I wrote a short little essay in response to Igor Schwarzmann‘s query to jot down a few thoughts for what sounded like an interesting experiment in publishing. The theme was ‘Uncomfortable Times.’ Experimental as the project was, and busy as we all are, the thoughts and actions moved elsewhere, however Igor asked if he could publish it on their blog, which obviously I agreed to. This little essay is however very pregnant; there are many sketches of an idea in it that I would like to develop further. Right now I just do not know how much time I will have to dedicate to this, and how well it fits my other plans and projects. Since I use this blog as part of an array of note taking tools, I am reblogging it from the Third Wave Blog.

Boredom | Third Wave GmbH: “Tools emerge, and solutions are discovered later. Problems are our prayers. Deeply baffled by human nature and its ability to muddle human affairs, I turn to the only truth that I know. Words. Just words. Beyond truth, I know reality. Reality is that part of truth that does not need belief. I can not believe the words, they just stand there and represent an experience, or a passing thought, and the never ending quest to make sense of it all. Words beg for interpretation.

The many ideologies invented in the past century – capitalism, communism and nationalism to name the biggest offenders – differ very little. This triumvirate wrecks havoc in human affairs every day. Uncomfortable times is the natural state of human affairs. When have the times not been uncomfortable? If one is to consider that last sentence in full, the only relief that there is, is that times is a passing thing. I can not cope with the discipline of history. One day, I asked a distinguished colleague and scholar in that discipline what it was that men had learned from history? I had the feeling that he had not taken my question seriously. He did not respond, he smiled, he did not dare laugh. I was truly interested in what a scholar of history would tell a scholar of science and technology. I did not get an answer. I may never get an answer. Is there an answer?

But what have we learned from science and technology? These are dark days for humanity, we are right back in the darkness of the middle ages where our ignorance is only exceeded by our arrogance and brutality. Ours! We, we are the humans. Are we a race? Are we a species? Are we von Neumann automatons? What on earth are we?

Failing any good answers forthcoming from history, despairing that religious dogma and Grimm’s tales provide comparable satisfaction, I advance the lubricous proposition that humans are animals. Lubricous is ludicrous. I am not dyslexic. Such is the condition of the animal roaming the planet, burning fossil fuels, incapable of understanding nuclear fusion, and then going on a witch-hunt for knowledge. Is knowledge going to fix anything at all when men’s irrationality still drives us to actions that destroy the very substrate that sustains all life? Between money and sex, what other interests are there?

The witch-hunt for knowledge includes burning those who are shy of numbers, fuzzy in their thinking and uncompromising in ideals. Those are the naive who believe that humans can act rationally. Humans can collectively act rationally, but we have not yet reached that desired state of civilization. I love those strange creatures who are born far from perfect, write a few words on paper, and go to battle and find a few more like minded who are willing to do battle with them. Some just write and leave the battle to others. Democratic constitutions and declarations of human rights are the creation of such fools who write words. Tools emerged: democratic constitutions and declarations of human rights.

Men do not deserve the governments that they get. French, Swiss, Libyans, Japanese, Germans, Australians, nobody deserves government. Governments, elected or not, are a matter of luck. Government is not a necessary evil either, it is the result of existence. It emerges where humans live. Some governments are better than others. No single ideology of government is ‘the right one.’ We do live in a manifold of problems. These problems are our prayers. Without them we would be bored out of our wits. We have all the problems that we have ever prayed for. We live in abundance of problems and we live in scarcity of spirit. We are animals fighting for survival. We are killing ourselves ever so slowly, ever so surely, and all ever so out of boredom! At the end, whenever that will be, we will not be just dust, but information. As the universe passes through another big bang, it will forget that we have existed. Will we remember?”

(Via Third Wave Blog)

reboot 8 preparation

reboot 8.0 is happening on June 1-2 in Copenhagen, Denmark.

I have been exchanging ideas via email with Thomas about what I would like to see happening. I am delighted that this idea has found good resonance on his side as it is something along the lines of what he wanted to do.

