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May 3, 2013

Paradox of Leadership


In 2009 I wrote a letter to an old friend about a question he asked, several years earlier, during Thanksgiving dinner. It was a strange question in that it was quite simple. And at first, I didn’t think too much of it. But as it turns out, it was a life changing one, for me. This led me to the interesting field of Collective Intelligence.


August 2009, Fort Lauderdale




Dear Mr. Perez-Batista

ihope this let­ter finds you and your dear wife healthy and in good spir­its. Bare­ly a few min­utes ago I had the plea­sure of speak­ing with your daugh­ter. She re­turned to the Unit­ed States, the day be­fore yes­ter­day. We spoke briefly about her trip through­out Venezuela which was in­tend­ed to per­form a cur­so­ry sur­vey of all the changes and achieve­ments that have oc­curred dur­ing the cur­rent gov­ern­ment’s ad­min­is­tra­tion. I hope to get a chance to talk some more about her trip be­cause I will be trav­el­ling soon to Cara­cas to vis­it rel­a­tives.

Al­low me go straight to the point. But first, I apol­o­gize be­cause this let­ter is long. How­ev­er, if we take in­to ac­count that you and I have not spo­ken for quite a num­ber of years then you could say that this let­ter seeks to re­gain lost ground.

thanksgivingIf my mem­o­ry serves me well, on Novem­ber 23rd 2006, I had the op­por­tu­ni­ty to meet you and your beloved wife and daugh­ters to cel­e­brate Thanks­giv­ing din­ner at Maria Eu­ge­nia’s. I re­call such day quite vivid­ly be­cause it was by co­in­ci­dence or fate that that my life changed and this change still con­tin­ues to this day. I know this may sound all too strange: I will ex­plain.

Through­out the evening you and I had an in­vig­o­rat­ing con­ver­sa­tion that seemed to flow ef­fort­less­ly for hours on end. One in which a great num­ber of top­ics were in­tro­duced ev­er more rapid­ly. We spoke about in­ter­na­tion­al and lo­cal pol­i­tics, eco­nomics, phi­los­o­phy, his­to­ry, per­son­al ex­pe­ri­ences and more. What made it all the more pleas­ant, is that we seemed to agree on many of the ideas dis­cussed.

Per­haps up­on see­ing that we were so en­grossed in con­ver­sa­tion to the detri­ment of oth­er guests, your daugh­ters tried in vain to steer the con­ver­sa­tion to­wards mun­dane top­ics but, to no avail. At the end of the evening, when Han­nah and I had al­ready re­mained in your com­pa­ny longer than that which is in­di­cat­ed by good pro­to­col, we had to leave; but not with­out ex­press­ing our wish to meet again soon to re­sume our de­light­ful con­ver­sa­tion.

This was the mo­ment when that idea, like a meme, jumped from your brain to mine, ir­repara­bly in­fect­ing it.

I must say that the need to sa­ti­ate the thirst for an in­tel­li­gent con­ver­sa­tion is com­pa­ra­ble to the sat­is­fac­tion that Bedouins must feel up­on dis­cov­er­ing a wa­ter­hole or bet­ter yet, up­on find­ing an oa­sis. I am re­fer­ring to the in­tel­lec­tu­al bar­ren land marked by the over­whelm­ing mer­can­tilist em­pha­sis which per­me­ates al­most all as­pects of mod­ern life and does noth­ing to stim­u­late ones in­tel­lect. So it was sur­pris­ing, that even though your fam­i­ly al­ready made plans to go shop­ping the next day, be­fore your im­mi­nent re­turn trip to Venezuela; we met once more, the fol­low­ing evening.

But the most puz­zling ques­tion you brought up, with­out any in­tent oth­er than to share your ex­pe­ri­ences, had a be­witch­ing ef­fect on me. In fact, it was not un­til much lat­er date that I re­al­ized that this was the mo­ment when that idea, like a meme, jumped from your brain to mine, ir­repara­bly in­fect­ing it. I am re­fer­ring to the prob­lem of the small-sleepy-town called The Trap which is lo­cat­ed in the state of Meri­da on the Venezue­lan An­des.

