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July 26th, 2019
We are our networks. In total isolation we can function, say in a cabin in the woods, but all the things necessary to actually live and function in that isolation still depends on our prior experience as social creatures that can learn how to build a cabin and forage, tend a garden, hunt and all that good survival stuff.
We are raised, we do not simply grow up.
Infant humans in total isolation apparently turn out to be feral.
One huge aspect of this social web that we create and which creates us is that it catches ideas and allows for the implementation of ideas that would otherwise be impossible to explore if our species lived as isolated individuals in the same way that cheetahs or albatross do.
The business world is constantly harping on about the importance of creating and maintaining a network. And the reason is obvious. Who you know in large part determines who can help you, and how. People are viewed in a depressingly pragmatic way in this sense. It’s a game of who you can call in order to help you get what you want.
But we can flip this scrip into a far more generous one when we take the frame that networks enable us to explore ideas.
The best example of this is a group of young kids who go on an adventure together. The idea is just to have fun, and it’s only really possible with the group of friends working together for symbiotic joy.
As is often said, when shit hits the fan, that’s when you find out who your real friends are. This is just to say that networks have degrees of concentration. Just as we are all a few degrees away from Kevin Bacon, stripping away those degrees highlights the most powerful core of our network. Inevitably, that core network is key to any idea you might come up with.
Instead of networking, perhaps we should just look to make a friend.