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Posts tagged ‘Internet’

What Does It Mean to Affect?

Standing in a flowing river, I find a pebble in my hand. I float along, the pebble is lost and the river changed forever.

Something given, something changed forever.
This is affect.

cloud scribble affect illustration

Credit: James Jean

My prompt this week was something new. “How OurPangea affects the culture of the Internet”, it was also daunting. Should I start with OurPangea or should I start with the culture of the Internet?  I chose neither.

To me, this prompt was asking about affect, not OurPangea and the Internet. It was asking, how does one affect another? How do You affect the Internet? How do You affect the world?         Questions all equal, all interesting.

Questions all pointed towards revealing a sacred principal of OurPangea – You affect.

In your big actions and small actions. In public actions and private actions. You affect.

This basic idea courses through the DNA of OurPangea. Our goal is to show people that every little thing they do affects; and their affects are their contribution, for better or worse, to their community and beyond.

This is affect.
Something given, something changed forever.

Browsing OurPangea, others give to you. Engage with OurPangea, you give to others and OurPangea will be changed forever.

This is how OurPangea affects the culture of the Internet.
This is how you affect your culture.
This is your affect.

An Introduction to OurPangea Part 4 of 4

How Can OurPangea Impact Your Life?

city globe villa vista hike panorama

More than machinery, we need humanity. More than cleverness we need kindness and gentleness…do not despair… you the people have the power to create happiness, to make this life a wonderful adventure.  Let us use that power to unite.  Let us fight for a new world, a decent world that will give men a chance to work, that will give youth a future and age a security.

The Great Dictator, 1940

While OurPangea might have begun for all of us as blind ambition and a desire to make the way we use the Internet better, it has changed into something more significant for myself, Noah, Rick, and our entire team.

In an environment where the idea of a Facebook collapse sounds more than hypothetical and we seem to be closing in on the next great iteration of online change, this might sound counter-intuitive:  OurPangea is not about Facebook.  It is not about Google+, Pinterest or online advertising.  OurPangea is not even only about online networking.  It’s about using the tools we have to improve the world.

OurPangea is about bringing everyone together in one place where we can comfortably and easily share our unique opinions, perspectives and ideas and see how that influences our communities.  It’s about facilitating introductions for powerful collaboration.

I can understand if everything we’ve written sounds naïve and deluded. But this is something I have come to personally believe in strongly and if you’ve met me I hope you agree.   From a more personal perspective, moving around so often isn’t easy.  It’s hard to establish an identify in a new place and even harder when you’re couch-surfing without a home base. There are many times I thought to myself how much easier it would all be if I had a place like OurPangea to understand the people and environment around me without having to literally walk around the city.  It would have made meeting people, finding activities to get involved in, and staying connected to my friends back home quick and painless.

One of the most inspiring speeches I have ever heard was delivered in The Great Dictator.  It inspired me to realize that our dream of unity is not a new one. 70 years ago there were people who believed it.  We are still striving to realize it, and now we have the Internet to focus that dream.  We finally have this great and powerful machine that we can build OurPangea on to create an environment where we can all collaborate and discover why we are important to each other, we finally have the power to realize this dream.

For us it’s no longer a company mission constrained to a company, it is a personal mission.  And we believe in all of us together.

Finding your Freedom on the Internet

Expression is the most important freedom. This is not just the most important, this is the ultimate freedom.

power ethernet cord fist red green freedom

Freedom of expression implies much more than the name suggests. To start, we need to define expression. Within this argument we are defining expression as the ability to translate an idea into reality. This can take the form of moving, cooking, reading, writing, etc. It implies that you are able to use what ability you have. Now, and this is important, free expression does not deal with the moral correctness of the action or thought. In fact, this is where the argument gets interesting.

The Freedom of Expression is ultimately something that only society, that is other humans, can grant. Society, of course, needs some underlying structure and leadership unless we want total chaos. The Freedom of Expression does not presuppose that we shouldn’t surrender certain freedoms to maintain stability and security. I think we should. But we should also do more to encourage this freedom. Not by breaking down laws, which is bad, but by giving us better tools to express.

In the end we are shaped by our surroundings. This means our environment, history, and society shape who we become. What this also means is our surroundings shape who we are not. When we talk about the influence of our surroundings we are talking about the influence it has over our perception. Perception shapes our reality, and without free access to information our reality is locked in. Without access to all information our perception is constrained. To a degree, however, this is a good thing. It allows us to fit in with our surroundings; a lush forest dweller’s (think Oregon) mindset in a desert will not suffice, the opposite also being true. So it’s not that this influence is bad, it’s just that it is not as open as it can be. If our surroundings shape our perception, the way to change our perception is to change our surroundings (or intake). You can move to a new state or country, you can find new friends, or you can find new information.

Now, changing your perception might put you at odds with your local society or culture’s standard, but not to fear. If we had someplace on the Internet where we could interact with entire communities of people we might be able to escape from part of that. At the very least it would help us find people who share similar ideas, or are willing to help us explore them. What we need is an audience.

What I want to do with OurPangea is make it easier to find an audience. If you were able to find the people who were interested in same things faster, you can escape the “physical prison” of your surroundings. I am not saying we should substitute life with a virtual world, I am saying it is a good medium to share ideas with people who are interested. The Internet is for the mind, but it should also serve as reminder that we are also our bodies. I think sci-fi speculation often forgets this, without our bodies we don’t have our mind. They are permanently intertwined and we would do well to remember this.

If we use the Internet to create a collection of audiences (a.k.a. communities) we should be able to reach this level of freedom. If we were able to access a larger variety of communities we would be able to find people who support similar mindsets, not just the ones around us. Instead of conforming to the society around us, we will be able to find the communities that will support us. Not everything we think is right, morally or logically, and open discussion can only help. If we had an audience to discuss with we would be able to define our reality as we like it, not as our environment dictates. Of course, at some level our environment will always dictate who we are, but it’s nice to think we can have more a little more say in the matter.

If everyone were able to express themselves freely, either their actions, ideas, or art we would see a very different world. We will still be governed, but we will also have more freedom. Without stability (government) we lose the ability to be free as we will all operate out of fear. If we were able to find our audience we could be more free. We would be able to express freely alongside everyone else. We would be able to act without judgment and think without fear. We could choose to be more open minded.

A Community Network is designed to open up the world for you. If a Community Network existed, you would have access to everyone. You would be able to find the audiences who support you. You would find the people who will support your freedom of expression. You would gain a new freedom and through it the life of your choosing.

5 Reasons We Need Freedom On the Internet

  1. Everyone deserves to have a voice. Censorship is a sure way to stunt growth and creativity.
  2. The Internet is an unprecedented fountain of knowledge. Knowledge is power and education gives people the opportunity to improve their own lives and the lives of their children.
  3. The Internet encourages competition and competition breeds innovation.
  4. People should be free to share what they most care about and learn from the passions of others.
  5. The Internet is a place where people can come together and stand up for what they believe in. It is a tool that has the potential to bring about a new age of collaboration in its true form.
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