by Joi Ito and Jeff Howe
perhaps it was the most accurate way to convey the sheer, uncanny strangeness of witnessing the impossible happen, right in front of your eyes. simple facts were not audacious enough to describe the sensation – we had to invent a myth in order to tell the truth. technology had exceeded our capacity to understand it and not for the last time.
the technology of film had been created but not the medium. when we watch these early films, we see pictures that move, but not a movie
in failing to comprehend the significance of their own invention, the lumieres put themselves in excellent company.
some of our most celebrated inventors, engineers, and technologists have failed to understand the potential of their own work..
in fact, if history is any guide, it’s those closest to a given technology who are least likely to predict its ultimate use..
it took a self-taught engineer … to realize the phonographs potential to bring music into every family parlor and saloon.. edison may have invented the phonograph but johnson did something more significant: he invented the recording industry
humans are perpetually failing to grasp the significance of their own inventions
we are all susceptible to misinterpreting the technological tea leaves, that we are all blinkered (limited outlook) by prevailing systems of thought.. as much as has change – and our book is nothing if not a documentation of radical change – our brains, at least remain largely the same organs that believed the auto to be a passing fancy.. that fire was just a tech for keeping us warm..
our book proceeds from the conviction that any given period of human development is characterized by a set of commonly held systems of assumptions/beliefs. we’re not talking about opinions or ideologies. beneath these lie another set of ideas, the assumptions that are unconscious , or more accurately, preconscious, in nature… this isn’t about what you know; it’s a book about what you don’t know you know..
michel foucault called it (systems of thought) episteme… thomas kuhn called it paradigms
he (kuhn) observed that even the most careful scientists would
regularly ignore or misinterpret data in order to maintain the ‘coherence’ of the reigning paradigm
and explain away the anomalies that are the first sign of fault lines in a scientific theory..
our book – targeted squarely to anyone with a lively curiosity – sidesteps the debate over terminology all together… a simple premise: our technologies have outpaced our ability, as a society, to understand them. now we need to catch up.
or redefine/repurpose them..
our mission is to provide you with some new tools – principles, we call them, because on characteristic of the faster future is to demolish anything so rigid as a ‘rule’
envision the principles as pro tips for how to use the world’s new operating system
at root level new os is based on 2 irreducible facts that make up the kernel – the code at the very heart of the machine – of the network age.. first is moore’s law.. everything digital gets faster, cheaper and smaller at expo rate.. the second is the internet.
when these two revolutions – one in tech, the other in communications – joined.. an explosive force was unleashed that changed the very nature of innovation, relocated it from the center to the edges… no mere change in degree. that’s a violent change to the status quo
truth is tech means nothing in and of self.. what tech actually does, the real impact it will eventually have on society, is often that which we least expect..
something ridiculous sounding.. deep/simple/open enough
the advances – the ideas – will come from the least likely places..
begs we listen to all the voices.. let’s use tech for that..
something we haven’t yet tried
not because the tech didn’t exist, but because in the end, techs are just tools – useless, static objects until they are animated by human ideas..
begs ideas sans irrelevants..
but the ‘big shift’ as an influential 2009 hbr article termed it, occurred around 10pm with the twin revolutions already mentioned: the internet and the integrated circuit chip.. toghether the two heralded the beginning of the network age, a more distinct break from the industrial era than anything that has occurred before it.
what seems increasingly evident is that the primary condition of the network era is not just rapid change, but constant change… constant disruption
begs we become embracers of disorder.. antigragile
these are exponenteial times.. and they have given rise to three conditions that define our era: asymmetry (internet and rapidly improving digital techs have leveled the field in ways that can be good/nefarious.. can no longer assume that costs and benefits will be proportional); complexity (*composed of vast number of individual parts that obey a few simple rules .. influenced by four inputs: heterogeneity, a network, interdependency, and adaptation.. these knobs have been turned up.. creating a not knowning ness); uncertainty (we’re suggesting what to do about this is – not knowing is ok.. admission of ignorance offers strategic advantages over expending resources.. *how do you rebuild a company/govt/uni/career around principles of not knowing)
*perhaps key is that it’s time to disengage from those very things..
