Displaying items by tag: prosumers

Waves and wave conflict. The industrial wave vs the knowledge wave is a battle being fought not just in modernizing third world countries but even within developed countries. And you and I are mostly unaware that our worldviews are out of date and part of the problem. We arrogantly live and evangelize with models of how things work that may be grossly incomplete.

For instance, the Tofflers devote much of the book to the failure of our economy and models to include 'prosumption' - the vast wealth created by the unpaid labour of individuals, from stay-at-home parents to bloggers sharing their knowledge. I would add to that all the failed entrepreneurs trying to improve business with their investments of personal cash and time. You might also add every Google or Bing search that adds to the knowledge wealth of Google and Microsoft. Your query tells them what you're working on - information that could be incredibly valuable at both the personal and aggregate level.

Like the growing income gap, the growing knowledge gap between those with an industrial orientation and those with an information society orientation threatens all sorts of pathologies and social upheaval.

The Tofflers suggest a bright and wealthy future for all if the world can just maintain some level of amenable synchronization between the waves i.e. the information wave doesn't ruthlessly exploit the industrial wave and the industrial wave doesn't resist the knowledge wave with thoughtless or religious reactionary forces.

Having just watched 'All Watched Over by Machines of Loving Grace', I'm now aware of the hubris shared by so many knowledge workers (including me) about the value of our models of knowledge networks. It was that hubris that resulted in the financial models responsible for much of the last financial meltdown.

If we don't approach the idea of knowledge management with more humility and recognize the huge contributions of prosumers, we are going to get more big mistakes. And that will only build more resistance to the knowledge economy and exacerbate the wave conflict.