Where tech aligns

In the swarm, everything is pattern matching

I see the circle game, but you see a white supremacist hand sign. I see a good-faith disagreement between two deeply held positions, but you see a mask that has finally slipped to reveal the grifter beneath. I see a successful move-fast-and-break-things entrepreneur with an impossibly successful track record of moving fast and breaking things, but you […]

I see the circle game, but you see a white supremacist hand sign. I see a good-faith disagreement between two deeply held positions, but you see a mask that has finally slipped to reveal the grifter beneath. I see a successful move-fast-and-break-things entrepreneur with an impossibly successful track record of moving fast and breaking things, but you see a get-high-and-break-things man-child who has made all of us unwilling participants in his midlife crisis.

You see a New York Times crossword puzzle, but I see a… swastika? Yeah, this is happening. It’s happening all the time about everything.

You and I both see the same discrete, tokenized image plus a bit of metadata (title, description, domain name) — a small bundle of content in a uniform stream of such bundles. It’s stripped clean of any sort of original context and injected into the reality where we live — my house in Texas, your apartment in Philly, her brownstone in Chicago, their row house in San Francisco. 

We each freight the same ephemeral digital file with all of our geographically conditioned, subgraph-specific baggage, and then feel like of course we have decoded it properly. Everyone is mainlining patterns into their own personal context by way of the screens, and in this environment, all sense-making is pattern matching.

But pattern-matching is what animals do. Bilateral symmetry equals another animal facing me, possibly a predator. A knock at the door equals an intruder in the den. A swift movement of a small child equals prey.

Control the patterns, control the pattern-matchers. Control the patterns, guide the swarm.

A group has two options for making this reality work for it: 1) seize control of the patterns by any means necessary, or 2) decentralize the graph so there’s no single point of control for any large number of patterns.

I’m in camp “decentralize,” but will settle for camp seizure if that’s the only other option available.

Lots more where that came from.