This elusive sense of reality

Just watched Netflix’s Fyre documentary – and it’s absolutely amazing. This is about large scale scam on Fyre music festival, where people were buying tickets for many thousand dollars to live in Bahamas beach villas, and instead were put in unfinished tents with no electricity or running water. Even worse, poor locals working for the festival never got there paychecks.

The story resonates with Theranos (company which lied about their blood testing technology as described in the “Bad Blood” book), Ring cameras (where company staff apparently could watch private client footage – btw Ring was bought by Amazon), AEY (featured in War Dogs movie and that engaged in arms supply scandal for Pentagon), several stories in Crypto industry (there are multiple stories on the Internet) and probably bunch of others which I haven’t heard of. In summary, it all looks like people love dreaming, and their dreams frequently eclipse the reality.

From what I read and feel, the idea of super-powerful dreams taking over reality has always been there in human societies. Great religions and institutes are built around this concept. However, it just feels like the current digital age of social media amplifies the lust of day-dreaming to extreme. Everybody wants to look great on social media making web-interactions one huge day-dreaming experience. BTW, highly recommend this Simon Sinek video on this and other subjects.

Few things I find especially amazing. First, all those fraud enterprises like Theranos or Fyre actually lower the bar for the perception of reality for everyone. Instead of getting closer to reality, the frequent take-away for many businesses is that dream-based marketing actually works! And that it’s fine to engage in dream-selling for a good cause. In example, Influencer industry is getting stronger not weaker from documentaries like Fyre – as people are just astonished from seeing how much impact can be made by a nice picture without any substance.

Second, many people just can’t own their responsibility. It’s that “soldiers don’t ask questions” / “be always positive” attitude that is cultivated. My most recent thoughts on this are that maturity requires asking tough questions, being honest about the reality and making hard decisions when dreams become too disconnected with reality. But apparently it’s much easier to put all blame on one bad actor (Elizabeth Holmes for Theranos or Billy McFarland in the Fyre’s case) than to accept own responsibility, day-dreaming and immaturity.

Not coming to any conclusions (this subject is pretty broad and complex) – but I believe it always helps to try to maintain a grasp on reality rather than live in a constant dream.

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