You’ve been the bartender in a small town saloon for over 20 years. On a hot Friday afternoon, the butcher, baker, and blacksmith come in for a drink to kick off the weekend. Conversation is natural, with each man venting gripes from his trade. The butcher mentions that he needs a new cleaver, and the blacksmith asks a few questions before offering to forge one for him. The baker, a bit drunk by now, insists that the butcher let him try to fix his old one first. Ever attentive, you change the conversation to your sourdough recipe, asking the baker if he knows why your bread won’t brown.
Sensing a person’s believability in a field is something we do naturally. As the conversation in the above example changes from meat carving, bread making, and steel forging, we know whose words carry more weight. The drunken baker may have been sure of his plan to save the butcher’s knife, but nobody else thought for a second that he’d know better than the blacksmith.
Believability is difficult to scale. This becomes a problem when resources (clicks, dollars, prestige) are misallocated. We can laugh at this blunder when an instagrammer harvests likes from her photoshopped (unbelievable) lifestyle, but the situation becomes dire when this bug is exploited by expert provocateurs.
The internet is still in the dark ages. Digital communication and the idea-marketplace are compromised. If you’re sick of the echo chambers, extremism, likes, upvotes, and emojis, then you’re in the right place. It’s time for us to step up our game and show the world that something different is possible.
ps. ok, we can keep the emojis 😉