Friday, 16 May 2014

Currency is Information

An excerpt from the book Homo Imitans by Leandro Herrero:

In this world, the currency is information: verbal, written or electronic information that flows all around and between us. This is the world of facts, the world with pieces of data or packages of knowledge flowing from one place to another. Homo Sapiens and management love this world. The information is packaged and pre-cooked so that it is digestible, usually presented in PowerPoint dishes or contained in spreadsheet prisons (after all, we call the boxes ‘cells’). Bullet points flood corporate life, encapsulating and summarizing thoughts.

In this world, company visions are presented and declarations of intention made. We ‘send’ guidelines, announcements, directions, pieces of news, congratulations, threats, tricks, explanations on the steps needed to go from A to B and anything else that the label ‘communication’ can accommodate. The ‘organizational logic’ is explained and distributed this way. It travels ‘down’ using traditional communication vehicles (from emails to posters, newsletters and magazines) or more modern media (video, audio or a combination of both).

Formal verbal interactions take place in world I. A significant amount of our time is dedicated to this world. We have ‘collaboration devices’ to facilitate the currency exchange: meetings, forums, workshops, town hall presentations, seminars, webcasts and podcasts. Technology has helped us to communicate in bigger and better ways. Fibre optics can now transfer 10 trillion bits of information per second.

Information can be used, reused, packaged and repackaged. And what’s more, it’s able to reach your eyes/screen/earphones on demand. E-mail is pervasive in this world. The corporate executive or the individual professional is ‘always on’, on demand, connected to a server 24/7. The arrival of a piece of information to your (big, small or minuscule) screen is announced by a blip that triggers a Pavlovian reaction. There is no way that information, the currency of world I, would not get to you.

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