My Life in Beta: Let Me Collide Into You
My Life in Beta: Let Me Collide Into You
I often feel guilty. Sometimes the guilt is justified and other times I create it out of no where. I sometimes feel guilt when I interact with certain people because I know somewhere deep inside of me I want something from them. I want their inspiration. As if I were mining the earth for a precious metal, I cultivate and hold on to acquaintances just for the possibility of ideas. I am searching for what Steven Johnson calls, a complementary “hunch.” As if all the ideas I have are actually parts to a much larger, grander idea I have yet cultivated. By mining for the individual, smaller hunches, I can begin to put together a really fantastic idea quicker than if I came up with all of it on my own and I can do this more efficiently because most of the ground work is done already. Like scientific research, each researcher builds on those before them. As Newton said, “If I have seen further it is only by standing on the shoulders of giants.”
In some ways, this blog has been an archive of all my “hunches” but somehow saying that out loud and explicitly has a guilt absolving characteristic to it. I really don’t know where this guilt comes from and for all I know I am probably making too much of it. Maybe if I were to be a little more transparent about the entire ordeal it could ease me. So in a form of absolution, I am organizing my current, half-baked, beta ideas. This way, you have all my material you could potentially really want to cultivate right here for you. The reality is, this is an interesting way to meet my idea’s other half; in a way believing in the notion that “the sum is greater than the parts combined.” Do you have the complementary perspective, idea and/or observation to my half-baked one? Please let me know. Can you please connect these dots for me? They have bothering me lately and the passion can get pretty obsessive from time to time. So let’s see if we can crowd-source these hunches. Here’s my life in beta and let me collide into you.
Things that currently keep me up at night
The American Dream
- The changing of the “American Dream.” What was it in the first place? I understand it has a lot to do with identity, individualism, ownership, exceptionalism, and opportunity. How has this recession and more broadly globalization, changed America’s views on this concept? Are we, at the very least the younger generation, less attached to material goods and the statuses that come with it? Has globalization softened our idea of nationalism and in a sense patriotism? With the shrinking middle class, where is this “opportunity” we speak of in the American Dream? With the rise of the sharing economy, how does ownership and thus individuality change? Overall, what about identity during these times, especially when we are beginning to really see the start of identity tourism with the rise of all our “online-selves” and all the social media identities we carry, mean?
- How will this generation be different from the rest?
- The pros and cons of identity and anonymity. Questions on how we currently treat the two on and offline, and what it means for ideas like nationalism, ethnicity, and identity as a larger idea. What about identity tourism in relation to this concept? Anonymity opens itself to larger actions and ideals than identity due to the fact that you can create a new personality without the risk of harming your current, “real” one. You essentially can build this new identity to whatever you want it to be. However, does identity validate these actions more so than without having a real name attached to it?
The Blurred Lines
- The blurring lines of the following: Technology vs. Biology, Masculinity vs. Femininity, and Ownership vs. Sharing. As Jeremy Rifkin stated, is ownership too slow of an institution for our fast and soon-to-be faster culture? What will the repercussion of the potential singularity be? What happens to sexuality when we blur the lines of masculinity and femininity? What mental models are we recreating and destroying?
- What is better? Open vs. Closed? Centralized vs. Decentralized? What ideas are revolving around transparency and vulnerability? How has recent institutions like Anonymous and Wikileaks promoted or hampered our feelings towards the two?
- If perspective leads to empathy and empathy, coupled with sympathy, lead to compassion then how, if that is correct or even makes sense, can we create more perspective for the sake of ourselves, creativity, and others? How does compassion differ from passion? Why do we forget that passion has a air of suffering attached to it?
- What happens to the integrity of something once you put a label on it? Do you constrict it or open it up for further concepts and ideas? Should we be more attentive to how we label things? Each word we use to describe something carries its own connotations and mental models. Are we painting an accurate picture?
Let Me Collide Into You
So let me hear your ideas, thoughts, and feelings on my ideas. Am I missing something obvious? Connect these dots for me and see what new ideas we can grow. Your comments will be most appreciated.