1 – emergence over authority
now that system is on the way out; a new system, emergence i son the way in. emergent systems aren’t replacin gauthority. we aren’t going to start policing ourselves, or reparining en masses to lawless communes..
? – how do you know..?
steve johnson’s emergence – evolution of ideas compared to slime mold.. a single-celled organism that gathers together to forma kind of super-organism when food is in short supply… w/o a brain.. like ants.. they follow a set of simple rules and leave pheromone trails wherever they go..
.. that demo’d how slime cells could trigger aggregation w/o following a leader, simply by altering the amount of cyclic amp they released individually, then following trails of the pheromone that they encountered as they wandered through their environment.
whoa.. total app/chip idea… hosted life bits idea… trail rather than proof/prescription…
story in my head…
don’t need mtgs/assemblies/consensus… as we know them…
just need.. each unit/cell/person… listening/consensus ing/ deciding/assessing …. w self……. (self-talk as data) ……and then…. leaving a trail … (hosted-life-bits)… that can io dance…. w others…
as the day… no other orders…
from para…. importance of random wandering.. in that city/trail/forest/….
if the slime cells pumped out enough cyclic amp, clusters of cells would start to form..
ie: enough cyclic amp.. via enough people free and playing
cells would begin following trails created by other cells, creating a positive feedback loop that encourage more cells to join the cluster.
here.. i think best to zoom back to individual.. and individual consensus w/in one body/cell.. if.. my whimsy .. as the day ness.. groundhog day ness… everyone getting a go everyday ness.. creates positive feedback loop to eudaimonia.. the joining of clusters isn’t from following other people’s trails… it’s from following your own.. and tech helping us find the others.. that would be a more natural cluster.. a less prescribed/peer-pressured/credentialed-campfire/course-like… cluster..
if each solo cell was simply releasing cyclic amp based on its own local assessment of the general conditions, Keller and Segel argued in a paper published in 1969, then the larger slime mold community might well be able to aggregate based on global changes in the environment – all w/o a pacemaker cell calling the shots.
ginormous.. as this is where ongoing/re-generating/authentic/ginormously-small energy comes from as well..
individuals slime mold cells spend most of their lives in isolation, perpetually exploring their immediate environment for food. but when the cells begin to gather en masse the strength of the collective signal triggers the formation of something else entirely, something no slime mold cell planned or can ever even understand. the same phenom , johnson writes, occurs w ideas.. ‘plug more minds into the system and give their work a longer, more durable trail – by publishing those ideas in bestselling books, or founding research centers to explore those ideas – and before long the system arrives at a phase transition: isolated hunches and private obsessions coalesce into a new way of looking at the world, shared by thousands of individuals’ we are into in the midst of that phase transition –
while the question of how brain actually works is still hotly debated, it is clear that thinking/consciousness – the mind – can emerge from networks of less sophisticated parts connected together in the right way..
who’s to say what sophisticated is/means..
a lipid never turned to a protein and said’we need to get organized. we should all get together in the form of an awkward, hairless biped named jeff’ the lipsd just awant sot store energy or line up with the other lips to create a cell membrane
the most obvious ie of an emergent system created by humans is the economy, which clearly exhibits attributes that no individual could control
the market, in hayek’s view, is the accidntal aggregation machine that humans created in order to ‘conquer intelligence’
stock market was greateset info sysem of all time, until the internet came along. in our own era, the internet gives billions of people accss to the same bility th emarket has to aggregate vast amounts of inof and use it to make informed decisions..