It is un­can­ny that the name of such town was in­dica­tive of the prob­lem at hand. In oth­er words the ques­tion posed, was an in­tel­lec­tu­al trap. Af­ter more than three years of re­search I be­lieved I have found an an­swer. This re­search took me from the ad­vanced tech­no­log­i­cal de­vel­op­ments of in­dus­tri­al­ized na­tions to the heart of An­cient Greece.

If I re­mem­ber cor­rect­ly you told me that the small town of The Trap has a pop­u­la­tion of ap­prox­i­mate­ly three thou­sand peo­ple. It oc­cu­pies a moun­tain­ous re­gion of about 100 square miles at an av­er­age al­ti­tude of 7,200 feet. While there is a cop­per mine ad­ja­cent to the town, there are al­so oth­er min­er­als in the sur­round­ing ar­eas such as lime­stone cal­ci­um car­bon­ate, con­struc­tion sand, clay for adobe bricks and pot­tery. How­ev­er, it seems that the pop­u­la­tion of The Trap is most­ly de­vot­ed to agri­cul­ture or ac­tiv­i­ties which sup­port agri­cul­ture and on sec­ond place, tourism, be­cause of its cool high al­ti­tude cli­mate.


The Trap

The Trap is a small town which like a great num­ber of oth­er small towns in Venezuela, has lim­it­ed ba­sic ser­vices or in some cas­es no ser­vices at all. Com­mon ser­vices such as: ed­u­ca­tion, health, en­er­gy, trans­porta­tion, waste management, se­cu­ri­ty, work, en­ter­tain­ment, etc.

Dur­ing our con­ver­sa­tion you said that you had al­ready start­ed an ed­u­ca­tion­al, agri­cul­tur­al and tech­no­log­i­cal pro­ject at The Trap. It was at this time that you specif­i­cal­ly posed the fol­low­ing ques­tion:


How can we ed­u­cate the cit­i­zens of The Trap to share a so­cial­ist vi­sion of the 21st Cen­tu­ry such that once they at­tain some lev­el of high­er ed­u­ca­tion they don’t in­evitably leave to the larg­er cities in search of a bet­ter life?


You see, many great thinkers have pon­dered this ques­tion through­out the cen­turies. The prob­lem is that al­though an a pri­ori in­tent could be char­i­ta­ble, al­tru­is­tic, hu­mane and good, the ques­tion it­self is a para­dox or bet­ter yet, a trap!

I un­der­stand and share your in­ten­tions of im­prov­ing the lives of all hu­man be­ings and more so of peo­ple for whom the lot­tery of life placed them in an ex­treme­ly dif­fi­cult and painful sit­u­a­tion; sur­round­ed by ex­traor­di­nar­i­ly high bar­ri­ers al­most im­pos­si­ble to over­come by one’s own mo­men­tum. Sim­i­lar­ly, I share in the hu­man­is­tic lega­cy which rea­sons and com­pel those of us for whom fate en­dowed us with the pos­si­bil­i­ty to im­prove the lives of our fel­low man. Per­haps this is one of the rea­sons why Karl Marx pop­u­lar­ized the phrase “From each ac­cord­ing to his abil­i­ty, to each ac­cord­ing to his need.


Why is this question a paradox?

The an­swer is long, but it is al­so in­dica­tive of one of the pos­si­ble fu­tures that the peo­ple of The Trap might fol­low. Like­wise, this an­swer may be high­ly rel­e­vant to many oth­er peo­ple around the world.

the-trap2Giv­en that I was in­flu­enced heav­i­ly by my pro­fes­sion­al, tech­no­log­i­cal and cor­po­rate back­ground, my first in­cli­na­tion was to sug­gest the cre­ation of a town-wide In­ter­net wire­less com­mu­ni­ca­tions in­fras­truc­ture. This could tru­ly rep­re­sent quan­tum leap bet­ter­ment with pro­found im­pli­ca­tions for the town. Then I re­al­ized that this could ac­tu­al­ly speed up the ex­o­dus of cit­i­zens from The Trap to the city, in search of op­por­tu­ni­ties, ben­e­fits and plea­sures found on the In­ter­net it­self.

