Done to us vs. things we do

Malaria, the atomic bomb, the McCarthy hearings, television's ubiquity, the decay of the industrial base–these are mammoth changes, changes that came from all around us, changes we had to withstand.

Today, we're faced with an entirely new kind of change–the changes we can choose to make, the changes that are available to us as opposed to changes that are forced on us.

While we still deal with top-down cultural change at work and at home, the degrees of freedom have dramatically shifted.

No one had to cajole you into living with the changes of the last fifty years, because here they were, like it or not. You had no choice. Today, most of the change—in media, in culture, in commerce—is there if you want it. You can choose to be a media company, a buyer, a seller. You can choose to go out on the long tail, choose to be weird, choose to enter the connection economy.

In many ways, this choice makes the change ever more difficult, doesn't it?

The future isn't so much about absorbing or tolerating change, it's about making change.