Every fortnight I collate some of the observations and insights that were shared on social media. I call these Friday’s Finds.
“Zen pretty much comes down to 3 things – everything changes; everything is connected; pay attention.” – Jane Hirshfield – via @jhagel
As for Google there is one area where it cannot really compete with talented humans: trust.
True information curators, of the expert kind, may indeed become in great demand in the near future. And personal trust will determine which one you and I will rely on. Whether Google will exist or not.
In the 1950s, the bureaucracy was the computer. People were organized into technocratic systems in order to perform routinized information processing. But now the computer is the computer. The role of the human is not to be dispassionate, depersonalized or neutral. It is precisely the emotive traits that are rewarded: the voracious lust for understanding, the enthusiasm for work, the ability to grasp the gist, the empathetic sensitivity to what will attract attention and linger in the mind.
The idea is that American society is becoming an extractive democracy.
Short version: our economy and political institutions are now constructed to draw money and other resources from the lower half of society in order to transfer it to the wealthiest. It’s a kind of plutocracy.
Rules look after complicated problems in which the cause and the effect are clear going forward. But the problems we are seeing now are complex, meaning that the cause and the effect are only obvious in retrospect. This property of complex system is called “retrospective coherence,” yet another useful term from Dave Snowden. Retrospective coherence contains a dangerous pitfall for decision makers: it fools you into believing that the causes of a particular event are knowable.
I came to the conclusion that there are two kinds of productivity, one productive, the other destructive. The problem is that economists can’t tell the difference … Thus do productive companies survive while productive societies collapse.
The ecological function of dissent inside a complex society is not that the dissent immediately takes over. It’s that the dissent stabilizes the core within safe temperature parameters. With Bitcoin in the system, there’s every chance that if you really try and clamp down on society, more and more and more of the stuff will resort to Bitcoin, and it becomes harder and harder and harder to credibly lock the doors. You can imagine, for instance, how Bitcoin might have accelerated the fall of the Soviet Union if it had existed in the 1980s, just because it would have made the black market so much more powerful than the government in all kinds of ways.
So Bitcoin serves a protective function, a balancing function that didn’t exist before. And that does not require any extraordinary claims about its security against the NSA.
In this crucial time of transition from the overarching ambition of corporate oligarchs, the blockchain based cryptocurrencies allow anyone to more fully connect with their own principles and ideals and to act on them without permission. This is a new social ecosystem that fuels innovation and activism on the edges, providing new ways to fund projects and aspirations that have traditionally been rejected by a monolithic vision of the world conceived by the few and dictated from above.
Artists as gatekeepers of truth – via @valdiskrebs