Jeff Jarvis is just full of interesting ideas. Unfortunately his thinking on the subject of change seems to be curiously incomplete.
There are three responses to change: (1) Resist it, which is futile. (2) Complain about it, which is unproductive. (3) Find the opportunity in it.
Actually, I can think of two more just off the top of my head: (4) suppress it, and (5) control it. These don’t appear to have occurred to him, and absent dealing with them his discussion is fatally flawed.
One might argue that (4) is merely a species of (1), but it isn’t, really; “resist” is passive, whilst “suppress” is active. Anyone can resist, but only those with power can suppress, and that takes it in an entirely different direction. It is of the essence of the conservative personality type to resist change, and when conservative people hold the reins of power, that resistance is often expressed as attempted suppression. (And that has no connection with popular ideas of political ideology — what happened in Eastern Europe in 1989 was a conservative attempt at suppressing change, and was rightly so characterized by the dinosaur media, outraged howls from American “conservatives” notwithstanding.)
That suppression of change never works has embedded itself into popular myth, but it remains a myth nevertheless; the Chinese Emperors successfully suppressed change for centuries, until their society was broken by European technical superiority. That same technical superiority gives any modern state adopting it (North Korea, anybody?) the means to suppress change so long as outside forces refrain from rocking the boat.
Similarly, (5) might arguable be considered a species of (3), but I suggest not. Finding opportunity in change appears to be a “Find the silver lining in every cloud” approach — what the Army calls “embrace the suck”. I see this as qualitatively different from an attempt to control change. Both perspectives view change as inevitable, leaving the only question our response to it; but jumping on the boat is not quite the same thing as attempting to seize the tiller. Jarvis is one of the former, and looks at change in terms of economic opportunity. AlGore and his ilk number among the latter, and their response to change has both economic and political dimensions.
I look forward to Jarvis’s next book, chiefly because I want to see whether this incomplete approach leads him into a defective approach, which I suspect that it might.