We’re a Niche, We Just Didn’t Know

Why you probably belong to an inter-intellect and why this matters

The Interintellect
May 12, 2019 · 22 min read

By Anna Gát

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Did the series Sense8 sense us…?

While I knew that my experiences, at least structurally, must be very common, the only way in which my peers and I seemed “united” was that we all had to face our challenges alone. Online — yeah, sure — but alone.

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Then something happened.

There appeared a positive, encouraging theme that since then has kept growing and mutating, and bringing a lot of us together in conversation — unlikely companions, from all over the world and layers of society.

Not alone.

I have been watching a new, loose-knit and diverse community come into existence — one that aspires to be selflessly hyper-connected and striving to be fully inclusive and output-oriented.

The I.I. is people coming together online and thinking about more organized forms of exchange, collaboration, and a new type of IRL. It’s a matter of identity to some of us. Encounters have changed lives and careers…

The Old Boundaries Don’t Work and We Know It

What seems to unite the many strands of discourse here is a strong, proactive feeling that the 20th century boundaries that used to qualitatively separate categories of behavior, politics, language, morality, class, etc., simply no longer work. They’re so outdated that we all kind of live our lives completely ignoring them.

Do we want to write things together? Support each other with info, resources, connections? Do we want to create IRL platforms — if so, what, where? … Or are we just happy with and grateful for how things are now?

The New Boundless: What Actually Works

(1) FUNDAMENTALS: knowledge, bodies, ethics, politics

Off-campus thinking

Those around the I.I. show an active interest in transcending traditional disciplinary boundaries — science, design, philosophy, government, etc. — to create new combinations that are more useful for how we actually live, work and think today.

Life literature

We feel responsible for sharing our thoughts with the world in a distinguished form, and are continuously learning how to do this better well beyond the 280 characters.

After-party

United nations of doers

Unmedia

Choice-morality

Feeling well re: feeling well

Re-mapping

We encourage and help each other to travel and form IRL connections as a way to augment and expand our online networks.

“The internet is not enough”

As adults we are looking for new ways to connect face-to-face, and to help one another in this new project of building offline bonds.

The neverviolence

Thinking big

(2) INNOVATIONS: money, education, competition, equality

The “New IRL”

We are suddenly facing geographical boundaries in our quest to connect with each other face-to-face, and a lack of platform to find like-minded peers locally and organize events of connection.

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(Akos Birkas: “Faces”)

Opencircle

Many of us work for projects or businesses that level the playing field in some way. We seem to agree legacy class systems don’t reflect most people’s real abilities, and we feel responsible for lowering entry barriers for each other so we can thrive as a community.

Unbossing

Live-learning

Having come of age on Wikipedia, Quora, etc., the I.I. seems passionately autodidactic, and while some of us have participated in traditional education, we’re supportive of reinventing education systems to create much wider access to knowledge.

‘Competition & Sharing — A Love Story’ ❤

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The I.I. seems to agree that just because at certain times in history the “competition-monopoly-collective” triad described people’s economic behavior well, doesn’t mean these distinctions will necessarily work in the future, and we should not stop looking for better ways to grow minds and businesses.

Sageism

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Self-restarters FTW!

For augmenting our collective knowledge we must both be maximally supportive of young people to self-actualize, and helping and encouraging those who chose or had to leave earlier fields or careers and are now mid-reconfiguration.

(3) CONTRADICTIONS: community, optimism, mentors, hard work

“A community of individualists”

We know that we aren’t subjects to or victims of some narrative — we know that stories are told, heard and perpetuated by people just like us, and that together we can change the conversation to one that encourages the optimism that really moves things forward.

“Bicameral” minds

Whatever traditional field someone in the I.I. comes from, they seem to be thinking across right-brain/left-brain boundaries.

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Teaching the teacher

Being an age-agnostic niche, specialized knowledge is a greater differentiator for us than the number of years of experience.

Realoptimism

We think that progress happens when people work on it, and fairness happens, well, when people work on it.

Working hard at “gentle”

Increments of curious

We seem determined to build our careers, relationships and selves step-by-step, iterating as we proceed, and looking to be proven wrong when needed.

It’s complicated (thank God!)

The I.I. believes people are many-layered and full of promise — creatures who strive to do good, to be useful and to help their fellow humans.

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