I do not, in general, gamble with my wallet. I have been to a casino once, and it wasn’t what I would consider all that entertaining. I played a few slots and sat down for a few rounds of Blackjack, but the thrill of a big win just wasn’t that prevalent or enticing. It was a little bit like attending a movie. I payed 20 bucks to get in and it was worth about 2 hours of fun. Even with my somewhat limited understanding, I knew that any time that I placed a bet, I should consider the odds and made sure that I had at least some chance of winning.
I’m not sure that we are doing that now. I’m not sure that we are placing bets that have any chance of winning, or at least that the odds are so infinitesimally small that only the enormous payout keeps us interested.
We are backing the horse of collaboration and openness.
We are backing the horse of hyperlinks instead of heirarchy.
We are backing the horse of the individual rather than the institution.
We are backing the horse of social inclusion rather than social isolation.
We are backing the horse of co-creation instead of ownership.
And we have only seen it work in fits and starts. We have seen backlashes. We have seen movements against each one of those precepts. And yet, still we bet. We bet with our every action that it will be better than working against what we believe. We bet in these ideals despite the entirety of human history going against them. We bet on these new phenomena because they make sense to us in a world where very little does, but there is no groundswell. There is no overwhelming mass of people that are pursuing these in political, economic or social environments except to co-opt them and make the payout that much less for any real change.
Are we backing the wrong horse? Is there any chance that all of this is just a bottomless pit of effort, money and words? And, are we becoming addicted to the idea of hitting it big if we just try enough times?
Perhaps we are just playing a huge game of blackjack with the world. If we get 21, we move forward. If any other combination of cards falls before us, we lose big. I’m not sure I like our odds.