Toward the Integral Internet

The Cluetrain ManifestoTwelve years ago, I was sparked by The Cluetrain Manifesto, a prescient book by Rick Levine, Christopher Locke, Doc Searls, and David Weinberger. This is from the introduction:

What if the real attraction of the Internet is not its cutting-edge bells and whistles, its jazzy interface or any of the advanced technology that underlies its pipes and wires? What if, instead, the attraction is an atavistic throwback to the prehistoric human fascination with telling tales? Five thousand years ago, the marketplace was the hub of civilization, a place to which traders returned from remote lands with exotic spices, silks, monkeys, parrots, jewels — and fabulous stories.

In many ways, the Internet more resembles an ancient bazaar than it fits the business models companies try to impose upon it. Millions have flocked to the Net in an incredibly short time, not because it was user-friendly — it wasn’t — but because it seemed to offer some intangible quality long missing in action from modern life. In sharp contrast to the alienation wrought by homogenized broadcast media, sterilized mass “culture,” and the enforced anonymity of bureaucratic organizations, the Internet connected people to each other and provided a space in which the human voice would be rapidly rediscovered.

So, if Web 1.0 was the “published Web” and The Cluetrain Manifesto predicted what was to become the “social Web” (Web 2.0), I believe the next iteration, Web 3.0, will be the “Integral Internet,” where the noosphere of virtual knowledge gets better and better at interacting with fundamental human needs, values, and experiences.

Web 1.0 was “It.” We consumed what was delivered to us and our value to the marketplace was measured with demographics and psychographics.

Web 2.0 was “Us.” Now, we could easily create and share our own media with friends and strangers alike, and marketers measured our worth via the social graph of our connections.

Web 3.0 simply “is.” The deepest Integral Internet interacts with the realm of spirit, of breath. We breathe ideas and experiences, and the Internet carries them and amplifies them to others, no matter where they are. See how fast collective experience flows around the world through Twitter and Facebook. As devices become more powerful, more ubiquitous, and more miniaturized, the boundary between virtual and physical will become even more permeable. The Internet itself begins to breathe.

We’re moving toward an era of the hyper-global and the hyper-local. Joyce wrote, “In the particular is contained the universal.” Through our nearest neighbors and neighborhoods — indeed by becoming more present within ourselves — we can experience the universe more deeply.

“Here” and “away” are being inverted for our children. “Exploring” no longer means going to a new part of the world physically first, for we can learn as much through Wikipedia, Google Earth, and local blogs, than we ever used to through travelling as tourists. The greatest unknown to be explored is now within us, the mysteries of who we are: the “who” that sees the world through our particular eyes.

In the past, gatekeepers were required to intermediate our experience of the world — mostly due to less powerful technologies like papyrus and illustrated manuscripts and printing presses. They are no longer needed. We can now experience the universe more directly through the noosphere (Web 3.0, the Integral Internet) and within ourselves.

So, good bye to recorded media production conglomerates, corporate news paper delivery systems, educational institutions that glorify the life of the mind at the expense of the heart and spirit, arbitrary national governments created for stage-coach era communication.

We set our life priorities based on how we see the world. We now have new priorities for new worldviews. Perhaps we can protect that world so our children may steward it with deeper awareness and respect.

This is one of my presentations from 2009. Still relevant.

Berkeley backyard cottage

“When Karen, a planning professor from the College of Environmental Design, met with a team of students from Dr. Ashok Gadgil’s Design for Sustainable Communities course, neither knew what was brewing.

“Karen discussed how her two bedroom Berkeley home was too small for her constant stream of guests, her daughter and an aging relative.

“The team of students was researching small homes as a means to create affordable and sustainable housing.

“The result was a net zero energy backyard cottage, a new model for shared affordable housing, a Clinton Global Initiative grant and a new Berkeley startup.

Video mashup: The Great Turning

“Our global society faces the challenge of moving from an industrial-growth society to a life-sustaining society. This shift is often referred to as ‘The Great Turning.'”

  • Video from Blip.tv
  • Source materials from WGBH Lab Sandbox, CC Mixter, Flickr Creative Commons, and Shift in Action

Broken Land – The Adventures (1988)

These are the games we played at school
Our hands raised in despair
With no exception to the rule
These times are not changing…

This boy had learned to fail
In times like these to cry seems so absurd
His own life’s crisis pales
In the shadow of this truly dying world…

Show me the love to keep us together
Open up your hearts don’t turn me away
Comfort me through this stormy weather
From where I stand, I see a broken land…

Content management equals continuous improvement

“Managing content can yield enormous rewards, but it requires a continuous improvement model….

“I know of a hugely successful website where changes are made several times a day. I know of another website that has achieved four times the industry average in lead generation because of a continuous improvement model. In fact, I can’t think of a successful website I’ve dealt with over the years that hasn’t had a continuous improvement management model….

“Properly managed, content has fabulous potential to deliver value. But too many organizations treat their website like a coalmine when they should be managing it like a goldmine. As web professionals we must continue to build the business case for the investment in a continuous improvement model. The value is unquestionably there.”

