Tired of the insipid "left-right" political metaphor? Interested in exploring which dogmas or reflexes you might have adopted out of reflex? Take a simple questionnaire in which I poke at the deeper assumptions that under-lie many ideologies we take for granted. Like: do you believe there ever was - or will-be - a human "golden age"? Do you see progress being made through incremental problem solving or dedication to an ideal? The aim is to help folks step back and ponder why they cling to certain types of ideology. Try it. Only be warned. You may gain flexibility... at cost of some comfy certainties!
Most efforts at prophecy seem to shrivel under close and skeptical scrutiny. It happens so consistently that one has to wonder humans keep on trying. Yet we do keep attempting to look ahead. We spend a lot of time and money trying to make educated guesses about future events, with much of our economy dedicated to variants on the same theme. But now we have the means to track predictive successes and failures --- to determine what really works. Transparency in action.
More generally, how about an overhaul of our entire trash collection system? One concept straight out of Sci Fi: Pneumatic tubes to whisk away trash. Such a system is already in place in several European cities, as well as Roosevelt Island in New York City, processing nearly 6 tons a day. The upfront costs to develop infrastructure would be substantial, yet there are long term savings in personnel, vehicle and fuel costs, as well as CO2 emissions. It currently takes 6000 heavy garbage trucks rumbling down already over-crowded streets to remove trash from New York City alone (The very model of inefficiency--these trucks get all of 3 miles per gallon!) Such pneumatic systems may be the future of municipal waste collection.
It's not about "left-vs-right" or "morality" or any other 20th Century cliché. The issue is Modernity and how to deal with a new century of change. Decent people of every generation struggle for human improvement -- more knowledge, better kids. The best of our ancestors strove hard to help make us a bit more strong and knowing. But romantic mystics -- whether "right-wing" or "left wing" -- see history as a long slide from some past golden age. Human effort is futile against this slide. Underneath all that hyper-tolerance posturing, there lies hatred of the very notion of progress.
We start with simmering worry about new technologies. Disruptive media barge into homes, where moral teaching used to be the province of parents. These factors can make the future seem alienating to many, who feel change is rushing awfully fast. As a result, many turn their backs on the future, looking backward toward what they perceive as a golden age. Here are a few suggestions for those who want to fight for the Enlightenment.
Might believers in modernity -- whether 'liberal' or 'conservative' -- find ways to break free of the doctrinal rigidity that has been imposed on us by fanatics of both the so-called Left and the so-called Right? One approach may be to form coalitions that agree to promote -- boldly and openly -- a dozen consensus agenda items, and refuse to be drawn into other fights. Is it possible to negotiate a list of desiderata that all modernist defenders of the Enlightenment might stand behind?
For we already live in the openness experiment, and have for two hundred years. It is called the Enlightenment -- with "light" both a core word and a key concept in our turn away from 4,000 years of feudalism. All of the great enlightenment arenas -- markets, science and democracy -- flourish in direct proportion to how much their players (consumers, scientists and voters) know, in order to make good decisions. To whatever extent these arenas get clogged by secrecy, they fail.
Moreover, this approach to deterrence may give us — civilization’s rambunctious, argumentative, yet cooperative citizens — the last laugh. We can catch, punish and outlast them, of course. But above all we’ll deny villains any chance to win through violence a bigger place in history than the hard-working, creative people they hurt and despise. Who knows? Some of those angry ones out there, who are teetering with indecision each desperate day, may even decide that it’s better to help lay a few bricks, alongside the rest of us, than to claw after infamy by tearing the walls down.
Inspired by Ayn Rand, PayPal co-founder Peter Thiel, along with Patri Friedman and others, are helping the Seasteading Institute plan a floating 'start-up country' off the coast of San Francisco -- built on oil-rig like platforms in international waters. Here residents will be able to live by Libertarian ideals, free of regulation, laws, and the welfare state. I've been pondering this and related concepts for a very long time (see below). The seasteading model has many aspects that need to be decrypted, in a spirit of due diligence.
History would seem to favor pessimists. In COLLAPSE: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed, Jared Diamond shows how past cultures toppled, sometimes with little warning. Supplementing historical records with discoveries in archaeology and climatology, he offers a guided tour of crashes and narrow escapes, ranging from Viking Greenland and the Yucatan Mayans to the Anasazi peoples of America's southwest. Then, globe-hopping from Australia and China to Montana and Southern California, Diamond surveys how modern societies are adapting to even greater perils. The lesson in a nutshell: learn from history, or risk repeating it.
Author David Brin on new ideas and ways to fund them. He discusses the gedankenexperiment: how the human brain creates and tests a 'thought experiment' to explore the future consequences of our actions. How can crowds make smart decisions for our society?
Sharing your scoops to your social media accounts is a must to distribute your curated content. Not only will it drive traffic and leads through your content, but it will help show your expertise with your followers.
How to integrate my topics' content to my website?
Integrating your curated content to your website or blog will allow you to increase your website visitors’ engagement, boost SEO and acquire new visitors. By redirecting your social media traffic to your website, Scoop.it will also help you generate more qualified traffic and leads from your curation work.
Distributing your curated content through a newsletter is a great way to nurture and engage your email subscribers will developing your traffic and visibility.
Creating engaging newsletters with your curated content is really easy.