Ming the Mechanic:
Float

The NewsLog of Flemming Funch
 Float2005-03-17 13:59
7 comments
picture by Flemming Funch

Dee Hock Interview via Synergic Earth News.
You can probably remember the days when a check would often take weeks to find its way through the banking system. That was called "float." This float was used as an early form of venture capital. Now, stop and think about other kinds of float. Think about information float (this is what Beck is speaking about): if you go back just a few centuries, it took, for example, almost a century for the knowledge about the smelting of iron ore to cross one continent. That brought in the Iron Age. When we landed on the moon, it was known and seen in every corner of the world in 1.4 seconds. Think about technological float: it took centuries for the wheel to gain universal acceptance. Now any microchip device can be in use around the world in weeks. Think about cultural float: it used to take centuries for one culture to even learn about or be exposed to a tiny bit of information about another. And now anything that becomes popular anywhere in the world can sweep through other countries in weeks. Consider space float: in just one long lifetime, a hundred years or so, we've gone from the speed of the horse to interstellar travel. People and materials now move in minutes when they used to move in months. And even life float - the time it takes to evolve new life-forms - is collapsing with genetic engineering. What all this means is the loss of change float - the time between what was and what is going to be, between the past and the future - so the past then becomes ever less predictive, the future ever less predictable, and everything is accelerating change with one exception: our institutions. There has been no truly new concept of organization since the ideas of nation-state and corporation emerged several centuries ago.
That's probably about right.

But, now, *float* was a lag between when something supposedly happened to when it actually happens, and, in particular, the advantage somebody can have from the in-between state. You put a check in the bank, and at some later point the money becomes available. And in the meantime the bank has some extra money available. And the person who made out the check has the money still available, even though he apparently has paid you. And they can do stuff with it, even though it in principle isn't there.

Dee Hock is trying to make some other point there, of acceleration. He's more talking about lag than about float. Really, the float thing is more interesting in itself, I think. Like, I'd say there's a life float between your birth and your death, which we certainly get a lot of milage out of. From the perspective of the evolution of nature it might be more interesting that we move on to the next, slightly improved, generation. Whereas, for us, the interesting part is the float in-between, not the end point.

If you travel from one place to the other, the in-between part is the float, if you use it for something. And maybe the journey is the best part. If we could teleport from place to place, there'd be no float, and we wouldn't experience journeys the same way.

Lots of things in our society are based on the advantages we gain from a float. Lots of economic activity is just that. You can have a job mainly because there's some space in between some kind of manufacturer or provider and their ultimate customers. If the owner of the operation could get rid of you, they probably would. But you earn a living from the steps in-between.

You can enjoy a movie or a book because there's a lag between the conception of that work and you "getting" the result of it. If you could just swallow a pill and get it all at one time, you'd be missing out on the real enjoyment, which is in the float, rather than in the result. I once took a speed reading course that allowed me to read 200-page novels in 15 minutes, with greater retention than before. But it was no fun at all, so I dropped the technique.

To be a float, the lag must be a good thing for somebody. Sometimes it isn't obvious. In the old days, where people had conversations over snail mail letters, it would maybe take a letter a week to reach me. That might make me impatient, or on the other hand, it might give me breathing room, as I'd have no obligation to write my next entry before I've received the next answer. I could get a lot of things done in that time. And I'd treasure my letters more.

So, in the speedy internet and cell phone age, there's much less float available. So, despite the obvious advantages of more instant communication, we're missing all the stuff we could do with the float or in the float.

It is in the spaces in-between stuff that life often happens. In the gaps, in the cracks. The good parts often happen as side effects. What happens in the periphery might be as important as what happens in the focus of attention. So, it is important that we don't weed out all the gaps in the name of progress. Or there's no float for life to happen in.


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7 comments

19 Mar 2005 @ 05:09 by RatcliffeBrowse @67.102.172.19 : The value lies in the journey Ming the M
[trackback]: Ming the Mechanic: Float: Dee Hock is trying to make some other point there, of acceleration. He's more talking about lag than about float. Really, the float thing is more interesting in itself, I think. Like, I'd say there's...  


21 Mar 2005 @ 15:21 by Quirkeboy @209.92.185.199 : Speeding up..
Another problem that this acceleration causes.. without being able to easily predict the outcome of the future.. you have a hard time seeing the effects of your actions.
We have thrown ourselves into this industrial age.. and because things change so quickly.. we will be 10 steps down the road before we realize the wake of destruction we may have caused to other people or the planet. We put alot of faith in scientists to predict the effects of our actions.. but we have to wait to find out if their correct.
What Im saying is.. it seems with the lack of lag time.. the evolution of an innovative idea has changed. It used to be an idea would come up.. someone would invent technology based on the idea.. it would become slowly accessible to the general public after testing its safety.. and probably the effects would be observable before the invention's widespread acceptance or dependence.
But NOW.. with less lag.. its easy to see ourselves in a situation where an invention could become accepted and DEPENDED upon on a global scale before we know the consequences it has on the bigger picture.
We're pretty cocky when you think about it.  



24 Nov 2005 @ 00:01 by jonah @203.206.115.209 : speedind up nailed it
so lets see if we are flaoting or sining that also depends on scale,global or local and the bad or good news is its global ,thus resistance..peacefull loving forgiving even patriotic resistance is finally being heard this means the system to vent disapproval yet works and satan proves an adept at meeting the needs of creation and incarnation ..one nation under god the one gods Sovreign United Nation ,you have witnessed its report ,you have tasted gods grace the sun calls whatch out ,,normality will shortly take a well deserved 1000 year sabbath. the dreaming time ..pole shift.though man may avoid sabbeth god wont and when the servant of even the least ..god take sabbath .the spoild child revolts,,not this time please.when is precicelly known since fatima .the last bird flue ,the cure is simultanious,syncronistic world wideconcecration of russia ,remember its way was smoothed by the jeanpauls russia belongs to S.U.N.on behalf of our lady of fatima and the rosery,of russia by the boundry and intent of our 1917 declarations what of father pio what of the many of the fathers greater glory destroyed ,lost invaded so far ..i write till i cry then i stop ,,reason it out there is enough for all we just want to be to build a sustainable ,self suporting,,from day one..alternative for those seeking that god ask them to proove ..we shall buy back our gods lands and creations .if one will pay 10 for the dead tree i shall give the 20,nno,iwill rent the live tree from you by the leaf ,by the o2 that it creates ,,know that burning one litre of fuel removes the o2 from 10,000 litres of air,one cent on fuel pays for the whole thing...but i on my gods behalf ie the only owner of the enslaved tree as fellow bonded unto god speak that her o2 keep us alive ,know o2 content has fallen22 to 17 percent ,this makes you feel tired ,but you arnt tired i am as also is your,our,,my god rest my true rock rest my sure foundation rest the only peace,,indeed the origonal,who create the ABorigonal,the Alfa and the Beta
Origonal the one truth ,the one good the one all loving .all serving all peace the unman,ifested that manifested ,as all servants ,allways present in every moment beyond name yet all names..calls self me ,refers to self as ,i am being right now but for how long ,who for ,who to impress..as satan proves daily fear does work ,does god care any more ,what are your fears ,forget them you hear fear or love not at the same tim but one by one as you set your mind to it,,the it and folks im not it nor can any man or indeed any created ,,grace from god alone,the mw of we ,the all one of alonethe i am this to the i am she really is  



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