Talent in the Age of Abundance

If you are the most talented one per a thousand people, then there are almost 8 million people like you in the world. And in such a world talent itself doesn’t already mean almost anything, as the value created by any single author is negligible comparing to the aggregate value that is created at this moment by the entire humanity. An amateur poet posting haiku at a writers’ forum could be more talented than Basho… along with millions of other authors whose creations will never reach the mass reader.

This is the end of art as we knew it: content no longer matters, because we live in the age of abundance of information and talent.

The question is how to continue creating intellectual value when its offer far exceeds the limited attention span we humans have.

While in the pre-information era talent was a rare commodity able to attract more than enough attention, now it’s the other way round: we’ve got the excess of talent and the lack of attention. Attention is becoming an increasingly expensive commodity and the main object of trade (the recent Facebook story is an illustrative example of this). By the way, there is also a positive example, namely how one can get paid for paying attention: Brave browser with its Basic Attention Token just approaching to the release of the «get paid» portion of the platform.

The attention economy is replacing the content economy. But if time put in content creation no longer equals money, then it is necessary to find a way to reduce the global competition for attention while letting content creators earn rewards for their effort. Because society still needs people who produce intellectual value if it doesn’t want to degrade.

One of the solutions could be self-governing niche communities that allocate roles, attention, and rewards. Because if a community counts one thousand people and you are the most talented of them in specific aspect (and there is a role for everyone in a community), then things fall into their places again. From mass culture pretending to universality, we are moving on to a conglomerate of many niche cultures.

The blockchain made such a model possible, and this is only beginning. Soon we will see the flowering of niche communities which will go much further, setting their own standards and rules of the game. Culture ceases to be centralized, and this is very good news.

The Rest

When Dreams Come True

Philosophers say our desires are always already fulfilled, so we better desire wisely, asking ourselves, what is most important. Our dreams always come true, but not always as quickly as we would like. It depends on the speed of the changes inside us, because if a dream becomes a reality, it means that we begin matching this dream. This process of alignment doesn’t happen quickly, and it is also absolutely organic—we cannot buy it, as well as we cannot impose it on ourselves.

In every moment, we are best fitted to the present reality—as within, so without. It means that everything is good the way it is… and everything is going for the better, because evolution continues.

In times of change, both in the soul and in the world, growth, however radical, occurs on the roots already present. Therefore, being yourself and knowing yourself is just as important as improving yourself and changing your life. Every person has a certain set of internal axioms that does not change throughout life, and that’s good, because it can serve as a support for us. After all, we can rely only on ourselves, drawing strength from our inner well that is directly connected to the ocean of evolution.

When dreams come true, a new age comes, both in the soul and in the world, an age when expansion is replaced by maturation, the outer by the inner, when the horizontal development is raising into the vertical of spirit that recognizes the mortality and limitations of the body, but retains faith in immortality … and the sense of humor.


The Age of Abundance: DAOs are Coming

We are already living in a situation of abundance, or more precisely—at the point of transition from non-material to material abundance. Here’s how.

The first step towards the age of abundance was the era of the soul, or an abundance in humanity’s psychic life: the world of prehistoric people was densely inhabited by gods and spirits. Ancient myths, symbols, and archetypes formed the basis of religion and culture of the first civilizations.

This cultural foundation gave birth to philosophy which then became the mother of all sciences. So came the second step—the era of the mind, or abundance in the sphere of thinking and rational knowledge crowned with the emergence of modern science.

The rise of science made possible the advent of the third era—the era of machines. Science-based technology has in turn made the processing of matter cheap and affordable. And now we are on the threshold of the fourth era—the era of material abundance.

Many material problems today have already been solved for a large number of people and, perhaps, they would have been solved for everyone, if not for the still prevailing nineteenth-century-world mentality based on the outdated axiom of the scarcity of world resources, as well as greed, miserliness and the habit of the Powers that Be to solve all problems using violence.

Until almost two hundred countries are fighting fiercely for a place at the helm of the Spaceship Earth, world poverty won’t disappear, because the resources that could be directed at its elimination are spent on the struggle of governments against each other and the arms race.

Blockchain technology made possible for the first time in history the emergence of self-governing, self-funding, autonomous communities that can act globally without a central direction. It means that problems that can’t be solved at the level of centralised entities like states or multinational corporations, including the problem of poverty, can be solved by direct interaction of people organised in decentralised autonomous communities.

And while really big projects in this sphere are yet to emerge, the first experiments are already here, and my bet is that this year will show us an impressive growth with many new opportunities coming.


Visual Literacy Part 3: Space in Design

Space is the first and most important element of design language. Space in design is more important than any objects flying in it. It’s an endless abyss encompassing all design elements and existing before object/subject separation.