Here is my thinking on how to start creating a new connected conversation on intellectual property at the edge of the values paradigm shift:

1. who we are: reboot is a gathering of 400 or so people all with a vested interest to some degree or another in internet technology, software, social software, technology itself, society. the kinds of people whom we are so fond of calling geeks. that is, those rare souls that dare to break a few old worn out patterns and to explore new territory. most of these geeks blog in one form or another, all think. we are coming from a bit all over the world, mostly from the more connected affluent world, mostly europeans, but also people from canada and the usa. i expect the danish blogger community to show up en mass. is this right?

2. the world that we live in: whatever it is that we want to call our age – information, digital, knowledge, techno-freaked-muddled, post-industrial, web 2.0 – it is an age where resources are plenty and easily sourced. logistics and knowledge do play a major role. part of the logistics is the communication, and that is where most information technology finds itself. yes, we all know that africa exists, some of us have been there and it does not change the fact that we live in a world of abundance. clearly not all logistics problems are solved, to say nothing of the mess in communications. counter-arguments are welcome in comments here or directly via email.

3. my observation/assertion: there is a paradigm shift currently taking place in what concerns creating a thriving business. a thriving business is a business that is sustainable . to me a business is sustainable when it makes its community prosper (read, happy, fulfilled, satisfied, peaceful). note that for a community to prosper, maintaining the status quo is not a requirement. all to say that

business is about people .

business is not  about goods or money, but about people making their world – this world now – work for them and

allowing all to live in dignity . the business paradigm shift in progress is from capitalism to values. the shift is from humans serving things, to things serving humans.

4. my inference:

in a world where resources are abundant and that is dependent on both logistics and communication, the key resource is intelligence . ok, this is not mind boggling, but what does that mean? that means that the advancing edge of evolution resides within intellectual assets. what does that mean? it means that we eat potatoes and rice, and that we thrive on culture. education is more important than ever, and the ability to work together in a win-win mode is imperative. i could quickly digress and jump into much philosophy too quickly, so let me get back to what i want to say. given that you (the reader) is both of more than average intelligence and used to thinking out-of-the-box, you will either very quickly follow my line of thought or you will not be shy about asking questions that will further your understanding of what are sometimes in my mind huge leaps in logic. present day intellectual property tools (laws, jurisdiction, systems, treaties, agreements) were tailored for the needs of the industrial revolution and were created in the late 1800’s. these instruments did not anticipate the evolution in technology with which we live in day in and day out, or with the fast development of digital devices or instant communications. the situation is bit like trying to drive a car by pedaling: ridiculous.

if the crown jewels of our age are intellectual assets, how are we going to deal with intellectual property rights?

5. this is the scenario. before reboot, what i want to do is to pick the brains of a few people attending and other geeks around me, and to ask them what questions they have about intellectual property (IP). in particular, what i want to learn about is what they are thinking IP-wise and where the needs and confusions are. in obtaining this information in an informal way, it will inform me as to where the issues are and how i can ask the questions of the plenum (those gathered at reboot) that will get us all some answers that can be actionable.

6. how do i work in an interactive sweatshop (forum) is to ask questions and get answers from the participants. the questions have to be provocative enough to get both good quick thinking and a good level of participation. having several bloggers online in the room will make this interactive query into intellectual property and assets all the more interesting. having people in back-channels getting information from the outside, would make it all the more interesting. individual intelligence is great, collective intelligence is what this inquiry will be about.

This is the starting point of the public conversation. I welcome all input, commentary, counter arguments and brilliant insights. In particular I am looking for a few good people working in IT, what I would like to call the digital practitioners, to contact me so that we can set up a phone/skype/iChat/in-person interview as soon as possible.


NB: Send email to nexe at mac dot com (or any other mac email of mine that you may have) and/or leave your comments here. Comments are moderated and will only be published after approval. For the next two weeks I will be accessing the Internet via UMTS and will not be online continuously. There will be delays until comments are published or until I respond .