Nowadays it takes a good idea to become a billionaire. It has before, but the timeframe has never been shorter. The Youtube’s, whatsapp’s and facebooks, twitters and Instagrams weren’t in existence a decade ago. Movies get made telling your story. You go on the covers of magazines as embodiment of the dream. We can all become billionaires with just the right idea and the right attitude.
But more of us start realizing that there is something wrong with this idea. It’s not a bad thing that these people get rich. But to such an extreme height? Some of the ideas are good, but so good that it shifts a small countries BNP to a private institution of just a few people?
I Dream of Patents
It’s the American dream revisited. Don’t we all want to be multi millionaires? But is that really all we dream about? Are we that selfish and self absorbed? Is that the best we can do? I get increasingly frustrated with the flaunting of these success stories with meaningless numbers in media. Are you a success when you sit on your money? Should I look up to you when you clearly do everything in your power to completely own your idea? Are you an example when you take such a big piece of the pie with the circulation of our currency?
Apparently we should and we do! There is a shadow side to this idea based economy we’re in. It is the privatization of ideas. We try the patent the hell out of it. I have written about it before and I will surely write about it again. When you have the maybe naïve ideal of the shared economy, the complete privatization of everything we know is on the opposite side of spectrum. Owning your idea is opposite of sharing it.
But honestly, do you think Amazon should own the patent to the ‘one button buy’ concept? Should Apple have a patent on the visualization of turning your bookpage on ebooks? Are those ideas really that genius? It has to do with the basic flaw in our thinking.
Some of us think our ideas are completely original and have no precedent: a true Deus Ex Machina, the artist in a vacuum. That’s the direction our system could be going. That is bullshit! Nothing we ever come up with is truly original. Everything we think up is always an amalgamation of different ideas and things we have come across in our own lives.
This also applies to our education. Education can be seen as the categorization and concentration of ideas. When ideas are connected it becomes knowledge. Transferring knowledge becomes learning. These knowledge has been passed on from generation to generation. Then we created schools. School is a right in most countries and our children are entitled to it. But as soon as it comes to higher education it has been locked behind the doors of colleges and universities. It also values individual talent and learning over collaboration!
We created a school ecosystem in which some people will thrive and others fail.
Thus knowledge for many becomes locked behind exclusivity, diploma’s, titles and tuition fees. Interestingly enough in recent developments we see that in the working world nobody actually cares anymore if you went to university. This is a sad fact for those who went and finished. But on the other hand it is a good sign. It shows us job opportunities are less likely to stay hidden behind the institutions of higher education.
But the internet won’t stay quiet. Already we see an explosion of how to’s on the web. From wiki subsites to the masses on youtube: from make up tutorials to learn about different chemical reactions we are sharing our knowledge and we have fun doing it. The industry of education is already on the verge of revolution with new ways of learning being developed as we speak. Think a Facebook for learning. Think everyone can be a teacher. More social ways are found to connect to each other to think up ideas and on how to actualize them. And it becomes less important to have a standard narrative for learning. You don’t have to stop after your higher learning trajectory, but can keep learning. When learning is accessible, more people at a later age can still decide to pick up another ‘study’ or another specialism.
The web is also changing what we consider learning. You can laugh at the make up tutorials on youtube, but this is also learning. It’s a very accessible low grade way of learning. Everyone learning any of the Adobe product skills knows they can find plenty on Youtube. Things like these reconceptualize what we consider learning and the sharing of ideas That’s why I love these initiatives that show people are willing to share their ideas.
Tegenlicht does it’s utmost best to bring new perspective to our daily ways of living and thinking about the world. Share these perspectives from different sides of the world, so we can learn and grow.
TedX is a prime example of a different way of sharing ideas. Actually based on an old Greek concept of the Agora orations, Ted X has taken off world wide and is inspiring millions in thinking different about the world and stimulating us to share our knowledge and ideas!
One of the great festivals in Holland. The International Documentary film festival always has a clear abundance of films portraying different lives inviting us to reconceptualize are own. Even those who might not be teachers become teachers by telling their story through the lens. IDFA is happening as we speak so get your program now and see what films you want to see.
One of the many new ways of learning. Start a course or follow one: for free. It’s all about reimagining the ways we learn and absorb information. Memrise is a valiant attempt to challenge the idea of the classroom.
A great center of knowledge and learning already it teaches by sharing. Khan academy is free and looks like it will become quite the institution!
Youtube is not just for entertainment, but also for learning. In one part of youtube you can find a wealth of learning video’s.
Again, it’s not just about these tips, I’m dying to learn new ways to share your thoughts and ideas. You got a tip? then share yours now in the comment section.