personalized stories

this is somehow continuing what i started laying out in the social processors post last week. besides own inner emergence and continues nurturing through sensing global emergence , conversation-inspiration-credits to @learningful, @naomiraja and @bmccall17.

<– what is this??

it is a drawing in a patent that facebook is holding (to be found here). the patent is for: “Generating a feed of stories personalized for members of a social network”

looks cold and techy? it does. what it is showing though is (amongst other clever algorithms that we are not supposed to know about) how facebook makes sure that you are being feed with socially relevant stories in your News Feed. stuff that makes you go aaah, or haha, or “what the…?”, stuff that you find interesting because its friends you care about or you feel attracted to or you having evil fun to find reasons to dislike them or whatever. all this little relevant stories that are screaming at you to like them or comment on them :) most of us feel overwhelmed by the amount of data that is flowing through our social media rivers – so how nice that there are algorithms that learn to feed us with the most relevant information? well, i could go on arguing for pro’s and con’s of this kind of filtering and investigate into other options and stuff… but despite that some of you might think i am an online-person that knows all about social media… i can tell you, i don’t really care about the surface of this stuff – i want to listen to the evolutionary heartbeat underneath… i want to sense into the underlying social dynamics and patterns that i see being in play. as expressed earlier i feel that besides all good metaphors around global brain & connectedness the evolution of new communication-forms online is ALSO a huge invitation to feed that innovation back into our inlife/face2face communicative space… back to the Q, what if there would be no internet tomorrow? what would your social neurons start creating as an offline-echo from a FB post/comment/like or a tweet/hashtag[…]? what is online  communication inviting us to innovate in inlife communication?

so, last time i was going nuts around the exponentially growing amount of subgroups in any given group and the hyper-exponentially growing amount of relationships between those and so on… now, here is the thing! take ANY of this subgroups and hold them on your inner screen (think of two friends of yours right now for instance) and IMMEDIATELY your social brain starts charging them with meaning/values/options/synergies/potential-conflicts/what-could-they-do-together/what-have-they-done-together/… of course some might have more weight in you through already being charged (sometimes VERY charged) with shared experiences or assumptions that result in emotions like preferences or aversions. and other subgroups you will not even had present on your inner screen as such. just think of two of your close friends that you like but you would surely not want to work on a project together with them… or think of your dream-team for the task of baking a four-level-birthday-cake… you see? as soon as there are names and tasks in the game, your endless inner ocean of social-connection/group-possibilities crystallizes. and sometimes the task comes first and you assemble your team around it, or you have the names first and then sense into the most awesome task… these dynamics are usually (?) more pleasant then having both names and tasks given, or having both unclear :)

this ability of human consciousness to accept a constellation/situation (with good or bad feelings associated) and charge it with meaning might just be one of the most fundamental abilities… otherwise we would terribly freak out about endless possibilites in every split-second. here we come to the rosa elephant. the brains capacity to perceive and to give attention is extremely wide open for whatever stimulus is appearing in the input-sphere! when i say rosa elephant you think of one. when i say to you to start thinking what symbol the rosa elephant has in your life… you might not want to do it ;) but if you did you would most certainly find meaning. that relates back to my musings on symbols and meaningEVERY symbol can crystallize meaning in your inner ocean! so… it wouldn’t be too harsh then to call it attention-raping what media/marketing is doing all over the place? well, that would be another track to follow… just think of all the brainpower being put into the “opening”-to-the-world that a company is pursuing… we are walking around the city and might just think that we have freedom to pay attention to whatever products we want… but there is an insane amount of INtention being put into what you can put your ATtention on. when our feelings and social-warmth and wishes and desires click in, is on the surface… where a lot of (conscious and subconscious, social and mathematical) algorithms have been choosing what you can possibly pay attention to and build empathy for

what i am wondering now… yes, we are able to accept what seems given and build a meaning/feeling/value-landscape around that and we are also able to change the constellations/set-of-options we are in based on our personal agenda and attractions…  a growing amount of us are luckily also able to let the collective/future well-being/highest-potential inform their actions… WHAT now IF we would amplify the assembling-process immensely BEFORE we start the accepting-and-going-from-there-process?

Last year at the KaosPilots we spent a day as a team of self-organized group-building for upcoming projects. we spent a whole day doing that, and it was intense and brought up a lot of unspoken stuff and power dynamics. so i am aware how much learning and “enforced-transparency” there is in the friction of such processes and don’t necessarily vote for shortcutting it – however, it got me thinking about the ‘best marriage problem‘ in informatics. wouldn’t it be superinteresting to let every team-member fill out a preference-list for how much (from 1 to 10) she wants to be in group with everyone of the other team-members? so with 40 people that would then give a total input of 40 x 39 = 1560 (every person is grading 39 others) preferences. a clever algorithm would than build the best possible group constellations (which will not make everyone 100% happy for sure, but it will be mathematically the maximum happiness – has also to acknowledge subgroups of subgroups in order to maximize social relevance, also a higher factor on where the person is placing himself… complex algorithm!). now – as i said, that would NOT acknowledge the social process on the way as everyone is submitting their grades silently in front of their computer. however, i would very much imagine that the calculated result would hit the group like a lightning in terms of relevance and a sense of  “wow, yep, this is actually the truth on how we gravitate towards each other“. and even though the algorithm wouldn’t be perfect, the result would still be in the top thousand possible constellations out of the billion of possible ones and thereby stimulate excitement and acceptance! the suggested structure is filling the space immediatelypossibility-seeking shifts to acceptance and charging the given state with meaning or intentions for refinements.