? whoa.. informed decisions on manmade/inhumane/voluntary-complianced..manufatured-consent.. of what..? of not us..?
as the relative stability of he world itself is derive more and more from the fear or confidence of those billions of people, stock prices have become less linked ot he underlying material value of th ecompanies..as a result, fluctuatinos have becom edangerousl amplified.
but this shift from authority – when orgs charted whatever course those lofty few up on the quarterdeck deemd wise – to emergence, in which many more decisions aren’t made so much as they emerge from large groups of employees or stakeholders of one typ or another, is changing the future of many orgs.
i don’t think this is what people (ie: Shaka) are craving..
i don’t think this is what we’re made for..
having originally greeted the phenom w fear/disdain, companies are now realizing that emergent systems may render their services unnecessary..
we inscribed this basic misunderstanding into our social orgs – every tribe with its own leader, every co with its own ceo (queen gave orders).. only recenly have we come to understand the seemingly less plausible explanatio that the queen, metaphorically speaking, has no more agency than her lowliest drone. .. and that contrary to centureies of commonly held belief there is no central autthority behind speciation, thre relentless production of variety and difference in the life forms around us.. this principle – emergence over authority – precedes the others because it provides the cornerstone on which the others rest. what if we build insittutions and govts that reflected that reality, instead of reinforcing a bygone fallacy?
what if we consider institutions and govts a bygone fallacy..? let’s go ginorm small here.. ie: calling out authority ness.. great.. listening for/to emergence.. great.. making emergence fit/show-up in man made money/measuring system.. killing us
on tb spread because of people.. esp prisoners.. not completing doses..
how do we know that tb spread because of incomplete doses.. how do we know it’s not something deeper.. invisible to the scientific eye..
fukuda.. world headed for post antibiotic era.. things once treatable can kill again
i’m thinking post antibiotic era is right.. but for diff reasons.. ie: never cure in first place.. never problem in first place.. ie: roots of healing et al
in 2013 – researchers declare: to defeat a modern disease.. need modern weapons.. and one of those weapons was a new, emergent way of organizing research..
fitbit ourselves to death.. or listen deeper.. get to the root of the disease..
change the data.. ie: self-talk as data..
george church ness.. human race reprogrammed.. et al..
1\ if free..(meaning 100% of us 100% free).. i don’t think we’d need/want to go those routes 2\ if free.. routes we choose – authentically choose.. not ie: spinach or rock choose.. would be exponentially beyond 6 x moore’s law.. whatever ..
again.. back to what people (ie: Shaka) are craving.. if we gocus on an examined life.. consider all else irrelevant.. or at least not part of the fractal/base.. that’s a change we’ve not yet seen/experimented with..
emergent systems presume that every individual w/in that system possesses unique intelligence that would beefit the group.. this info is shared when people make choices about what ideas/projects to support or crucially take that info and use it to innovate
go deeper.. let’s just focus on one system.. and trust that with 7 bn free people.. everyhing else will be taken care of.. ie: hlb via 2 convos that io dance.. as the day..[aka: not part\ial.. for (blank)’s sake…].. a nother way
this shift has become possible because the cost of innovation has polummeted as new tools have become widely available.. cheap effective 3-d printers have made prototyping a breeze..
yes.. helpful.. but that’s not the systemic level we need to focus on.. we just need to focus on a mech to facil (connect) 7 bn curiosities.. everyday..
only then will we realize cost has nothing to do with any of us..
street bio.. everyday lives.. ‘there’s an idea pretty common to our field that biology in general, and biotechnology in particular, is too important to be left to the experts’
yet we still do.. ie: can you hear me now..?
let’s focus on a mech that can literally hear 7 bn daily..
note from joi – on iyad rahwan (@/iyadrahwan) and the scalable cooperation research group at the lab.. a concerted effort to push the pendulum back in the other direction
2 – pull over push
while emergence is about the use of the many, over the few, to sovle problems, pull takes that notion one step further using what’s needed onlyh at the precise moment it’s needed most… requires transparency and a two -way flow of info in and out of the org..
logic of pull – supply shouldn’t even be generated until demand has emerged.. hagel/brown
small pieces loosely joined – weinberger – allowed variety of niche orgs to rhive.. providing .. specific needs.. relies on open standards and interoperability..
blockchain is, in our estimation, likely to change the very relationship between individuals and institutions, a revolution in the nature of authority.
actually.. make institutions irrelevant (and 7bn people alive/awake) .. if used for faciling connections.. rather than measuring transactions and validating people..
by making trust and authority the province of the network – a literal p2p solution – instead of a bank or govt, satoshi created a milestone in our development as a society.
