Savior Complex, Patterns of History, & Humane Technology

Excited to share some more writing I’ve been doing, as a practice of receiving the learnings of my last few years in one magical little corner of the humane tech space.

Last week I published Part I: Autobiography of a Silicon Valley Savior :no_entry::muscle:t2::earth_africa:
My Story of coming into a savior complex and coming out of it. Winter gave me space to really slow down and reflect on that roller coaster, for the first time examining narratives like “Tech x Wisdom will Heal the World” and my personal development stumbles through a more critical lens. Which I sense might be relatable to some folks here.

It’s a sort of coming of age story… about coming into a savior complex, and starting to come out of it. I wonder if it’s some of the medicine I have to offer in these times: the cautionary tale of a young, white, privileged, male-bodied person, stepping into power through tech entrepreneurship, and now starting to question and reflect on that archetype, and work to shift its culture in creative ways.

Here’s Part II of my inquiry into the phenomenon: Disrupting Colonizer Consciousness in Silicon Valley :space_invader:. Analysis, Mapping, & Reflections for all my beloved Tech x Spirituality/Medicine/NewParadigm people. I recommend reading both parts, in order.

TLDR: learning the patterns of history can help us remember mindsets to unlearn, in order create and live in a more balanced and life-honoring way. These ecotones (regions of transition btwn two biological communities) are phenomenal teachers for the collective. Let us observe them.

This is long and dense, and skimmable! The most challenging and time-intensive writing piece I’ve taken on. I’m still coming into an understanding of what Colonizer Consciousness means and how it operates in Silicon Valley and in me. As somebody who presents as a white dude in tech, I feel a responsibility to leverage my positionality to share what I’m sensing.

Key Takeaways & Questions:

The devil is in the process. How do we slow down enough to participate in cultural exchange without appropriation and misinterpretation, personal healing without narcissism and disassociation, and collective shifts without fooling ourselves into believing that we are the ones saving the world?

History is medicine. How are the psychohistories of colonization connected to savior complex in Silicon Valley? How can investigating the mindsets and legacies of this influential era help us better understand how we got here and avoid repeating the same patterns?

Beware of unearned wisdom and power. How do we meet the outbreak of Silicon Valley Savior Virus at the intersection of Silicon Valley and New Age culture? How can we collectively learn from the stumbles of this floundering and potentially dangerous experiment?

If you or loved ones work in tech (especially wellness, mindful, transformative tech), please consider sharing this around and discussing it. If you feel drawn to learn more about any aspect of this material, please approach me!


Thanks for sharing this, @andrewmurraydunn! I’m looking forward to reading your writing. This is certainly something that I’ve grappled with as well. I will check back in again once I’ve read them!


Hi Andrew,

Thanks for the two tales. I’ve read one of two, finding it to be fascinating and shocking, with some aspects that I could relate with too. I also had some similar achievement complex at some point, but not much like yours.

The story of your extreme privilege, and how you once were an ultra greedy, selfish, drunken alpha male nutcase who needed to be around Burning Man millionaire types was shocking. You reminded me of the fast-paced attitudes of people in my home town Philly and other US coastal elite cities, and how that is a race to nowhere. I know a couple of people with similar complexes to yours, but thankfully I had long ago distanced myself from them. I am glad that you are getting away from these kinds of messed up people.

We all have some ambitions, perhaps yours is to write. But beware writing too, just like business and academia, is usually a selfish activity as it is about getting attention.

I am happy to see you start to write about balance. I’m really into that too. How does that compare with being competitive? Maybe becoming balanced means getting out of the rat race, including the pointless races to impress and produce. It means I think, producing less but more meaningful, useful and simpler things. And having other activities, interests and relationships, and above all just resting too.

For me the changes were, among other things, to stop using computers altogether. I got creative. Also I never go too fast anymore.

You have an interest in writing and desire to be creative. I think your writing needs work and development, and you tend to write things that are too long. I look forward to reading more of your future writings including the second essay above.


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Thank you so much for the thoughtful reflection. I’m actively moving into the “integrate feedback on writing” phase so I can grow in my craft. I’d love to hear about where you see opportunities for development! Feel free to DM.

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