kottke.org posts about scenius

SceniusJun 11 2008

Kevin Kelly on a fascinating concept called scenius. As defined by Brian Eno:

Scenius stands for the intelligence and the intuition of a whole cultural scene. It is the communal form of the concept of the genius.

Kelly lists four factors that are important in nuturing scenius:

1. Mutual appreciation -- Risky moves are applauded by the group, subtlety is appreciated, and friendly competition goads the shy. Scenius can be thought of as the best of peer pressure.
2. Rapid exchange of tools and techniques -- As soon as something is invented, it is flaunted and then shared. Ideas flow quickly because they are flowing inside a common language and sensibility.
3. Network effects of success -- When a record is broken, a hit happens, or breakthrough erupts, the success is claimed by the entire scene. This empowers the scene to further success.
4. Local tolerance for the novelties -- The local "outside" does not push back too hard against the transgressions of the scene. The renegades and mavericks are protected by this buffer zone.

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