Happy Steve

Innovation and Learning

Start with clarity of intent.

Now build it out with an evocative vision. Improvise progress by tinkering: with lots of trial and lots of error. The not knowing is the best bit: the mysteries the surprises, and from time to time the windfalls! 

Hello there, I'm Steve Collis! 

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New Currencies in the New Space

On Monday I said there is a new space. Not the virtual space. Not physical space. Rather, the overlaying of the virtual space over the physical world. (Kevin Kelly: http://www.ted.com/talks/kevin_kelly_on_the_next_5_000_days_of_the_web.html) I call this combination the new space.

This has already happened. The distance between me and you is less even if we're physically distant because we are virtually connected, even if only by mobile phone, twitter etc. Physicallity is already only one of dimensions through which we move. The physical dimension is crucial for some aspects of existence. The virtual for others. Already we move between the two without thinking of making a distinction.

As this new space develops, what will its currency? By currency I mean agency. The scope of your potential action and affect in the world.

Normally money is our currency.

Now then:

1. Money is power.

2. Knowledge is power. 

3. It's not what you know it's who you know.

4. Time is money.

Add to this the notion of scarcity. Scarcity increases the difficulty in acquiring something, and thus its value.

1. Money is abundant. We've got far more than we need.
2. Knowledge is abundant. The internet makes it crazy easy.
3. Connectedness is abundant. You can eat until you're sick.
4. Time is scarce ARGH!! I've only got 24 hours in a day!

Confused? Reflect on the above factors. Read on when ready:

We have to let these factors play out a bit further:

1. Time is money but money is abundant.

So we don't need time because we don't need money. Failure to grasp this is the cause of much unhappiness in Australian society. Have a read of this book to see how materialism is a strong correlaive with misery: http://www.amazon.com/Authentic-Happiness-Psychology-Potential-Fulfillment/dp/0743222970

2. Connectedness requires time.

There is nothing cheap about connectedness. You purchase it at a great price. Just read http://www.angelfire.com/hi/littleprince/frames.html and reflect on your life. I say connectedness but I mean relationships. They grow slowly, with vulnerability, giving out, getting back, forging a shared history and risking betrayal or disappointment. Online relationships may seem different in texture to face to face relationships, but they grow with the same process and lead you to the same place:

In a relationship you matter to someone, and they matter to you.

Ain't nothing cheap about new space relationships.

3. Time has no value in itself. Think of 100 years in a prison cell - it is of little value. This is why prison sentences are a punishment and are referred to as 'doing time'. Time is a means to an end, even if it's just time to think. It's just you need time in order to... anything.

4. THEREFORE, connectedness is scarce.

Is it possible that:

Connectedness is the currency of the new space.

If there is a new distinction between the social classes it will not be defined by money, which is more and more abundant, or education, which is at everyone's fingertips for free, but by connectedness.

In our current world we find it a dillemma to manage our money. We only have so much of it, how do we spend it? It feels difficult to manage this in a balanced way.

In the future, the new currency in the new space will be connectedness, and the challenge of having a balanced, wise, healthy life will be the balance of how do I manage my connectedness.

Oh, sorry, do I sound like I'm trying to convince you? No, I'm just thinking out loud.

In the new space, connectedness comes in smaller denominations.

I connect with a myriad of people. I do so meaningfully and authentically because the tipping point of connection has become much smaller. The BIG denominations - family, colleagues, fishing friends, are still there. In the new space many other people can matter to me too.

To be wealthy is to connect well
There are junk connections out there. People are printing counterfeit currencies! Thus, SPAM was born! But too, woe am I who ignores my family to connect with my twitter teacher buddies. Someone asked me on Monday "Isn't Twitter just people building egos?" Ego is counterfeit currency. People who purchase ego pay a high price for a handful of nothing. In the new space, connecting is easy, connecting well when we're time poor, is rare and precious skill. A skill worth our learning, and a skill worth our teaching.

Where are you in your spider web of connections in the new space?

I want to connect widely.

I want to connect wisely.

I want to connect well.

I want to be rich in my relationships.

(Ain't nothing changed at all.)