A Push to Play (A Severed Head of Yesterday)

‘A Push to Play (A Severed Head of Yesterday)’ 2016 — a collage foray into individual play

This is a quick foray into how technology may change everything, and yet, exonerate us from nothing.

Regulatory economics used to mean a sense of level playing fields and giving everyone an equal shot in the game. At least in theory, though the last mile was always fraught with who should carry the universal service obligation in actuality. And there, the mix-up begins of who wins and who loses out in the longer term — long enough anyway for it to matter to those that have the power to change life on the ground, and those that have endured long enough to not see the ground change for them.

Economics itself has lived and breathed through various vices of conception and re-direction. At a broad brushstroke, micro- and macro-economics make a distinction between market and players, and how the rules come into play. It is easy to look at a separation of powers, and roles (!), and believe this delivers a certain stability and check-ability, but we can forget that not everyone plays in the same way, and inherent playroom in any system means a dynamic can push any sense of ‘level-ness’ to excess distortion.

Ultimately, we only see where things went wrong, when they have gone wrong. Perhaps a most telling example is the statuesque carved heads for which Easter Island remains famed. Such great monoliths of power and bearing stand in countryside that still carries the scars of competitive play — as severed heads of yesterday. Equally, we see seeds dormant in the ground that spring to life when moisture hits arid plains. The sense then, that level — quasi blank — playing fields are perhaps a modeller’s aspiration to deal with broad brush economics on a purely surface level comes into play.

Quite how today’s accelerating forces of change and re-direction push (through), no one can be entirely sure. There is a point of understanding that technology provides both the impetus and perhaps harbours the downfall of global economics as we have understood it to date. But, something else is happening, namely, the bigger stretch between organised technology ubiquity preventing us from car crashes in the future (thanks to failsafe ‘human-free’ systems of transportation), and; the increasing awareness and exuberance towards blockchain technologies, that ultimately decentralise to a level of putting each individual culpable human back to the driving seat of whatever role and power they assume. Such a tug-of-war is bigger than market share index or prediction and vastly new to us all.

‘A Push to Play (A Severed Head of Yesterday)’ is the title of a collage created by the author, whilst experimenting with chiaroscuro sketching and admiring the dark and light accomplished by Caravaggio’s ‘Rest on the Flight into Egypt’ where an angel plays the violin to soothe the travellers on an unknown journey. In an age where institutions themselves feel the acceleration of change all about them and within their own confines of agency and accessibility, the sense of life calling above the parapet of level playing fields is strong. It is the same life that can create new paradigms and go beyond a ‘top-down’ or ‘bottom-up’ effect that we have grown so used to in regulatory economics and global expectations. The fact that an individual can show, tell and do in a way that is physically tangible, may mean we may enter an era where coding our future goes beyond new business models that disrupt existing players, and perhaps leads us to a new understanding and fulfilment of our human potential. Caravaggio inspired by innovative use of dark and light palettes, and, although we may be getting used to machine learning and data planes that look at a great deal, we will still find those severed heads of yesterday — monuments to ambition — and seeds of dormant growth that will surprise us and remind us, how the individual matters.