information is king

there’s this notion in business that “cash is king.”  in theory i should know why, but i’m not entirely sure why.  something along the lines of “there are different ways of doing accounting” (see ICOS and groupon financials) and cash flow is what matters or because companies with large cash reserves can just crush competitors because they have access to various other strategic options.  right?  okay, research.  okay, that’s more or less right.  if any company ever does anything with cash, just say “cash is king” and that can pass as something intelligent to say.

IN ANY CASE, i love applying business ideas to interpersonal relationships.  in this case, cash is king i think is something people say because “net income” is often looked at over free cash flow.  or because cash reserves is an easy way to gauge how strong a company is doing or to illustrate that they have a breadth of potential strategic options (see: apple; microsoft; google).  i propose the following: (tenuous at best, i can tell you this right now)

information is king – the idea that the amount of information you have and speed at which you have access to this knowledge and the degree of separation you are from the source is a good indicator of the closeness you are to someone and how connected you are in the community.  the idea that ultimately, the only currency we have from a platonic standpoint is the information that we have and how we  choose to share it.

(note: i want to stress the difference between “information” and “gossip”. and newsfeed somewhat also undermines the theory.  moving on.)

i recognize that this is on the one hand not a novel idea at all.  like OBVIOUSLY you are going to know more if you’re closer to someone.  blah blah, okay.  like i think the traditional example is getting engaged.  how soon you hear about the engagement; which person you were told (in order); whether you knew about it beforehand.

okay, maybe some less obvious corralaries: (again, all debatable; just throwing them out there)

it makes someone a bad friend if they don’t tell you something until days later.  i had a friend who i thought was really close, but didn’t tell me that he got out of a fairly serious relationship until about a week after.  there are requisite excuses about why this is okay, but i don’t think many of them hold water.

you know who your close friends are by knowing where they are every friday night on a consistent basis.  tonight: sean s, tall patrick, angeles.

to find the person with the most social capital in the group, find the one with the most information.  i love to ask people when they think they peaked.  (ps, if you say high school, that is major points off.) i peaked in sophomore year of college.  i remember having a weirdly large amount of information.  on the flipside, senior year, last to hear about most things, conversations being held behind closed doors, etc.

you create artificially close relationships by sharing secrets.  the normal way of bonding is spending a lot of time together and slowly developing trust/respect/etc.  the most impressive/egregious example of this was camp kesem counselor retreat.  we played this game called circles, where basically everyone stands in a circle.  people, out of their own volition, walk into the circle and say something about themselves, other people who share that same quality step in, everyone recognizes each other, and everyone steps out.  and i do think it’s pretty incredible/magical/beautiful that this can happen, but basically things escalate from things like “this is my first time doing camp kesem” or “i’m really excited about camp kesem” to things like “my parents are divorced” to “i’m gay” to more serious things like “i’ve thought about killing myself” or “i’ve been sexually molested.”  anyway, after the game, you really can’t help but feel incredibly close to all these people.

(side note, circles also gets really fucked up because basically there is some element of one upping each other.) (i did not step in on “i am gay”, which… i regretted.)

rarely do you know anything about long distance/old friends. hence, you are not close to them.  i don’t really believe that friendships are sustainable long distance/without significant contact.  i mean, sure, you still care about them, you respect them, whatever, but it’s not … the same.  whatever.  if you don’t know anything about their daily lives, then you aren’t close to them.  okay, i know that statement heavily hinges upon how you want to define close.

okay.  maybe they’re bold statements.  or just totally wrong.  or totally obvious.  anyway.  that’s all i got.

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