and more extensive than the arrest records of the “big fish.”

Because, much like the CEO of a modern corporation (or a start-up founder) the higher you go in an organization, the less impetus there is for immediate resolution, and the more impetus there is for the tools and techniques of persuasion.

From Nicky Barnes to Frank Lucas and even to Pablo Escobar, negotiation was used first, and then when that didn’t work, methods of persuasion became more direct—and more violent.

But what does all of this have to do with the modern entrepreneur, trying to move units of their latest, greatest mobile phone app? There are a few tips to remember:

Entrepreneurs like a good argument: With the market, with their partners, with their competition, and even with their employees. However, remember that argumentation breaks down into three areas: arguments designed to persuade, arguments, design to advocate, and arguments designed to provide proof of a point. An argument will almost always lead to some issues that negotiation will have to work through.

Entrepreneurs need to remember that negotiation is about trust, reciprocation, commitment, and consistency. Even in the world of drug dealing, (remember, inelastic, highly competitive markets) there has to be a system of trust based in reciprocation (“I do for you, you do for me”) commitment, and consistency, or else every person will be for themselves. Coalitions, agreements, and mutual understandings come about through effective negotiation.

Entrepreneurs are sometimes less interested in persuasion than they are in being “right” or “winning” the argument or the negotiation. Persuasion is about watching language, active listening, rephrasing and paraphrasing, and having an active, engaged memory. In order to engage effectively and persuasively, remember that no negotiation scenario (whether around drugs or mobile phone apps or even a peace building process) is “pure.” There are always emotions, triggers, and other elements that each party brings to the negotiation table that have to be addressed at the negotiation table. When those issues and concerns are ignored, dismissed, or otherwise not acknowledged, resentment and bitterness begin to grow in the heart of the aggrieved party.

Negotiation is a method of persuasion that every entrepreneur should value, no matter what empire (or “dent” in the universe) they are seeking to make.

[Advice] On Influencers

By | Jesan Sorrells Blog, Marketing for Peace Builders, New Posts, Old Posts, Selling for Peace Builders

Influential personalities and brands online are about to become even more influential as the years go by.

And mediators, lawyers, and negotiators should take note.

Influencer advertising is tricky to navigate, whether you are trying to partner with the peacebuilding neighborhood association with a vibrant Facebook community or the pop singer Rhianna.

Influencer marketing is only going to grow larger in the coming year for the very same reasons that social media is influential now: Individuals trust other individuals more than they trust brands. In the field of mediation and peacebuilding, where trust is a huge deal, influencers and thought leaders such as Bernard Mayer and Kenneth Cloke bring their substantial influence to academic programs, academic writing, advocacy and other areas.

However, as the influence of those individuals begins to fade, a new generation of influencers is rising in the ranks of mediation and peacebuilding professionals, such as Patricia Porter, Brad Heckman, Cinnie Noble, and others who have begun to leverage social tools and the wide reach of the Internet to make a dent in the peace building universe.

For the ADR professional with limited resources to be able to connect with larger names in the peacebuilding world, there are a few things to remember when considering using influencers to advertise your content, your services, your philosophy, or your processes:

Does the influencer’s brand link well with my brand promise?

Carefully considering how an influencer’s brand (which may range from Bernard Mayer all the way to Kim Kardashian) complements the strengths and reduces the weaknesses of the peacebuilder’s brand promise is key to developing a long term relationship with the influencer. Influencers are people first and foremost, and peacebuilding professionals should be about building that relational knowledge ahead of jumping into a branded relationship.

Is the influencer’s audience an audience that I want to be addressing as a peace builder?

Depending upon who the influencer’s audience is (and audiences range in taste and structure from the 1,000 followers the neighborhood peace builder has on her Facebook page, all the way to the millions of fans and followers Jon Stewart has) the peace builder has to decide carefully if that is an audience worth talking to. The fact of the matter is, every audience that a brand influencer has is not appropriate for a peace builder to talk to, nor is every audience open to hearing a message about peace.

