Doctor of Leadership in Global Perspectives: Crafting Ministry in an Interconnected World

Stay Curious

Written by: on November 7, 2019

As I write this there are no less than seven stories in this morning’s paper lambasting the intemperate excesses of large companies that have resulted in large scale privacy loss, antitrust violations and billions worth of lost capital. Not surprisingly, Facebook, one of the four horsemen in Scott Galloway’s book The Four: The Hidden DNA of Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Google is being investigated by the state of California for its mishandling of the Cambridge Analytica case which compromised data from as many as 87 million of its users. The company is also facing antitrust lawsuits in Europe over the dubious way it acquired WhatsApp in 2014.1

Then there’s SoftBank, a money machine, popular for infusing exorbitant amount of cash to help technology start-ups thrive, with literally nothing but a vision, also on front page (top half) for losing $9 billion in the last quarter.2 How did Masayoshi Son do that? He doubled down on a shaky pre IPO deal with an overpriced workspace sharing company called WeWork and a cash-strapped, ride-hailing company we all know and love, Uber (a possible contender for the Fifth Horseman).3

Scott Galloway, professor of marketing at the New York University School of Business warns us about what big companies, if left unchecked, can do to inflict harm on us, consciously or unconsciously. Take for instance our affinity towards Facebook. Are we willing to trade our privacy for fleeting connections in virtual space?4 Why do we allow these mega corporations to act with impunity? Is Google’s motto “Don’t Be Evil” sufficient to stem the inequities these businesses foster?

I believe the real reason why we allow these companies to run unabated is our love for their products. Galloway made allusions to Google having god-like characteristics that hold a sort of religious sway over us.5 What he failed to connect is that we have actually become our own gods. This is more befitting of our times. God created us in his image. We decided to return the favor. Their products will help recreate ourselves to be better than our former selves. With the aid of AI we can gene-edit human beings into our own likeness and obtain the materials delivered to us in a week’s time—two days if you’re an Amazon Prime member. Then we snap a photo of our successes, using our iPhones of course, post it on Facebook to broadcast to the whole world that we matter.

This is the future I’m afraid. But it doesn’t have to be. As an aside, it would not be fair to say that the Four Horsemen have not contributed anything positive toward human flourishing. The benefits of technology are obvious; and Galloway is not naive not to acknowledge that. But since we live in a fallen world, it takes more effort to prevent abuses than to unflinchingly continue toward progress. His tips for thriving in the apocalypse are worth noting. The one that stuck with me is about staying curious.6 “Curiosity is crucial to success” is the short but enduring quip from Galloway. Curiosity can take many forms. It’s true, trying to resist the avalanche of change will drown you. Galloway said “Successful people in the digital age are those who go to work every day, not dreading the next change, but asking, ‘What if we did it this way?’”7

For me that means continued learning—learning how to be a better leader to guide my organization through the challenges and threats these Four Horsemen bring about.

          1 Sebastian Herrera, “California Probes Facebook On Privacy,” The Wall Street Journal, November 7, 2019.
          2 Phred Dvorak and Megumi Fujikawa, “SoftBank’s Founder Takes Blame,” The Wall Street Journal, November 7, 2019.
          3 Scott Galloway, The Four: the Hidden DNA of Amazon, Apple, Facebook, and Google (NY, NY: Portfolio/Penguin, 2018), 204.
          4 Ibid., 104.
          5 Ibid., 125.
          6 Ibid., 222.
          7 Ibid.

About the Author

Harry Edwards

Harry is married to Minerva and has the privilege of raising two young men. He is the founder and director of Apologetics.com, Inc., an organization dedicated to defending the truth claims of Christianity on the internet, radio and other related activities. He received his Bachelor of Arts degree in Christian Education and a Masters of Arts degree in Christian Apologetics from Biola University where he currently works full time as the Associate Director of the graduate programs in Christian Apologetics and Science & Religion. Harry is currently pursuing a DMin (Leadership & Global Perspectives) from George Fox University. He is an active member at Ocean View Baptist Church where he leads an adult Bible study and plays the drums for the praise and worship band. In his spare time, Harry enjoys doing things with his family, i.e., tennis, camping/backpacking, flying RC planes and mentoring others to realize their full potential in the service of our Lord.

9 responses to “Stay Curious”

  1. Harry Fritzenschaft says:

    Thanks for reminding us of Galloway’s admonition to stay curious. You exemplify this as you always strive to learn and grow and inspire others to do likewise. Curiosity is also the foundational premise of coaching. What is the client wanting? Where does the client want to go? How does the client want to get there? What else lies beneath these questions? Thanks again.

    • Thanks for the kind words Harry. I didn’t realize that curiosity played a vital role in coaching. Good to know that. I know sometimes we feel curiosity is a bad thing because some interpret it as stupidity: “What, you didn’t know that?” Sometimes I hear that from folks, and then I simply point out the knowledge gap in their snide remark and then if they’re nice, they apologize. Hahahaha!

  2. Tammy Dunahoo says:

    Excellent, Harry. I loved your statement about us being created in the image of God and unfortunately we have returned the favor. The most troubling aspect of Galloway’s books were the continued religious references that rang all too true. I appreciate your reminder about curiosity as I find it to be the cure for cynicism which some of us easily slide into.

  3. Rhonda Davis says:

    Great post, Harry. Thank you for reminding us to be curious. The rate of change can be daunting, but your call to a different perspective is a refreshing one.

    • Thanks for this Rhonda. There are things that change and there are things that don’t. For instance, Facebook is good for making us realize relationships are important. But it’s never going to replace genuine, face-to-face physical connections. Google is good at teaching us stuff. But it’s never going to replace the learning that takes place between teacher and student in a physical space and time.

  4. Jenn Burnett says:

    Thanks for your insight Harry. I was also particularly interested in how google functions in a godlike way. I find myself wondering how often we google before we pray now? Or even google instead of praying? Where have we exchanged the wisdom of scripture with a google search? So how does the church now contend with google?

  5. I love it Harry, we have to be curious and I guess ask questions in quest for knowledge and improve our leadership capabilities and leverage it for the good of our followers. Thank you Harry for that important reminder.

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