I’m going to set out to relate some things specifically that I think many of my posts already state implicitly. I am mostly doing this for myself, as a way to record some of my thoughts, earmark some topics for further investigation, and explore some other ideas directly. Of course, I encourage you to chime in, weary Internet surfer, if you have anything at all to say.
I have a problem with the way people run this country and the way many people run their lives. I dislike indirect democracy, taxation, and the idea that all people are equal (created – yes, existing – no). I have big problems with chemically altered states of being (I don’t even like aspirin), dense people reproducing, and structured education. I’d rather not talk about government licensing, land ownership, or five-day-a-week jobs — but I can’t stand any of those things either.
Now, I’m not one for idle complaints – let me be the first to rock the boat, or take problems straight to the top. Problem is, for many of the things I’d like to see be fixed, even those that realistically could be fixed, there is no one to address. Ask anyone where the problem comes from – and you’ll hear “them” – “they” are the bastards. Problem is, “they” can’t be identified. “They” have been abstracted away.
I’m left with solutions in an envelope, and no mailing address. But, this post isn’t about what I’m going to do about that – had us both fooled, didn’t he! [WHAT?!]
I hear it over and over again, that this world is not about what you know, its about who you know. I hope not. I don’t like many people well enough to get to know them.
It seems to me, that used to have to be the world. I mean, you wanted to find a good hairdresser, you had to ask your mom. Then came the phone book, more importantly – then came the Internet. Suddenly, information was there in front of you faster than you could call your grandmother. As an employer, I have many more options now for finding truly skilled workers. It’s more difficult for me to be misled by Frank, the guy in IT, recommending his brother-in-law Bill for that empty position that I know nothing about.
For one, I can Google Bill. For two, I can easily become more familiar with the open position by asking question in an objective forum. On top of all that, I don’t just have Frank for recommendations, I have monster.com. In short: I have much more information for any decision I will ever make than my grandfather ever had access to. Suddenly, any single person’s input becomes much less important.
Obviously, the employee and the consumer are benefiting from more information too.
And that information continues to expand – “transparent” organizational operations, open software, free books, Wikipedia. Things are becoming more decentralized and accessible. There are fewer unrevealed abstractions. And at the same time, things are becoming more communal.
How long before “they” have to show themselves, or vanish? It would seem that the gatekeepers’ and all their fancy tricks, are finally running out of time. Goodbye copyrights, see you later IRS, now, how about that direct democracy?!
Maybe I’m way off. Maybe I will not live to see any sweeping changes in the way people live and think about the world and the people in it. Maybe their will always be a “they” because there may always be some invisible force of society. Perhaps you’ll always call your mom for the name of her hairdresser instead or reading 28k reviews online. Maybe you weight Frank’s advice as one million times more important than what anyone else can tell you.
In that case, can you forward my resume to your highest-paying associate? Because I’m going to need a job.
And therein we isolate the problem.