power to the people: collaboration vs institutions

Watching some TED talks, late night last night, this talk blessed me. Brought back some of those old school b-school thoughts, blended with some new age tactics.
I’m working on applying this to “religion” today. Obviously, something things directly apply, ie. the pro-anorexia at the bottom. However, I think there’s more ideas here then we realize, more truth then we’d sometimes like to hear today. As churches build into mega-churches, and pastors become the idols of the day. God’s word forgotten in the ruins, rules of man and standards become a daily goal, an achievable task.
Thoughts go back to Israel during the time of Jesus and the reformation. Who holds the power? Why? and who should hold the power?

I wonder, as much as we talk about it, is there a way to share? truly share? or is this just the picture of heaven we dream about? Is heaven a communist or socialist haven? No answer, i don’t necessarily like it. But indeed, who should hold the power in a democracy?

I’m glad God is good, all the time, and all the time, God is good. Somehow, an omniscient and sovereign God was all about the people, came and died for em, to be raised again, placed on high and given all authority in the world, that at the name of Jesus Christ, every knee will bow and every tongue confess that He is Lord, in heaven, on earth and under the earth.

Clay Shirky on TED.
Institutions vs. Collaboration.(notes below)

How do groups get anything done?
Do something of lasting value, instead of chaos.
Coordination costs- costs of arranging group output. Found something,
Build cooperation into the infrastructure, without regard to institutional models.
– Flicker Model- thousands of collaborators on one single event, contributors from 300 pictures from one person added to one pic per person. All have access, and may add to the collection. What is the inherent value of one, single picture? Even if it’s the best one?
Institutional problem:
1. Institution creates a management problem.
2. Must bring structure into place, economic, physical.
3. Institutions are inherently exclusionary.
4. End up moving toward only a professional class, and miss the long tail.

Solving the institutional problem:
– Build cooperation into the infrastructure. Take the problem to the individuals instead of the individuals to the problem. Shed the institutional costs.
– Replaces planning with coordination. Mobile phones.- now able to create point to point progression, without all the “institutional” planning required before them.

– Power law distribution- People are allowed to commit whatever you like… tenth, commits a tenth, we find a graph with steep slope, long flat tail. Systems don’t converge, but head gets bigger and tail gets longer in bigger groupings. Strong left weighting. 80% of the contributors contribute a below-average amount… 80.20 rule.

– Institutions have two tools, “carrots and sticks.”

– Cooperation allows the 80% to contribute.
– Institutions push towards the high performing 20%, why give up a quarter of the value? Build the system so that anyone can contribute at any amount.
– Institution as enabler, 20% making the professional better, or obstacle, for the 80%.
– First thing that happens when you institutionalize a problem. Shifts from problem to self-preservation. Go through- denial, enabler, anger, bargaining.

Main Question:
– How do you capture the contribution of the long tail?
ie. Young mothers- want technology to make their lives better. ** next emerging segment for the market.

Collaboration vs. Institutions is a new dynamic with new problems.
– Web blogging- deprofessionalized writing. Shield law, becoming incoherent because the institution is incoherent. Trying to figure out if bloggers are journalists? Not the question.
– Makes NO SENSE to take a “professional” metaphor and apply to this generation.

Problem with Collaboration:
– Pro-anna. Teenage girls, setting up support groups for pro-anorexia. Maintaining the eating disorder.
– Before- We found support groups being incredibly beneficial.
– Today- Value neutral.
– When a large group wants to get drunk, and a small group wants to stop, ok. Now that support group is generically available, less support to the needy.

– Takes us not from point a to b, but from point a to chaos… ie. The printing press.
– Predicts 50 years, of loosely coordinated groups have more and more power. One institution at a time, not only institutions to only cooperative, but a massive readjustment.
Might as well get good at it.


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