Capitalize We

February 18, 2012  |   Posted by :   |   Agile,Authority,Language,Tribal Learning   |   0 Comment»

In digital terms, culture is an application platform consisting of a core operating system kernel and associated components, modules and low-level applications.  This implies We can hack culture by screwing with these cultural platform elements.

The operating system, components, modules and low-level applications of culture are actually our stories and narrative. Thoughts become things, and stories are highly organized, memetic compositions of related thoughts. Stories are culture-things with structure and content. Changing culture is an exercise in selectively hacking specific stories— the essential modules and components that constitute the core cultural platform.

(You can learn more about culture, story, and language here.)

Computer programs are written in a programming language. The programs are stored on digital media. Cultural programs– stories— are written in a natural language. The stories are stored in your head. The stories are the cultural software in your head. The language you use determines how the stories can be told.

Well understood stories get memorialized in writing– in language. Languages have a vocabulary, a syntax, and some rules and conventions. Modifying language is a way to make a change (to refactor) all the stories in that language.  To hack culture, hack the stories. The most efficient way to hack all the stories (at global scope) is to hack the language.

There is a rule in English that says We capitalize “I” and not “We”. This implies “I” is more significant than “We”. Anyone can chose to capitalize We. In so doing, “We” gets on an equal footing with “I” in sentences composed in the English language. By capitalizing We, the signal in writing is that “We” is at least as big, and as important, as significant, and as valuable as: “I”.

“We” is just one example. Anyone can choose to hack language and see what happens. If that language hack of yours comes into widespread usage, the language changes globally. As language goes, so goes story and narrative. As story goes, so goes the culture.

To hack your culture, hack your language.

Capitalize We.


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