? really .. a milestone.. that still assumes humans should measure transactions..?
and by fashioning a system that is at once so complex yet also so elegantly simple, he created something close to a work of art.
too much of our training is focused on solving known problems rather than imagining and exploring..
begs we quit trying to train..
ie: known (assumed) problem.. how to better facil money/measuring of transactions..
what if that’s not even a humane problem…
3 – compasses over maps
at a loss that everything centered on money/stocks.. as if they’re natural.. on david siegel and his son seeing in code.. seems a waste.. if they remain in a bubble that’s money assumed.. and benefitting to them
of all the nine principles in the book, compasses over maps has the greatest potential for misunderstanding. it’s actually very straightforward: a map implies a detailed knowledge of the terrain, and the existence of an optimum route; the compass is a far more flexible tool and requires the user to employ creativity and autonomy in discovering his/her own path. the decision to forfeit the map in favor of the compass recognizes that in an increasingly unpredictable world moving ever more quickly, a detailed map may lead you deep in to the woods at an unnecessarily high cost. a good compass, thought, will always take you where you need to go
this does not mean that you should start your journey w/o an idea where you’re going. what it does mean is understanding that while the path to your goal may not be straight, you’ll finish faster and more efficiently than you would have if you had trudged along a preplanned route..
seems these words: goal, faster, efficiently .. imply pre planned ness..
thinking ellen langer – outcomes make us mindless..
thinking.. yeah we should start w/o an idea.. everyday.. that’s what keeps us alive and listening..
i do believe we need a focus of maté basic needs.. as our fractal goal.. (that we could address everyday via 33 min .. 2 convos) ..but beyond that.. everyday anew.. ie: what matters today.. what am i noticing.. today..
on silkworms and neri and one of most important projects of 2013
silkworm project great.. neri is lovely.. but that’s not an issue/problem.. 7bn can resonate with today..we need to have our focus (esp from some place like mit media lab) be deeper.. so that we can experience 7 bn neri ness – everyday.. let’s do this first: free art-ists.. for (blank)’s sake…
on ed missing the needle.. more about learning.. than school/tests.. so .. an app for that.. ie: scratch
we have to go deeper than scratch.. otherwise it would have gotten us to equity already..
if the system were mappable it wouldn’t be as adaptable or as agile
the lab is about ‘uniqueness *(working on things no one else is working on.. if someone else is working on it we move on), impact and magic
*whoa.. would be great if that was really true..
have one for you.. but you can’t hear.. too busy working on things others are working on.. but you can’t hear that either.. to know others are working on what you’re working on.. no offense.. just how things are now.. so much noise..
let’s work on that..
it (scratch.. via resnick via papert’s logo et al) allowed *anyone, regardless of experience or age, to sit down at a computer and immediately make things happen
children should – and do, intuitively – want to learn. it’s up to us, the blundering ,wrongheaded adults, to frame the lessons correctly
wtf? in a chapter on compass not map?
4 – risk over safety
he offered her something better: access to his supply chain
joi – take a risk .. let’s experiment with what i’m working on
it allows him to take an article of commerce – earbuds say – and highlight every node in this global network that produces the components for that most ubiquitous species of headphone..
imagine doing this for 7 bn people.. as nodes.. in global network.. listening w/o judgement to their daily curiosities and connecting them locally.. helping people find their people everyday.. shortening the time between intention and action.. everyday.. this is gershenfeld sel on wheels.. in liquid..ginorm small
you don’t need to own anything anymore .. he (casey) says.. not a factory/warehouse/office.. *you need an idea and you need to be able to market it. that’s it.
because when all you need is an idea, anyone can play the game..
again.. if that were true we’d have equity already.. so perhaps.. capitalism w/o capital isn’t the answer.. isn’t enough of the answer..
i mean.. we might not be having.. ie: ecoli.. earthquakes.. cancer.. if we got to the root.. of us..
the new rule, then, is to embrace risk. there may be nowhere else in this book that exemplifies how far our collective brains have fallen behind the state of our technology
have to be willing to lose your financial investment .. et al
wow.. so risk = money lost.. i know you’re saying it’s a different level of risk.. but all the ie’s you’re giving are about money loss..
