In times of the classic chain of command, many links wanted more openness. The stronger the participants are concatenated, the longer and more inflexible the companies are moving. With the introduction of computers, the interaction was accelerated by virtuality. However, at the same time, each component was refined more and more and the number of connections increased. As structuring progressed, there was a call for more openness – more flexibility, more contact opportunities and more cooperation internally and externally. Today, digital transformation enables companies, groups and individuals to network globally. In turn, this openness scares many people nowadays – there are no clear boundaries, no opportunities for identification and no framework for action. Stiff does not work and open does not work. What can be done? Let Loose Borders.
Let’s take a look at how stiff openness can be imagined. Let’s work along the words “Let Loose Borders”.
Borders This word defines a system with certain characteristics that makes some feel committed and excludes different ones. The cohesion is determined by common goals, rules, and beliefs.
What makes the difference in this case is the permeability of the borders – closeness by insurmountable dividing lines; permeable openness in both directions.
Loose If you bundle a lot of individual parts lightly, you get a charge that is processed in one swing. This could also be a number of incidents that fluffily rain (un)advantageously down on somebody. Or the starting shot without rigid standards.
What makes the difference in any cases is the action that is executed decisively – doing something and facing the consequences.
The willingness to get involved in something or to allow oneself to get involved has a great influence on the impression of the close- or open-mindedness of a system. Stress arises when cohesion gets tensed and aggressively defends its boundaries. And also, when the cohesion dissolves through unlimited influx of the unfamiliar.
What makes the difference is the growth – the healthy balance between content-related stiffness and dissolution.
Borderless The avoidance of borders goes hand in hand with the loss of identity. The feeling of belonging results from common values and rituals. Without the definition of boundaries, individuals cannot find their place or exchange ideas.
The difference is the form of demarcation – dogmatic borders create violence; unconditional openness leads to unfulfilled self-confidence, and eventually also to violence.
Let Borders Simply opening boundaries is awkward, as the members of a group are not necessarily happy about the lack of boundaries (see above). Ignoring the delimitation, we are driven by our genes to defend our territory.
The difference makes tolerance – walls do not have to be immediately torn down, but only need appropriate passages and rules to exchange ideas.
Let go One should not stick to what limits thoughts and action or insist on the traditional. A new way of thinking is only possible if one at least allows the familiar to pause. This creates openness and the necessary meeting points to improve and expand due to new ideas.
The difference arises with the continuous expansion of the system – systems that do not open will collapse; systems that use openness for their own development grow sustainably.
Bottom line: Whether you now let go the boundaries or leave them borderless is up to the reader. The mixing of the words has hopefully made clear that it is about the gray zone between boundlessness and the iron curtain. Systems have no chance to survive, if they encapsulate or fractalize themselves borderless. Let Loose Borders – the interpretation is in the eye of the beholder.
P.S.: Whoever recognizes the limit of today’s drawing has understood.
If Socrates would have already known the term, one of his famous sayings would have been going like this – “I know that I know nothing outside of my informational bubble.” The fact that we cannot know what we do not know, is an uncomfortable situation. Since Gutenberg the availability of information has grown immeasurably by the mass media. Today we arrived in the Internet, where everybody can reach everybody, as long as they are found. In this complex world it is natural that the web pages are linked with like-minded ones – creationists link to creationists; supporters of the theory of evolution link to supporters of the theory of evolution. What constitutes these spheres? How can you get beyond the informational bubble?
The informational bubble is for example defined by the following aspects.
Consistency The cohesion in an informational bubble results from a consistent correlation. The individual components repeat and complement each other or even built on each other. In any case they never contradict themselves. For this purpose the necessary logic must be as simple and understandable as possible.
Language The consistency is guaranteed by a common language. The contributions always repeat a similar pattern. This leads over time to a High Context culture, which is only understandable from the outside and/or is interpreted in the wrong way. Informational bubbles subsist on their technical jargon.
Dogmatism Informational bubbles have to resist the tendency of influencing their consistency and their jargon. Different world views are as early as possible nipped by all means in the bud and are actively ignored. Repeating the contents through re-use is rewarded. Failure is defamed immediately, mostly as lack of knowledge or as lie or as fake news.
Internal linking An important function is the use of cross references within the own informational bubble. In the interest of consistency the link to opposite or other opinions is forbidden. Thus, a closed explanation system evolves that lacks openness and a discourse with other topics.
Filter The Internet insinuates complete accessibility. Therefore the net providers and the social platforms have the possibility to insert and in the meantime even the obligation to filter at any time. These filters prevent the visibility of certain web pages. Particularly countries and enterprises, which believe that they have to exercise control, can fade out undesired contents with simple measures and without being recognized immediately.
There is actually no way out of the bubble, except you have a look beyond your own nose. Additionally it needs:
Neutral search engines As long as there are overarching search engines, which can look into all informational bubbles, there is a large probability that you can look out of your own informational bubble. The problem is that one does not have any objective way of recognizing filtered contents except you get hints from other media or by word of mouth. You never know, what you don’t know.
General rules for filters In the best interest of maximum openness, rules for an open Internet should be defined. They should regulate technical blocking, the elimination of search results, the deactivation of web pages and self-censorship. In principle there are cases, in which filters are justified – pedophilia, terrorism, or the like. Unfortunately there is still no generally accepted interpretation, which web pages are to be filtered and which not.
Mutual tolerance The acceptance and connivance of other opinions is an approach, which is available for everybody, but for understandable reasons is not applied. The discussion of contrary positions would guarantee that the own approach gets more stable. Only with the appropriate tolerance, discourses become possible.
Bottom line: The informational bubble is a natural phenomenon. The common language, the necessity of consistent contents, the inherent convictions, consistent cross references and filters create an integrated approach. With neutral search engines, general rules for filters and common tolerance you can get beyond the informational bubble.