Monday, November 19, 2001

In an on-line world, we're all serfs, but at the same time we're somewhat autonomous serfs. We don't have the power of big B corporations, but at the same time we have the freedom to ignore them more and more as the 'new paradigm' asserts itself and the Gonzo Sub-culture begins to wake up. Someone suggested starting a small 'b' business with no marketing department. Sounds great as long as there is someone out there looking to buy the small b and is able to make connection with the point of sale (whatever that might be). Various folks in this forum have characterized 'B' business, or Corporations, as having none of the desired human qualities (heart, love, sex, etc.), and further that they are obsessed with control. That's certainly true. The bigger any entity gets, the harder it is for a small group of people (upper management) to control it. I think that's exactly what happened to the USSR. We did not win the cold war. They lost the cold war because they could not micro-manage a macro economy. Upper Management (e.g. The State) cannot decide how many tractors to make and expect that exactly that many tractors will be both needed and wanted. Large corporations cannot predict with certainty the direction that numerous variables of thier business will take, and many of them, in a sort of pointless desperation, try to make RULES, like some pre-teen Prince who doesn't yet understand that while everyone in his immediate presense will jump when he says to, his Kingdom at large will not. For example, just because Buggy Bill up there in Redmond Washington tries to round up the entire human population under the sway of Windows, there are those of us out in the Kingdom who recognize that the Billionaire is Butt Naked, and that this cockly little upstart, Linux, has picked up a nice smooth river rock to begin the "David & Goliath" games. So, of course corporations have "No soul, no heart and no sex" (although they are not above using references to these qualities to sell thier products), because they are too busy trying to keep their basic act together, and because they are led by people whose primary motivation is to look good at the end of the quarter. As for the latter, there's nothing wrong with trying to make money... after all, the global economy would crumble around us if no one stood to gain anything for their efforts. Like the workers credo in the old USSR, "They pretend to pay us, we pretend to work". I think that larger organizations are trying to stop time in it's tracks, and find formulas for making profit that are immutable, and further I think the "Gonzo" movement is just another way of saying that human culture, including it's economy, is a constantly changing thing. The "Stop the World" folks are on a boat in an ocean with neither motor nor sail and are in for one hell of a ride when the wind starts blowing. Those who can't keep up with change want it to stop, but it only stops once when you get off (and I'm not even certain of that). It certainly does not stop when you get on. At birth you are totally wired for change, ready to accept the world as it is fed, as it is "marketed", to you by your parents and all the others you encounter along the way. I've worked at those companies someone mentioned that allow no personal reflections of any sort in your cube, as if it weren't de-humanizing enough to put us in those cages in the first place, but I take the "no humor allowed" rules as definite signs of a corporate culture that is totally out of touch and out of control, and enforcing nonsensical rules on employees is merely a form of denial on the part of management (we can't control the world, but goddamnit we can control our own cubes!).

So wake up! Smell the coffee (roses, fresh air)! Look the day in the eye and ask it to show you something new. Actually it will show you more new things than you can take in all at once, but if you'll just remember to get out of the way and let it all happen you'll experience a lot of cool new stuff.


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