Think­ing about these im­pli­ca­tions I de­cid­ed to use a more prag­mat­ic ur­ban mod­el as the one that is com­mon­ly used in the Unit­ed States. A mod­ern small town is planned in such a way so that from the very be­gin­ning it has all the nec­es­sary ba­sic ser­vices like: po­lice, fire, wa­ter, pow­er, health, trans­porta­tion, ed­u­ca­tion, shop­ping, recre­ation, etc. I thought that hav­ing all the ba­sic ser­vices and ameni­ties of mod­ern life could make it more at­trac­tive for cit­i­zens to stay in their home­town and not em­i­grate.

townhallNot sat­is­fied with this so­lu­tion I re­mem­bered that An­cient Greece had al­ready solved this prob­lem with rel­a­tive suc­cess. They had city-states with pop­u­la­tions of 5,000 to 10,000 cit­i­zens. Per­haps, I thought, we could start there and try to cre­ate and in­still the con­cept of cit­i­zen­ry which is a pre­req­ui­site for solv­ing this prob­lem. Nev­er­the­less, this would re­quire an al­most su­per­hu­man ed­u­ca­tion­al ef­fort. And even if they could some­how af­ford such costs, this would not guar­an­tee that once the cit­i­zens had at­tained some lev­el of train­ing, they would stay. In oth­er words this so­lu­tion would al­so pro­duce un­pre­dictable re­sults.

It was at this time that I be­gan to reread some of the clas­sics of phi­los­o­phy, in­clud­ing Pla­to’s Re­pub­lic. I read pas­sages from the great philoso­phers such as:

It was al­most ac­ci­den­tal­ly that I dis­cov­ered that the his­to­ry of mankind had been di­vid­ed in­to two main streams of philo­soph­i­cal con­scious­ness, one of which had been the dom­i­nant play­er over the last 2,500 years since the age of Pla­to.

This study cul­mi­nat­ed with one of the works of a great twen­ti­eth-cen­tu­ry thinker, the Aus­tri­an born philoso­pher Karl Pop­per. In his two-vol­ume book called The Open So­ci­ety and its En­e­mies —from Pla­to to Marx, Pop­per ar­gues that Pla­to’s cen­tral ques­tion to The Re­pub­lic was:


Who will be the leader of the utopian Republic?

Of course, Pla­to an­swers by say­ing that the best lead­er would be the Philoso­pher King; be­ing that he was a philoso­pher and he did not lack the de­sire to be­come king. This should not sur­prise us be­cause he was born in­to aris­toc­ra­cy, was high­ly eli­tist and ex­pressed his dis­dain for democ­ra­cy. In fact, we could say that the mod­el for The Re­pub­lic; a to­tal­i­tar­i­an state made up of im­mutable so­cial castes, em­u­lat­ed Spar­ta; a so­ci­ety which was any­thing, ex­cept, demo­crat­ic.

platoThe idea of lead­er­ship pre­dates Pla­to and goes back to our an­ces­tors of the Stone Age or per­haps much ear­li­er when the apes de­cid­ed to come down from the trees. In some cas­es, this has been dis­as­trous for the de­vel­op­ment of mankind. The con­cept of lead­er­ship or war­lord is main­ly based on the law of the jun­gle or sur­vival of the fittest. And in the case of hu­man be­ings this does not nec­es­sar­i­ly mean strong in the phys­i­cal sense but in­stead it refers to men­tal strength or rather to emo­tion­al strength. This en­ables a lead­er, who has low lev­els of em­pa­thy, to over­come and pre­vail above all oth­ers, at any cost.

