nyan. that is a very good word.
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The downside of following “everybody”

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Crowd

On Tuesday, I mentioned the “tyranny of extroverts,” a set of expected behaviors assumed to be superior, simply because they are louder or more visible. And since all of the tech industry extroverts are at Burning Man this week being as loud and as visible as possible, I figured I would continue writing for the introverts who stayed home.

Part of the tyranny of extroverts is the allure of “everybody.” Extroverts, and those who aspire to be extroverts, are driven by everybody, as in “everybody will be there,” “everybody wants to go,” and “you’re going to miss everybody.” Everybody is their god and their raison d’être. The only justification they need for doing anything is knowing that everybody else is doing it, and since everybody can’t be wrong, then it must be right and good and incredible, because everybody is proof that it is

But for introverts, the allure of everybody is a false promise, an illusion of good times that doesn’t bear out.

The first false promise of everybody is that it must be an indication of quality. There is a belief that if everybody is there, then it must be good. But mobs and riots are also made up of everybody, and clearly they’re not good. The problem is that a crowd of everybody is not a discerning judge. Any number of negative factors can cause a group to reach “everybody status,” and then the cycle of growth becomes self-fulfilling. Instead of going along with something, because everybody else is doing it, one should question if the crowd is truly an indicator of quality, or if it’s just a pack of followers.

Another problem with everybody is that it is extremely oppressive. Even the most well-meaning crowds largely strip you of your free will. Everybody demands that you conform to the culture and social norms of the group. Crowds expect its participants to behave in a certain manner and believe in its ideals. When you choose to become a part of everybody, you lose a part of yourself.

Many people are drawn to everybody, because they want to be part of something bigger than themselves. For people naturally wired to plug themselves into the energy of a crowd, the feeling of being connected to everybody can be euphoric. But for people not inclined to give in to crowd dynamics, the promise of euphoric participation is never fulfilled. Introverts tend to feel alone when they’re lost in a crowd. Watching the people around them plug into the group is both strange and isolating. Instead of feeling inspired as part of something larger, many people end up feeling disposable and insignificant amidst the sea of everybody.

In order to participate with everybody, one must be willing and able to interact at scale. Everybody demands that you be open to everybody else. And since everybody is not a discerning judge, this means taking the bad with the good, and there is almost always lots and lots of bad. But it’s not everybody’s job to worry about that. The only thing everybody has to do is provide you with a critical mass of people.

As I mentioned earlier, connecting to a crowd can be euphoric. For extroverts and people who are naturally inclined to do this, the allure of everybody is real and powerful. I imagine my extroverted friends at Burning Man are having a wonderful time. But for those of us who value comfort and intimacy, everybody has little to offer. If you feel this way, don’t worry about missing out on everybody or where everybody is going. While everybody can be fun for some people, not everyone is meant to follow the crowd.

[Image Credit: James Cridland on Flickr]

Francisco Dao

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Francisco Dao is the founder of 50Kings, a private community for technology and media innovators. He is a former leadership columnist for Inc.com, a lifelong entrepreneur, author, and former stand-up comic. He writes every Tuesday and Thursday for PandoDaily.


    






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robopanda333
3976 days ago
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wow... this is great. this is dang close to scripture
Walla Walla, Washington
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Imagining a modern moonshot challenge

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stepsMost people think the United States reacted decisively to the launch of Sputnik 1, but Eisenhower initially responded nonchalantly to the news. Three years later, America was still trailing the Soviet Union when the USSR again beat the United States by putting the first man into orbit. Then, in 1962, President Kennedy gave his now famous “Moon Speech” declaring that the United States would “become the world’s leading space-faring nation” and, in a move that would be unthinkable in our current age of political grandstanding and unbridled hubris, Kennedy admitted, “We are behind, and will be behind for some time,” but promised we would make up the difference and reach the moon by the end of the decade.

Following that speech, the United States kicked it into high gear and fulfilled Kennedy’s vision, putting Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin on the moon just seven years later. Perhaps even more important than the actual moon landing was the audacity of the goal and the inspiration it provided. A generation of children would dream about becoming astronauts as the nation came together and literally shot for the moon.

Have you ever wondered what we could accomplish today if we were faced with a moonshot-style challenge? What if, instead of working on ways to mail more underwear, the collective will of the Valley joined Elon Musk in trying to land a person on Mars? Imagine the possibilities if we all focused on coming up with technology to scrub carbon dioxide from the atmosphere or a cost effective way of desalinating water so droughts became a thing of the past. Could we rise to the challenge and accomplish the goal by the end of the decade as our predecessors did?