Does the influencer’s message help or harm my message?

Every influencer talks to their audience in their own way, using words, images, symbols, and other forms of social cuing that inexorably tie that audience to them.

Some influencers are less savvy than others, but that does not mean that they aren’t sophisticated communications professionals in their own right.

 

A Treatise on the Evil in the Human Heart

By | Jesan Sorrells Blog, Leadership Philosophy, Leadership Theology, New Posts, Old Posts

Jesan Sorrells of Human Services Consulting and Training (HSCT)

Some of the things that I am about to express today may offend you.

Some of the things that I am about to express may not apply to you.

But either way, they are statements, ideas, and conclusions, that have not been discussed enough lately in the discourse that has been permeating our long, national narrative for at least the last twenty-five years, but they are present most recently in our national non-discourse, since the death of a man in St. Louis last year.

Or maybe it was the death of a young boy in Florida.

The deaths are only the latest example of human beings engaged in the ultimate conflict—violence—with each other, as a way to resolve issues.

These deaths are troubling, but not for the obvious reasons that drive social media communications, meme generations, outraged postings, declaratory blog posts, media declarations, and the fake outrage of television pundits, entertainment celebrities, and social justice advocates.

These deaths are troubling because, instead of drawing the American (and global) population closer together, they (and their immediate, reactionary aftermath) seem to only drive people further apart, into separate camps, meme-ing and glowering at each other with outrageous social media declarations about “unfriending” people who disagree.

Their deaths are troubling because the underlying issue beneath of all of these deaths is never truly talked about, examined, or dissected.

Maybe because that issue appears to “obvious,” to “easy” to deal with, or perhaps, the issue appears to be so unsophisticated to our contemporary minds, that it overwhelms us with the depth of its simplicity.

But, much like Occam’s Razor, the simplest answer is often the most accurate one.

But not the easiest one to solve.

[Opinion] The Dark Heart of Man

***

 “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked; who can know it?” Jeremiah 17:9

“If only it were all so simple! If only there were evil people somewhere insidiously committing evil deeds, and it were necessary only to separate them from the rest of us and destroy them. But the line dividing good and evil cuts through the heart of every human being. And who is willing to destroy a piece of his own heart?” ― Aleksandr SolzhenitsynThe Gulag Archipelago 1918-1956

Discussion about the depth, breadth, and nature of the problem of human evil—and changing the hearts and minds of the people who have a propensity to do evil rather than to do good—gets less and less sweeping media coverage of any kind these days.

Collectively, we have decided in the United States (with much of the rest of the world not far behind)—that people (both individually and at scale) will just be perfect (or can at least be coerced into being good) if enough laws are passed, if enough people are socially sanctioned and made uncomfortable about holding and expressing uncomfortable opinions, and if the public responds quickly enough to get outsiders to straighten up.

We believe the Rousseauian myth (though he was not the first to express it) that man is driven to commit evil because of inequalities in society (a society, of course built by imperfect men) that manifest through the disparate gossamer of poverty, racism, sexism, or whatever phobia there is of the moment.

Culturally, we accept that the root of human evil is not based in a soul fallen through the curse of Original Sin (I mean…who wants to talk about sin?), but instead we believe that evil lies somewhere buried in deep in all of the social structures humans have invented, built and maintained over time.

We genuinely believe that if we just change the structures, either gradually or immediately, that justice will be meted out, that death will come only to the guilty, and that peace and freedom without consequence will reign.

And that would be a fine, worthy set of beliefs to pursue, if they weren’t proven catastrophically wrong, time, and time again.

Yesterday was the anniversary of Aaron Burr shooting Alexander Hamilton in a meaningless duel over politics, honor, and expedience.

The Hutus and the Tutsis engaged in genocidal mass slaughter with machetes in Rwanda in the 1990’s.