To­day, the con­se­quences of this be­hav­ior can be ex­treme­ly dan­ger­ous. Es­pe­cial­ly if we con­sid­er the pow­er that can be ex­ert­ed through ter­ri­ble weapons, eco­nom­ic, mil­i­tary, fi­nan­cial, me­dia, en­er­gy, en­vi­ron­men­tal, bi­o­log­ic, etc. This pow­er could very well be in the hands of this strong man or preda­to­ry-pack which is of­ten, mega­lo­ma­ni­ac and so­cio­path­ic. What I am try­ing to de­scribe is this com­mon hu­man archetype which sim­ply tends to or­ga­nized it­self in­to pow­er hi­er­ar­chies, pyra­mids or herds with the lead­er-or-war­lord at the very top.


Humans tend to organize themselves into hierarchies. This behaviour responds to the need to manage information overload and consequently the decision-making process.


How­ev­er, there are prag­mat­ic rea­sons as to why peo­ple tend to or­ga­nize them­selves in­to hi­er­ar­chies. This be­hav­ior re­sponds to the need to man­age in­for­ma­tion over­load and con­se­quent­ly the de­ci­sion-mak­ing pro­cess. The group­ing seeks to re­duce and sum­ma­rize the amount of da­ta while it trav­els up­ward to­wards the lead­er, so that he or she, with all his or her wis­dom, but in most cas­es with­out it, makes the fi­nal de­ci­sion and not with­out first con­sult­ing with his or her spouse, coun­selor or lo­cal wiz­ard.

Al­though hi­er­ar­chi­cal pow­er or­ga­ni­za­tions have the ad­van­tage of ef­fi­cien­cy in terms of dis­ci­pline and com­mand-and-con­trol, they al­so have huge in­trin­sic dis­ad­van­tages, which are am­pli­fied in the mod­ern world, as it rapid­ly be­comes ex­treme­ly com­plex. Some of these dis­ad­van­tages are:

  • Inflexibility of adaptation
  • Discourages creativity
  • Emphasizes uniformity of thought
  • Over simplification
  • Unity through coercion
  • Battles of power
  • Very low data bandwidth

We should re­al­ize that as the world be­comes more com­plex with the in­for­ma­tion rev­o­lu­tion, knowl­edge ex­plo­sion, tech­no­log­i­cal ad­vances, etc., this form of or­ga­ni­za­tion which is used al­most uni­ver­sal­ly by most or­ga­ni­za­tions, is in cri­sis and sub­ject­ed to de­ci­sion-mak­ing blun­ders: Of­ten catas­troph­ic.


How, we wonder, can one make intelligent decisions without considering millions of possibilities?

The some­what el­e­men­tal and re­ac­tive re­sponse of hi­er­ar­chies or herds is to re­duce the da­ta to hand it over to the lead­er so that he makes the fi­nal de­ci­sion and put the “troops” or plan in mo­tion. So, this de­ci­sion mak­ing pro­cess is no more ef­fec­tive than throw­ing dice, con­sult­ing the zo­di­ac or the Or­a­cle of Del­phi.

More­over, us­ing a com­mu­ni­ca­tions the­o­ry mod­el we could say that this de­ci­sion mak­ing pro­cess suf­fers from a low sig­nal-to-noise ra­tio. The sig­nal or in­for­ma­tion con­tent is very low rel­a­tive to the noise con­tent or in­di­vid­u­al in­ter­fer­ence.

In this con­text, let’s not for­get the ease with which lead­ers trans­mute the archety­pal hu­man be­lief in God and in to­tal con­trast and op­po­si­tion, use it a a stan­dard ban­ner to jus­ti­fy to the mass­es, their wars, their con­quests and their em­pires.


Is the age of leadership as we know it about to change?

