Digital Beard Stroking: Money and Power and Money and Power and Money…

Money and Power and Money and Power and Money…

In case it’s not abundantly clear, I like to write about efficacy a lot (that and motivation.  We’re allowed to have obsessions, aren’t we?).  I’ve considered several aspects of effecting some sort of change in the world around us (be it the real or the virtual) and how that affects us, but I’d like to check out a different facet this time.  Specifically, how we interact with other people with that efficacy and power.


I will never stop being excited when I can use “Affect” and “Effect” in the same sentence.

While Parasocial Interaction is a thing that I’ve looked at (plenty), it’s still framed in the isolation of the individual and one’s attempt to interact with a largely vacuous world.  This context is the only one I’ve written from.  There are, however, other perspectives and aspects of efficacy when it pertains to other people.  This aspect of power is part of an extremely complicated and nuanced framework of social interactions that determine the nature of our hierarchy in civilization.  I’m not going to get too deep into the concept of privilege, but this is a related concept.  Who we are and where we’ve come from inform what we see and how we act in a profound way.  It also impacts our understanding of others and how we subconsciously view them.  This, when combined with a “grass is greener” mentality, can often result in all sorts of strange perceptions and projections between social groups.  We often think that those who are more successful are more happy, despite plenty of examples to the opposite.  Likewise, folks who pine for simpler lives often envy those who have less.  The great circle of “wishing we were someone else” continues as we’re fundamentally incapable of comprehending what life is like for people-who-aren’t-us.  This inability to comprehend how the other half lives is not only a pretty notable problem for cross-community interactions, but it also speaks to the curious nature of our relationship with power itself.

I don't think I need to really show you an example of this in the real world right now.

I don’t think I need to really show you an example of this in the real world right now.

People’s perception is relative (beat that dead horse pretty thoroughly), and so we are always struggling to notice and comprehend our current position in the world and how it’s come to be.  The halcyon days of the past seem so easy, since things are hard now.  We used to be so happy even though we were broke, when we now are still unhappy but have money.  Our tendency to identify the things that are different and overlook things that are the same is, again, a facet of how we seem to be wired as humans.  It’s also a huge bummer in terms of taking stock of our lives and our efficacy in this world, especially when there’s always so many other people who are utterly powerless by comparison.  One rarely takes a moment to think about how much power one has in one’s life and how much that’s changed over the last X years.  Often times, the slow, steady exchange of Freedom for Responsibility feels like a single continuum with no other factors, but that’s just another example of oversimplifying and forgetting the myriad of other attributes of our lives.  As we become more invested in our professions, many are empowered in subtle ways.  Years of experience start to build into negotiating power when looking at other positions.  Tricks of the Trade coalesce into a coherent and comprehensive skillset that start to become impressive differentiators.  Making those professional and social connections build an extensive network that expand one’s horizons and opportunities.  However, rather than identify all those things, we’re often stuck on the little problems, the current irritations or the last mistake.


I think the parallel to video games is probably pretty clear, now.  It’s so easy for us to get wrapped up in the minutiae of our advanced characters/levels/etc. that we often forget to take stock of our rich, complicated builds and experience in these games.  Hours and hours of gameplay and fun sometimes blur away when we start to focus on the small details or problems.  Likewise, our ability to notice the smallest logic or visual bug in a game, after becoming so utterly inundated with the high quality of the rest of the game.  It’s fine to get focused and wrapped up in things, but it’s also good to occasionally take a step back and look at the totality of a thing and consider all the other people/parts/etc. out there.  There’s a lot of positive feelings to be had if we let go of the negative perspectives long enough.



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