Look around you, and you’ll see uniformity. Gone are the days when artisans built clothes, furniture, and buildings. In the past, every piece was unique. But Modernity’s urge for efficiency and automation has been killing diversity worldwide.
From McDonald’s to Airbnbs, the world is converging to be all the same. By providing us with the same predictable services, these companies are removing randomness from our lives, and by doing so, they’re making the world more boring and uninspiring.
We are already eating the same foods and staying in the same places (hotels and even Airbnbs) look the same all over the world), and increasingly we have the same thoughts and ideas. What happens when we all become the same?
Because a few big companies control the Internet’s access to information and, through their algorithmic feeds, decide what we should read or watch next, we’re all starting to think the same, to read the same stories.
Nassim Taleb has a word for removing uncertainty from things: “touristification.” So we’re currently experiencing a touristification of ideas, of lifestyles.
If everything looks the same, tastes the same, and feels the same to all humanity, what’s the point of being here? We become redundant. We must act against this “smoothing” of the world.
And how do we do it? By embracing our unique DNA and expressing it, or as Austin Kleon suggests in his book Show Your Work, “You have to have the courage to keep loving your garbage, because what makes us unique is the diversity and breadth of our influences.”
Your uniqueness, your weirdness, is not something to delete or forget but something to take at heart. Embracing your uniqueness is your life’s goal. We only truly live when we’re unapologetically ourselves. If we are a unique and random combination of DNA that, by some miracle, made it to this planet in a tiny corner of the Universe, we better use it and express it. To stay true to ourselves and embrace our weirdness is one of our generation’s most significant acts of rebellion. Do not waste the opportunity.