Echo Chambers, Direction, and Purpose


In light of a select few responses to our most recent video “Love All Parts of Yourself,” I have decided to dedicate some words to clarifying the purpose of PRCPTION Travel. It’s quite long-winded; for that, I have split it into three, hopefully digestible, parts.

Introduction: Controversy, Censorship, and Community

As someone engrained in this project day-to-day, I have neglected to realize that what may be blatantly obvious to us may still remain in the dark for others. What is actualized as the fruits of my labor is not merely molded by my hands but colorized by beliefs & perception constructed over years of research and experience.

While today we are a very small organization, operating on a near non-existent budget, choosing to employ today’s contemporary digital media as a means to encourage tomorrow’s human cooperation, most of our resources until now have gone into refining the exact how of today with which we can address the what of tomorrow.

At present, our purpose places us in a broad category; yet the reality of our work lies in a very refined niche of thought that only the future will make clear.

In the light of the meta-controversy surrounding this recent video, it is clear to me now that we have been conducting experiments to explore the solutions into which we will soon gather the masses to pour our energy and resources. And while it brings me great hope and inspiration to be able to bring this discussion to you, our community, to continue to refine the velocity of our efforts, it also gives me concerned pause to realize that we have neglected to fully communicate the context of our vision up until now.

With that as a preface to this series of posts, I invite you to set aside some time, put on your reading glasses, and pause to write down any notes or questions you may have for us while reading. Afterwards, I implore you to contact me so we can take the discussion further and truly refine this manifesto (as it were).

Part 1: Echo Chambers, Direction, and Purpose

Our Board of Directors

It’s important to note that in these early stages, our Board of Directors shares many of the same perspectives. We come from similar-yet-different walks of life but without question, we share a certain type of echo chamber–one whose limits are shared by a very small fraction of a percentage of our world today, yet whose subject matters are increasingly becoming better known in pop culture… and increasingly more important.

While we of course believe in diversity in all realms, including governance, too much of our organization’s purpose has been unfolding over the years to allow for too much “direction” in the form of mission. Direction is crucial, and is something we are gratefully narrowing down here in 2019, yet PRCPTION Travel has been an elusive project from the get-go. It has often hit the right chords for many people on the superficial levels of showcasing its intentions, but there’s never quite been an answer when asked, “What is it, exactly?”

You could say that our mission for the last three years has been to figure out our mission.

Today, on top of our quarterly meetings, our Board is in semi-constant communication in our Telegram chatroom. We share links and discuss matters of tech censorship, social media privacy, potentials of emerging technologies and more. We have learned patience in accepting that we know the general idea of the role digital media can play in shaping the future of cooperative human interaction–the general idea of our end mission, our purpose in action–we’ve just been awaiting the how, exactly.

To that end, when an option arises to explore a certain avenue that could exemplify our intention, we often take it. It aids us in exploring our mission.  Among many other project designs that may never move forward beyond their preliminary stages, this process has led us to writing a white paper for a blockchain ecosystem, creating a handful of interactive software prototypes, and even developing a basic social media platform that we will soon be starting over from scratch. In another’s world, these could be considered a waste of time and resources. But in ours, it’s a demonstration of how we will most optimally achieve our goals. Practice makes perfect, as the adage goes.

Coming full circle, I explain all this to make clear that over the years, our team has unconsciously constructed an image of our world’s reality. Our vision has solidified for us in this time, and in turn it has defined PRCPTION Travel’s intention, stabilized its shakiness, and now, has secured its mission more than ever before.

But based on the reactions of this recent video, it’s clear that we never made this clear to you.

Please continue to part 2 to keep reading.

Relevant: A PRCPTION Team Anecdote

I first met John Hanacek over Skype. He was in San Diego, I was in Minnesota to document the Project Earth festival. The innovative Linda Staheli of the Global Colab Network and I had connected in Washington, DC a few weeks prior and had suggested we be in touch. Sitting in a loud hipster cafe in Minneapolis, over two and a half almond milk lattes, I elaborated upon elaborations of in-depth explanations of what I felt PRCPTION Travel was; yet it wasn’t enough for John, who continued to ask: “But what is it, exactly?” 

Our dialogue went back-and-forth for almost four hours. By the end of the call, it hit me for the first time that I had to start stating to others that PRCPTION Travel was something more than just videos. John was on the same wavelength; society needed a new technologically-mediated tool to share perception–media as information. That preliminary Skype call lead the way to monthly meetings for the better part of the coming year along with our co-founder and Treasurer, Matt Terwall.