Limits to Collaboration

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  • Business Limits - There is not enough for everyone. when people have patents, they naturally do not collaborate. They want more market share by exclusion. This is a faulty mental model that presupposes scarcity, when none exists in a Kardashev Scale 0.0001 society (the Earth).
  • Academic Limits - research teams are not in a position to disclose their research publically - until they publish a paper. This means that for 1 day out of the year - collaboration can happen. But the months or years that it took to publish this paper - are all behind closed doors. This is a fundamental flaw in how R&D works, and it is is related closely to the general state of macrosocial non-collaboration. It can be considered a macrosocial disease related to collaboration.
  • Inventor - the basic psychology of an inventor is that 'I can do something that nobody else has done, and I can do it better myself.' This neglects the notion that all innovation builds upon a vast pool of already existing knowledge. At any point in time, there are many peoply vying for primacy in a certain area. The ones that come out ahead are called 'inventors.' This is a limiting perspective. The truth is, collaborating with others could produce bigger results, if one could put one's ego aside to work together. It is common for people to work alone on a problem, thinking that they could solve it themselves. This is a societally-limiting belief, because results can be obtained faster with open collaboration.
  • Open Source as Failure - We have observed projects opening up once they 'failed' in the marketplace. Having recognized no financial or power gain, an author releases a project into the public domain - thankfully still believing that their work can move society forward. It is unfortunate that the opening of the project occurs only when the person 'gives up,' because of the opportunity cost of all the missed collaboration in the earlier stages.
  • We Gonna Make Miyyons - Most people simply say, we're doing a private venture so we can capitalize on it by excluding others from the fruits of our work. This is lame - a condition that continues scarcity-based economics. This means that distribution of wealth is just an afterthought, and in general brings society to a lower level of existence. To recognize that making miyyons may inflict pain on others is an ultimate sign of humility. This is not to say we shouldn't make miyyons, but we should do so by adding value - not subtracting it - from the world.
  • We Gonna Be Famous - Self-determination theory implies that fame is not an authentic driver. Instead, it is autonomy, mastery, and purpose - purpose is the part of being related to other human beings. Fame is nice, but connection to others is a larger driver. By recognizing that ultimately life is about lifting everybody up - one can gain a more balanced view on fame - by appeciating one's self worth more highly without comparing oneself to others.


  • I'm a superstar, others slow me down - This is a condition that does not value cultivation of collaborative skills. Skilled collaboration can leverage the efforts such that 1000x more productivity and benefit can occur.