All over the world today, children wake up and are abused, beaten, and even worse, on their way to adulthoods, where they will continue the patterns of senseless abuse with their children.

A few days ago, a man shot police officers doing their job.

A few days before that, a man was shot in a traffic stop.

A few weeks before that, a man shot 50 people in a nightclub who weren’t bothering anybody.

A few months before that, a child was shot in a neighborhood scuffle.

And for years upon years, the crime rate in major cities in America has been ticking ever so slowly downward, even as the heinousness of the crimes that created public ripples through immediate reporting shock us even more with their depravity.

A few days ago, a college student got drunk and raped another college student.

A few years ago, cocaine, and then crack addiction were tearing up cities with murders, thefts, and all other manner of depravity.

And now heroin is doing the same thing, in “out-of-sight, out-of-mind” rural areas populated by the poor, the abused, and the neglected.

A few decades ago, some cops pulled a man out of a car in LA and beat him, seemingly without provocation—and no one put down the camera to stop them.

A few decades ago, violent riots swept through cities, following an endless spate of assassinations that no government entity could prevent.

In the 1930’s a government put the pressure to its own citizens and ultimately drove many of them into gas chambers, putting the horrifyingly apt title of The Final Solution to a process that had previously had no designation, other than the term pogrom, going back into the Middle Ages.

The examples overwhelm because at the bottom, they are about the depravity and evil of the human heart, which is desperately wicked, desperately ego-driven and selfish, and desperately desirous to do whatever may come to mind unto others without consequence, rather than having anything done unto them.

The typical, rule/sanction based bulwarks of religion, government, and even social sanctioning are gradually losing their ability to sway people away from committing individual acts of evil. Paradoxically, they are gradually swinging toward passively supporting, more and more, collectively larger acts of systemic institutional evil, because, as the Founding Fathers noted in the Declaration of Independence “…all experience has shown, that mankind is more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed.”

And as the rule/sanction moorings fall away, one by one, the only thing that is left between people are relationships; the ties that bind, as it were. And even those are tenuous, at best, without something else buttressing them.

Do black lives matter?

Do white lives matter?

Do cop lives matter?

Do civilian lives matter?

Do children’s lives matter?

Do women’s lives matter?

Do men’s lives matter?

Do rich people’s lives matter?

Do poor people’s lives matter?

Does changing the human heart matter?

Does it start with you?

Peace Begins with You

***

And now we are at the crux of the current manifestation of the age-old matter in our digital age.

No hashtag ever changed a thing.

In person change has always been fraught with difficulty, misunderstandings, miscommunications, negative escalations, and conflicts. When people talk with each other face-to-face there is always the opportunity for confusion and conflict, particularly if the conversation in question is questioning deeply held stories around values, worldviews, and frames.

It takes a lot of emotional quickening to escalate from a conversation to a confrontation to a conflict to a fistfight to a war. There are many discrete steps in face-to-face communication that social norming has established, developed, and refined for thousands of years to limit such escalation. But, as is always the case, human beings’ tools for communication get better, friction and misunderstanding increases, even as the speed of communication increases, and conflicts flare up.

From carrier pigeons to riders on horseback to the telephone to mail by airplane to emails and now Twitter, there have always been people who would rather fight to hold onto the status quo in their hearts, than take a risk and explore a different way. As the speed of our tools has increased how fast we get a message and then react to it, (going from days or weeks to micro-seconds) there hasn’t been a commensurate increase in the heart of rational contemplation.

Thus we get to social media communication.

The collective social media population reacts within seconds to an offense that culminates publicly only after brewing deeply in a human heart for years, and then uses the immediacy of social communication tools to psychologically manipulate people on the other end of the message into reacting rather than thinking.

And there’s really only two reactions available: fight or flight.

Not a measured argument.

Not a reasonable discourse.

Not knowledge or growth.