In traditional visual art, the most important element is the main object depicted, while the less important is the background. In industrial art, the object has no importance as such — it’s abstract. There is no top and bottom, left and right in this space, only in and out. And this space does not equal a background.

This concept of space in visual arts was first introduced by the suprematist movement — instead of being positioned relatively to the ground, objects are floating in the air. The position of an object relatively to other objects, as well as its other parameters like form, size, or color, is defined exclusively by its role and meaning.,_1916).jpg

Space is not empty, it’s charged with energy. Every object placed into this space activates this energy and creates force vectors by interacting with the frame and other objects.


We can say that the use of this kind of space is an important characteristic of good design.

Our perception needs free space to balance the information overload we meet — that’s why they say «Less is more» in good design: less content with more space and stronger visual emphasis works better than the other way round.

That’s why a good book layout uses space generously for margins and line spacing.

That’s why a good website layout uses space generously for sections, columns, buttons, distances between elements., 2013

It should be noted that design elements can be organised in space differently depending on whether a designer uses a constructivist or an expressionist approach, but the role of space is equally important in both cases. We will talk about this in more detail in one of my next posts.


Free Verse Poem: Your Time is Now

Your time is now, pink cherries blossom. You are the truth, are you still true to it?

My train runs faster, raindrops slide down the window glass, and the thick rain stirs a pond, my soul, as I pass along.

A boundless sea splashed once where horses are plucking grass, and wet tiled roofs. on hillslopes bathe in clouds.

In childhood, tears flowed without shame, and laughter was a sincere joy. The rain poured down, you waltzed with her and were just friends.

And now you write poems, not crossing out anything, free as a bird and waltzing with your soul.

Raindrops slide down and blur the spring where horses are plucking grass, where hillslopes bathe in clouds, where your path disappears.

The smallest hills are ancient mountains. The tiniest pond connects to the sea. The most faithful way is hidden in clouds. You are the truth; your time is now.


Visual Literacy Part 2: How Graphic Design Has Been Born

Graphic design in its modern version is a phenomenon not known until 20th century. By this time all the elements of graphic design language have matured. Beautiful book layouts which existed since time immemorial are good examples of book layout, but not of graphic design. They appeal to the perception of a pre-industrial man (who is still certainly alive in all of us, that’s why we’re still capable of enjoying classic art). On the other hand, graphic design isn’t an art in a classic sense, or let’s say it’s an art by engineers, for users.

The birth of graphic design has been very rapid in terms of historic time. The whole transition started with the impressionist movement in the second half of 19th century and ended with the Black Square by Kazimir Malevich and abstract compositions of Piet Mondrian in early 20th century.

The language of graphic design has evolved in four stages departing from objective art which reflected the outside world to subjective art reflecting our inner world.

1. Color

Before the Impressionists, the art was closely tied to observed reality (while never identical with it of course). On the other hand, graphic design is abstract in its nature.

The emancipation of art which led to the birth of graphic design started with color:,_Sunset.jpg

Color freed from the need to correspond to an object became pure emotion and established itself as one of the primary elements of graphic design.

Here’s an example of poster design using color (and form):

2. Space

The next step was space emancipation. Moving away from the laws of perspective and distance, space turned out to be an encompassing abyss, sky, cosmos, the basis of the new expressive language.,1923-_Composition_8,_huile_sur_toile,_140_cm_x_201_cm,_Mus%C3%A9e_Guggenheim,_New_York.jpg

3. Form

The departure of form from object became the next step of evolution leading to modern graphic design.

4. Object

At the fourth and final step, object has disappeared altogether, ceasing to be the focus of artist’s attention and giving space to a free expression of ideas, thoughts, messages. Graphic design has been born.,_1915,_Black_Suprematic_Square,_oil_on_linen_canvas,_79.5_x_79.5_cm,_Tretyakov_Gallery,_Moscow.jpg, 2013


The four key stages of development of the graphic design language radically transformed the most important of its basic elements, namely color, space, and form, and laid out the foundations of modern visual design.

The Rest

Poem: Your New Spring

Beyond the threshold of the known, in misty fields where herds graze, in wet forests where snowdrops whiten, your new spring is born.

Everything is familiar and everything is different. In every drop of the dew, life is pulsing. You don’t yet know your might.

There’s no story like your story, there’s no power like the one you’ve been given, there’s no way like your way.

Neither straight nor crooked, neither by foot nor on horseback, neither by land nor air.

No man, the messenger of peace, has set foot here for thousands of years, but children play here every day.

