I woke up remembering "The Osani Circle Game" of African tribes today morning. It reminded me of what happened with GME this week.
One year ago the stock price of GME was $3.90 and today it is at $325.00 🤷♀️
A Reddit platform called r/wallstreetbets has single-handedly propped up a struggling company like GameStop. And now, the stock is up more than 1000%. While retail traders made this happen, short-selling hedge funds have suffered a mark-to-market loss of $19.75 billion year to date in the brick-and-mortar video game retailer GameStop, according to data from S3 Partners.
What is happening?
I am still wrapping my head around things. A part of me is just amazed at everything that has happened this week. .
- The anthropologist in me says: the power of community.
- The technologist in me says: the power of internet.
- The cognitive scientist in me says: the power of distributed cognition.
Wall Street is still wondering how to handle this. A number of videos are getting removed from the internet discussing the scenario. While all this is going on, the power of WE stands tall in my eyes.
The Osani Circle
Here is a story from the world of anthropology:
An anthropologist put a basket full of fruit near a tree and told the kids of the tribe that who ever got there first will win the sweet fruits. When he told them to run they all took each others hands and ran together, then sat together and enjoyed their treats together.
The anthropologist was perplexed and he asked them why they had run like that as one could have had all the fruits for himself they said: Ubuntu, how can one of us be happy if all the other ones are sad?
Ubuntu in the Xhosa culture means 'I am because we are'.
The story of the Osani Circle Game (courtesy of Connecting Dotz) goes as follows: Efé children of the Ituri Forest in Zaire (Rep. of Congo, central Africa) begin the Osani game by sitting in a circle, feet touching, all connected. Osani is the Efé word for love. Each child in turn names a round object like the sun (oi), the moon (tiba), a star (bibi) an eye (ue) and then goes on to name a figurative expression of “round” like the circle of the family, togetherness, a baby in the womb, or the cycle of the moon. As players fail to come up with a term that is “circular” they are eliminated from the game. Eventually, only one remains. Tradition has it that this player will live a long and prosperous life.
In many ways Osani is what happened in the Reddit too. I feel a lot of parallels between the circle game and GME. While the big boys are figuring out, there are a number of student traders (retail) who paid off their tuition fees, a lot of folks paid off their mortgages and other debts. Hedge funds lots close to $20 billion but retail traders won the game this time. The power of WE is visible. It is happening more in the internet connecting everyone across the world. We are no more constrained to physical geography.
I see a similar pattern in many communities, including Maker's Guild. When the communal endeavours strengthen there is no looking back.
In a few years, we will connect the dots backwards and look at the power of WE that changed the planet forever as a better place. Humbled to be a part of this ongoing revolution.
🥂 to communities!