We all have to negotiate the way the world sees us with the way we see ourselves. The more articulate our view of ourselves is, the more we’re able to do that in a frictionless, constructive and emotionally intelligent manner.

My hypothesis is that mediums have the capacity to tilt us in either direction – and allowing for new points of balance to be written and re-written. Some mediums keep you the same you always are, and some let you change, and be a generative change agent.

The way we see ourselves is often abstract, and the ability to structure, visualize and articulate requires creativity. It is epistemologically opaque. The knowledge from the outside world offers little help in this maze of self. Hence therapists, coaches, leadership camps, retreats, and solitude trips who force us to power through discomfort and articulate how we feel.

heuristics

A work in progress model of how we might plot mediums with this line of thinking.

Mediums in the top of the modes are open ended, unstructured and allow–or ask for us to invent–new ways of showing up. That is a complexity-prone space, where mediums seek emergence. A reminder that in complex systems interconnected overrules design. Over here there is no wrong answer, these are prompts and not graded assignments.

The bottom is the rule based, close-ended environment, where ways of showing up are limited. After we remove all of the mediation, silicon based mediums–computers–only allow us to show up as ‘1’ or ‘0’. This cybernetic determinism is the reason we lose meaning when we use these mediums and repeatedly step into the mud of unintended consequences of well intended technologies.