Wednesday, October 5, 2011

#OccupyWallStreet, social media, and the collapse of the heirarchy

I've learned a lot watching the #OccupyWallStreet movement in the past few weeks and I suppose that its time for me to do something with the education I've received.

We're playing by rules that don't apply anymore.

  • Proper implementation of networking can create a direct meritocracy that reflects our social values
    • Reddit style adaptation of new laws (ie Iceland's open-source constitution)
    • Similar Reddit style market to connect investors with ideas (combination of We-pay with patent office to advance development of ideas without needing Wall Street)
  • Redefine the education system so that it more adequately directs talent to appropriate venues
    • Stumble-upon style learning interface that guides students into fields that reflect their personality and proficiency
    • Wikipedia style availability of all knowledge
    • Google + rating system for peer review and accreditation
  • Micro-fabrication facilities for localized manufacture of goods using 3d printers, etc.
    • Reduction in transportation costs
    • Pay directly for the idea
    • Open source community provides opportunity for rapid improvement and modification to more specialized
We've moved beyond the feudalism of the agrarian age and the corporatism of the industrial age. We can tear down the cities and make communities more suited to supporting our needs without taxing the resources of the planet so heavily. Physical closeness to accomplish great things is no longer a necessity, but preservation of the environment and our limited material wealth IS a priority we need to actively pursue.

We can afford to pay people to be creative. We don't NEED all hands in the fields or factories anymore. There is no reason that we shouldn't dedicate resources to the advancement of beauty and creativity as well as productivity and efficiency.

The problem facing the economy isn't that we don't have the resources available to meet the needs of all the population ( at the moment ), its that those resources are being prevented from flowing by a belief that credit (money) should be the first goal. Left to their own devices, most people are not content to merely be consumers. We all have a creative drive within us. If we were liberated from the burden of trying to justify our own existence by paying for food, shelter and healthcare, we could dedicate ourselves to creating improvements that benefit everyone.

We don't need marketing directors or day traders. These are positions created entirely around the concept that producing "profit" is more beneficial than producing product. Society is filled with useless people being paid to create imaginary value instead of real products. Imagine Michelangelo designing cereal boxes or Da Vinci condemned to wallow in a mail room for 60 hours a week.

Our obsession with satisfying the institutional imperative of consumerism is destroying our ability to create culture.

Minecraft is my favorite recent example of what happens when you give innovators a sandbox to play in instead of chaining them to a worthless 80 hour a week job where they can't create. Amazing things are done in a fairly limited environment simply because people feel driven to create.

Lets give the world a sandbox to play in. Let people do what they love 90% of the time with 10% REAL work and watch what we make of ourselves. Kill off the antiquated, institutionalized idea that we need a hierarchy and spread a sustainable lifestyle to everyone and embrace the freedom it gives us.

PLEASE comment on this if you read it. I want feedback and input.

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