Whatever you think our moonshot challenge should be, imagine the beneficial byproducts that such a concentrated effort might produce. The Space Race mobilized the government to increase spending on scientific research and pushed a generation of students into science and engineering, launching a mini Cambrian explosion of new technology. Microprocessors, the foundation upon which our entire industry is built, were invented during this time. Aircraft technology rapidly developed during this period but has slowed to a crawl since then; we still fly 747s, a plane launched in 1970.

Even the Internet was created during the space race era. Considering these were just the byproducts of the primary goal of reaching the moon, and were accomplished using slide rules and six-function calculators the size of typewriters, it’s difficult to fathom what might be produced today if the technology sector accepted a similarly major challenge.

As an industry, I wonder what catalyst we would need to rally us toward such a goal. I doubt we would pay much attention to any political speech the way the nation responded to Kennedy. I suspect the days of having a national vision are behind us. We’ve become far too cynical for that. The United States doesn’t even have a functional space program anymore and since the government is no longer in the business of setting audacious goals, the reins of innovation have fallen to the hands of the private sector whose primary purpose is to make a fast buck.

I realize this is nothing more than a daydreaming exercise, but given the tools we have today imagine what we might achieve if we were presented with a modern moonshot challenge. I wonder about the possibilities. I wonder how it would change the culture of the Valley and of society as a whole. And I wonder if, like our predecessors in the 1960s, we would actually get it done.

[Illustration by Hallie Bateman]

Francisco Dao

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Francisco Dao is the founder of 50Kings, a private community for technology and media innovators. He is a former leadership columnist for Inc.com, a lifelong entrepreneur, author, and former stand-up comic. He writes every Tuesday and Thursday for PandoDaily.

    


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robopanda333
4069 days ago
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we have another name for the time of "the space race" it is called "the cold war".
the US didn't respond to kennedy because the moon is so cool, but because we needed to show up those "damned commies". Just what do we have to prove now? to whom?
Walla Walla, Washington
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AirAware

13 Comments and 27 Shares
It ships with a version of Google Now that alerts you when it's too late to leave for your appointments.
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robopanda333
4095 days ago
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this is hilarious. i wish i was doing my hw sp next year, i so want to see these in action.
Walla Walla, Washington
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12 public comments
cailloux
4094 days ago
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This would help with the fact I never judge how long it takes to get anywhere.
Atlanta, GA
AndyG1128
4094 days ago
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Doesn't this already exist? There are plenty of people who hover around me and tell me I'm wrong all the time...
Nashville, TN
Romanikque
4094 days ago
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Fan freeking tastic!
Baltimore, MD
8bithack
4094 days ago
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best XKCD in a while
C-Bus
kaushal
4094 days ago
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The business plan would be that people would have to pay to get the UAV off their backs :P
Earth
adamgurri
4094 days ago
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excellent.
New York, NY
stavrosg
4095 days ago
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Whoa!
Rodos, Greece
MourningStar888
4095 days ago
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WRONG!
Fredonia, NY
Dowser
4095 days ago
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Time for Kickstarter!
Trosa, Sweden
Michdevilish
4095 days ago
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Wrong!
Canada

Poke

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you don't look like you worship satan at all

The poking was my wife’s idea.

Woof!  You guys sure liked yesterday’s 15% off coupon code, didn’t ya?  I haven’t had to package up this many books in one day since my last Kickstarter.  Well, I’m keeping the OHCRAP code active in the store until the end of my birthday on Wednesday, April 3.   Probably midnight Pacific Time.  Thanks, everybody!  Your help was very greatly appreciated.

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robopanda333
4126 days ago
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omg how cans b gay, you aren't like a freak! this is so amusing... :p
Walla Walla, Washington
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Translation Hacking

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There's been a bit of activity with the translation lately, so I've been working more on the translation tools. Here's real video of the proof-of-concept I posted previously.



I figured it would be a bit rough to use this approach. Unfortunately, anything more than this would multiply the amount of work many times.

I've also discovered there are 34 images on the game discs that don't seem to ever appear in the game. They're not particularly interesting, however.

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healixzero
4131 days ago
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i see it.
robopanda333
4132 days ago
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test sharing
Walla Walla, Washington
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