They are looking for either a respondent’s heels or their fangs.

In the case of the Internet, and the communication tools we have built on top of it, we have exchanged immediacy for escalation, and have confused personal passion driven by our reactions for legitimacy of an assertion.

Ease of access to digital tools also allows our solutions to deeply heart-based problems to be focused on the tawdry and the spectacle—which is short term—instead of the deliberative and the reasonable—which is long-term.

No hashtag ever saved a child.

Our desire to comment, burn, and react on the basis of spectacle, indicates that the type of communication we desire is that which will be friction free, painless, non-relationally based communication, when we want it, how we want it, that allows us to do what we want, when we want, how we want.

But this is an inherently selfish and vain position, a reaction from deep in the human heart to strike immediately at those who hurt us. A reaction that culminates in employing the phraseology of escape (“Please “unfriend” me if you disagree with me”) rather than the language of understanding, compassion, and recognition that we are all fallen.

We are all in need of justice with mercy, compassion with understanding, and reconciliation without strings.

No hashtag ever made a traffic stop less dangerous, or more dangerous.

Online communication will always be fraught with difficulty and no amount of changing a name policy, policing speech we don’t like, or building walls and doors into our platforms (or our physical lives), is going to prevent than difficulty.

The solution to all of this, as with most things, lies in changing the motivations, the drives, and the worrying tendencies deep in the dark heart of man. But we cannot begin this change under our own power.

My long, troubled, questioning journey through physics, philosophy, politics, and even religion, has convinced me that the solution to the all of these motivations, drives, and worrying tendencies, endlessly repeated from one news cycle to another, lies first in individually establishing a heart-felt, meaningful, personal relationship with Jesus Christ through prayer, reading the Bible, and joining with others in community of all races, genders, orientations, and beliefs.

But many people (some of whom are my friends on Facebook, Twitter, and other platforms) are unwilling to believe that the solution to all of this depravity is this simple. Some of you (if you’ve made it this far) will probably be vehemently disagreeing with me. Some of you will be confusing the ineffective, rule/sanction based bulwark of religion, with meaningful relationship with other people in Christ.

I welcome your feedback.

I am friends (and nominal associates) with all manner of races, sexual orientations, political positions, and religious/non-religious people on many social platforms. I do not run from disagreement on this conclusion, and I welcome questioning.

Because I am talking about relationships.

Real ones.

When you have a real relationship with Jesus Christ, not a rule based relationship, you don’t go it a nightclub and shoot people. No matter how egregious their life choices may seem to you in the natural.

When you have a real relationship with Jesus Christ, you pray for those who have wronged you racially, ethnically, and socially, and you let those prayers change your mindsets, behaviors and attitudes before you put on your policing uniform.

When you have a real relationship with Jesus Christ, you let that relationship determine when to disobey (civilly) those in authority, when to obey (in civilly) those in authority, and when to let God sort it out.

When you have a real relationship with Jesus Christ, you are not frightened, worried, or consumed by human injustice perpetrated by human actors; instead you are emboldened to act with courage in the face of all of that, knowing that Jesus walks before you—so who can be against you?

When you have a real relationship with Jesus Christ, you are able to forgive your enemies before they do unto you, without rancor, without judgment, and without fear of what you will lose.

I am convinced, now more than ever, that the greatest impact we will ever have on each other—the greatest ability that we will ever display to others to show them how to “destroy a piece of [their] own hearts” is by walking out the love, compassion, and nonviolent response exemplified in the life, actions, and words of Jesus Christ, to people whose opinions, positions, and even behavior and actions, we find to be scary, repulsive, revolting, and even violating human decency.

Our role is not to deal out death (whether that be rhetorical death via a social media post or literal death via a weapon) in judgement, for who can know all ends of the human heart?

Who can predict how walking out the impact of a relationship that goes above all human knowledge will affect that other person who disagrees—even unto death?

No hashtag ever generated a relationship with Christ in another human being.

