Oct 9, 2011

Being good - talking at bankers

Recently I enjoyed following a presentation at Platoon/Berlin on Alternative Currencies. It was a great pleasure to hear that very smart guy Gabriel Shalom introducing his video "The future of money" - and the video itself was a nice treat.
But I felt increasingly at unease listening to the narrative about the presentation of the video at SIBOS, 'the worlds biggest banking conference'. There was some sound of pride in the voice of Gabriel and giggling in the audience when he reported that after the 7.5 minute short video there was absolute silence, no questions, no comments, nothing… "we dropped the evil-bomb", he said to the amusement of us folks. My problem was that common-sense in the room (well, it was a tent at Platoon): *they* are the bad guys *we* are the good guys.
To phrase it drastically - even though I never dug too deep into the history and concept of money myself there was really nothing unexpected, scary, chilling, thrilling or excitingly new in that video. It was nice, well-done, well thought through. But I believe any open mind would put together those thoughts on a good evening communicating with equally alert friends - even if these friends are bankers. But at the same time there was this notion of moral superiority and the clear cementation of a separating wall between 'us' and 'them'. Gabriel often repeated that he had the feeling the message of the video was too revolutionary, too unconventional for the banking-guys - and that's where the silence supposedly came from. I haven't been at the conference but I have the feeling the silence resulted from the talking AT bankers, not talking TO them.
I am afraid that the pleasure of being minority, the desire to be revolutionary actually slams some doors shut which are standing wide open. And the slamming noise is seen as proof of concept for some.
It is wrong.
A good moderator after the video, an open mind also on the side of the 'revolutionaries' would certainly kickstart a great discussion even with bankers - to the gain of both sides.
But the urge to define oneself as underdog, not mainstream, etc. that drives so many in the community, appears to be one of the big stumbling stones on the way to really new thoughts, concepts and, ultimately, principles.
(See Platoons report on the event here)

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