Thursday, May 5, 2011

Finding your place. Part one of the Democracy of Ideas

Right now (and at all other times except for the deep level of dreamless sleep) you are in a matrix (no, not that matrix).  You are in world composed entirely of ideas.  We are connected to millions of other people by thousands of channels of communication.  We are constantly exposed to a non-stop barrage of information while we are awake (And even when are asleep the ideas are still bouncing around in our heads).   Each of us is only a single point in this vast network.  We receive our inputs from other people: from our friends, classmates, co-workers, strangers, fellow-commuters, teachers, bosses, children, news anchors, and psychotic subway preachers.  Everyone.  We hear speech, we watch TV, we read, we check our smart phones, blogs and social networking sites.  We hear announcements over loud speakers, have circular adds thrown infuriatingly on our doorstep.  Banner totting planes fly over head.  Advertisement adorned busses pass uncomfortably close to us as we cross the street.   We stare blankly at the back of the cereal box.  We look for insight inside fortune cookies.  We scowl at graffiti.  
Ideas are everywhere.  They come storming at us like CGI orcs in Return of the KIng.  And most of the time they promptly are ushered into the meat grinder of our inattention.  The deflector shield of our ability to filter out noise destroys over 99% of them.   The comparatively few straggling survivors are plucked up from the carnage and carried deeper into our minds where they…are noticed.  They are thrown into the rinse-cycle of our attention span and jumbled around with whatever else happens to have caught our eye at the moment.  A fraction of this is actually processed and understood.  And a  fraction of that will actually be encoded into the collective of our knowledge.  And when that happens, those ideas become part of us.   And as a new member of our own internal legion, they are synthesized into something more.  They are combined with the other ideas that were there before, and spark new synergies.  

 And then its time to go on the offense.  We take our own ideas and send them forth.  Now its our text messages, whispers, blog posts, and art that goes storming off towards someone else's meat grinder.  
In this way, each of us occupies a unique post in the democracy of ideas.  No one can see the world exactly how you see it.  No one has your exact past.  No one can tint ideas with the brush your personal associations.  This is why each of us is able to be creative  and has our own story to tell.  

In today’s world there is more opportunity than at any other time in history to absorb ideas, and to put our ideas back int o the world.  What do you want to put out there today?

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