For thousands of years, dark mountains have risen where the hills were once covered with blossoming cherries and horses lazily pastured on green grass, where a boundless sea splashed before and the Spirit of God moved upon the waters.

The first spring of the world, your new spring.

Birds soar into the sky, wheat roots grow into the ground, fields burst with colors.


Prose Poem: The Spring of Life

The fields are sown, and green sprouts stretch towards sunlight. Crosses mark trees to be cut down this year. A gentle-gray overtone of warmth pervades the sky. A few more twilight chords, and the May song of love and roses will begin.

I bow before the mystery of life filled with light and shadow, like a sunny forest, like a sparkling pond where nothing happens, with the overturned sky shivering in it, and a merman smoking his pipe.

Things are good the way they are. The gods live here, in the ordinary world, and the stories our grandchildren will retell are rooted here. The fields are sown, and the invisible work progresses underground.

A paradise garden where songs, games, and dances fill the time. A boundless womb of ​​the possible, where whales and dragons, mermaids and monsters are performing their eternal play.

When stories are born into the world, they flare with glory, and one small deed becomes a miracle bigger than all things possible. And yet the everyday life is still the Mother of all I bow before.


Visual Literacy Part 1: The Language of Visual Design

With this post I begin a series of posts dedicated to the language of visual design. I believe it could prove helpful to visual designers of all kinds.

The series will combine my 20+ years experience as a graphic designer, later web designer and now frontend developer, my design school studies, my own learning and my experience as a teacher of Design Director online course.

In this first post, we will start our design journey by talking about what design is not. My point here is that good visual design couldn’t be reduced to any single aspect of it, be it illustrative art, decoration, composition, or anything else.

Design ≠ Layout

A mere organisation of information isn’t yet visual design in a modern sense as it lacks emotional impact. Nevertheless, the art of giving the information a correct structure is the basis of good design (while not the substitute of it). The information structured correctly and using other elements of the language of visual design, like space and typography, becomes a masterpiece even without using imagery. Klassegrafik website is a brilliant example of it:

Design ≠ Illustration

This one is harder to accept but still easy enough. A quality illustration adds a lot to a good design but again isn’t the substitute of it… Even if it’s a pretty girl 🙂

Design ≠ Decoration

This is the trap many unexperienced designers fall victim of most often. Randomly adding decorative elements to a design doesn’t make it any better, quite the contrary.


Quality visual design in modern sense of the word is a play of many single design elements. I selected seven elements of the language of visual design for this post series: space, form, color, type, imagery, composition, and logic.

In the next post you will learn about how they were introduced to the graphic design scene and what impact they have on a good design. Stay tuned!


How to Succeed on a Content Platform: Enter a Community, not a Talent Show

The path to success is like a road with an unknown destination hidden behind a turn. Our typical behaviour is to try guessing the destination and then deduct the road. We want maps, instructions, recipes, or even enlightening, but not the work with unpredictable results. When there are no maps, we are often driven by myths and illusions.

My biggest illusion back when I joined Steemit was that authors are rewarded for their literary talent in the first place. But then my eyes opened on how things really work.

A community rewards its members in accordance with the role played and the value produced by them. Authors are rewarded not for their content itself, as if in a talent show, but for being useful to the community, for taking a specific role and offering a needed service.

Sometimes being useful really means producing quality literature, but more often than not it answers other community needs, like for example the need to see how others cope with the difficulties of life, or the need to connect to an expert, or the need for optimism, or the need to get feedback on their writing, and so on.

Everyone is entitled to perform a role, to offer a service and to get a reward. The size of which depends on one’s fortune, on what the performed role is, and, first of all, on what resources the community has available.

Don’t think by the way that it’s easy to be a millionaire, or a YouTube star, or a community leader. The point is, your role should fit you. Sometimes people mistakenly take high roles without having the resources, and it hurts back. You will pay a dear price for every incompatibility between the actual you and the role you perform, and if the role doesn’t really fit you, you will fail.

Or, as Plutarch put it,

We do not expect a vine to bear figs, nor an olive grapes, yet now-a-days, with regard to ourselves, if we have not at one and the same time the privilege of being accounted rich and learned, generals and philosophers, flatterers and outspoken, stingy and extravagant, we slander ourselves and are dissatisfied, and despise ourselves as living a maimed and imperfect life.

My approach is:

  1. Be yourself. Don’t try to figure out what they want, just be authentic.
  2. Find a community you really like and make connections with interesting people. And yes, be interesting, too.
  3. Take a role you’re capable of and offer a useful community service, however small.
  4. Be consistent. Someone once wisely said that the path to success is like a snowball, small in the beginning but growing steadily if enough effort is constantly applied.