Trimtabs

I don’t think a day goes by that I don’t encounter or hear about
some nasty or absurd bit of bureaucratic/governmental non-sense. With
media people talking to other media people who are speculating on what
might or might not be true or relevant and an ever-increasing wave of
right versus left propaganda filling cyberspace, it’s just too much.
And when it comes to contacting me directly, there must be more
productive and satisfying avenues of expression than just passing the
stuff I agree with on to ten people under the threat of having the sky
fall on me. Come on—who writes and reads all this stuff anyway? I guess
I do, or I wouldn’t get so annoyed at it.

So
like it or not, I am ‘in’ the conversation about what’s going on in my
world and through the technology of modern communications can listen
and speak with thousands of people (if not more) who might be as
annoyed as I am. But as Buckminster Fuller used to ask, “What can an
individual do?” His answer was to ‘be a trimtab’, analogous to the
small tab-sized rudder on the back of the enormous rudder on a great
ocean liner—when the tribtab turns, it uses the resistance of the ocean
to create the force/energy to turn the big rudder of the ship.

I just finished reading a book that has been around for a while called The Cluetrain Manifesto…a
brilliant and highly readable vision of what is really going on beyond
the technology of the internet and how this space has more to do with
re-discovering (or some might say creating) who we are than it does
about information and the latest advertising. I not only agree, but
think this is the challenge for all of us who care about the future and
want to be more than spectators. Basically, the authors are
highlighting that markets are just conversations—and I would go further
to suggest that life itself is a conversation.

If we look at it that way, we might see that the power of blogging
is that we have a voice in the conversation. The only question is
whether anyone is listening. We have the leverage of all of us becoming
trimtabs. I have the view that blogging may be a new arena for action
in the form of committed conversations on subjects that matter to us.
As I enter into this new arena, I recognize I am both a latecomer and a
beginner, and I am looking forward to engaging with other people who
think about and care about our culture and our historical blindness to
possibilities. Hopefully, through discourse, we can all participate in
bringing forth a new market for older people…. a marketplace in which
who we are is more important than how old we are.

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