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Scott Santens @scottsantens
, 9 tweets, 3 min read Read on Twitter
I'm sitting here reading a book and it's got me thinking again how nonsensical the self-made man myth is. So much of what's in my brain is what has been uploaded by the work of others. How could I ever believe I'm self-made when I know I only think what I think because of others?
Isaac Newton, Stephen Hawking, & others have recognized this truth.

"Each generation stands on the shoulders of those who have gone before them, just as I did as a young PhD student in Cambridge, inspired by the work of Isaac Newton, James Clerk Maxwell, and Albert Einstein."
Newton referred to his own discoveries as standing on the shoulders of giants, but that's not quite accurate because all giants themselves stand on the shoulders of millions of entirely unknown fellow humans. That's what our civilization is. It's something we all create together.
What language do you speak? Did you invent it? Who did? What one human invented English or French or Chinese? They all evolved. They are an emergent property of humans seeking to convey information to one another. Everything exists because of the contributions of those long dead.
I touched upon this line of thought in my latest piece about intellectual property and how everything is a remix. We're all just reaching into our global knowledge base, rearranging what interests us, adding stuff, and putting it back in new arrangements.…
My own writings are greatly informed by the discussions I've had with others both online and offline. Even the words I choose and the phrasing can originate from previous interactions. Effectively, all our work is crowdsourced. That's also basically what the division of labor is.
One person being able to focus on one thing while another focused on another enabled humanity to achieve what would have otherwise been impossible had everyone had to focus on everything, which would still be just basic survival really. We secure our basic needs interdependently.
That fundamental foundation of human civilization is what unconditional basic income fundamentally recognizes, that through guaranteeing all of our basic needs, we'll be able to together achieve so much more than humanity would ever achieve otherwise. It all comes down to Maslow.
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