one of bitcoin’s paradoxes – the cryptocurrency’s apparent anonymity invites the attentions of criminals and terrorist, while its intentionally transparent architecture renders it entirely open to examination.. this isn’t a flaw – ti’s part of the platform..
the original cypherpunk’s manifest: privacy is not secrecy…. privacy is the power to selectively reveal oneself to he world..
we’re so missing it.. dang
1\ as long as any type of measuring of transactions (and validating of people) is our os.. we’re not going to act like us.. ie: we’ll be criminal and terrorizing.. we have to disengage/detox from the 10 day care ness and then 100% trust that people are good.. or we’ll never see us..
5 – disobedience over compliance
as thomas kuhn showed in his landmark book the structure of scientific revolutions, new paradigms almost invariably come into being because some scientist didn’t embrace the dominant idea.. in other words, the rule about great scientific advance is that to make them you have to break the rules..
mcknight: if you have the right person on the right project and they are absolutely dedicated to finding a solution.. leave them alone. tolerate their initiative and trust them..
so imagine if 7 bn people are free enough to be trusted like that.. let’s try that..
positive deviants.. people whose unorthodox behavior improves their lives and has the potential to improve their communities if it’s adopted more widely.
the ones who ask questions, trust their instincts, and refuse to follow the rules when the rules get in their way..
criticism is about our work, where disobedience is the work
6 – practice over theory
in theory there is not difference between theory and practice. in practice there is. – yogi berra
curriculum changes are typically driven by the current and anticipated needs of the marketplace.. students who merely absorb the ed offered to them, w/o also developing the capacity for interest-driven, self-directed, lifelong learning, will be a ta perpetual disadvantage..
so why make coding mandatory..?
let’s just listen better.. to idio jargon.. in whatever form.. that’s pull (as you’re describing it.. not ie.. ing it)
every time the institute pulled him (negroponte) over for breaking the rules, they’d see wiesner (mit president) beside him and tell them to just move on
do that joi
it turns out that financial rewards and pressures can increase the speed at which people solve incremental or linear problems, but these pressures actually slow people down when they have to imagine creative solutions or nonlinear futures. for these sorts of questions , play has a much more important role – when the problem is not to provide an ‘answer’ but rather to imagine something completely new.
yeah.. that.. something completely new..
why not amplify the sloppy, emotional, creative, and organic nature of human beings that together with the ais and robots of the future will create the workforce of the future..
nice.. but rather than workforce.. the art..
7 – diversity over ability
conventional management practice is often dead wrong about who is best suited for a task (ie: mapping hiv ness via amateurs on foldit) the best way to match talent to task, at least in the world o nanobiotechnology, isn’t to assign the fanciest degrees to the toughest jobs, but rather to observe the behavior of thousands of people and identify those who show the greatest aptitude for the cognitive skills that the task requires..
rather.. facil curiosities of 7 bn people everyday.. 1\ find many of problems we think we have disappear.. or become irrelevant 2\ only way to get authentic human energy.. ie: daily curiosity vs part of a competition .. or trying to fit into someone else’s project.. or trying to prove aptitude for some skills .. or whatever…
the less exposed a give solver is to the discipline in which the problem resides, the more likely he or she is to solve it.. distance from the field..
by 1984 the median white fam in us had a net worth of over 90 000. the median black fam had less than 6 000… by 2009.. white – 265 000.. black – 28 000
the tech and media field currently have mad some of the least headway in diversifying their workforces and, more damning still, their respective boardrooms and executive suites..
why boardroom and exec suites..why workforce..? it’s like women wanting equal rights by getting picture on money.. that’s not what our souls crave.. we crave equity.. let’s set 7 bn free.. as the day..