***

The solutions are simple, but not easy.

Teach your children to use kind words with each other and role model not looking at the phone.

Go and talk to your neighbor who disagrees with you politically, economically, racially, scientifically, emotionally, and find out why they disagree through actively listening to them, rather than making a judgment.

Take the inner journey toward Jesus Christ, with or without a Bible believing church behind you. This journey—if you take it as seriously as you take protesting, demonstrating, and inspirational posting—will change your heart fundamentally, if you let it. It is no surprise that Martin Luther King, Jr. was a practicing Reverend first, and then a nonviolent demonstrator, and then a public hero.

No matter what your title, your race, your gender, your sexual orientation, your desires, or your needs, begin with changing the world, by changing yourself—your own dark heart—first.

Avoid dealing out metaphorical (or even literal) death in judgment, and instead lead with compassion.

For justice without mercy is merely dressed up revenge.

And mercy without justice is merely watered down passivity.

We are all called to be active, not passive, players in this life, regardless of our title, our position in life, our past history, or our current situation.

I am not preaching human love. I am not advocating for human understanding. I am not writing for more of the same thing that doesn’t work. I am not telling you who to vote for. I am not telling you what church to go to. I am not telling you what pundit’s video to reTweet, or what meme to post.

I am focused, laser-like, on uplifting you toward examining yourself first and then looking at others. I am focused laser-like on destroying pieces of my own heart that are capable of evil. I am focused laser-like on attaining and facilitating the justice that Jesus Christ would have me attain and facilitate, rather than engaging over and over again with my own anger, disappointment, and disgust.

And the diamond through which I am shining that laser-like focus is my real relationship with Jesus Christ.

The solutions cannot be all wrapped up neatly at the end of a 2700-word + essay, because the problems are buried deep in the human heart.

They’ve been going on since man disobeyed God in the garden of Eden, and then, Cain slew Abel and his blood cried out from the ground for justice.

They’ve been going on since Abraham bargained with God for the preservation of Sodom and Gomorrah.

They’ve been going on since the Romans burned Christians as pyres to light Nero’s palace.

They’ve been going on since the Catholic Church killed Jews and other non-believers, in the Inquisition.

They’ve been going on since one part of our country decided that they would rather engage in an apocalyptic Civil War than give up the trade of humans as chattel.

They’ve been going on since Vladimir Lenin decided that in order to make a “perfect world” he would have to break some eggs.

They’ve been going on since Hutus and Tutsis destroyed Lake Victoria with each other’s dead bodies.

They’ve been going on since a cop shot a man in a car for no other reason than he appeared to be threatened.

We cannot begin changing others under our own power until we change ourselves first.

If we could, we would have done it already.

We need more Jesus, not less.

And not the Jesus we make up to make ourselves feel comfortable about our human evils, and to justify our judgements and decisions, but the Jesus who is what He says He is.

Or else…well…just look at the headlines, the videos, the news reports, and the decay of interaction to see what the inevitable outcome will look like.

[Opinion] The Promise of the Computer Leaves Some People Behind

By | Jesan Sorrells Blog, New Posts, Old Posts

Access to the means of production in an increasingly computerized global economy is THE social justice issue of our time if indeed the computers ate—and will continue to eat—all of our jobs.

There is an issue with the fact that rural areas in the United States (and worldwide) have limited access to the wonders of the Internet and computer based development, because of the fact that their geographical location is not urban.

There is an issue with the fact that a student who would love to move back to their hometown of 20,000 people can’t because the computerized opportunities they were trained to take advantage of, don’t exist in rural areas.

There is an issue when the only response from the increasingly dense urban populations to the increasingly sparse rural populations is “Well…move to the city.” Or even worse “Well, you chose to live in the country.”

