Brian Gongol Show on WHO Radio - June 9, 2013
Brian Gongol

Why I love the idea of investment clubs
Voluntary cooperation among individuals with no coercion. People personally committing not only to investing money, but also to investing their time and thinking.

Why you should share what you know
Knowledge has value

You don't want to share it unless there's something in it for you

- teachers get paid
- talk-show hosts and authors get paid
- sometimes there's prestige or social approval to be gained, as with the guy who leaked news of the government's telecommunications monitoring project

Families have historically shared it because it led to perpetuation of their genes; it satisfied an instinct

But families are smaller now than they used to be, and they tend to be more geographically dispersed

We need to think of some kind of alternative structure that would allow people to voluntarily cast their lots with one another -- groups of, say, 20 individuals or families at a time

Large enough that if you pooled your resources, you could get something substantial done

Small enough that it's not bureaucratic and there's still internal accountability

Invest your resources together profitably, and have enough of a share in the venture that you gain something meaningful

Simultaneously use and exchage your knowledge

- incremental efforts toward this with the TEDx and PechaKucha movements, but there's nothing sustainable about them
- gives you some kind of personal investment in sharing, since you have a vested interest in the other members' well-being

Call it whatever you want -- a co-op, a welfare society, a social club

Substitute for other organizations that are not as strong as they once were

- perhaps people just don't see their investment in the local community as having as much return on investment as it once did, but nobody joins booster clubs anymore
- churches, clubs, civic organizations all trying to keep people engaged, but many struggle
- government is showing itself less able to sustain itself as it tries to do too much

What's needed is some kind of incentive to participate and stay active (financial rewards are easiest to identify), but also a social bond that keeps people engaged and mentally invested