8 – resilience over strength
instead of changing our strategy – instead of embracing the inevitable defeats and learning how to contain and limit the damage they cause – we just add more sand to the castle falling prey again to the illusion o f the wall so strong that nothing, not even our blinkered adherence to outdated presumptions, can defeat it.
on outdated presumptions and blinkered adherence.. – just like before.. all ie’s are money.. or war.. so.. perhaps cybersecurity (said: fewer field show the importance of resilience over strength better than cybersecurity – 202.. yet the targets are ie: banks, credit cards..208).. and money and war.. are no longer relevant.. if we start living a nother way.. ie: ps in the open et al
aggravating the problem is that a cyber attack has the deck stacked in its favor..
well – unless we choose to disengage from the unnatural/inhumane things that are being attacked.. aka: let’s quit playing defense; let’s quit trying to free just some of us
only when i accept that there will be no winning or losing, just events unfolding and the way i chose to react to them, do i succeed..
true that to no winning/losing.. reactions to things do matter.. but i think reacting .. like defense (not so much listening to your child’s whimsy) .. is closer to what we’ve been doing.. i think we have the means to listen to and follow our own whimsy more.. than being bound by unnatural surroundings we’ve created.. (ie: depending on money.. war.. school.. leaders.. voting.. consensus.. et al)
resilience doesn’t necessarily mean anticipating failure; it means anticipating that you can’t anticipate what’s next, and working instead on a sort of situational awareness..
true to that .. again.. i think tech can help us create diff situations.. ie: rev of every day life..
what happens when sweep tech change threatens to disrupt the law and medicine and energy
i say yes please.. (imagining betterness)
if this book is written for anyone, it’s the individual determined to make the hard call and chart a new strategy predicated less on winning and power than on thriving in the in an unpredictable world.
jeff – let’s try this other way to live..
your brand of courage ness.. plus.. reimagining equity (everyone getting a go everyday)
9 – systems over objects
the media lab gather some of the most accomplished artists and thinkers and engineers in the world..
i disagree.. you think that because that’s all you’re looking at.. we need everyone.. we’ll never make it thinking some are more accomplished than others..
not even boyden.. solving the brain
we’re not being careful.. and we’re missing it.
what awes and confounds the neuroscientist isn’t the number of cells (ie: 100 bn neurons) in the brain, but what lies between them. love cannot be traced to a set of neuron; there is no neatly defined cerebral district responsible for various forms of anger.. consciousness is the ultimate ie of emergence; it emanates, as best we can tell, out of the countless chemical signals hurling thru our brain every second we draw breath. a single neuron can have thousands of connections, aka synapses, to other neurons…. *unknown frontier in human understanding..
so no.. solving the brain is not a hard problem; it is a historical quandary w/o precedent or comparison
so if it matters.. solving the brain.. why are we having ed and 40 some diverse people solve it..
boyden is posing a far more profound question: what if solving these’ intractable’ problems requires reconstructing the sciences entirely – the creation of entirely new disciplines or even pioneering an approach that eschews disciplines altogether? he’s come to prefer the term ‘omnidisciplinary’
yeah.. seeing our oneness would help.. zoom dance ness would help.. accessing/listening-to 7 bn free people would help
boyden didn’t draw strict boundaries around an object of study – he didn’t have objects of study at all. instead, he was fascinated by life itself, in all its vibrant complexity –
yes. that. much like a healthy 5 yr old. so.. it could/should be .. all of us..
it seems far from accidental that the two people who *’thought of what no one thought of before‘ .. were both outsiders
how do you know that..? i’d say you don’t.. and again.. this is why perhaps we just focus on a mech to listen to all the people .. everyday.. imagine the others ed could be talking/dreaming/collabing with right now.. the (who knows how many) others that thought like that before..
imagine a pacemaker that’s truly part of the heart it regulates, or a cure for epilepsy
that.. and/or.. imagine a world with no need for either..
joi – if we want to hasten equity (aka: impact the world to the max).. i think .. (by what i’m understanding your verbiage to be).. what you’re calling systems .. we have to call objects.. and zoom out more to a global systemic change..
ben goertzel suggests that n agi would be a machine that could apply to college, be admitted, and then get a degree
we have to be able to hardwire an ability to adapt and see things that we’d otherwise ignore because they don’t fit our old conditioning..
so.. like Shaka showing you how to hear detroit more clearly/truthfully.. there’s a way to hear the the world more clearly/truthfully..
how to thrive in our faster future (rapid prototyping to slow et al):