The Crystal Ball – The New Normal – Balderdash


The Crystal Ball – The New Normal – Balderdash

The New Normal. Changes we see now will be permanent. Business travel will always be down. Work from home will be permanent. It’s the New Normal.

Major business decisions are being made based on the New Normal. For some reason, organizations are not taking human nature into account when making decisions, and they do so at their peril.

Human beings naturally are drawn to one another. Much of the pain during the pandemic lock downs has be the fact that we have been unable to meet face to face, to touch, to love, to disagree, to argue, to smile, to frown, to interact and then get on with it.

Decision makers seem to think that we will never get back to normal. I don’t understand that at all. There is not a hint that we won’t go back. Not one. In fact it is to the contrary.

Las Vegas is a prime example. The state recently opened casinos and restaurants from 35% occupancy to 50%, and the city was jammed even the day before the announcement became effective. People were wanting to get back to normal. Los Angeles restaurants, for so long restricted to take out, then outdoor dining, and now indoor dining, are overwhelmed with reservations. People want to get back to normal.

Although the stimulus bill that passed congress and signed by the president was welcomed by some, many economists are saying it was unnecessary. The economy is already starting to rebound, and as the vaccines and openings take effect over the next few months, it is expected to boom.

People will do whatever it takes to get back to normal, to get back to school, to get back to ball games, to get back to parties, to get back to well, normal. Humans are tired of the restrictions, the lock downs, the karens. They will get back to normal, and it will look like is was in 2019.

Think about it. How many people have told you that they are sick of ‘zoom’ calls? How many people have told you that they are tired of working from home? How many people have told you or rolled their eyes when the topic of masks comes up? How many people have told you they want to see their grandparents, or their grand children, or their aged parents?

Technology ‘experts’ are the ones swinging for the ‘new’ normal. And lets face it, their predictions are often self serving. For instance, Shira Ovide, writing in the New York Times, notes:

But like all of us, technologists have blind spots and biases. They can misjudge or opine on topics that they don’t really understand. And humans are not always good at understanding humans.

The problem, I fear, is that we too often associate running an innovative company with an ability to predict the future. And that can have real consequences if we build policy and our lives around what they say.

One of the most glaring examples was Uber’s proclamations that it would help alleviate traffic and pollution in major metropolitan areas and reduce the number of cars in the United States. In 2015, Uber’s co-founder Travis Kalanick described the future of his company: “Fewer cars, less congestion, more parking, less pollution and creating thousands of jobs.”

Research now shows that Uber and other on-demand ride services largely did the opposite. They made traffic in many cities worse, contributed to an increase in miles driven in the United States and pulled people from shared transit to solo cars.

I suggest that a bit of common sense is due here. What do YOU think and to what do YOU want to return. I think that you know the answer.


John Van Horn

John Van Horn

2 Responses

  1. “ How many people have told you or rolled their eyes when the topic of masks comes up?”

    It’s one thing to be tired of the sacrifices we’ve made to try to save the lives of others. It’s another to be in direct contempt of basic and simple strategies we can take to make it over the finish line. Call it a bubble I’m in, but I don’t know many people who would “roll their eyes” when the topic of masks comes up.

  2. Very sad to see how people still live in a bubble and don’t see their freedoms infringed upon with the mask guideline and mandates in private businesses simply to carry on with their life’s necessities, which they all are to be frank. Are these people self centered psychopaths that want to feel some sort of power by dictating over someone elses choice? Constitutionally, we have the right to life, liberty and pursuit of happiness. Life encompasses the ability to breath to live, to buy groceries, eat out, buy clothes, obtain medical attention, and to go to banks to access our personal savings to be able to purchase those items and our shelter. Humans have basic needs: food, water, shelter and safety. So why must anyone have to demonstrate or respond to anyone forcing them to wear a face covering to conduct those basic things to live? Why are people thinking that it’s okay to deprive someone of their basic right to live because they should comply to a mask guideline since someone else made that choice? And if you choose to wear a face covering, why does it have to meet the someone elses standard? I’ve personally been exposed to discrimination while trying to resource basic human needs while wearing a face shield. At what point does this end?

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