Archive for institutions
In April of 2010 the Library of Congress announced that it will acquire all of the public tweets for future generations to review. It’s quite the ambitious effort from a technological standpoint, considering all of the data migration and storage as the micro-blogging social network grows. The initiative also has some uncovered ethical and democratic potential that are currently being overlooked.
Twitter as a platform is empowering the creators of the world to understand how their co-conspirers and consumers are affecting the discovery, development, and delivery of new goods & services to be brought to market. For instance, Marketing and other R&D departments across the globe at the enterprise scale are using social networks like Twitter to monitor and improve their CRM (Customer Relationship Management) processes. These aren’t rigid customer service initiatives, but also customer discovery initiatives. Social networking is giving new meaning to the idea that supply & demand are never ending sphere of interaction; further, confusing the philosophical ideal of who might our creators and consumers be.
This is important because ownership is allocated to creators of sorts, regardless of initial or latter impact.
At current, the world is enduring a series of spiking economic crisis, and as the engineers and economists try and root-cause to remedy our problems, the political conservatism that we all possess at some extent is making it difficult to justify spreading the wealth. Moral and Political arguments haven’t been working over the millennia or most recently. The books/rants/calls for gifting larger amounts to working-poor, nor distributing wealth at high rates to compensate the lesser valued have yielded a change in the gap between those with an immense value and those without. This crisis is not one of lost value, or population growth, or technological change. It is (and has always been) one of poorly allocated ownership. Those causes can be debated separately.
Ownership is paramount in distributing value to individuals and institutions, outside of charity. I don’t think it necessary to elaborate on how miniscule charity is in the known world. It’s legally defensible and mathematically quantifiable. One of the missions of the Library of Congress is to log intellectual property; further, so that it may (if necessary) be defended on the behalf of stakeholders. The initiative to capture tweets for the future generations should not only be technologically charged, but it should be economically charged to assign ownership to authors. This effort would assist greatly in identifying the degrees of separation between the various stakeholders in the discovery, development, and delivery of things.
Below is an excerpt from a scenario I was emailed about a real-time situation at a secondary school in Michigan.
I included James on this email because I want his input on this matter. There are two co-workers. One of them is Jewish and she takes off every Jewish holiday no matter what. Then there is the other worker who takes off one afternoon a week for the month because work is stressing her out. The religious woman makes a comment to the other worker about the amount of time she’s taking off and the other worker says “it’s no different than you taking off time for your religion to rest”. The religious lady is like “they are SO TOTALLY different because my religion requires it.” Should people who are not religious be shunned for taking the same actions as those who are? Are these women comparing apples to oranges?
My opinion: people should not be shunned for their incentives to relax and these two women are arguing about the same phenomenon.
Tagent: This email was fascinating to me considering the latest Integrationalism book of “value” and how it is distributed to the institutions and individual…I think its important in how we regulate (with laws) a society… and this is a good low end example of how institution’s objectives to establish a presidence benefits them not only materially (monetarily, etc) but also socio-culturally.
Further: All of the religio, politico, socio, economic, etc rhetoric of today in democratic societies is about individualistic virtues, yet it doesn’t pay in this time to be an individual without an institutional affiliation. There is no economic or socio-cultural equity in it.
As the education and post-industrialized society grow more secular, how will we transfer the equity and respect that religious institutions currently own?
I’ve spent some time thinking about what the #Occupy movement is really representing. I’ve tried to attend the camps as I’ve traveled and interview the people in the camps; as well as, their formidable opponents in the ownership positions of the respective societies that Occupiers exist.
I think that I’m comfortable echoing the analysis in that Occupiers have done a good initial job in comparison to similar movements around the world and in the United States in particular. They’ve caught the attention of the masses, in that everyone knows what #Occupy means. Of course the problems of any fledgling movement are that its priorities aren’t hashed (#) out. While everyone knows what #Occupy is; no one has any idea of what it wants, or rather, needs.
Every movement-struggle-jihad, has is a battle of philosophy on how a society should exist versus how it does. Based on the consistent and more frequent collapse in the economic system, it is evident that we are due for some structural change in the modern world. When I listen to the rhetoric of this movement and the defense of its identified opponents, I think the following apply. There is a clash of ideals on whose altruism is not only virtuous but most beneficial. On the one hand we have that of the individuals, formally represented by the #Occupiers. On the other we have that of the institutions, formally represented by their owners/stakeholders. While individuals (humans in this case) can allocate a moral regard to their fellow man/woman based on their acknowledgment of his/her intrinsic or extrinsic value, institutions do not. Yet some individuals can advocate the virtues of an institution because for their holding that the institution’s incentives to take action better the society as a whole.
Institutions were created by individuals to protect the discovery, development, and deployment of technologies (methodologies, hardware, & software) that help individuals control what would otherwise be a chaotic environment. Who wants to live in 3000 B.C.E.? I’d doubt any of us could enjoy limiting our communication to a distances less than 20 feet. While institutions have served individuals well over the millennia their control mechanisms have the potential to run-a-muck. Their primary control mechanisms are related to their extrinsic value, or ability to generate revenues above the costs to exists. Controls validate the existence of each institution (for-profit & not-for-profit alike), but individuals don’t regard themselves as having extrinsic value alone (at least not all of them), per this on-going survey that I’ve been taking with some backlash about the use of language on “value“. Problem comes into play when those who are still benefiting from the existing operations of institutions clashes with those who are no longer benefiting. As institutions trying to sustain existence, they actually have incentives to suppress markets to indemnify stakeholders, per their understanding of who is most valuable.
Regarding the Occupy movement and its potential participants, the progress will occur when and if the most radical of the bunch agree that the contrast of values between individuals and institutions is infringing on their civil or even human rights and is in fact stifling their ability to live productive lives. Regardless of how they derive their understanding of the modern economic situation, they’ll have to hold it as dear and urgent as their more radical predecessors of the last past successful liberal movements. I’m not referring to MLK’s boycotts or the freedom riders, or the Jewish resistance in Europe, or the Mandela‘s political activism. I’m referring to the immediate threat that militant groups like the Black Panthers, or the onslaught of the Allied Forces, or the provocative military growth of Umkhonto we Sizwe and the many like groups respectively per each struggle. The laws of arbitrage are clear and animalistic. Incumbent leadership, ideals, and conservatism can only respect some formidable opposition.
The incumbent power in 1950’s United States and 1980’s South Africa only yielded because they perceived an inevitable destructive threat; any rhetoric that suggests otherwise is misleading. It would take years to list all the martyrs from every movement who gave their lives to inspire the few, and were willing to take other’s lives for their cause. The pathology of pacifism is a failed effort when it does not inspire an aggressive colleague. Occupiers are going to have to figure out what in the world they can do to change the way institutions and individuals agree on human value. Although they were arguing slightly different causes, the incumbent powers decided to oblige Lyndon B Johnson immortalizing Martin Luther King in order to nullify the slogan “black power” and its author Kwame Ture (Stokely Carmichael). It seems as though it takes a guilty old man faced with the passions of an aggressive young man, to make any incremental change.