The 100th Idiot

I sometimes revisit some of my older blog posts. Mostly to feel good about myself but also to hold myself to task whether some of my theories hold water. Most of these older ramblings are just that. Ramblings, but some of them are really spot on. Despite all the negativity of the last few weeks the world is integrating at such a rapid rate that there are truly a dividing line developing between older and younger people. 


Here is “The 100th Idiot” I wrote during my time with Bonnier.  Still holds water me thinks

“100 idiots make idiotic plans, and carry them out. All but one justly fail. The hundredth idiot whose plans succeeded through pure luck, is immediately convinced he’s a genius.”

—Iain Banks, Matter

Back from holiday and I have so many new ideas that I feel like I am in a ticker tape parade of impressions. We were in Turkey, and suffice it to say I was very surprised at how western the country is and how far the Paris Hilton-ization of the world has come. Turkish kids walk around with Ed Hardy T-shirts, Diesel Jeans and Adidas sneakers, making them look like any other American or European kid.

What stuck me is how Webified the world has become, though. I do not mean technology-wise, but socially. The youth of the world, the torch bearers of innovation, are cloning each other at such a rapid rate that we really are moving fast towards a Global Village. I read somewhere the other day that the Age of Invention is however officially over and that we are now living in the Age of Processing and Filtering. We have all the data we need, it’s now just a question of understanding it. And the kids in Turkey have access to the same data as the kids in London, Berlin, Johannesburg or Brisbane.

So where are the truly new ideas going to come from? The people that see themselves as gurus these days are not really gurus, they just understand the info with better developed filters. And what produces these enhanced filters? I would reckon that continuous exposure to information is the growth hormone of natural filters. But don’t tell the gurus that there are a million NKOTB waiting to out-guru them and actually have the competence to do so.

Two social trends in Turkey that really stuck me were the following.

1. The death of the corporation and the global brand. The drop in production costs for anything and the ability to share it instantly has made it possible for a No Name Turkish Brand to outsell any of the global branded products standing right next to it. Yes there are aspirations and the like but brands that try to create an aura of exclusivity are working contrary to the web philosophy of inclusivity. The term “web socialism” is the new BLACK. And as for these global brands with their exclusive business models, well, the dinosaurs reckoned they had everything sorted, but nature had other ideas.

2. The rise of the Global Village based on 15th-century village economies of supply and demand. Cash and currency I reckon will be fading in the next century as the main means of facilitating transactions. What I mean is that the Iron Monger (Metalurgix) pays the Fish Monger (Unhygenix) in iron hooks for his catch of the day. The web will of course facilitate this market place and how it will look, god only knows. But Ebay is already creating such trade-related transactions where cash is only ONE OF MANY possibilities to complete a transaction.

These are just some thoughts that I am having right now. But I have some ideas and I hope that I can be the 100th idiot this time!

Good luck and have fun in the 2nd half of 2009.


The 100th Idiot