Hello and thanks for visiting my site! My name is Bernie Zipprich and I created this site to collect my writings and thoughts about the effects of technology on society, and the necessary responses. You can read more about the thinking behind this project here.
The themes I’m exploring here — technological change, social connection, economic inequality, and the right philosophical frames for thinking about it all — grow out of interests first birthed at Harvard, when I was studying labor economics. At the time, I was also working as a summertime staffer for the New York State Senate and volunteering on several political campaigns. Observing economic stagnation and community resolve in places like Scranton, Pennsylvania; Weirwood, Virginia; Little River, Alabama; Albany, New York; and my hometown of Peekskill, New York; I couldn’t help but wonder: What does it mean to live the good life? How can we agree on what the good life is in a pluralistic society? And what kinds of politics and policies can help more people achieve their vision of it?
Although my thinking on the answers has shifted over the past decade as the 2008-09 recession left its mark, social media remade how we communicate, tech giants achieved new dominance, and the 2016 election upended much of the conventional wisdom around U.S. politics, my interest in these questions has only deepened. In early 2018, after many fits and starts, I decided to begin studying the topic more systematically and to share my thinking in writing as it evolves.
My big hypothesis is that the ultimate answer to the challenges of economic inequality, wage stagnation, political polarization, and rampant loneliness isn’t to turn back the clock on technological progress or even a specific set of polices per se. It’s a shift in the way we think about what we value as individuals and collectively. Instead of thinking about ourselves as independent individuals, we should think more about ourselves as humans enmeshed in webs of relationships. Instead of defining our worth in terms of our economic success, we should measure it based on the contributions we make to others. And we should approach life, work and politics with those values in frame.
Sources & Inspirations
I’m not the only one thinking and writing about these things. Soon, I’ll post a bibliography page with links to works by other authors that I’ve been drawing on. These will cover philosophers, social scientists, urban planners, politicians, and journalists from the Greeks through today.
As for myself, in my day job, I am a healthcare technology strategist and entrepreneurial manager. I live in New York City with my wife, where I enjoy getting meals with friends, long runs by the Hudson River, and exploring the city’s museums and streets for fresh inspiration and ideas.
Don’t Hesitate to Reach Out
This site is a perpetual work in progress, so please leave a comment or message me if you have any thoughts or suggestions. I would love to hear from you!