Multiplicities of humans organizing via horizontally stratified rhizomes will overtake all existing centralized institutions within our life. That’s a heck of a sentence, so let’s start by breaking it down before we get into why these rhizomes will take over.
Multiplicities are a large number of something – anything. In this case, large numbers of humans will organize into rhizomes. A rhizome is a concept based on a botanist term for an underground plant stem that extends horizontally to grow new roots and, at times, stem up to surface as a new, connected plant. The roots continue to extend horizontally, and the roots can form nodes, which send stems up to the surface. These roots and nodes can connect with other plants, or just continue to grow. This is in contrast to many plants which dig roots vertically to reach nutrition deep in the ground.
Like vertically reaching plant roots, most organizations are structured in vertical hierarchies. Institutions generally have owners and below them managers and below them workers. The workers do the actual building – the actual creating. Bosses and managers set direction and strategy for the workers.
There are many centralized institutions. Centralized institutions are any system where there is an oversight committee or gatekeeper in place to monitor and regulate the inputs or outputs. For instance, academia is centralized because there are federal and state requirements for both students and teachers dictating what must be taught and which students to allow. In banking, there are rules that dictate the flow of money and credit and interest rates charged. Even news organizations can be institutions if they have to comply with government regulation of content, or their ownership’s regulation of content.
In the next 50 years, these institutions will go away. The bosses and manager system will be replaced by less expensive and more-easily reached systems. Like the rhizomes, systems will be right under the surface, with quick access available for individuals. The future systems will be less expensive because people will be able to share their ideas directly with other people. Overhead will be eliminated. Also like rhizomes, the systems will be organized horizontally rather than vertically. This means that people will not organize themselves according to traditional hierarchies.
Traditional hierarchies will be destroyed as more people have access to more systems and more individuals. Consumers will have more options for the content they see and more choice in the source of products and services. Likewise, producers will have more options to create products and services for others. The big institutions are the current gatekeepers. Hollywood producers control the content that makes movies that people have access to, rather than it just being up to the people. News companies control content in newspapers, TV, and top news websites. Venture capital companies determine which companies get funding and, through funding, the ability to scale and reach a large audience.
While gatekeepers are incentivized to find great sources (people don’t want to watch, let alone pay for, bad movies), they aren’t as efficient as the completely free market, and they can insert their bias. The metoo movement started as a revolt against Hollywood gatekeepers that acted creepy because they held so much power over the careers of aspiring actresses. Political bias has had individuals (Gavin McInnes) and companies (Gab vs Microsoft) all but shut down by suppliers powerful enough to operate as gatekeepers.
These systems will be global in reach, and local in their availability. By eliminating these gatekeepers, more people will be able to reach an audience, regardless of their politics or gender. If no one gives them attention or money, it’s because no one thinks the individual is worthy of attention or money. Step your game up.
Technology such as Bitcoin and blockchain are making this possible. Bitcoin has the potential to eliminate banks and venture capital. This will allow more people to have access to funding and reaching customers. Not only are they means of removing institutional middle-men, but Bitcoin enables a lot of these other applications to work and to tear down institutions as well. By eliminating financial gatekeepers, individuals or companies can then bypass the corporate gatekeepers that would otherwise make them stick to their rules and boundaries in order to reach an audience. This is the case for modern movie and journalist content as well as products and services in the market.
Because of the burdensome overhead, there aren’t practical options to reach target customers. Music and movies must please the masses of they are going to make a profit. By removing the overhead and giving producers direct access to consumers, producers can profit if there are a small number of individuals that are interested in consuming their products – and those customers can be located anywhere in the world. This allows for more direct access to what consumers want, and what producers are good at creating.
In summary, multiplicities of humans organizing via horizontally stratified rhizomes will overtake all existing centralized institutions within our lifetime. This will happen because:
- We will have more access to choices as funding becomes available. Through funding, we will be able to reach customers on a small scale, internationally.
- As gatekeepers are eliminated, these will open up new job opportunities and business needs. These will not be filled by central institutions.
- Technology, such as Bitcoin and blockchain, is enabling the overtaking of middlemen.