I guess we've all spent time working with people who decide which of our ideas they get to choose. Funny thing is, a lot of those people aren't happy. They aren't the free-thinkers.
It's quite the power game – and creates a co-dependency. You get trapped in a cycle of ups and downs, success and disappointment.
Trying to please people relentlessly until they feel like being happy, until they get it. And then it all becomes their idea.
It takes a lot to break out from it. Because the less creative person can make out that they're the practical one, that you'd never succeed without. And you become really on edge, because you're never sure whether you're going to need to defend yourself. It can fill you with self-doubt.
But when your energy flies free, you learn not to land and get trapped with people who seek to control you.
If you think about it, we do live in a pretty mean-spirited era, where artists are kept in check, told what they can and can't do, and at what suitable times. They're rarely paid, cleared from the streets and squares and subways, and treated like undesirables, like beggars. And the thing is that most accept it, like some nostalgic penance along the way to becoming a 20th century hero.
But we're now in the real 21st century. Not the 20th century hangover.
The years from 2017 to 2020 are packed full of artistic, expressive, creative talent that is going to explode, politically, socially and economically onto the scene, as a reaction to the collapse of the media, economic and political structures that are no longer fit for purpose.
And this new era of artists – these New Stars – won't project themselves through the media of today. They'll just project through the people they know.
Today there aren't mechanisms in place to account for the contribution of these people, there isn't an intellectual property structure in place that helps them establish rights to their contributions, and there's no really scalable way for them to earn money. All this is going to change in the next five years. But we gotta work at it.
A huge number of people are going to feel a lot closer to real artists, and feel part of what they are doing – they will seek out that energy, an articulated rebellious optimism.
At the same time, the technocratic era where software engineers who aren't very social get to design awkward but addictive social systems that entrap us all – anti-social media – is going to fade from dominance. We'll soon realise we can all socialise with each other however we like, work with whom we want, and create our own spaces to do so. We get to run our own social processes.
You're gonna start to be able to flow through the world and just get involved with things, in ways that you can stamp so they're attributable, accounted for, recognised.
And people will want to acknowledge your contribution, because it will be a quality mark on their own work. They'll want to pay to have you as part of their world. Because paying people in some form will become a sign of respect and love, not a thing we seek to avoid.
And by deciding it's good to pay each other again, instead of avoiding it, we'll start once again to provide credit where it's due, and begin to remember what real economics is about. Appreciating what value is, what it takes to create it, how it's accounted for, and why it's important to share it.