Monday, September 17, 2012

Entrepreneurs Of Our Lives Together



1. Bubbles

The new social network socl allows you to see what your friends are doing organized by subject. Google uses the same information, what your friends are doing, to rank your search results.

Let's say you are interested in politics. Your friends are mostly conservatives like you. Under the subject "politics", socl shows you something like what you would see if you typed "politics" into Google search: a set of results weighted by conservative politics.

This is not promising for democracy, for exchange of ideas. But the problem is easily remedied.

Take the same group of friends, conservative politically, and together with the organization by subject provide the scaffolding to do something productive with it.

In politics that could be: collective writing of manifestos, then collective defense of that manifesto against another group, also organized for the sake of doing something with the shared interest.

A trivial example, maybe. Another possibility that comes to mind is teachers, underpaid or unpaid by schools, form their own company, following published guidelines. Perhaps the network, or the government, provides a subsidy to support this scaffolding. A scaffolding is, in general terms, crowd-sourcing to work on a problem, and crowd-profit in the creative solution of the problem. Both organized by subject, and profiting by that organization.

The product made is of not of special importance. Only the making is important, because all makers of things have one thing in common: while they are making, the world is open to receive the new thing they are bringing into existence.

Creative people, at least in theory, can talk with each other. (Real creative people, not the kind of artist that is a politician in disguise, searching only to create the most efficient way of saying what is most socially rewarded. These artists of fashion famously cannot stand each others company.)

Creative people can discuss, because they want to create the discussion. They want to discuss with people with opposite views as only that gives the required confusion and opening for creation.

2. Big Money

I once tried to tell a billionaire why all the money he is throwing at the world is not having much or any positive effect: he is thinking about ideas, and about fear and greed, but not about how and why people make things. New ways have to be discovered for people to work together.

He didn't have any idea what I was talking about. Sorry to say he is not creative. He is in his subject bubble. His subject is money.

Think about it. Friends give things to each other without calculation. Money is for relations with strangers. The more money you have, the more your way of living in the world is as a stranger among strangers. The only way anyone changes the world for the better is changing what he knows about, what he lives with. Living with someone is creating a mutual life together.

Money destroys distinction between local and distant. To the billionaire, any one individual standing talking to him is only one among billions of others. To the billionaire, working together is not sharing a life, but at best is restraining passions brought on by proximity, or putting into effect a program to ward off catastrophe.

We must be entrepreneurs of our lives together.