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Tonight in class, I was inspired by my classmate Zdravko's presentation on "Shift Happens: A Brief History of the Future." He was influenced by The Power of Identity by Manuel Castells and the scholars Jane Mansbridge and Michel Bauwens and Yochai Benkler and James Surowiecki among others.
Zdravko told us, "If I give you this bottle, I no longer have it. If I give you information, we both have it." Information is not a finite product to be given away or sold, or shouldn't be, was what he meant, I think.
McKenzie Wark, author of The Hacker Manifesto, Zdravko said, writes of the class struggle now between hackers, e.g., creators of software, knowledge and music, and the "vectoralists," who create a sense of artificial scarcity, and who try to control the vectors in which the product is realized, and who try to charge for the products of the creative hackers.
In the terrific Peer-to-Peer (P2P) future, Zdravko explained, all of us will participate. We'll have a panarchy, or government by all, along with sousveillance, where all of us will be recording what is said and done in the midst of our own participation.
We will be more open. We will be more generous. We will have a decentralized, even distributed, network and we will succeed together. OK. Zdravko didn't say the messages in this particular paragraph explicitly, but that's what I walked away hoping, until I had to acknowledge: I was jealous of Zdravko's presentation tonight.
In Zdravko's and all of those scholars' future, what happens when someone is clearly head and shoulders above the rest? How can I evolve to where I'm purely admiring and no longer feeling envy?
Envy produces in me a scarcity mentality, when what I need, always, is an abundance mentality. Zdravko's brilliance can inspire me in the creation of my presentation, which I need to deliver in two weeks.
God, if only I were as passionate about war's and trade's influence on the shaping of American politics as Zdravko is about P2P's potential! No excuses. I need to help the rest of the class care about the new direction of the field of American Political Development (APD), since that was the topic I was assigned based on my having told Professor Youngblood after the first class that I have faith in great corporations (like IBM) that they can affect positive social change faster than governments sometimes.
"I have just the book for you!" she responded.
Tonight, I went to Professor Youngblood's office hours before class and we had a spirited discussion about my impressions of the book, and then I saw Zdravko on fire and felt anxious, competitive and jealous. Stop. Be inspired by his messages, not paralyzed.
In fact, stop blogging and come back to 3-D life, where your suitcase is still waiting to be filled. I hope I'm able to blog while in my Coaching class on Wednesday and Thursday.
Will humans evolve to envylessness in the future? Will we stop being competitive? Will I? Can I? Will you? Can you?