Matthew Schutte

Author: matthewschutte (page 3 of 6)

Patterns that work

patterns of resilience

Some friends are pulling together a gathering of collaboration minded individuals this week, centered around the presence of a number of members of the Enspiral Network (based out of New Zealand).

I am proposing a session there, but would be happy to repeat it again elsewhere, whether as a lecture/conversation at a University or Corporation or simply as a speaker at a conference. Here is an outline:

Title: Patterns that thrive in any ecosystem.

This will dive into some of my own recent aha’s as well as those of others.

It will largely focus on concepts related to:
1) Complex Adaptive Systems

2) What Nature “care’s about.”

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what I do: a summary

Today an old friend and roommate sent me a text asking for a summary of what it is that I actually do for work.

I responded with a quick text Message. I’ve copied that message below. It’s probably the briefest articulation of what it is that I am up to.

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Our tryst will have to wait


Dear Mexico,

I know we were planning to dance together.

But it’s not going to work out this time, either.

One day, I will touch you and know you;

and you will know me;

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Leadership, in the water.

As a surfer, there are a handful of role models that I’ve looked up to over the years. People that surf well, but are beacons of joy in the lineup. Always giving. Always grounded. They are able to transform the attitude and the experience of a whole mass of humans, simply through their example.

Donald Day​ is one of my all-time favorites.

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Contrast: the key to awareness



Today, I was coordinating a time to meet up with an elderly friend of mine for the LGBT Pride Parade this coming Sunday.  My friend is brilliant, accomplished, 86 years old and gay.  In his note to me, he included the following comment:


“It has been a lifelong, (and) at times, a tough journey.  Alas! Liberation came too late to be of much help but it’s good nonetheless. It seems Sweet on the scale only has meaning relative to Bitter.”


There is a depth of pain hinted at in those words.  At the same time, I believe there is a separate, important truth.

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Power and Powerlessness

Food that does not exist
A while ago, I wrote an email to a friend that included some life/career advice.  I stumbled upon it recently and figured that it was one of those pieces of writing that is better shared broadly, than kept buried in an email archive.
I’ve removed personal references and have modified it slightly in places to make it easier to read.
…As for my own personal two cents:
I’d say to take a step back and examine the factors that drive your ambition to make sure that they are guiding you toward a “reward” that is “worth it.”
From some of our earlier conversations, you mentioned not wanting to feel powerless.  You said that as far as you could tell (to paraphrase) “people with money and power get listened to and those without it – don’t.”…

Article: Is there such a thing as objective reality?

I found this article on Wired today.  It is an interview that they pulled from Quanta Magazine with Quantum Physicist Christopher Fuchs.  The interview is an interesting one, particularly for someone like me.  I’ve been inspired by my brief forays into quantum physics to be aware of the ways that “perspective” dominates experience and as a result shapes what we can know about the world.  I have no idea whether some of the things Dr. Fuchs is conjecturing are accurate, but for completely different reasons I’ve focused my designs of information systems on architectures that allow for each subject to view the information in the system from their own perspective.


Guest Speaking at UC Berkeley: On Privacy + On Regulation

I recently was invited to speak to a class at UC Berkeley on Critical Digital Philosophy.

I used the opportunity to open up a discussion with the students on a couple of subjects.

This probably includes the clearest articulation of my general theories of privacy and regulation that I’ve shared to date.

Colas Zibaut gave a class introduction and shared a short film on digital surveillance. The discussion that I led starts at 9:45.  Thanks to Colas and to Lukas Peter for the invitation.


Build The Collaborative Internet Monthly Builds

I’ve been obsessed with changing the basic structure of the internet for the past 8 years.

The lengthy path that led me to that conviction is outlined in another blog post, so I’ll skip that here, but suffice it to say that I’m thoroughly convinced that the architecture of the internet needs to evolve and that this evolution can create a world where communities are much more effective at self-regulation and thus at navigating the threats and opportunities that we are faced with.

At the beginning of 2013, I started a meetup group called Build the Collaborative Internet (or BtCI) … Continue reading

A sense of duty

“You live in the most privileged nation on Earth.  You are the most privileged citizens of that privileged nation; You can use your enormous privilege and opportunity to seek purely private pleasure and gain. But history will judge you, and, as the years pass, you will ultimately judge yourself, on the extent to which you have used your gifts to enrich the lives of your fellow man.  In your hands, not with presidents or leaders, is the future of your world and the fulfillment of the best qualities of your own spirit.”

– Robert F. Kennedy

This pretty much sums up my own personal sense of duty to make an impact. I have been so incredibly, undeservedly fortunate throughout my life. To squander all of that opportunity without using my gifts to make this planet and its people a bit better off, would feel, in some sense, tragic.

At the same time, I’ve learned the hard way that … Continue reading

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