Is D always for Destiny? Or is it for something else?
“Data is the new oil.”
What is shaping our destiny today?
How will data shape our destiny tomorrow?
What can we do about it?
I have spent most of my life thinking I deserved to be part of the “successful” people I admire. I had some unfair advantages that helped me get excellent marks in elementary, secondary, and high school.
In my engineering studies, I heavily relied on those “powers.” The reality was that I was average in Engineering school.
Looking back, I have been not more successful but luckier than most of my peers in Dakar, Senegal. Well, it depends again on how each of us defines success.
I have that voice telling me I could do more, have more, and become more. On the other hand, I have a capitalist voice that thinks that I am limitless. Some years ago, I sought a way to shatter that cognitive dissonance.
I have been leaning towards being more organized and mindful of my time, energy, and focus.
Hello, have you met Temperance?
“Temperance in its modern use is defined as moderation or voluntary self-restraint. It is typically described in terms of what an individual voluntarily refrains from doing. This includes restraint from revenge by practicing non-violence and forgiveness, restraint from arrogance by practicing humility and modesty, restraint from excesses such as extravagant luxury or splurging, and restraint from rage or craving by practicing calmness and self-control.”
According to author Ryan Holiday, Temperance is part of the four stoic virtues, including courage, justice, and wisdom. He is on the journey of writing a book for each of those virtues. He wrote the first book related to courage titled, Courage Is Calling.
He has published the second book for temperance called Discipline is Destiny, where he believes that we can achieve temperance with self-discipline.
He argues that controlling our thoughts, emotions, and actions is the way to meet Temperance.
Without knowing it, I embraced the philosophy that “Discipline is Destiny” in 2017 when I felt I needed to stop being overwhelmed by my cognitive dissonance about success. I have read many self-development books and have become more conscious about my emotions. I have been learning to be in control of the actions and reactions within my spheres of control and influence. I have been journaling and writing articles for the last five years to learn to control my thoughts.
I have seen many benefits from using self-discipline to shape my destiny. Being disciplined has helped me focus more on what I can control, where I can influence to a certain degree and where to let go because I have no say about the rest of the universe. I have reconciled my vision and my definition of what success is. I can feel the light of my cognitive dissonance fade away. It will never disappear as long as I live. Yet it will not be the primary light source on my life journey.
I feel all the virtues of self-control, and I have met Temperance, at least my version of her. She has grounded me. She has shown me what matters most: being mindful of my time, being present with my loved ones, reducing my wants, and being grateful.
This week, I watched a documentary on Netflix: Coded Bias. Yes, I spend some time on Netflix and Chill. I believe that not all “wasted time” is born equal. The time we waste expanding our worldview is time well invested.
Is discipline Discipline the route to Destiny?
That is the question that popped up in my head after watching the documentary on Netflix:
“[Coded Bias] is about artificial intelligence and the biases that can be embedded into this technology. MIT media researcher Joy Buolamwini’s computer science studies uncovered that her face was unrecognizable in many facial recognition systems, and she worked to find out why these systems failed. She later found that facial recognition programs only worked when she wore a white mask. She goes on to find out about how else artificial technology can affect minorities.”
As we go into the next iteration of the World Wide Web, also called Web3, I feel more and more that I need more than my discipline to shape my destiny.
“Some commentators argue that Web3 will provide increased data security, scalability, and privacy for users and combat the influence of large technology companies. Others have raised concerns about the decentralized web component of Web3, citing the potential for low moderation and the proliferation of harmful content. Some have expressed concerns over the centralization of wealth to a small group of investors and individuals, or a loss of privacy due to more expansive data collection.”
With Artificial Intelligence (A.I) and Machine Learning (M.L), we are coding the rules (good or bad) of our current world into the next iteration of all the metaverses. The 20th century was one of the industrial revolutions where humanity was fueled by oil.
The 21st century will be the one where there will be a new definition of what oil is:
Data is the new oil!
As I watched the documentary Coded Bias, I had one aha moment. Since I heard that sentence for the first time from the mouth of Joy, the leading character, I have seen my worldview shattered. I still collect the pieces as I write these words, and my mind bleeds. Those three words will change the way I see my destiny forever:
“Data is Destiny.” –Joy Buolamwini
In France, there is no way to measure diversity because it is forbidden by law to record each ethnicity. Yes, I know that diversity comes in many shapes or forms. I know that there are more invisible diversities than visible ones, like the color of our skin. Yet I wonder how the data collected, processed, and used against my will is affecting how I am experiencing the current web.
How does that data collection affect me in the Web3 era?
The more I think about it, the more I realize that the mantra “Discipline Is Destiny” is already outdated, to a certain degree. With A.I and M.L, more data will be collected, correlated, and inferred about me. And most of the time, I will not be aware of it. The area I am scared of the most is recruitment and career development within corporations. I am afraid that with A.I and M.L being the brain of the future of H.R (Human Resources), the current biases will only be multiplied in gargantuan proportions for minorities and people who dare to be different from the majority, no matter what is defined as “the majority.”
As I am going through the journey of life, I will keep and even increase the amount of self-discipline I have in my life for two reasons. First, I can see the benefits of self-control in my life. Second, I have to be conscious about how all my digital trails (visible or hidden to me) can be used against me by applying self-control to a new area of my life.
On top of my thoughts, my emotions, and my actions, I will ask for support from Temperance to guide me through my digital journey in all the iterations of Web3 and the associated metaverses.
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You can read my previous article on How to reach the ultimate level of intelligence? (Friendly link)