Some people don’t like hype. Some people are hype-phobic. At the slightest drop of hype, the person becomes skeptical, and will have no part in whatever is being hyped.

If NewRealism is realistic, then surely: It must include the value of enthusiasm.

Enthusiasm does an ass-kicking good job of moving us from one place, to another place. NapoleonHill did a great and convincing job demonstrating that enthusiasm works. Trailing behind him are a river of folk copying his pattern, and it’s taught far and wide today as well.

It’s important to note that Napoleon Hill said we need controlled enthusiasm. But he still said “enthusiasm.”

PostModern rejection of enthusiasm is the post-modern rejection of modernism. People aren’t enthusiastic because “there ain’t nothing to be enthusiastic about.”

We disagree. Enthusiasm, and it's little brother "hype," are honored creatures in the world.

It’s true: Hype is not enough. But the thing is, nobody is saying that it is enough. The argument against hype concludes, “Hype is the enemy.” The argument for hype is not “Hype will save the world,” but that (something) is necessary, and in order for (something) to succeed, people need to get excited about it: Hence, hype.

Few argue “All you need to do is believe our hype, and everything will be okay.” (The exception being: “Believe in this song of Love, and everything will be all right.”) People create hype to get you to do something after you’ve listened to them. They want to you to join them, build something, and change something. It is the after-effects of hype that they are interested in.

When one group doesn’t like the effort, that is when they call “hype,” and criticize hype in all forms. But it is not a legitimate complaint. The legitimate complaint is to criticize the results of the hyped action.

See also:



Let’s try everything!

We can’t try everything.

We should think it through before we try.

That’s why we never try anything new at all. Ever.

Is that so?


Hype is a mechanism of action.

Within our own individual minds, we frequently hype a positive outcome that we want, in order to get ourselves to do something. We can tell ourselves, “Wow, wouldn’t it be great if foo?” And as we imagine it to ourselves, our mind stirs, and our mind collects and focuses.

That is, hype and enthusiasm are machinery for concentrating energy to effect change.

The same thing happens at the level of the society. People stir a hype to influence the HiveMind to take (or at least accept) a certain course of action.

The fallacy of carefully thought out action:

Many people mistakenly believe that all actions and decisions should be overt and consciously elucidated before a change is made or an action taken. This is (presently, and perhaps forever so) impossible; There are countless decisions being made in countless realms, and new realms are constantly being created. The times change more swiftly, and rain ChangeFailure upon any system that would try to organize it all.

Within your own mind, only a very small amount of thought is actually governed by carefully controlled thinking. And even engaging in carefully controlled thinking reveals a universe of perplexing possibilities- IdeasLikeStarsAndSymphonies.

There is a universe of thought. It’s subjects include observations of physical things, emotions, intuitions, memories, ideas, and pattern. All of these dissolve into still other things upon analysis. Basis is indeterminable, the ConservationOfRationality reigns supreme.

So do not be swayed, and don’t believe that all actions and decisions should be overt and consciously elucidated. Every society has to decide what’s up for vote (AboutVoting,) and every mind has to decide what it will think about, and of those things the mind decides to think about, it has to decide what it will put under rational constraints (checks of logic,) and of those things it puts under rational constraint, it needs to decide what inputs it will feed to the logical system. Excellent logic can be given bad data, after all.

Not wanting to be under other people’s control, we can train ourselves to reject hype. If we work in a field, we care more about the ideas under study, than the emotions of the people surrounding us. It is our job then to pass a judgement, and to keep the ball rolling (add to the hype,) or to oppose it. Take care that you oppose this hype, not hype in general. If you oppose hype in general, you will never be able to start an engine of action, based on the conclusions of your thinking. This is the critical mistake of PostModernism.

If someone is enthusiastic about something and I’m simply not, I do not oppose that enthusiasm. If someone is enthusiastic about something (and I’m simply not) and are hyping that something to others, I do not oppose that enthusiasm. If someone is hyping something that feels to me dangerous, I can hype an alternative that I am enthusistic about, providing a choice that way always there, perhaps unrecognized. I do not need to oppose the particular hype or hype in general.

I think the problem of hype is not the hype itself, but the assumption and the pressure that the hype is to be shared. I remember Mattis endless enthusiasm about synchronous editing software. In a minute I can do a mental simulation what a working MoonEdit would do to me and decide that it doesn’t interest me. In another five minutes I can do a mental simulation of the software problems involved and know that it will take a long time to solve all problems involved and decide that - even if it were interesting to me - I can wait and let others do the dirty work. The problem about hype is that other people will not easily accept that their hype offer is turned down, especially in the public.

Ah, well that’s a totally different issue. The issue of expectations of agreement with the hype. I was thinking about this as a receiver of hype and I have a responsibility to myself to do your suggested thought-experiment and act accordingly. As the hyper, I still have a responsibility to myself, this time to recognize that my enthusiasm may or may not result in others deciding to play along with me. As the hypee, I don’t feel much responsibility for the hyper’s unrealistic expectations.

Wavejump (who claims to be Lion's friend) wrote “Reminders: Truths that We Hold Self Evident”, which I found inspirational. (Alas, I can’t seem to find that particular essay on wavejump’s site today). Two of those truths are:

  • Big store culture is monoculture. Monocultures create jaded 20-year olds who, while still young physically, have already seen all the forms they think life has to offer.
  • Jaded people are not engaged, politically or spiritually. Their loss is our loss. We must fight not only commerical forces that foster a jaded youth, but disengagement itself (be it in the form of sarcasm, irony, depression, or cynicism) with every earnest truth we’ve got.

Some people are skeptical of all the hype. Sometimes I can turn that skepticism around, and point it at a more appropriate target. Skeptical of people who say good things are going to happen? Fine, but -- Be skeptical of people who say good things are not going to happen. Be skeptical when people say “You’ll never be able to …”. Be skeptical of the Wiki:FearUncertaintyAndDoubt.

That’s my best friend since 4th grade, Phil. We grew up together, and are still in touch. He’s lived at TwinOaks for a month on their visitor program; He took out a year (year+?) to tour different communes. I think he’s still doing it, actuall y. Not sure where he is, exactly; He tends to be in a different state every month.

I have recently seen several companies start an open, public “discussion forum” on their official website. Clearly the HiveMind is coming soon. This “MUPs” forum isn’t exactly public, but it’s a long way from the typical isolation between engineers and the people who use their products.

“Lego has warmed to the power of the open source ethos. It’s clear to the Lego execs that Mindstorms NXT would be a lesser product without the MUPers’ input. … Opening the process engenders goodwill and creates a buzz among the zealots, a critical asset for products like Mindstorms that rely on word-of-mouth evangelism.” -- "Geeks in Toyland" article by Brendan I. Koerner 2006-01-04.

Many people have a problem with procrastination. Perhaps if we had a better understanding of hype, enthusiasm, motivation, etc., we could fight procrastination better.

Have you heard of the "captology" lab at Stanford? One of the things they do is Psychology of Video Games: We’re studying popular video games to understand what makes them so motivating and compelling. This research is teaching us how to make all types of interactive technologies more motivating and compelling.

"Animals love exercise... why don't we?" … someone commented on “an unhealthy fixation on dignity.” It’s a good thing that never happens around here. :-P

See MutualInspiration, SuperFreudianism


EditNearLinks: NewRealism PostModernism