Not every 'influence' needs or even wants to be visible and transparent

I’ve known of Flattr for a long time. Last fall I was part of the group that converged on sending them some grant money ( This morning I activated my flattr-account, input some funds and started flattr-ing stuff that others pointed me to. They actively pointed out that they ‘produced’ something of tangible size and ‘value’. I guess. Otherwise they wouldn’t have submitted it?

Flattr’s a great thing. I. Do. Think. So.

BUT. Not every influence or thought wants to or needs to be ‘clickable’, transparent, and trackable. It doesn’t need to be shone a light on!  It is not ‘valuable’ enough to merit submission, according to the author, who is the one that have to submit. At least I don’t think so. Not that it wants to be ‘secret’. It merely doesn’t want to be clickable, to stand out, to ‘brag’ about its own (potential) merits. Because it’s small, and part of a pattern, a (possibly persietent) flow, but not valuable on its own.

There’s lot’s of intelligent writing on the pro’s and cons of making every word in a text into a hypertext link. Or Lessig’s text ‘Against Transparency’ in the Atlantic (no url provided here… but, surely, google is your friend if you think it’s worth checking out?) I kind of appreciate the not-so-very-linked texts more and more. And. But this short breakfast reflection isn’t entirely about that part but about my feeling that I don’t want or need for every ‘submission’ to be countable as a statistic in a list of flattr-submission, or posts on a blog or heart ticks in an endomondo-diagram or check-ins on my private google latitude dashbord. “Life’s bigger and more than a series of numbers”. More happens. Most of ‘what happens’ isn’t accounted for explicitly and ‘individually’, either because we can’t track it yet, or because we don’t want it to be tracked or counted, ok?

I will surely write and contribute and participate as I like to think I do at times, at work, in life, at home, connected at times, disconnected at other times. Sometimes I might submit something actively (to flattr, or just point to something via twitter, or…). But more often, what ‘I do’ or think or say to a collegue in a corridor conversation or… will neither be submitted, nor understood by the algorithms of the great machine. But still, hopefully, provide some value  at the time, in its context etc.

This will be my first blog post in a while. Surely not worth much. But I will submit it to flattr, to celebrate the great morning of a great day that I’ll mostly spend in the garden, tending to (removing!!!) last years oak leaves and my aging SAAB 9-3, while keeping wife and son happy with cheers and cooking etc :)


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Peter Nõu @dkmj