EVERYTHING IN MODERATION. Including moderation. That's a wise old adage but Jim Rutt takes it a little further.
He thinks that a considerable chunk of humanity's ability to perform collaborative sensemaking in the digital era depends on the specific moderation protocols used by our primary communication platforms.Jim
is a former CEO, Chairman of the Santa Fe Institute, podcaster & complexity theorist. Sometimes I call him cantankerous although that might not quite be the right word. He has a certain buoyant persona that reminds one of American frontier life, six-shooters and pragmatic old coots panning for gold.
Hi. I'm Layman Pascal and I recently hosted
Jim's show with him as the guest. I even parody his voice a little.
We did this so that people could hear some of his ideas about how the Twitter corporation (and, by extension, social communication networks generally) could function better.
What are the protocols, procedures and principles that might help these digital behemoths actually function as generative engines of human freedom, innovation and collaborative public intelligence? If we don't figure that out then there is a strong chance that these unprecedented tools will slide us into suppressive administrative control or the anarchic whims of billionaires. A third attractor appears necessary.
We hear Elon Musk opining (although not necessarily acting on) free speech absolutism. We hear pseudo-liberal organizations calling for the eradication of dangerous misinformation and outdated attitudes. We hear the old pseudo-conservative refrain that people should not be exposed to any content that distracts them from their good conscience about patriotism, breeding and serving traditional hierarchies. The voices raised on the issue of WHAT can be said are numerous.
Jim, on the other hand, has put a lot of energy into thinking about HOW we say things.
Different kinds of decorum principles. Different rules for different spaces. Different financial incentives. He's got a lot of specific proposals that, although playful, could drive the conversation forward.
That is -- assuming the people in charge have an actual vision for human well-being that they are serious about.