Several people have commented asking how they can get into the new networked world. What worked for me was taking baby steps to find my place in communities that mattered to me. The challenge is in our minds though. All we know by experience is the machine world. We think we know ABOUT networks but few of us have been PART of one. It's a bit like bicycles. You can know all about riding a bike but you have to ride one to find out in reality.
So here then is the chapter of my new book - You Don't Need a Job - that offers some easy steps to "riding the bike" of the networked world.
We live in the “Matrix”. We live in an intellectual and cultural context that we think is reality and normal. But it is only a construct. Just as the Medieval World was. There is no harder work than leaving such a construct.
Years ago I had a special boss. Peter was German. He is one of the finest people that I have ever met. Truly himself, courageous, honorable. Special. But I knew that as a 14 year old boy he had been in the Hitler Youth. He had fought in the final days of Berlin and had been a prisoner and DP for two years before coming to Canada as a orphaned refugee. I could not explain what I saw as a dichotomy. But one night we had dinner and a lot to drink and he told me what had happened.
“Robert, I was 14. All I had ever known was Hitler. He and National Socialism was the only world I could knew. He became more important to me as the war went badly and my family were all killed in the bombing. My friends and I could not imagine a life that was different. We were all willing to die for this life. It was who we were. But when it was all over, it was as if I awoke from a dream. Life did go on, even in the prison camp. By the time I came to Canada and started my first job as a dishwasher, I could see that I had been duped. But it took Gotterdamerung to deprogram me.”
All you and I have ever known is the system that we have. Most of us don’t know how deep the program goes.
To go to the New New World demands that we unlearn the lessons of a lifetime. This is why the transition is so hard. We only know the old.
I am not sure that if Peter had read a book like this aged 13 that he would have seen the light! It was only the death of his world that opened him to the new and it was only in living the new, that he could discover and then accept it.
I think that this is true for most of us. The mind is not enough. We have to experience the new many times for it to start to shape us. The process is really emergence!
So, like Peter, we need to live the new to be changed. We cannot will it.
Emerge by living the New
Until now I have made the intellectual case for the new. I hope that I have shown you the reasons for the change that confronts us. I hope I have shown you how the new works and why the old will fail.
But even if I have been successful in presenting the case, I know that this is not enough when a Paradigm Shift is involved. For when we are shaped and moulded by a paradigm, we often cannot take in new ideas. The old paradigm prevents us from seeing them and accepting them.
I have learned that the only way to really “get” the new is to live it. The only way to learn to ride a bike is to ride it. The only way a baby learns to walk is to try it. My best advice is for you to start living the new. Use the experiences of the new to help you emerge.
So here are some practical suggestions for what you can do that will give you new experiences and habits that can help you make this transition.
Join a Co Working Site
This link will take you to a comprehensive wiki that has most of the world’s co working sites. Find out who is close to you.
What you will find is a face to face Connecting Trust Platform. You can still have a job but drop in a get a feel. You can still be a student. You can be retired. What you will find is a diverse community of people with all sorts of skills and with all sorts of projects. It is like Cheers but for work.
You will have skills to offer and so will the other members. There will be cool projects underway that you may fit into.
Most importantly you will experience the new culture of work and making a living. You will start to put in the hours that will start to transform your program.
Take a practical hobby to the next step
Take small steps to make a living by doing things that you love and are good at.
You have always wanted to write a book. You can now self publish easily. You may need help though on a cover, a format, on the supporting web page. On marketing. You may want supporting videos. People at your co working site can help.
You make things. Check out Etsy. You Knit. Check out Ravelry. Here you can find Connecting Trust Platforms that live online.
You have an apartment downtown. Check out Airbnb and see how you can make a little business out of it.
You grow food in a small way. Join the farmers market. Set up a CSA. Buy a greenhouse and expand. Soon local Connecting Trust Platforms like Big Barn in the UK will emerge where you live. In 1980, 80% of North Americans made their living directly or indirectly from food. Today less than 5% do. In 30 years time, my bet is that we will be back to 80%. Food growing, processing, distribution, services will be a major part of the New Economy and will be where much of the income will be found as the job goes away.
You are good with machines. Learn how to use a 3D printer. The new manufacturing will be distributed and local and will use Open Source designs. Mass Customization will be the rule. There will be lots of opportunity for mechanically minded people.
You will discover a world of business out there that is alive and growing. Somewhere out there is a place for you. Try what suits you. This first step will teach you so much.
Learn something new for your self
Take a first step to pull away from the gravitational pull of the machine institutions. Teach yourself something!
What really interests you? You don’t need to sign up for a course. You can do all of this yourself. I taught myself about Physics in my 40’s I was a history major and knew nothing about the rules that govern the universe. I did not need a teacher or a school to become quite knowledgeable.
But if you want, the teachers are there too. The new thing is to be in charge yourself.
And now there are so many new tools that can help you such as the Khan Academy. The web is full of information.
Maybe you have something to teach? Look at how music lessons are now given globally by using tools like Skype. Edit Wikipedia in areas where you know a lot. Tutor kids who are struggling in school.
Education opportunities will explode in the New New World as the old system fails. There will be lots of opportunity as the Priesthood loses its power and the classroom falls away.
Learn how to take charge of your health
The biggest new habit that I have created for myself is that I learned enough about health and diet to change how I live and so reduce my risk of being ill. I still will need a doctor if I am in a car accident, but it is unlikely that I will get a chronic illness.
Nothing that I have done has felt so empowering. When you see your body change. When pain goes away without drugs, you know you are doing something important. My body has phase shifted to a new chemistry. A new Rob has physically emerged.
But changing our diet. Changing how we live is hard and we need to get and to give support. There is a mass of information about all of this on the web and soon Connecting Trust Platforms will emerge here too. Maybe you will start one.
It’s all up to you
In the world we grew up in, we all had to wait for “Them”. We waited for our parents to do things. We waited for our teachers to tell us what to do and how to do it. We waited for our bosses. We waited for our political leaders.
But to go to the New New World, you don’t have to wait for anyone. It’s just like being an immigrant to America in the 19th century. All you have to do is to decide to go and go.
It’s not easy. Being an immigrant never is. But just as the real freedom of America called out to millions in the 19th century and pulled people away from the “Old Country”, so the real Freedom of the New New World calls you.