Advertisements
Request a free site audit

Need help with your digital news operation?

Life news: I got a dog

Categories

Entropy

Yesterday in a one-on-one, a colleague at Alley told me something insightful; he related my instinct to organize information in a project as a reaction to the inherent entropy of what we do. Client work, agency work, even product work, all these disciplines: the devil is in the details.

Thinking back to Onward State, the real value I added to the community was simply organizing it, convening it, trying to protect it. There are a bunch of us in the indy web and publishing world who see ourselves as creating artificial reefs, that is, “platforms” in the Silicon Valley parlance, ecosystems if you’re into biology, and communities for the rest of us.

The fight against entropy. Have you read Why Information Grows? Author Cesar Hidalgo frames information as a physical thing, a struggle to exist despite the laws of thermodynamics. He goes as far as to frame the success of nation states, cities, companies, and individuals as a study in how these actors collaborate and work together to make better use of information.

“Chaordic” didn’t exist as a term back in colonial America, yet it’s serviceable to describe the madness of democracy. Least bad system yet, right? Using order to contain chaos, channel it. That’s Real American Shit, in my humble opinion. Predictably I’ll mention Ben Franklin here, his legacy of soft power and institutional formation came out of a life spent on miscellaneous entrepreneurial adventures and non-stop work on organizing societies, projects, and all other forms of non-commercial enterprise. Cooperation, mutual benefit, clubs, subscriptions, community organizing.

There are multiple ways to contain entropy. Democracy and fascism are two very different forms of government solving the same problem. Is it too outlandish to say that corporations and collectives are similarly both an answer to the same question? I liked this tweet from Naval Ravikant…

The hardest part of this shift is designing systems powerful enough to provide comparative value to regular people (hard given how good consumer web products have gotten) while not creating a new organization that becomes its own political beast. Open source moves us in the right direction, but there’s still a usability chasm there for most people. Leading leaderless organizations, encouraging contributions, energizing the public. Kinda neat to view all these problems as the same shared striving against the unrelenting force of entropy.

Advertisements

Did you enjoy this post?

Signup to receive a weekly email containing my new posts, curated links, and book reviews.

Thank you for subscribing.

Something went wrong.

Comments

Follow me on Twitter
Advertisements
Thoughts

Notes on dynamic meters

A new type of paywall model is emerging: The dynamic meter.

Advertisements

Notes on newsletters

Notes on the membership model for news

Penn State Campuses Lose University Recognition After Risk Analysis Review

The past, present, and future of making the WordPress Editor work for editors

Essays

Water, sand, and societal change

What do you know about fluid dynamics? I’ll be honest, my understand is lay at best. But what little I know is still instructive for understanding ~~SOCIETAL CHANGE~~.

Advertisements

As in restaurants so in news

Notes on dynamic meters

A new type of paywall model is emerging: The dynamic meter.

Advertisements

Fairmount Park Trolley Trail (history and maps)

Nestled within West Fairmount Park–at times mere feet away from the Schuykill Expressway–there exist the remains of a sprawling and once-vital transportation system of the 20th century.

Advertisements

On Henri Rousseau, age, and naivety

A 2009 visit to the Barnes Museum in Lower Merion introduced me to Rousseau, whose style I instantly adored and whose story I came to respect.

Advertisements

Receive a weekly email with newly posted content

  • About one email per week
  • Includes original posts, curated links, and book reviews

Thank you for subscribing.

Something went wrong.

Send this to a friend