Sense of Impending Doom

Did you know that the sense of impending doom is an actual medical symptom?

Seriously, if you feel like something bad is about to happen, it may be a sign of an oncoming heart attack. However, it may also be a sign of being in a state of perpetual moderate panic because so many bad things did in fact happen recently.

What the actual F, world?

The war in Ukraine with its rippling effect on the rest of the world, the pandemic that simply will not die down (and winter is coming), the inflation and looming recession, gas prices, crypto crash, stock market crash, the climate crisis. In Europe, the euro is on a downward spiral. In the US, abortion went from being a constitutional right to becoming an employment perk. Labour tensions are bringing further disruption to global supply chains, which will likely result in more price increases everywhere.

It’s no surprise we’re sadder and more stressed out than ever. Gallup’s Negative Experience Index reached a record high of 33 in 2021. Worry increased by two points, while stress and sadness increased by one point each, leaving behind an already record-breaking 2020.

But wait, there’s more!

What’s going on in the tech sector? The promising sphere of innovation, the forge of our bright future, the clean, well-lighted place where money is abundant and the workplace perks are even better? A whole lot of stress and worry, too.

In the early days of the pandemic, technology companies thrived, and now they are suffering deep losses. More than 80 percent of tech initial public offerings (IPOs) of at least 500 million U.S. dollars that went public since March 2020 are trading below their IPO price, according to Bloomberg. Apple, Amazon, Microsoft, and the parent companies of Google and Facebook have lost $2.7 trillion in value in the first half of this year, approximately the value of UK’s annual gross domestic product.

The stocks are down, and the layoffs are what’s up. As of the beginning of July, more than 24,000 workers in the US tech sector have lost their jobs, according to Crunchbase News. Coinbase is (kinda expectedly) firing, Shopify is firing, Netflix is firing, Tesla is firing, Meta is slowing down hiring and probably laying the groundwork for firing. There’s so much firing going on that there’s a crowdsourced database to track it in real time.

The lobster lesson

Now let’s all power up our mindfulness apps and breathe for a minute.

Do you know the lobster story? Go ahead, watch it. I’ll wait.

This is not the first storm our ship has sailed into. And what do we do when we have problems? We’re motivated to find solutions. Fortunately, with tech innovation, we now have more potential solutions in our hands than ever before in history.

Data from Morgan Stanley shows that while short-term spikes do happen, commodity prices have actually trended down for 200 years. That’s because whenever an energy source became too expensive, a new one was invented to take its place. Just recently, a material that can convert infrared light to renewable energy was discovered.

Remember when the supply chain delays began because of Covid-19? Amazon upped its warehouse game and is now running one of the best supply chain operations in the world. Notwithstanding more than 45,000 warehouse cobots (collaborative robots) that pick and pack without human intervention. They’re immune to human error, can carry around 1.4 tonnes, and travel 1.3 meters per second.

FedEx is saving money by going all-in on cloud computing. It announced that it would close down all its data centers within two years and move completely to the public cloud. The move could save $400 million annually.

Think about vertical farms that grow produce minutes from where people eat it, telehealth and virtual education platforms that eliminate travel costs, 3D printing, the Internet of Things. Here’s a story about how technology saved tourism in Sri Lanka. The list is endless and so are the possibilities.

Be the lobster, people.

Even the gas prices aren’t that terrible when you put it into perspective.

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