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As I recently wrote: it is not just the technology. The technology is easy. Its the politics and the education needed to understand what is at stake. I share Bob Frankston’s frustration but today on my list from a member who wishes for the purpose of this blog to be anonymous comes a beautifully crafted response to Bob’s frustration. I’ll call the member “the Sage.”

Read on and smile:

Bob Frankston: : If the problem is political we’re sunk.

The Sage: Bob, politics is what happens when more than 2 people are involved. The Internet, in the words of many on this list and many others - is “revolutionary” and “democratizing”. It is, in its essence political because it allows more PEOPLE to communicate simultaneously in more ways than any other technology or technological process or groups of technological processes than anything this planet has ever seen since the spoken word. It cannot help but be utterly and completely political.

Moreover, if the problem weren’t political, why would you bother to blog away as you do? Why bother with conferences, this list, railing away at Regulatorium, etc. if it weren’t political? Why pay attention - (or try not to pay attention - as in ideas like “regulatorium is irrelevant”)?

If it were technological, then why not fix it right this moment, forever more, with software?

Web 0.0 = politics; all remaining iterations are refinements upon this theme.

Bob Frankston: Politics is trailing edge and depends on the prescience of the masses.

The Sage: How is a persistent blogger not a different kind of politician - albeit unelected, one that communicates to the masses on a daily, if not hourly, basis?

To the technologist: The edge is the intelligence; the network is the middle.

To the politician: The edge is the masses; the bully pulpit is the middle.

Different people; different words; same result: - use of the edge (PC, Youtube, Blogs) to reach the masses (at the edge) as if one was in the middle (of an auditorium, television screen, newspaper ad). It is use of the edge to communicate in a way once done only by those who had the money or power to reach a controlled middle.

Bob, welcome to the middle.

Bob Frankston: I will seize control like I’ve done in the past.

The Sage: Who gives you the right to seize control? What is it that you would control? And if what you advocate for is so superior, then what need is their to seize or to control?

Bob, welcome to another middle …

Bob Frankston: I’ll play the politics but I will not accept that I must subject myself to the tyranny of the majority.

The Sage: First: whether a fish accepts that it lives in water or not is irrelevant to the water. Whether you accept that you are very political or not matters not to politics. But like it or not, your words, actions, and daily (if not hourly) activities, are, in many senses, very political. This is not a bad thing, although, your rhetorical swords - as noted above - can sound like words of top-down control; they can sound tyrannical; they may sound like the OLD middle.

Second: the Internet is a social issue. It is the essence of politics. This is about whether people can cooperate to realize the benefits of new technology that appears to cannibalize their self interest(s).

Third: Because the Internet is people; because it is social; because it is communication, it is subject to the laws of evolution. Chaos theory explains evolution. It tells us that once a fractal breaks, the next step is not linear. Open systems make quantum leaps; they escape to higher orders.

Fourth: the Internet is the extended tentacles of the chaos machine called humanity engaged in multi-directional / multidimensional / multi-nodal communication. Some say it is a lot like a brain. Most days I have a brain. Most days most of us do. Sometimes they work; sometimes they don’t (or not as well as they could). Multiply that by all of the nodes connected to Inter-brain and either you have the “Tyranny of the Majority” or the “Wisdom of Crowds”. YMMV … it’s kind of unpredictable, a smidge chaotic, isn’t it?

THEREFORE, I submit for your consideration the “problem” IS political; that this IS cause for CELEBRATION, not dejection; that ultimately, the “problem” is not a problem at all: Ultimately, there is no one person, corporation, or government than can control chaos. And that, my friend, is a very good thing. The whole beloved thing is chaotic.

Bob, welcome to cloud where the “edge” and the “middle” are one. And thank you for caring about it. I sincerely mean that. Even if we disagree at times, caring is important; that alone makes the Inter-brain a bit more human, and a bit more chaotic, don’t you think?

Cook’s Edge: The moral: sages and Engineers need each other and need to work together in a symbiotic and constructive relationship.

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