The rise of collaborative consumption

“In Rachel Botsman’s new book, What’s Mine is Yours: The Rise of Collaborative Consumption, the general theme is that we’re shifting away from a society of hyper-consumption and equating personal self-worth with amount of material good accumulated, and instead to a world where our ability to access and exchange resources, develop a reputation, and build community and social capital takes precedence in how we choose to express who we are and what we choose to define us.

“The authors give hundreds of examples of how people are finding new ways to share and exchange value – what they call ‘collaborative consumption’ – using social lending platforms (Zopa, LendingClub, Prosper), open barter networks (ITEX, Bartercard), peer-to-peer coworking and currencies (Hub Culture), reuse networks (Freecycle), car sharing (ZipCar, GoGet), bike sharing (BIXI), swap trading (SwapTree), and peer to peer rentals for plots of land (Landshare, a room for the night (Airbnb), or any other item you could imagine (Zilok)….

“The idea is that it’s not just about creating more things anymore, but about thinking from a systems perspective and understanding how to find the balance in the relationship between business, sustainability, and consumption. Our planet can’t handle an endless supply of product creation, so the shift is underway for us to begin to design for participation, collaboration, and enabling new experiences….

  • The Internet enables a new infrastructure for participation, reducing the transaction costs of matching the wants and needs of people and giving them the opportunity to coordinate. We’re finding this enables us to allocate resources and solve distribution problems more rapidly and effectively.
  • By taking out the middlemen, people can begin to build trust with one other again. In the online space, this becomes transparent as reputation systems become more robust, revealing our interests, our social connections, and the trail of behaviors and actions across the Web.
  • The “Tragedy of the Commons” is not a given. People are capable of sharing resources if given the tools to self-organize, coordinate, and monitor each other.
  • New marketplaces are being built for people to build community, shape their personal identities, earn recognition, and participate in meaningful activity. They are finding new outlets for autonomy, control, freedom, and self-expression….
  • Aided by new communication infrastructures, we are learning to find the balance between the pursuit of one’s own self-interest and the greater good.

Adora Svitak: What adults can learn from kids #ted #tedxdirigo

Child prodigy Adora Svitak says the world needs ‘childish’ thinking: bold ideas, wild creativity and especially optimism. Kids’ big dreams deserve high expectations, she says, starting with grownups’ willingness to learn from children as much as to teach.

“‘Now, our inherent wisdom doesn’t have to be insiders’ knowledge. Kids already do a lot of learning from adults, and we have a lot to share. I think that adults should start learning from kids….. It shouldn’t just be a teacher at the head of the classroom telling students do this, do that. The students should teach their teachers. Learning between grown ups and kids should be reciprocal….

“‘The goal is not to turn kids into your kind of adult, but rather better adults than you have been… the way progress happens is because new generations and new eras grow and develop and become better than the previous ones. It’s the reason we’re not in the Dark Ages anymore. No matter your position of place in life, it is imperative to create opportunities for children so that we can grow up to blow you away….

“‘The world needs opportunities for new leaders and new ideas. Kids need opportunities to lead and succeed. Are you ready to make the match? Because the world’s problems shouldn’t be the human family’s heirloom.'”

  • Excerpts from TED.com
  • Screened at TEDxDirigo – 10/10/10

From Douglas Coupland: a radical pessimist’s guide to the next 10 years

“The iconic writer reveals the shape of things to come, with 45 tips for survival and a matching glossary of the new words you’ll need to talk about your messed-up future.

“1) It’s going to get worse. No silver linings and no lemonade. The elevator only goes down. The bright note is that the elevator will, at some point, stop.

“2) The future isn’t going to feel futuristic. It’s simply going to feel weird and out-of-control-ish, the way it does now, because too many things are changing too quickly. The reason the future feels odd is because of its unpredictability. If the future didn’t feel weirdly unexpected, then something would be wrong….

“20) North America can easily fragment quickly as did the Eastern Bloc in 1989. Quebec will decide to quietly and quite pleasantly leave Canada. California contemplates splitting into two states, fiscal and non-fiscal. Cuba becomes a Club Med with weapons. The Hate States will form a coalition….

“38) Knowing everything will become dull. It all started out so graciously: At a dinner for six, a question arises about, say, that Japanese movie you saw in 1997 (Tampopo), or whether or not Joey Bishop is still alive (no). And before long, you know the answer to everything…

“43) Getting to work will provide vibrant and fun new challenges. Gravel roads, potholes, outhouses, overcrowded buses, short-term hired bodyguards, highwaymen, kidnapping, overnight camping in fields, snaggle-toothed crazy ladies casting spells on you, frightened villagers, organ thieves, exhibitionists and lots of healthy fresh air….

“45) We will accept the obvious truth that we brought this upon ourselves.”

Stunning video of the 2nd largest aquarium in the world

Shot at the Okinawa Churaumi Aquarium in Japan. The main tank called the ‘Kuroshio Sea’ holds 7,500-cubic meters (1,981,290 gallons) of water and features the world’s second largest acrylic glass panel, measuring 8.2 meters by 22.5 meters with a thickness of 60 centimeters. Whale sharks and manta rays are kept amongst many other fish species in the main tank.