The Exponential Power of Reflection

Mark D. Rosalbo
4 min readAug 18, 2020

Reexamining The American Dream

“Let us be reminded that before there is a final solution, there must be a first solution, a second one, even a third. The move toward a final solution is not a jump. It takes one step, then another, then another.” -Toni Morrison

COVID-19 has exposed the weaknesses of capitalism in America while accelerating the driving trends responsible for increased productivity for the better part of the last fifty-years. Our world has an insatiable appetite for all things technological and our dependency on it has exploded during lockdown. The temporary setback in economic activity, due to the pandemic and as a result of ongoing trade wars, will — after some important adjustments — be behind us. Self-reflection will be the key for America to get back on a more healthy track so more people can experience the American Dream and our businesses can once again thrive over the long-term.

Moore’s Law

Productivity is one of the most important pillars of capitalism and is inextricably tied to technology. Moore’s Law has been the ultimate beacon of success in the rise of productivity. Simply stated, Moore’s Law predicted (over fifty-five years ago) that the number of electronic components that scientists could fit on a computer chip would double every two years thus creating smarter, faster, smaller and more efficient technology. The prediction has held up and is expected to continue for at least a few more years until chip components reach atomic levels. There is little debate that technology has been the biggest driver of wealth creation since the industrial revolution and continues to impact workers on multiple levels. What happens next is not entirely clear.

The Home Office and Mental Health

Working alone in the privacy of our homes, is, on the one hand, an obvious benefit of technological innovation. The home office has served businesses well by keeping the world moving, albeit at a much slower pace, while we wait for scientists to create a successful vaccine or for this virus to run its course naturally. On the other hand, the home office can be a reclusive affair of one, adding America’s slipping mental health to a growing list of vulnerabilities. The Kaiser Family Foundation issued a report on the negative affects on our mental health due to the pandemic and resulting economic downturn:

  • A broad body of research links social isolation and loneliness to poor mental health; and recent data shows that significantly higher shares of people who were sheltering in place (47%) reported negative mental health effects resulting from worry or stress related to coronavirus than among those not sheltering in place (37%).
  • Research shows that job loss is associated with increased depression, anxiety, distress, and low self-esteem and may lead to higher rates of substance use disorder and suicide. Recent polling data shows that more than half of the people who lost income or employment reported negative mental health impacts from worry or stress over coronavirus; and lower income people report higher rates of major negative mental health impacts compared to higher income people.

More time should be spent on improving our mental health, supporting mental health organizations, and helping those who cannot help themselves. As we attempt to more fully understand the power and consequences of exponential growth in technology — what we know, what we think we know, what we do not fully comprehend and what we have yet to even imagine — we can also research the long-term ramifications of working from home post COVID. We want to authentically feel better and that’s not going be achieved by getting “happy” affirmations from our devices.

America’s Weaknesses

These are worrisome times. In addition to the COVID-related decline in mental health, there’s record inequality, enormous debt, ineffective monetary policy, health disparities, and the American dream of equal opportunity seems untenable to the majority. We often fall victim to the herd mentality because those that speak the loudest on social media, in this dangerous game of informational warfare, tend to gain the most attention. For all its virtues, the internet is still a lawless place. Partisan bickering has intensified. We have lost the ability to be tolerant of points of view that differ from our own. We glorify the winners and stigmatize the losers — one example is the way people tend to blame the poor for their poverty while we idolize those in the technology sector and give them the benefit of the doubt.

We cannot continue to fight with each other. We’ve reached a tipping point where revolution and civil war could once again befall our wounded Nation without proper reflection. We need to address political reform so we can then accomplish economic reform. We must summon the willpower to create a more just society, which includes education, health, housing and the right to vote. Reflecting on the highest possible life condition — this is where America must spend the necessary time in order to thrive again.

Let’s exercise our freedom of will, while we still have it

As hard as our technology experts try, all things cannot be predicted. There will always be a human factor to running a healthy home, business and country. The final outcome cannot be guaranteed and there is a beauty in not knowing everything. Moore once stated in an interview that “It can’t continue forever. The nature of exponentials is that you push them out and eventually disaster happens.” Hopefully, we take the necessary steps to avoid that eventuality.

The first step is opening the debate. Let’s get to work….

As always — be honest, be genuine and Live Life.



Mark D. Rosalbo

Barnstormer. Father of five. Re-examiner of the American Dream.