"If this future of social capital and whuffie you predict is correct, and I largely believe it is, then that means the future belongs to women."
I made a silly joke telling him to keep it quiet because this is my underhanded plan all along the way, but in actuality, I hadn't really thought of it that way...yet. Then my amazing PiC writes this bit on Big Sister, basically, saying the same thing:
The thing is, Big Sister is already upon us. Read about Nick Starr’s experience with Twitter and you’ll start to see how radical, networked, transparency is leading to a retrogression in the power of the dominator model. Power is now supremely not centered in any one place or individual; instead the power is stored in energy bonds that only reveal their potency when a connection is made; in the sinews and synapses of social networks, we are witnessing a resurgency of social capital and of communal wealth.
Yeah, that makes alot of sense.
Once again, over another serendipitous dinner, this time with a group of fabulous folks from the Dutch community who blog at Dutch Cowboys (and cowgirls), we talked at length about whuffie and how that sci fi future that Doctorow painted in Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom isn't far fetched at all. In fact, we recognized that the lot of us could come together in such an immediately intimate conversation was because we've 'pinged' one another's whuffie and knew it was safe to do so. Only, our pings aren't with internal computers, our pings are recorded by our blog posts, tweets and other media we make publicly available.
And it isn't that the future is about women ruling the world or some crazy Amazon Women on the Moon scenario. It's about valuing all of our feminine sides. The decline of valuing the aggressive, competitive, dominating, quantitative, competitive sides and the rise of the value of our compassionate, open, cooperative, qualitative, collaborative sides. I find it amazing that when I talk, I have so many people come up to me afterwards to say, "Thank you for telling me it is okay to have a different perspective". That's huge. Chris did that for me. I was always second guessing and questioning myself and my gut instincts. He just outright asked me why one day. Ever since then, I've grown in leaps and bounds.
Personally, I think the future is a much better balance of the yin and yang - where the feminine and masculine are balanced out in personal and business life. There are still many positive things that come from the masculine camp and a little healthy competition (especially with oneself) is a good thing. However, I do think that we will see the pendulum swing further to the feminine before we get there. Remember that halfway means that everyone has to meet in the middle and I don't see patriarchal power structures that have benefitted for many centuries off of a more competitive, aggressive, secretive world giving up their reign too fast.
I'd also like to put out a call for a couple of things. I have decided that, amongst the many other things I have on my plate, I want to create a Whuffie Pinger online. Something that helps us gather sentiment and good and bad reviews around our buying decisions and culminates them into a Whuffie scale. I'd love it to be visual, like We Feel Fine, but really helpful like Yelp (probably even bringing in review data from sources like Yelp). If I go out to rent a car, for instance, I can ping the whuffie, even via SMS, of the car companies to help me make my decision. The same tool could be used for people, of course, but I'm afraid that in our still masculine culture, this will become like the Technorati 100, a grossly competitive site, full of posturing and alot of dudes gaming it.
So, if you'd like to team up with me to make this, drop me a line. It would be an open source project, of course, but we could figure out a business model in the future.