Last night, I went to go see Dallas Buyers Club. It's a very powerful movie. Whether it's accurate or not, is debatable, but it's theme is something that resonated with me.
We, as a society, put in place structures like government and big corporations largely as an organizational efficiency. By pooling our resources and centralizing control, theoretically, we can more effectively do things like police neighborhoods, manufacture things and defend our borders. Still, these entities are supposed to work for us and in our best interest.
Not surprisingly, these entities become quite powerful over time--and not just the entities, but the people working at them. When technology comes along and improves the way we organize, making some of these structures less efficient, or even wholly unnecessary, not surprisingly, they don't go quietly. Because of their power and influence, they also know how to protect themselves through legal and regulatory methods quite well.
They're all part of the same machine--record labels, cable companies, drug companies, credit card companies, telecom companies, taxi commissions, hotel lobbies, defense contractors, prisons, big pharma, tobacco, big food, etc. They got bigger than we ever needed them to be and the more that we can seamlessly connect to each other, understand each other, and mobilize our numbers, the less we need them. Still, expect them to dig in their heels.
Peer to peer lending, community supported agriculture, ride sharing, house sharing, fans supporting artists directly, bike share--even the growth of healthy lifestyle activities like yoga and running--it's not just about new business models.
It's a war.
I mean, don't you feel like we're losing a battle when Pepsi has a bigger presense in our schools than phys ed?
This is us collectively flipping off those institutions and saying, "Fuck you, we'll take care of ourselves."
And it's only begun.
How about truly local enterprise zones where chain stores that take more money out of communities than they put in are either outright banned or must keep profits reinvested in the community? It's not just about supporting small business--it's about profit staying with your neighbor who owns the coffee shop and then spends it back in your community.
What about programs like Defy Ventures that turn convicts into entrepreneurs? Wouldn't it be better if someone gave you a shot to employ your peers when you got out of prison than to return to a life of crime? Just because the government labels you as the worst thing you ever did doesn't mean the rest of the world does--and your local network should care more about what you do than what you did.
When do we get a farm on every rooftop and in every school? Instead of shipping Twinkies across the country to put into our kids, let's have them grow veggies right on top of the school. Well, it's coming.
Forget cord cutting. How about tower cutting? Take the network out of the network and enable truly peer to peer communications. It's coming.
How about voting off your handset--for everything? There's a zoning law being written about your own street. You'll get a notification on your phone and get to weigh in, and influence the way your neighborhood is changing.
If you lived during the Industrial Revolution, the world was completely reinvented during your lifetime. I feel like we're on the verge of reinventing society--that the shifts we see in power are only the beginning. Peer coordination and network of individuals are real. It's going to result in a lot more than just photosharing.
Powerful structures are crumbling and it's bigger than even we can imagine. I'm psyched to be a part of it.