In this fu­ture world in which we are al­ready walk­ing, there is no place for child­ish du­al­ism, anachro­nis­tic and pa­thet­ic pol­i­tics of the Left and the Right. The emerg­ing bat­tle that is be­ing fought to­day is not that of So­cial­ism of the XXI Cen­tu­ry, or Marx­ism or the re­vival of cap­i­tal­ism as stat­ed by Adam Smith, Thomas Malthus and David Ri­car­do. It is not the rich against the poor and vice ver­sa. It is not the pow­er­ful against the weak.


We must ques­tion our blind obe­di­ence and sub­mis­sive­ness to­ward lead­er­ship and its au­thor­i­ty!

Although to­day these top­ics have the li­on’s share of the glob­al me­dia land­scape and both, its ac­tors and au­di­ences swear by their uni­ver­sal­i­ty. I see as an al­ter­na­tive, a huge and strong cur­rent of so­cial change. An un­der­ground tor­ren­tial riv­er that seeks the weak­est point of frac­ture to break free, ex­plode and over­flow, tak­ing over mankind’s his­tor­i­cal cen­ter stage and this could very well last the rest of 21st Cen­tu­ry.

karl-heisenberg No! The world which we are en­ter­ing is quan­tum, like the sub­atom­ic physics; com­plex and sim­ply in­ex­pli­ca­ble. It is as in­com­pre­hen­si­ble as en­vi­sioned by the 1932 No­bel lau­re­ate Ger­man physi­cist Wern­er Karl Heisen­berg and his Un­cer­tain­ty Prin­ci­ple. I ar­gue that in this Brave New World, all worlds are pos­si­ble and ap­pear si­mul­ta­ne­ous­ly “in the here and now.”


How can our leaders react and make sound decisions at the speed of the nanosecond (0.000, 000,001) which permeates the electronic womb that surrounds us?

To para­phrase the ti­tle of a book by Ni­et­zsche, the world we are build­ing is, “Be­yond Good and Evil.” In oth­er words, man has dis­cov­ered that he is not the cen­ter of the uni­verse and now he is dis­cov­er­ing that he is not even the cen­ter of this plan­et. Maybe now hu­man­i­ty can start an era of rec­on­cil­i­a­tion, heal­ing and liv­ing with Ga­ia, our Moth­er Earth.

My dear friend, do not think that my words por­tend a Dan­tesque dark fu­ture, al­though at this time hu­man­i­ty is at a cross­roads on the brink of the abyss.

starchildThe bat­tle for the New age of rea­son in which thinkers ar­gue that hu­man rea­son alone can com­bat ig­no­rance, su­per­sti­tion and tyran­ny, to build a bet­ter world: Pounds on our door. But as with any bat­tle, it too could be lost.

How­ev­er, the ad­van­tage of the net­worked-col­lec­tive-wis­dom is the com­plete un­aware­ness of hi­er­ar­chies and their lead­ers, whose mor­tal en­e­my is not out­side of them try­ing to oust them, but like a silent and high­ly lethal virus it has al­ready pen­e­trat­ed their body and it is on­ly a mat­ter of time be­fore the for­mer is des­tined to the ash heap of his­to­ry.

Al­though I have an op­ti­mistic view of the fu­ture, I do not want to min­i­mize the risks. There­fore, I be­lieve that the most ef­fec­tive way to com­bat ir­ra­tional­i­ty is through ideas. We must re­assess our al­most blind and sub­mis­sive ap­proval to the lead­er or lead­er­ship and its con­se­quent au­thor­i­ty which even to­day, many ar­gue, is of di­vine ori­gin.

A por­tend­ed ex­am­ple of a great risk is the hu­man over­pop­u­la­tion which com­pro­mis­es the re­gen­er­a­tive plan­e­tary car­ry­ing ca­pac­i­ty. Al­ready we see the ma­chin­ery of glob­al me­dia pow­er try­ing to con­vince the peo­ples of the West that the idea of geno­cide of sev­er­al bil­lion peo­ple is an ac­cept­able price to pay in or­der safe­guard the health of the plan­et. We see it in Hol­ly­wood catas­tro­phe-style movies among oth­ers. And in this hy­po­thet­i­cal sce­nario, such geno­cide would not oc­cur in wealthy coun­tries or at least not with the same dev­as­tat­ing con­se­quences.


