Day 1085 and Openness

I make a living pricing risk. I do that through investment but also a few highly specialized skills I deploy on behalf of founders of startups.

The shortest articulation is that I am very good at spotting subcultures and helping them come into the mainstream and find a market that will pay them.

Not all markets are liquid and lots of arbitrage happens between types of capital. Sometimes a culture doesn’t survive contact with the mainstream. Sometimes that’s not a bad thing if the culture can’t self police.

There have been three core subcultures that make up my world and have been core to the history of the American west. Hippies, hackers and hipsters. I contain bits of each. I made an early career in prestige industries like media, fashion, and cosmetics (hipster) but I was born into a Silicon Valley family (hackers) and raised by a counterculture mother (hippies).

I’ve got that particular syncretic experience that so typifies “Grey Tribe” as our values have often been at odds with institutional power but we are perfectly fine with wider coordination mechanisms being chosen at different levels of abstraction. This is fancy speak for we like markets but don’t seek them for every problem as trust is a personal choice.

I am feeling as if the openness of my tribes is under attack because signaling mechanisms are breaking down. Seeing bad behavior is always upsetting. Lots of groups are seeing enemies on all sides and sociopaths seeking power. It’s a bit depressing. All of the nodes of our network need to do a better job at signaling that some risks are unacceptable. You need to maintain openness but not so open your capacity to judge risk is affected.