Is the US the Best Pinball Machine?

by James La Trobe-Bateman on July 21, 2019

I’ve got an idea crashing around in my head like a pinball machine. Lighting up unconscious thoughts, increasing awareness and developing a life of its own.

There’s really two parts to a pinball game.

There’s the ball with the way the player interacts.

Then, there’s the set up of bumpers and lights and scoring that is built into it. Much of what happens is automatic, out of your control. How is this designed? Did the designers have a masterplan to make it all more fun and potentially score higher scores?

If life is like this, how would you design it?

Suppose you have a great idea that you want to launch into the world. How do you launch it? Where do you launch it?  You want a network or a society or a system that will respond the way a pinball machine does.  Can you just find one?  Or do you have to create one? If so, how do you create one that will have create the largest ‘score’.

I mean ‘Impact’.  It’s impact that you want.

Well, there are some answers.  For example, if you want to make a success of publishing a book, you need to build a ‘platform’ of followers who can seed its appeal.  Similarly if you want to launch a business online, you need to cultivate a list of followers.  You cultivate both the ‘platform’ and the list separately from selling something.

Beyond that, I am curious about some naturally occurring pinball machines.  Take active communities.  Or should I say, interactive communities.  Communities where there are a lot of interactions fed by multiple ideas for improvements and likely funded by the wealthier of the people in it.  The communities that are better organized this way and going to produce a greater impact from ideas sprung into them (like a pinball).

USA Flag as a Map

I’m going one step further with this argument. It has long puzzled me that the ‘USA is #1 in the world’.  And yet it does not have the best roads, it does not have the best education, it does not have the highest purchasing power per person, it does not have the longest life expectancy and it does not have happiest people.  And yet I find myself better able to ‘do well’ in the US than anywhere else. 

How come?

Our business has a greater ‘Impact’ in the US than anywhere else. There’s something about the set up that means ideas ping around and make a higher score.  It’s a better pinball machine.