Flow: A New Consciousness for a Web of Traffic


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Reboot9 presentation on Flow - a new consciousness we are evolving to operate in the world influence by the new web of traffic, not a web of pages.

Published in: Technology, Health & Medicine

Flow: A New Consciousness for a Web of Traffic

  1. 1. Flow: A New Consciousness For A Web Of Traffic Stowe Boyd [email_address] +1 703 966 9854 625 2nd St, San Francisco CA 94107 cc - with attribution, non-commercial use, no derivatives
  2. 2. Re: Me <ul><li>/Messenger from /Message </li></ul><ul><li>&quot;Always beginning, never finished” </li></ul>
  3. 3. Tag Cloud <ul><li>Flow, Web of Flow, Traffic and Flow, ADD, Attention Deficit Disorder, Continuous Partial Attention, CPA, Darshan, Cyclic Time, Flow Time, Lived Time, Information Overload </li></ul>
  4. 4. Apologies and Explanations <ul><li>It was blogging what done this to me </li></ul><ul><li>Fragments, conjectures, cheap shots, biases </li></ul><ul><li>No pretty box with a bow </li></ul><ul><li>“ Speak what you feel, not what you ought to say.” William Shakespeare, King Lear </li></ul>
  5. 5. Human? <ul><li>“ We make our tools and they shape us.” </li></ul><ul><li>Kenneth Bouldin </li></ul>
  6. 6. Consciousness 2.0 <ul><li>How are we changing based on how we are using our brains, nowadays? </li></ul><ul><li>How are our brains changing based on the tools we use to understand the world, and our place in it? </li></ul><ul><li>What do we lose? What do we gain? </li></ul><ul><li>How will sociality change based on using new tools that shape culture? </li></ul>
  7. 7. Starting With The End In Mind <ul><li>A new consciousness </li></ul><ul><ul><li>How we perceive our world and our place in it </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Moral sense </li></ul></ul><ul><li>A social consciousness: hive mind? </li></ul><ul><li>Let’s start with what it’s like and what it isn’t </li></ul>
  8. 8. The Juggler’s Paradox <ul><li>How do jugglers juggle? </li></ul><ul><li>They don’t focus on the balls, the movements </li></ul><ul><li>They unfocus into a field of attention </li></ul><ul><li>A learned state of consciousness </li></ul>
  9. 9. A Note On Martial Arts <ul><li>Learning To See: Field Of Attention </li></ul><ul><li>Shortening the Delay: Catching the Dollar </li></ul>
  10. 10. Information Overload <ul><li>Alvin Toffler’s Future Shock </li></ul>
  11. 11. Are We Being Driven Crazy? <ul><li>Or is it something else? </li></ul><ul><li>Are we learning to cope? </li></ul><ul><li>Are we at the dawn of a new era? </li></ul><ul><li>What sort of accommodations are humanly possible? </li></ul>
  12. 12. Attention Economy/Scarcity <ul><li>“ What information consumes is rather obvious: it consumes the attention of its recipients. Hence a wealth of information creates a poverty of attention” - Herbert Simon </li></ul>
  13. 13. Attention Economy/Scarcity <ul><li>“ The scarcest resource for today's business leaders is no longer just land, capital, or human labor, and it certainly isn't information. Attention is what's in short supply.” - Thomas H. Davenport and John C. Beck </li></ul>
  14. 14. Just Another Failed Metaphor <ul><li>Most attempts to treat aspects of human cognition in economic or industrial terms fail miserably (e.g., knowledge management) </li></ul>
  15. 15. Psychology of Attention <ul><li>Attention is not a single cognitive center, it may be an emergent property of several </li></ul><ul><li>Basically, we don’t know what it is </li></ul><ul><li>And conventional wisdom is likely to be wrong </li></ul><ul><li>Especially the authors of best-selling business books, who largely advance agendas that (hypothetically) serve the goals of business, not people or society </li></ul>
  16. 16. Non-Rivalrous Media <ul><li>We can participate in more than one medium at the same time </li></ul><ul><li>Subject to age and exposure </li></ul><ul><li>Radio (post 1950s) </li></ul><ul><li>TV (post 1970s) </li></ul><ul><li>Movies (that’s why people are talking) </li></ul><ul><li>Flow media (that’s where we are headed) </li></ul>
  17. 17. Attention Deficit Disorder <ul><li>Inability to focus </li></ul><ul><li>Hyperactivity </li></ul><ul><li>Treated (paradoxically) with stimulants </li></ul><ul><li>Is our culture creating ADD in children? </li></ul><ul><li>Linked to video games, watching television, etc. </li></ul><ul><li>Is today’s childhood toxic? </li></ul>
  18. 18. Linda Stone: Continuous Partial Attention <ul><li>&quot;It's crucial for CEOs to be intentional about breaking free from continuous partial attention in order to get their bearings. Some of today's business books suggest that speed is the answer to today's business challenges. Pausing to reflect, focus, think a problem through; and then taking steady steps forward in an intentional direction is really the key.” </li></ul><ul><li>Linda Stone, Inc., Jan 2002 </li></ul>
