Six Degrees in the Self-Empowered World of 2050

February 4th, 2006

Lars Hasselblad Torres said:

although the vision doesn’t resonate with me (ie a world in which to live healthy, happy lives one must be “wired”), i really appreciate the place from which the vision springs.

Lars, you may have a bit of the old “Can’t see the forest for the trees” Syndrome going for you in this context. If you look at “wired” as being technology and technology literacy, then your skepticism is justified.

We’ve seen decades of “Digital Divide” programs that are built on the shortsighted assumption that access to technology was the enabler of socioeconomic development (also known as empowerment). But it is not access to technology that is the source of power. Rather the technology is a means to an end. It is access to others, access to markets, access to information, etc. that is the means to self-empowerment.

So in Paul’s evocative story above, it isn’t that Anthea and Mfume are wired tech geeks that is important. Rather, it is that these Empowered Individuals have low-cost, easy-to-use, non-censored access to people and information that let’s them be self-sustainable in the world. The “wired” aspect is just a means to an end.

It is important to note that the “Six Degrees” (Small World) dynamic of scale-free socioeconomic networks is at play in this regard. In Paul’s world of 2050, it is not required that every Anthea and Mfume in the world be equally wired and technologically literate. What is important is that as many people as possible be connected through the shortest paths possible to the Flat World of Globalization 3.0 and its emerging person-to-person network marketplaces.

Just as we all cope with parents and grandparents whose VCRs are still flashing midnight, so too will Anthea and Mfume have a circle of family and friends who they help, directly and indirectly, to connect to this future world.

This Small World network dynamic is one of the themes in our recent post, Divide and Conquer… the Flat World. We wanted Christina and all the great Life In Africa folks to understand that everyone doesn’t have to become a techno-geek in order to be connected to, and to participate in, the “wired world.”

Bottom line: The “forest” to be seen among the technology-trees, Lars, is the ability of individuals to connect in meaningful ways with other people. It is the connection itself, not the means of that connection that is the source of self-empowerment.

–Sohodojo Jim and Timlynn–

Entry Filed under: Globalization 3.0 and the Small Is Good World, Various Other

Six Degrees in the Self-Empowered World of 2050

February 4th, 2006

Lars Hasselblad Torres said:

although the vision doesn’t resonate with me (ie a world in which to live healthy, happy lives one must be “wired”), i really appreciate the place from which the vision springs.

Lars, you may have a bit of the old “Can’t see the forest for the trees” Syndrome going for you in this context. If you look at “wired” as being technology and technology literacy, then your skepticism is justified.

We’ve seen decades of “Digital Divide” programs that are built on the shortsighted assumption that access to technology was the enabler of socioeconomic development (also known as empowerment). But it is not access to technology that is the source of power. Rather the technology is a means to an end. It is access to others, access to markets, access to information, etc. that is the means to self-empowerment.

So in Paul’s evocative story above, it isn’t that Anthea and Mfume are wired tech geeks that is important. Rather, it is that these Empowered Individuals have low-cost, easy-to-use, non-censored access to people and information that let’s them be self-sustainable in the world. The “wired” aspect is just a means to an end.

It is important to note that the “Six Degrees” (Small World) dynamic of scale-free socioeconomic networks is at play in this regard. In Paul’s world of 2050, it is not required that every Anthea and Mfume in the world be equally wired and technologically literate. What is important is that as many people as possible be connected through the shortest paths possible to the Flat World of Globalization 3.0 and its emerging person-to-person network marketplaces.

Just as we all cope with parents and grandparents whose VCRs are still flashing midnight, so too will Anthea and Mfume have a circle of family and friends who they help, directly and indirectly, to connect to this future world.

This Small World network dynamic is one of the themes in our recent post, Divide and Conquer… the Flat World. We wanted Christina and all the great Life In Africa folks to understand that everyone doesn’t have to become a techno-geek in order to be connected to, and to participate in, the “wired world.”

Bottom line: The “forest” to be seen among the technology-trees, Lars, is the ability of individuals to connect in meaningful ways with other people. It is the connection itself, not the means of that connection that is the source of self-empowerment.

–Sohodojo Jim and Timlynn–

Entry Filed under: Globalization 3.0 and the Small Is Good World, Various Other


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