Jim Gilliam tells how the internet saved his life -- literally! -- and how unprecedented connectivity is shifting the global community in chaotic, exciting ways. Jim Gilliam's book is "The Internet is My Religion" (http://goo.gl/sXA8Ze).
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Transcript - So I grew up a Christian fundamentalist but simultaneously this whole like online thing was happening and I was just really entranced and sucked into it as a teenager. And over the course of the years I had all kinds of medical problems the result of which was I needed someone else’s bone marrow and someone else’s lungs in order to stay alive. So quite literally people connected are like in my body and that was a pretty major thing for me. Trying to understand what that meant, understanding what that meant for my faith and the spirituality around it. So I started a whole inquiry of what does this mean for my life. Like what is possible when all of humanity is connected? What does it mean for what I’m supposed to do while I’m here? All the things that religion traditionally provides for folks I found that I had this new faith. And new faith and it connected to humanity but didn’t know what that necessarily meant for what the purpose of my life was. And what I came to understand is that there is something unique and special about every single person. There’s something inside of them that they are meant to create. And it could be really hard to figure out what that is but when you do and you have the guts and the determination to actually make it happen it’s the most extraordinary thing any human can do. And if everyone is doing that, if everyone is fully unlocking all of that potential inside of them then that becomes God. That is how we can be the greatest God we can be. And that’s what’s guided my life since then. And I wanted to share it with folks. I think one of the big challenges that we face as humans is how to make connected humans be greater than the sum of their parts. It’s – you can see it in like the inefficiencies that emerge even in sort of large organizations. Bureaucracy, government. Like as people come together it frequently leads to less things getting done rather than more things getting done. And so we haven’t figured out how all of that works but that is the great challenge. That is what we should all strive for. And we’re starting to see new models emerge online where they operate – where groups of people operate in a more collaborative but also competitive kind of way. Open source software is a great example of this where the coordination costs have come down dramatically. Like I don’t have to ask for somebody’s permission to be able to fork somebody’s code and make my own version of it. Whereas traditionally collaboration requires a bunch of people to get into a room and just all work things out. And that doesn’t work when it’s a thousand or a million or ten million people. So the great challenge for us is to figure out what are the ways in which very, very large groups of people can accomplish things that were never possible before. Read Full Transcript Here: http://goo.gl/x2cEsn.
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