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Mixed Mental Arts (Official)

Apr 4, 2017

If anyone doubts the power of Motivation 3.0, they should listen to this episode. In the last couple of months, people from all over the world who have jobs, kids and lives have volunteered to help evolve Mixed Mental Arts and get the ideas that have been trapped in books for decades out into the world. Bryan and I have never met most of these people. Matt Maurer has worked on the website for no money. Nicole Page and Matt "Unicorn" Madonna have set up our t-shirt store and provided endless advice to improve the website. Cate Fogarty has been taking Hunter's wordy ramblings and distilling them into #knowledgebombs that in under 500 words sum up key mental tools to upgrade your cultural software. And even though Brian Otoya makes basically zero dollars he is personally funding ads to drive traffic our way. Chris Price and Jake Brady have stepped in to help teach Hunter how to not screw up the sound. Milk Toast reached out on Twitter and even offered to fly out to LA to help with that. There are a lot of people who are helping out and really it goes to prove something a Ukrainian grandmother once told Hunter: "Everywhere you go, people are nice. Governments are assholes."

This has certainly been Hunter and Bryan's experience growing up. There are a lot of great people everywhere. Are they perfect? Nope. But they all have value and the challenge in unleashing the wisdom of crowds is getting all those people to work together. There's a great scene in the Michael Fassbender Steve Jobs movie where Woz asks Jobs what he does...

Steve Wozniak: You can't write code... you're not an engineer... you're not a designer... you can't put a hammer to a nail. I built the circuit board. The graphical interface was stolen from Xerox Parc. Jef Raskin was the leader of the Mac team before you threw him off his own project! Someone else designed the box! So how come ten times in a day, I read Steve Jobs is a genius? What do you do?

Steve Jobs: I play the orchestra, and you're a good musician. You sit right there and you're the best in your row.

And that, ladies and gentlemen, is the great challenge of the human family. It is not that the wisdom of crowds isn't there. It's that we need to get the orchestra playing together. For too long, we've been waiting for a conductor to come along. We want a leader who will tell us how to play together. And it's time to realize that that leader isn't forthcoming.
Recently, Isaiah Gooley (who I've also never met) wrote a post for that takes the Chinese proverb "Heaven is High and the Emperor is Far Away" and relates it to modern times. ( We have become so consumed with who is elected President or Prime Minister that we have forgotten that the wisdom of crowds comes from us. It comes from the orchestra. And if no one will emerge to play us then we must adopt the attitude of jazz. We play our notes and we listen to what other people are doing and we figure out how to build on what others are doing. The Mixed Mental Arts community is a place for anyone from anywhere in the world who wants to do it. If we get together and start playing really cool music, then more and more people will join us. They'll want to be a part of what we're doing.
If we build it, they will come.
However, the crucial word there is we. Bryan and Hunter have many, many failings. That is the great freedom they have. There's no need for them to worry about trying to seem like they have it all together. They don't. And probably nor do you. In fact, no one does. That's the nature of the world. There are 130 million books. There are so many terabytes of data. It's all far too much for an individual human mind. That's why we have to get together a crowd to solve all these problems. Heaven is High and the Emperor is Far Away. The challenge is in pulling together the orchestra in the greatest improv jazz in history. We're doing that. You should join.
And here is where it becomes important to realize the challenge we face: identity. You have been told stories about yourself. We tell stories about each other. And who we are and how we behave changes often within minutes. We get cut off in traffic and we get road rage. Someone opens the door for us and we feel all is right with the world. We get hangry and become snappy. We have a nap and want to give everyone a hug. And we all have our Fundamentalisms. We have things that trigger us and make us freak out. The challenge for all of us is to say sorry and kiss and make up.
So, let me say I'm sorry. I'm sorry if I've upset any of the people I've called Fundamentalists over the past few months. As I've said before, I'm sure you're lovely people and I could tell many wonderful stories about you. Every hero has a thousand faces. Why did I do this then? Because the world is in the grip of a lot of bad stories right now. And the way you beat the bad story is with better stories. And one story is a variation on the story of that Ukrainian grandmother. Most people are nice but there is a small number of people who are so hung up on their one thing that they are getting in the way of the orchestra playing together. And so, I called them out. Now, it's time to tell a different story. The story of us. The story of that big shared human experience. And that's why us Mixed Mental Artists want to make a series called #CultureMatters. We want to take everything we've learned in over 200 episodes and turn it into a series of fifteen videos that in two to three minutes will sum up everything we've learned. It will allow you to massively update your cultural software and drop #knowledgebombs all across the internet. It will make you an intellectual terrorist.
So fund intellectual terrorism by supporting us on Patreon. ( When we reach $10k, we can make these videos and you can go blow people's minds. And when we shatter those echo chambers, we will unleash the greatest idea orgy in human history.
Oh yeah! Let's get it on!