Transference of Expectations -> POTUS -> SCOTUS

Sometimes I carry random dots of information in my head until suddenly there are enough dots to form a line. Today the line formed.

Dot 1: Transference of Experience Expectations (AKA, the uber effect)

I was recently at a conference hosted by Contagious Magazine, called Now / Next / Why. Really one of the most thoughtful days I've had in while. So it basically starts with these two guys talking about this idea of transference of experience expectationsas explained here ... 

To start off with, Matt and Will from Contagious encouraged us to think about the best and worst brand experiences as of lately, and how transference of experience expectation happens without us knowing: the last great experience you have with a brand will then go on to shape how you feel about other things in your life. You might have had a terrific experience with Uber, where you can sync your Spotify playlist with the car you’re about to board, and then reasonably wonder why you can’t do the same thing with, perhaps, a restaurant you’ve booked for a special dinner out. You start to wish other brands or services in seemingly unrelated industries offered the same level of personalisation.

Dot 2: POTUS on Maron

Despite some disappointment that Maron didn't give Obama the classic Maron treatment, I thought the interview was riveting. Particularly in light of the tragedy in Charleston, which understandably took the conversation in a different direction. Of many great quips, I thought this one was sneaky insightful. A friend thought it was Obama making excuses for not getting more done. I disagree. I think the President is dead-on here.

Sometimes your job is to just make stuff work. Sometimes your task as the government is to make incremental improvements or try to steer the ocean liner two degrees north and south so that 10 years from now, suddenly we’re in a very different place than we were. … Societies don’t turn 50 degrees. Democracies don’t turn 50 degrees. … As long as they’re turning in the right direction and we’re making progress, then the government is sort of working the way it’s supposed to.

Dot 3: SCOTUS' Ruling on same-sex Marriage

This morning SCOTUS ruled that states cannot ban same-sex marriage. A massive leap forward for gay rights. Incredible.


connecting the dots

I get the idea of transference of experience expectations. It happens to me all the time. What I find so interesting is how the transference happens across categories. So my experience with Uber impacts what I expect from my experience making a dental insurance claim. That's a huge insight as far as I'm concerned.

And maybe I'm wrong here, but it feels like the Internet has only heightened our expectations that things happen really fast. At the click of a button.

At my age I've very consciously existed pre- and post-internet. I grew up in a world where there were only a few TV channels. Call-waiting was an extravagance. Buses only took coins. You went to a library to research a term paper. Things seemed to move little more slowly.

It's simply a perspective I have. And every day I see people who don't have that perspective get frustrated at trying to transfer their experience expectations of relatively simple/mundane experiences in their lives - transportation, food delivery, access to box scores - to big, complex social and political issues. I actually think that frustration is a good thing - it will keep up moving forward.

Which brings me to the President. I think he's absolutely right. Democracies don't turn 50 degrees at a time. You can't hit the 'Like' button and expect instant change. In fact that's a good thing, as frustrating as it may be at times. It's the entire idea of checks-and-balances ... one of the most important characteristics of our democratic structure. It's probably one of the reasons our government has stood for 200+ years and will continue to do so.

So with SCOTUS' ruling it might feel like we've turned 50 degrees in a day. And a recent article I read would lead you to believe that ...

If the Supreme Court finds that same-sex marriage bans are unconstitutional, gay couples will have gone from not being able to marry in any state to being able to marry in all 50 in little more than a decade.

The time from the trigger point to federal action is even shorter. It took 19 years for the Supreme Court to follow a California court in striking down interracial marriage bans. The Supreme Court is now revisiting same-sex marriage only two years after its pivotal decision on the issue.

I think that's a really narrow view. In reality we've been turning 2 degrees here and there for years to end up at where we are today. I'm not enough of a historian to know where SCOTUS' ruling actually started. At least as far back as Harvey Milk and Stonewall. In fact I read today that in 1924  The Society for Human Rights (based in Chicago) became the country's earliest known gay rights organization. Yes, the court perhaps move faster than ever, but maybe isn't that a result of decades of struggle? Wasn't the trigger point much longer ago than the quote suggests?

A decision 90+ years in the making, 2 degrees at a time. Not fast enough, but as fast as our (mostly great) democracy is designed to move. Today's historic ruling was a long time in the making.