Symbolic Interactionism – meaning arises out of interaction with each other a.k.a. When ideas have sex

Just watched Matt Ridley’s optimistic TED talk on the power of exchange, relating law of comparative advantage to the realm of ideas and meaning. 

 I have been musing on social interactionism since my first sociology class, because the idea of meaning created through interaction resonated in my mind.  Made me curious about the impact of many-to-many communication made possible by Internet, digital media, and peer to peer technology allowing a never-before-seen-in-human-history volume of interactions.  What does it portend for meaning?  Ridley sees it as the exchange of ideas (or as he puts it, when ideas have sex and reproduce) creating greater prosperity a.l.a. Ricardo’s law of comparative advantage.  Pretty compelling argument, makes me believe that rise of collaborative consumption and other altruistic notions made possible by crowd, network, p2p, is the result of our ideas having sex.

Mainstream business institutions woefully behind the times

Just saw Botsman’s point of view on how human behavior is being changed by technology and evolving from hyper-consumption to collaborative consumption,

 because of peer to peer technology, unresolved environmental problems, global recession and renewed focus on community.  It’s a brilliant talk and provides a new insight into the appeal of SaaS.  Also has me thinking about other products that have require high investment and large idle capacity and how mainstream businesses likely don’t understand some of the human behavior behind the trends.