It’s hard for me to believe but it’s been half a century of “me”… and as we humans go through our hardware lifecycles, it’s good to take a pause and think about what it all means at some stages in the road. Yes, it’s technically just another number. No more or less important than 14, 46 or 81. However, it has a soft meaning, a cultural significance, and its associated stereotypes.
How many people have you offended today? None? How do you know? In the overly politically correct environment we live in these days, it’s virtually impossible not to offend someone for some reason without ever intending to do so. All we can do is try, but chances are you will never know all the implications of a word, nuances, or even hand waving expressions. I recently offended a Palestinian acquaintance by stating that a network design was ‘Kosher’.
The holidays are always a complicated time of the year, when one need to be extra cautious navigating the different cultural contexts for each and every person you care about, and much of society where we live our lives. It can be really stressful and sometimes overwhelming to walk the fine line of saying what you feel or think openly (very much my nature), or use some more politically correct way that won’t offend others.
I grew up in Chile during the time of Pinochet, where ‘politics’ was a bad word, and ‘politicians’ were equivalent to ‘thugs’. Even after all these years and multiple iterations of democratically elected governments, people’s involvement in democracy is just limited to general elections every 5 years. Very little occurs in between. You see, in my view, Chile is a place where the government does pretty much whatever it wants once it’s in power.