The crit­i­cal is­sue is to de­cide the re­al agen­da; oth­er­wise known as —The Col­lec­tive and elec­tron­i­cal­ly me­di­at­ed Will of the Peo­ple.

But this line of think­ing is not on­ly de­spi­ca­ble but it is al­so plain wrong. Re­cent­ly I saw an en­light­en­ing doc­u­men­tary by Swedish pro­fes­sor Hans Rosling (video Prof. Hans Rosling - What stops population growth?) on this pop­u­la­tion is­sue. It turns out that peo­ple through­out the world and par­tic­u­lar­ly in the Asian coun­tries are al­ready re­duc­ing their pop­u­la­tion growth.

These dy­nam­ic sta­tis­ti­cal mod­els fore­cast a pop­u­la­tion ceil­ing of about 9 bil­lion peo­ple by 2050. This mod­el in­di­cates a grad­u­al de­cline of the pop­u­la­tion for the rest of the cen­tu­ry. Many peo­ple sense that us­ing bet­ter dis­tri­bu­tion sys­tems could, in gen­er­al, al­low the sus­tain­abil­i­ty of such pop­u­la­tion with­out ir­repara­bly de­stroy­ing the plan­et.


“The con­cept of try­ing to con­trol the pop­u­la­tion of the plan­et is sim­ply racist.”


More­over, some ar­gue that a great fear of some in­dus­tri­al­ized na­tions, when com­pet­ing for the plan­et’s re­sources, is that their pop­u­la­tions are rapid­ly ag­ing. In con­trast, poor coun­tries have an abun­dant num­ber of young peo­ple with am­ple strength and en­er­gy to grow their economies; in­creas­ing their so­cial wealth.

The con­cept of try­ing to con­trol the pop­u­la­tion of the plan­et is sim­ply racist. And this way of think­ing can be traced to the lega­cy of philo­soph­i­cal thought of Pla­to, Aris­to­tle and Hegel, to name a few. This is the rea­son why, once again, I pose a warn­ing to the dan­gers of elitism, war­lordism and the lead­er­ship of the pack. And I know that ev­ery time I use the word pack some peo­ple im­me­di­ate­ly think of Wolf packs, but I have in­ten­tion­al­ly left them out be­cause wolves rarely kill each oth­er, which is not the case among hu­man be­ings.


And what would be the alternative?

Very sim­ply, the al­ter­na­tive is called democ­ra­cy. But I do not mean democ­ra­cy or the pre­tense of it, such as the mis­rep­re­sen­ta­tion that has oc­curred since its in­cep­tion dur­ing the time of An­cient Greece in Athens. I think that in gen­er­al when we re­fer to Na­tion states or coun­tries, mankind has nev­er re­al­ly ex­pe­ri­enced true democ­ra­cy. I make the caveat that at least I know not of a his­tor­i­cal case where true democ­ra­cy has been prac­ticed and this is prob­a­bly due to my ig­no­rance. Nev­er­the­less, to­day more than ev­er the world needs true democ­ra­cy if we are to suc­cess­ful­ly re­solve the ma­jor prob­lems which we are now fac­ing and avoid the abyss.


What do we mean when by True Democracy?

acropolisIn to­day’s democ­ra­cies, whether An­ar­chist, Cap­i­tal­ist, Com­mu­nist, Fas­cist, Nazism, Par­lia­men­tary, Re­pub­lic, So­cial­ist, or any oth­er, it is a small group of “lead­ers” the ones who de­cide the agen­da, be­fore­hand. And this seem­ing­ly in­signif­i­cant event poi­sons and re­moves all pos­si­bil­i­ty of true democ­ra­cy.

