We passionately believe that:

compliance is death, rebellion is security

If you follow rules, those rules could then be passed onto a machine

The Efficiency Machine (single minded humans, algorithms and the status–quo) is winning in anything structured. If what you do could be written in a set of instructions, then you can be sure that someone, somewhere is already trying to teach a machine to do it. And once they do, it would become better and better at it.

On the other hand, if people can’t understand what you do, if you’re told that you don’t fit, if people can’t find boxes fast enough for your interests, then you’re winning.

The future belongs to those who beat the machine is pursuing their passion, in asking questions.

Machines already have all of the answers, but they can only ask the questions we instruct them to. Without agency, and the ability to cross liminal lines machines will sit idle, incapable to deliver the future.

The answer might hide in the nature of our collaboration with machines. Back when we were wearing animal skin and living in caves those tools were very very simple, and forced us to be creative. Resulting in very rich array of outcomes. We used bones, rocks and sticks in new and unplanned ways. The ancient man had to be multi-purposed and creative.

As we started going into factories, the purpose of the system was dictated to us. Emergence targeted, and suffocated. The assembly line forced us to never be creative, we had to be narrow, efficient and average. Both us and the tools were tuned to be single purposed.


With digital computers we were able to program our own tools. Suddenly digital tools were capable of all kind of new and impressive shapes and forms. And this is how the internet, facebook and myspace were all born. Industrially carrying efficiency for its sake, of incremental being.


Now with the age of algorithms we’re still relinquishing creativity to the machine, still  single purposed, when the machine is pretending to be general.


The single purpose human is our biggest enemy. The cog in the machine, the compliant practitioner, the one who does not step outside the boundaries of our profession.


Machines are capable – and winning – in anything structured, including the status quo. If what you do could be written in a set of instructions, then you can be sure that someone, somewhere is already trying to teach a machine to do it. And once they do, it would become better and better at it.


In a world of abundance and cheapening production costs the world outside your head is getting crowded (specifically to innovate in). More is being made, and more efficiently (thanks to both humans and robots, increasingly the latter).

Optimization is useless for (uselss, creative) thinking, and in particular liminal thinking. Because machines are unable to think, nor move data across liminal borders, the world inside your head is squarely outside the reach of the efficiency machine (robots, and the status quo).

The other side of this is that leadership is all about decision making, so is the complex behavior of the market. How can we enable agency without telling people what they want?

The way we think, our schemes of asking questions are where the future of everything. It is up for us to claim our multipurposeness back. To appropriate creativity across liminal lines, challenging expectation, and operate in new messy ways. So when you’re sitting in your desk and thinking of being protocol–first, don’t.

Seek to understand your agency, and practice it.



Mark
We Help You Think, Plan and Work in an Ambiguous Future
Chelsea, New York, Contact ︎

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