Monday, January 01, 2007

Early Signals of Acceleration as 2007 Begins

Historically, technology typically solved discrete problems in open territory such as how to get database systems to talk to accounting systems or how to simulate the Earth’s climate in a computer model.

Now there is a deeper shift occurring which promotes change in the form of unsought improvements to the wide-ranging structure and institutions of society, to all of life. The thinking that has been creatively applying technology to problems is starting to question all aspects of how we experience life and redefine long-standing traditional social, economic and political models and problems at all levels including physicality/stuff (stuff-ness), information and concept. There is a tremendous opportunity for participation in this process. The toppling of societal models is underway in three key areas…

The most fundamental changes to status quo are currently visible in the economics sphere.

1. Yochai Benkler, a Yale Law professor extensively studied at Harvard’s Berkman School, points out that for 150 years, information and culture has been produced at the capital-intensive industrial scale and nearly all society is currently organized around this. Now, however, there are radical changes re-jiggering the creation of information goods and culture to increasingly occur in distributed open source models of participation by individuals. The subtext is the impending demise of traditional institutional models.

2. Markets 2.0 is driving capital allocation decisions to the individual in unprecedented ways deflecting power from existing capital markets with institutionally-disintermediated P2P affinity-directed investment, philanthropic, purchasing and human productive capital.

3. We are becoming a multi-currency society with reputation and ideas supplementing, replacing and ultimately surpassing monetary currency as the medium in which value is reflected.

Politics has not changed much yet. The time is ripe for many ideas such as these two and hopefully the 2008 US Presidential elections will be the catalyst:

1. Google Earth-like zoom perspectives of aggregated searchable political information integrating 1) real-time congressional voting records, 2) parties to whom budget allocations/public contracts are awarded, 3) lobbyist/PAC activities and 4) OpenSecrets, NewsMeat, etc. campaign contributions.

2. A daily barometer on MySpace, AARP, SeniorWorld, SecondLife and other social network giant homepages or newspaper homepages measuring and broadcasting real-time political sentiment.

Blogging, MySpace, YouTube, polyamory/multiamory attitudes, social networks and reputation building have compounded to create a more open, freedom-oriented, feedback-giving, opinion-forming sharing and discussing deliberating society. This has ultimately resulted in greater agency-taking by individuals in all areas of life, as political agents, as economic agents, as social agents and in every other area of virtual and physical reality.

Applications for human agency will continue to proliferate allowing the further empowerment, liberation and democratization of the human spirit, triggering higher degrees of actualization, happiness, contribution, participation and productivity.