The crit­i­cal is­sue is not whether to vote for one ide­ol­o­gy or an­oth­er, for one po­lit­i­cal par­ty or an­oth­er, for one eco­nom­ic pol­i­cy or an­oth­er. The crit­i­cal is­sue is to de­cide the re­al “agen­da”; oth­er­wise known as: The Col­lec­tive and elec­tron­i­cal­ly me­di­at­ed Will of the Peo­ple.

Un­for­tu­nate­ly and al­most uni­ver­sal­ly, lead­ers set the agen­da be­fore­hand; from the small­est group to the largest oligopolies.


How can the will of the people prevail if right from the outset the people are not allowed to set the agenda?


This idea is so sim­ple that it al­most seems sil­ly. The jus­ti­fi­ca­tion for the cur­rent state of world pol­i­tics is based on the pow­er of the “lead­er” or “lead­ers” or “elites” or “par­ties” or “com­mit­tees” or “clubs” or “guilds” or “gov­ern­ments” which claim to have supreme knowl­edge and there­fore know what is best for the mass­es, their sub­jects or slaves.

french-revolutionFur­ther­more, many his­to­ri­ans try to val­i­date the cur­rent state of af­fairs us­ing a pseu­do­science called his­tori­cism. Some ve­he­ment­ly ar­gue that the French Rev­o­lu­tion is a tes­ta­ment to the mad­ness, tyran­ny, cru­el­ty and blood­thirsty of the mob rule. But this proof is com­plete­ly vac­u­ous be­cause even dur­ing the Reign of Ter­ror in France, the bloody rev­o­lu­tion was led by the psy­cho­path­ic lead­ers who had a de­mon­ic ease of in­sti­gat­ing aber­rant be­hav­ior in the mass­es.

Let us not for­get that pow­er strug­gles be­tween Girondins and Ja­cobins was a root prob­lem. The lat­ter ones gained the short-term up­per hand, ob­tain­ing ab­so­lute dic­ta­to­ri­al pow­ers by which thou­sands of peo­ple were sum­mar­i­ly sen­tenced and ex­e­cut­ed in the guil­lo­tine.

It is very like­ly that the sup­posed “ma­jori­ties” have nev­er tru­ly con­trolled or ruled any­thing in this world: How­ev­er this could soon change. I do not speak with the voice of an ide­al­ist and dream­er, which I am, but with ex­ten­sive knowl­edge of In­for­ma­tion Tech­nolo­gies and the over­whelm­ing phe­nomenon called In­ter­net.

The In­ter­net is the pawn, the knight, the bish­op, the rook, the queen and the king in the chess game on the world stage which is al­ready de­mol­ish­ing the pieces of its ad­ver­saries: The in­ter­me­di­aries.

internetNeed­less to say, to­day we have all turned to the com­plex, ex­hil­a­rat­ing, hyp­not­ic, mul­ti­col­or sound, su­per fast and al­most un­lim­it­ed win­dow to the world which the In­ter­net pro­vides us. This is the great de­moc­ra­tiz­ing agent which we are all help­ing to build. And by its very na­ture its growth is grass­roots and or­gan­ic. Last­ly, it stim­u­lates the uni­ver­sal growth of the in­di­vid­u­al.

In the world of com­merce, the In­ter­net is vir­tu­al­ly elim­i­nat­ing the role of the mid­dle­man, which in some cas­es did not pro­vide re­al val­ue and yet it kept the li­on’s share of the prof­its; an in­for­ma­tion mo­nop­o­list of sorts.

The In­ter­net has al­lowed cit­i­zens the world over to break the chains of ar­ti­fi­cial cul­tur­al bar­ri­ers of Na­tion states, which have en­joyed an al­most com­plete monopoly over their lives. Now with­out the per­mis­sion of any au­thor­i­ty, the in­hab­i­tants of the plan­et com­mu­ni­cate and col­lab­o­rate with each oth­er.

