I do agree with you, Jeffrey and others, that algorithms (and other tools) can be valuable and bring a greater efficiency to our efforts. I also think that human behavior is a lot like water and tends to follow the path of least resistance. The more we send people in a certain direction the less likely they are to look elsewhere. Paved highways and interstates make traveling much more efficient…but they also makes it less likely for us to see the stuff not on the highway or interstate, and our world view becomes changed by that. We have to be proactive, deliberate and intentional about deviating from the paved path from time to time.
I also agree that there is tremendous value and opportunity to be harvested from the intersection of different stories, different perspectives, and different experiences…you are singing my song man. When we stand in that intersection we have the opportunity to provoke the future.
I am also on board with calling for less conformity and more flying of the freak flag.
But most revolutionaries get shot, not filthy rich.
Revolution is serious business. Revolutionaries get ostracized, isolated, outlawed, they get killed. We do sometimes build monuments in their name, but that happens a long time after we gun them down.
A lot of what gets talked about today as “revolutionary” is only a change in style, not in substance. It does not involve the diffusion of power it simply involves the transfer of power into new and trendier hands.
Dissent involves tremendous risk at the very local level…people lose out on promotions, lose jobs and do not get hired for having challenged the status quo all the time. You and I both know this very, very well. It is one thing for us to sing the songs of revolution as hired guns, and don’t get me wrong, I intend to keep singing those songs, but I think we also have some responsibility to push aggressively on the systems and organizations that generally punish the curiosity we are advocating.
I am down with your idea for a new manifesto, and I think you have offered some good initial sentiments. I wonder if we should not first start by addressing the status quo?