and now here it comes, thats what i am talking about: after this bomb of the-mathematically-“perfect”-group-constellations has exploded in the system – people would EXPERIENCE the outcome of an algorithm and eventually start echoing that algorithm. so if they are in a new group they would start intuitively sensing/assuming what the algorithm might calculate in this group… so the organic body-mind-spirit-system has an imprint of the mathematical algorithms and leans intuitively into the offer of structure it would produce. now, experiencing that algorithm long enough and other ones, my hypothesis strongly is that the social body would build more and more intelligence to match the mathematical algorithm intuitively. the collective would echo the result more and more precisely without getting the result from the outside. they birth this piece of structure-generating dynamic in their middle!


[conclusion 1] this is a mathematical algorithm pulled into a group! just as well any other area of human expression (art, music, dance, engineering, banking (?) … & thousands more) can pull the essence of their leading edge into the social body as analogy and see how it unfolds there. the invitation to charge the social space with the most amazing attractors to allow it to process more and more complexity with less and less effort… building shared imagination and an intuition of collectively leaning into the highest potential…

[conclusion 2] so… sensing a vast potential here to tap more consciously into the process that leads to certain constellations… as posted earlier, we have 2.4×10^19 different possible 1&1 relationships (and then there are even more possibilities for groups of 3, and groups of 4 and so on) on this planet. what a huge invitation to match people more consciously… and the tools we have for that are intuition/resonance and care. seeing our mates as part of our extended body… tuning our social brain and the confidence in your impulses of naming possible relationships you come to think  of :)


Published by

Benjamin Aaron Degenhart

Currently pursuing a Masters in Computational Science and Engineering at TU Munich.

3 thoughts on “personalized stories”

  1. Whew…that was a page full. It was actually too much to easily fall into place…or perhaps I was distracted from it by lingering thoughts of just completed conversation or of the taste of oatmeal with raspberries and nuts. Nonetheless….I think the success of the self selection into a group would only be as likely as the individual’s ability to know self. I would find it interesting to run this same experiment with the same people involved over perhaps ten selections and see how the teams shift and change as the person learns more about self and others….some of which would be a known from the first choosing and some of which would be discovered along the way. Would they follow the pattern and generally sit in the same seat in the room if that is where they chose to sit on the first day? Same/same.


  2. hmmm…this is very interesting. It does make me think though…if I always choose people I WANT to work with, and I think your model is based on affinity creating further affinity and intelligence into the group system, what about the times when those people I really don’t like or appreciate have pushed me to new insight and creative thought? If I chose to NEVER be with them, I would miss that opportunity. Some people tend to rub many people the wrong way (and therefore may not be voted into a group), and yet they have moments of brilliance that we don’t want to lose, even with rough edges. How would your algorithm allow for inviting in the pain in the neck into the group? Do you think that your “perfect” group will be able to compensate for the missing problem child :-)? Thanks for causing me to think about how I feel about people I tend to work with!


    1. thank you Susan and Susan :)

      Susan C., i am glad my writings can be with you while you enjoy oatmeal with raspberries and nuts :) thanks for your thoughts on it. yes, the crucial point is indeed the learning of the individual about “self and other” so it will require many settings to shift the knowledge into intuition… and yes, what meta-patterns/constants would show up across these settings…

      Susan V.L., i totally get what you are saying and am really grateful that you bring it up! this is eventually the blindspot and my dad pointed it out to me too. how on earth could a system become so intelligent that it could even consciously put you into groups with people that you would definitely not want to work with by intuitively knowing that they will “push you to new insight and creative thought”. yes… how can the algorithm also include the problem child :)) love how you point to it full on Susan, thank you!! i think a social algorithm that includes placing problem childs or conflict-potential needs to have the capacity to anchor its alignment to the highest potential in the future and not only in what’s present here and now. it requires the individual and collective capacity to embrace and actively utilize conflicts as ressources in the field! in that way we can tag the relationship of A to BCD as charged with tension and thereby especially high ‘voted’ when it comes to unleashing a powerful dynamic after a groan zone…
      on the other hand – maybe the social algorithm is not only the setting-up process of the groups but also the continus adaption to the highest potential. so what would need to be in place in terms of transcending the green-meme-need for equal/balanced workload and we-are-in-this-together-ness so that i can decide to leave the group and thereby contribute with the best i possibly could have done: going out of the way.
      … great stuff! thanks again Susan!


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