There­fore, many peo­ple are quick­ly dis­cov­er­ing that there are many things that they share in com­mon with their fel­low­man in for­eign lands. Col­lab­o­ra­tion on a plan­e­tary scale is now pos­si­ble and a great num­ber of self-di­rect­ed pro­jects are com­ing about in this man­ner.

The In­ter­net does not sleep nor rests and it grows ev­er­more rapid­ly. It in­forms, ed­u­cates, en­ter­tains, coach­es, en­cour­ages and makes us smarter ev­ery day. In the bl­o­go­sphere, we are all re­porters of the events oc­cur­ring around us. We re­port the news in­stant­ly and with­out re­spond­ing to the needs of spe­cial in­ter­est groups and large me­dia con­glom­er­ates.

The irony is that even the news agen­cies, which are rapid­ly los­ing mar­ket share to the bl­o­go­sphere, must in­creas­ing­ly make use of the In­ter­net as their fastest, most ac­cu­rate, up-to-date and re­li­able source of news.



In­deed, we see ev­ery day in­creas­ing com­plaints and shrieks by the elites against the free­doms that have been achieved on the In­ter­net. These elites are try­ing to ar­rest progress by cre­at­ing new laws that pro­tect their mo­nop­o­lies.

It should not sur­prise us that news­pa­per, mag­a­zines and tra­di­tion­al pub­lish­ing me­dia are dis­ap­pear­ing in droves while con­fronting what they be­lieve is their scourge, i.e. the bl­o­go­sphere. The tele­vi­sion me­dia will prob­a­bly fol­low the same path while their au­di­ences turn fu­ri­ous­ly to­wards new In­ter­net-based al­ter­na­tive me­dia; their days are num­bered.


In this ev­er­more com­plex world there does not ex­ist a per­son that has one mil­lionth of the knowl­edge re­quired to gov­ern suc­cess­ful­ly.


This uni­verse is too vast and it is evolv­ing ex­treme­ly fast for it to be con­trolled. So if there is no hu­man be­ing who can gov­ern ef­fec­tive­ly or at least one that does not com­mit ma­jor blun­ders…


Who would govern?

The an­swer is al­so sim­ple but its im­ple­men­ta­tion is not. In this com­plex world we will all rule! We will use the tech­niques of “Col­lec­tive In­tel­li­gence” which is one of the few ac­cess points to the plan­e­tary su­per brain. And these tech­niques can be ap­plied to small­er and large groups alike; with the con­se­quent ad­van­tage that it adapts quick­ly to chang­ing events.

full-circleFi­nal­ly, the cir­cle comes to a close and we re­turn to our start­ing point. The rea­son the ques­tion how can you im­prove the life of the peo­ple liv­ing in the vil­lage called The Trap is a para­dox, is be­cause the mo­ment that we pro­pose so­lu­tions for these peo­ple, we are im­me­di­ate­ly as­sum­ing the role of lead­er­ship, em­u­lat­ing the Gods of the Olym­pus with their cor­re­spond­ing pow­er strug­gles and prob­lems.

In sum, af­ter all this time I think that the ques­tion should be rephrased.


How can we help the people of The Trap reach their own bright future?

I sug­gest that, al­though not ex­clu­sive­ly, through­out meth­ods and tech­niques of Col­lec­tive In­tel­li­gence we can help the peo­ple of The Trap reach their des­ti­na­tion faster.

This new paradigm re­quires that the lead­er’s role be­comes that of the ed­u­ca­tor and men­tor. The new men­tor will help with his knowl­edge, to en­able the peo­ple’s will. And this new po­lit­i­cal jour­ney, which to­day is to­tal­ly ex­per­i­men­tal, can pro­duce won­der­ful and un­ex­pect­ed re­sults for both, the peo­ple of The Trap as well as the en­tire plan­et.


Yours sincerely,


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