Yes, people have a right to move around and live where they can, and they have a right to experience the consequences that come from making those decisions. The most iconic image of post-modern film history is that one outside the window of Deckard’s car in Bladerunner as he escapes the populated, polluted, oppressive—but full of opportunity—city, to go live in the vast, open, country. It is telling that fiction gets this dichotomy righter than lived fact.

Considerations of access, of course bring to mind the question of who will pay for such changes? The choices before us are either hard, difficult, and without obvious answers as to the outcomes of any of them:

The fact of the matter is, Universal Basic Income to everyone is not economically feasible in a country of 320 million individualists.

More calls for higher tax rates will only economically stifle entrepreneurship and further the gap emotionally between the “haves” in the city and the “have-nots” in the rural areas.

So, if we really believe that the role of government is to be a safety net, then what greater net should government be providing, than the net of advocacy, pressure, and even protection around access to the computerized means of production, via high speed cable that goes past “the last mile”?

If we don’t believe that such advocacy and protection is the work of good government, then the truly fortunate few should be creating businesses, entrepreneurial opportunities, and using every means at their creative disposal to make sure that the rural populations—which are increasingly poor, increasingly white, and increasingly politically hostile to the new order of computers because they are finally experiencing the end of the Industrial era—have the means to make a living.

And another app for doing something that our mothers used to do, won’t really bring that kind of meaning through job growth to those rural populations. Nor will it bring anything but pennies in the form of “sharing” or “gig” economic structures that cannot support the needs of children, families, or communities where education levels are low, and hope is fleeting.

If we believe that education is way out, and that not increasing access, but that instead increasing skills, e.g. teaching everyone to code, is the way to go, then we need to reform the education system from K-12 in truly, deeply, profoundly, radical ways.

And the enterprising few need to leave the cities, head to the country, and be prepared to really dig in for ten to twenty years into reforming an educational system that is simultaneously perceived as the “only place to get a good job” and also seen as “the last best hope for our children.” And the enterprising few must do it while also showing a modest profit.

However, we do have another, more comfortable choice: We can collectively decide that the rural areas don’t matter. That geography is a state of mind rather than a physical place. We can decide that “those country people” are irrelevant. We can decide that the urban poor need and deserve more attention than the seemingly spread out rural poor. We can decide—when we look at all—to continue to use the language of the 18th, 19th, and 20th century to try to resolve and acutely 21st century problem.

We can make such decisions and continue to support policies, and politicians, of all stripes who engage in such decision making.

And all the reformation of education, the gradual migration toward denser and denser urban areas (and the concomitant spread of those areas outward), and the increase in computerization and automation, is guaranteed to lead to more cries of income inequality, racism, sexism, and calls for the acquisition of capital to made harder for the fortunate few, rather than easier.

Which will create more conflict, not less.

[Opinion] Customer Service to Human Beings

By | Jesan Sorrells Blog, Leadership Philosophy, Leadership Theology, New Posts, Old Posts, Selling for Peace Builders

Human beings have multiple problems with other human beings.

This is neither a revolutionary statement, nor is it particularly interesting, unless you consider that in the next ten to fifteen years or so, robotic, reactive, automation will be cold-calling your house at six in the morning.

Unlike the human being that you talk to now (who often talks off of a script) this automation will learn from your responses (all the way from a polite hang-up to a use of curse words combined with a hang-up) and will shift in the way that it responds to the next person it calls.

Automation can’t feel. Automation doesn’t get tired. And with the new reactive automation systems coming down the pike in the future, automation will learn about you, your neighbor, and the other customers down the street.

Long-term (like twenty-five to thirty years out) customer service in human-to-human interactions at scale (for instance, those interactions you currently have at the local social services office) will be almost completely automated, from kiosks, to straight robotics, automation will replace humans in many types of face-to-face interactions, leading to upheavals in employment opportunities and even in emotional engagement.

Human beings have multiple problems with other human beings. It remains to be seen if human beings will have multiple problems with non-human actors in early stage interactions around services and processes.