Borges and the Internet  “B” spaces

Digital economies, collaborative consumption traveling to new dimensions?

Edgardo Noya
One day, Jorge Luis Borges received the book Libro de Arena (Sand book) from a stranger. Very soon, he realized that every time he opened it, he landed on a different page, and that the page never repeated itself. He must have had the feeling that the text was slipping from his hands, with no return; he might have thought that that was the infinity.

Prone to these mysteries, Borges had already come across the Aleph, an object where everything that was and happened in the universe could be instantly seen.

Both the infinity and the simultaneity come together in both texts of the author.

Every now and then, since 1984, my father and I discuss these two stories, mesmerized by Borges’ ability to lead us into other dimensions.

Odoo text and image block

Up until some years ago, our conversations dealt with imaginary situations, however, during one of our chats, my father suggested that the Internet (which connects everything) is a “Borgean Space”, where infinity and simultaneity converge. We called it a “B” space (in memory of Borges).

Along this line of thought one might wonder: What is it like to live in a “B” space? Is it possible? If in such spaces we can have access to people, knowledge and things, in instant manner, how can we decide on what direction to go among so much abundance? How can we “surf” the net? Where should our attention be focused and consequently, our actions?

An answer might be: let ourselves be lead where our curiosity, love, passion or mind may take us, and allow ourselves to flow. If so, how could we adapt ourselves to live in a Borgean space?  We could act at two levels:

1) individually, being aware of this new dimension which is collective and hyper- connected and learning how to interact there.

2) as a group, by building collective structures such as communities, ecosystems and organizations, integrated by hyper-connected individuals, who focus on a common purpose. These spaces would allow them to meet their goals while adding value to the collective structure, by streaming all available resources in “B” spaces.

You may think this is a utopia, but if we look around, we will realize it is not. This is a phenomenon which is emerging among individuals and groups. In other words, we are beginning to “surf” “B” spaces.

But, where to start?

Perhaps our search could start at sites or “network organizations” which are already running and allow individuals to express themselves, interact, help and cooperate. Sites where there are modern explorers which are becoming aware of this new reality, travelling the infinity and simultaneity, paying attention to concepts such as reliability, reputation, intuition, standards, while learning to connect, share, partner and combine; creating and building collaborative environments where one can still be autonomous and make progress, though setting limits and rules as a group.

Reliability of “B” spaces (connecting people)

Rachel Botsman is one of the explorers. Her analysis has yield clues as to how “B” spaces are transforming the concept of reliability, while, depending on our approach, reliability accelerates the construction of “B” spaces, rapidly connecting strangers.

In the following TED talk (2012) she tells us about her findings, trying to respond to queries such as why someone receives a stranger in their home, trusting the comments made by other strangers

 

In addition to Rachel Botsman, who is pioneer in the field of “collaborative economy”, there are other people exploring this new reality.

One such explorers has reflected on how abundance is being generated and has approached it with concepts such as “Open Source” and “Social Production”. We will talk about this in our next post.

Edgardo Noya  
Director of Solutions