Timed, not Tamed

everybody will be rich for fifteen minutes

Posted on July 1, 2018

Timed Not Tamed

Destiny is not predetermined, predestination does not tame randomness, intelligent designs do not remove uncertainty and getting things done involves risk. Fame, power and wealth are accessible, but the more individuals succeed in becoming famous, powerful and rich, the less awesome they look.

Everybody will be famous for fifteen minutes? Andy Warhol did not invent a celebrity, but he did name it. He was right. Everybody can be famous online: counting clicks, likes and emoticons. Everybody with a smart phone, an iPad or a laptop at hand can gamble on becoming famous. At least for fifteen seconds, for fifteen hours at most.  

Everybody will be powerful for fifteen seconds? We have not invented democracy, but we have routinized it. All voting citizens in democratic societies are powerful once in a few years, when they cast a vote for somebody else. If their candidate wins elections, he or she will be powerful until they vote again. When they are powerful for fifteen seconds, fifteen minutes at most.

Everybody will be rich for fifteen minutes? We have not invented markets, but we have digitalized them. More individuals in more places are richer for longer than ever before. Everybody (well, almost everybody) can gamble at crowdsourcing or investment banks, microcredits or public projects, creative jobs or sharing platforms. Somebody can be rich for five, fifteen, or fifty-five years. But nobody escapes risks. Risks – like love, death and taxes - are timed. But not tamed.

Haarlem, July 1st, 2018