The Internet and Leadership

I remember teaching at the Chinese University of Hong Kong years ago when Kissinger visited the colony. I attended his talk and this Time article, particularly the section on leadership and the internet caught my attention: Henry Kissinger: The Internet Does Not Make Great Leaders, BY BELINDA LUSCOMBE  JULY 3, 2022, where this was written:

“You’re quite gloomy on the effect of the internet on leadership. Why is that?  The internet is an overriding reality of the period, and one should not discuss it as if it could be done away with. It permits a degree of self-education that was inconceivable relatively a few years ago. But manipulating the internet requires such special skills. It can evoke such broad reactions, that the ability to affect the immediate impact of stories or events can become the preoccupation of leaders, rather than a view of a more distant future. And the impact is not just on the internet but on technology. It is now relatively easy to construct a computer assistant for yourself that produces rapid answers to issues that you are addressing. In any one case that is a wonderful help, but over a lifetime and over the educational cycles it may produce an inability to ask the deeper questions. Some of the greatest ideas of history, of philosophy, or literature, came out of the anguish of struggling for understanding, and might never have been reached if there was a helpful assistant who gave an immediately relevant solution” (Time July 25/August 1, 2022: pp.88).

I now remember my experience with the internet began when I started teaching at CUHK in 1980.  I realize while at CUHK teaching the STOT (Student Oriented Teaching) course that the internet was a key source of ‘self-education’ – student-oriented-learning and introduced its use in this class.  I question Henry’s idea that “over a lifetime and over the educational cycles it (technology) may produce an inability to ask the deeper questions.” If anything, the helpful assistant’s immediately relevant solution should drive us still deeper into an issue, searching for deeper relevancy.  After all, this is the essence of the Experiential Learning Methodology from which emerged the One Dimensional Man’s Liberation []:

This blog entry was started some time ago and overlaps others on Donald Trump’s one-dimensionality.  Like earlier entries, it uses Herbert Marcuse’s One dimensional Man’s dialectic-analytical framework, to examine the logic of capitalism. First, ‘one-dimensional man’ thought patterns are discussed and extended to groups, organizations, and cultures before examining the energy in this paradigm needed to change civilization into multi-dimensionality. To demonstrate this phenomenon of one-dimensionality, Donald Trump’s language and behavior, will be used to document this experience and outline the changes required to move into being a multi-dimensional person and from there move forward – beyond capitalism. This methodology has been employed in past blog entries and will continue our effort to understand the issues confronting our civilization.

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