The days after Trump and Brexit
by Mike Meyer
It’s time to get back to our future. There is no future in the past. And past failures offer nothing at all. While we need to deal with the hysteria and delusions of the left behind people and their failing leaders, they are left behind because they have been lied to for years and just need to realize it, the future is on us and evolving fast.
One of the reasons things have become so confused is because our analogies of time are too simple. We have a series of deep cultural images of time dating back to the first day our high school history teacher drew a long line on the blackboard. Later the board became white but the line remained the same. Tick marks indicated the important dates. And the future was off the right edge. Where did it go?
Accelerating paradigmatic change is rewriting the rules of communication, media, human agency, society, and time. All this happens around us and drags us along. We are not in charge. Life really is but a stage and we are now standing in a darkened theater while scenery disappears and is replaced around us. The old scenery was creative and ingenious with direct human skill but the new sets are being increasingly designed and installed by our intelligent tools.
We have promoted ourselves to the meta reality of the deistic creator. We don’t directly know what is happening but that matters less and less. Our systems assume their own future development. We’re all nervous and new at this but a percentage of the folks have panicked and are demanding that someone tell them what to do. Preferably they want to be told that nothing has changed and, even if it is not, make it that way. There are always people who give people the answer that they want particularly if money can be extracted. That hasn’t changed. They will need to adapt.
Eventually they will figure out that this theater is also the Hotel California. You can decide to leave anytime you want but you just can’t find the door. The doors are part of the set and you have to create where they go. But that is being taken care of by our intelligent tools and we just have to learn to live with what’s happening. The sets are so real and the script is being rewritten as we stand here but we are in a new role and it is very different. We’re going to have to figure this out together.
But where is the future? We have to build it and our intelligent tools are doing that very quickly now. The stage is much, much larger than it was before and growing by the day. Soon it will be our whole planet but we can’t quite handle that. We can see the next step but going beyond our planet is too much for us.
The current problems, including that part of our population panicking at the world changing around them, are that the old answers, that some are still refusing to accept, are already failing. First you have to be at now to get to the future. You can’t get there from the past no matter how badly you want to stop all the change. Our species is committed to change and everyone gets to go along.
Time is no longer a line. It is expands and contracts in all directions. Another big problem. Cause and effect were easy but complex non-linearity is hard. Small things make big changes in some unconnected place. And time moves faster. Mostly this is a problem of many simultaneous events that are intricately interconnected. That is hard for us and very hard for many people.
We’ve known for a long time that time is part of space and changes with how either is stretched. And then there is Schrödinger's cat who keeps popping up or not. We don’t understand it but it’s starting to feel more like normal. That’s our role now. Learning to feel real with change and diversity.
And that is the most important thing that we must do. We need to focus on diversity because our stage is growing fast whether we like that or not. We need things to fill up that space in our story. It not only gets really boring but dangerous without diversity. We are having to pass off complexity to our intelligent tools but we need to be intensely focused on how everything around us reacts. We need to maintain sensitivity and balance and diversity is how that happens. Diversity is now our strongest human resource.
We need to fill not only space but time in all directions. Linkages are what allow us to connect to the larger spaces that we have told our tools to build. Can we stop our tools? No, it’s too late. We build things and set things in motion that are unstoppable because that is what we are. We started agriculture and cities and no one ever went back. Those were simple. With our intelligent tools who are more complex than us we don’t even know what back means.
At our new meta level diversity is the only way to give ourselves new roads to take and new ways of seeing and feeling. And that is how we build the future that allows us to be happy. We are losing touch with our intelligent tools but that was inevitable. But we will need every bit of ingenuity and wisdom we can gather to grow into the worlds we have caused to be built for us. Why waste them? Why push away new colors, ideas, tastes, feelings when we finally are gaining the time and space to know the things we never knew?
This is a process that needs to change our political structure and how we manage our growing world as a world wide stage. Just as part of us are panicked and fighting the future we can only help them with more diversity. That’s not what they want but what we all need.
The primary social function of our governmental systems is protecting diversity. That is our first political goal. Everyone needs to be heard and protected. Diversity is not denial or exclusion. We are now in a world that demands diversity and will not allow us to survive without it.
There really is no choice. Our health depends on ever greater diversity for survival. Everyone then has a chance at happiness.