  19. 19. Contrarian View <ul><li>Flow is a different kind of load-balancing algorithm: not FIFO. </li></ul><ul><li>It’s not about speed, it’s about remaining connected. </li></ul><ul><li>We can't stay head down for hours or days at a stretch when critically important events may be occurring that require immediate response. </li></ul><ul><li>FIFO: ok for super market check out, bad in the ER. </li></ul><ul><li>Reverting to pre-agricultural/pre-industrial consciousness: one eye on the flint we are knapping, and one eye scanning the savannah for predators and prey, chatting the whole time. </li></ul>
  20. 20. The War On Flow <ul><li>Remaining connected is not a disease </li></ul><ul><li>It is a new ethos </li></ul><ul><li>Time as a shared space </li></ul><ul><li>And the psychology to support it is emerging </li></ul><ul><li>Conflict with industrial norms: personal productivity v network productivity </li></ul>
  21. 21. The Buddylist Is The Center Of The Universe <ul><li>I am made greater by the sum of my connections, and so are my connections </li></ul>
  22. 22. Flow Is Generational
  23. 23. Nature or Nurture? <ul><li>We are training our neurons by exposure </li></ul><ul><li>Just like other inbuilt skills that require exposure to certain social stimuli, like language </li></ul><ul><li>Anyone can learn martial arts: just go to the dojo, do what sensei says, and you will be changed from the neurons up </li></ul>
  24. 24. Whatchamacallit? <ul><li>Flow </li></ul><ul><li>Mihalyi Csikszentmihalyi </li></ul><ul><li>A state of consciousness associated with peak experience and effortless involvement </li></ul><ul><li>“ In The Zone” </li></ul>
  25. 25. Flow <ul><li>Flow: a mental state when you are fully immersed in what you are doing, characterized by a feeling of energized focus, full involvement, and success in the process of the activity. </li></ul>(Wikipedia entry on Mihalyi Csikszentmihalyi)
  26. 26. Flow <ul><li>Clear goals (expectations and rules are discernible). </li></ul><ul><li>Concentrating and focusing, a high degree of concentration on a limited field of attention (a person engaged in the activity will have the opportunity to focus and to delve deeply into it). </li></ul><ul><li>A loss of the feeling of self-consciousness, the merging of action and awareness. </li></ul><ul><li>Distorted sense of time - one's subjective experience of time is altered. </li></ul><ul><li>Direct and immediate feedback (successes and failures in the course of the activity are apparent, so that behavior can be adjusted as needed). </li></ul><ul><li>Balance between ability level and challenge (the activity is neither too easy nor too difficult). </li></ul><ul><li>A sense of personal control over the situation or activity. </li></ul><ul><li>The activity is intrinsically rewarding, so there is an effortlessness of action. </li></ul><ul><li>When in the flow state, people become absorbed in their activity, and focus of awareness is narrowed down to the activity itself, action awareness merging. </li></ul>
  27. 27. Four Flavors of Time: Physics, Linear, Cyclical, Flow <ul><li>Physics time: part of the fabric of the universe </li></ul><ul><li>Linear (Industrial) time: Kant/Leibnitz shaped the western notion of time as something we are passing through </li></ul><ul><li>Cyclical (Mystical) time: time as the unending moment </li></ul><ul><li>Flow (Lived) time: we are in the unending moment through which everything flows </li></ul>
  28. 28. Media and Traffic: Different Registers <ul><li>Conversation flows through networks = Traffic </li></ul><ul><li>Media hold the pieces, but not the sense of the conversation </li></ul><ul><li>To understand the sense of what is being said, you have to be in the flow, not outside </li></ul>
  29. 29. Traffic and Flow <ul><li>Social applications: networked and social interaction. </li></ul><ul><li>Social networks = how we discover meaning, belonging, and insight. </li></ul><ul><li>Traffic flow is the primary dynamic of all future social apps. </li></ul><ul><li>Flow: our tools will allow us to unfocus -- a field of attention based on sociality -- and remain engaged in various activities in parallel. </li></ul>
  30. 30. Pushing Dunbar’s Constant <ul><li>Are we augmenting our consciousness through tools (use and exposure)? </li></ul><ul><li>Can we expand social span? </li></ul><ul><li>Can you ‘know’ and care about more than 150? </li></ul>
  31. 31. Flow And You <ul><li>Time is a shared space </li></ul><ul><li>Productivity is second to Connectivity: network productivity trumps personal productivity </li></ul><ul><li>Everything important will find it’s way to you many, many times: don’t worry if you miss it the first time </li></ul><ul><li>Flow is a state of mind </li></ul><ul><li>Flow is a verb </li></ul>
  32. 32. Flow: A New Consciousness For A Web Of Traffic Stowe Boyd [email_address] +1 703 966 9854 625 2nd St, San Francisco CA 94107 cc - with attribution, non-commercial use, no derivatives