Saturday, January 7, 2017

Healthy Is Now Ideal

Two years ago, I laid out a set of requirements for what I called an "ideal world," which in retrospect I could have called a "healthy world." Much of my writing since then has dealt with many of the same ideas, teasing out details, exploring the implications of my evolving model of global variables in the past and future, and sharing personal experiences and expectations that appear to be echoes of each other.

Built into all of it was the hope that some significant part of the population would seize on those or similar ideas and, in the presence of obvious danger, use them as the basis of a way to diminish or escape that danger. The political climate at the time was cautiously reasonable, inching toward awareness and agreement that something major needed to be done to avoid global economic and ecological collapse that was becoming perilously imminent. There remained a chance that the world might succeed in at least delaying that collapse by a few years.

I spent a fair amount of creative energy trying to assess the probability of success. As a trigger for some of that creativity, I simulated people and environments in fictional writing – a tactic that had coincided with previous bursts of insight (most notably in the development of my first novel). My most recent attempt followed a thought experiment in one of my books, and yielded a model of interaction between groups that made some interesting predictions that could be tested; chief among them: that interaction between groups is always destructive to the identity of at least one of the groups through either assimilation or death.

The last election here in the U.S. appears to have rejected global collaboration for mutual survival, and in light of my research suggests that the group most effectively in control of our politics and economy has felt enough of a threat to its identity that it is willing to threaten the survival of everyone in order to ensure its dominance. Use of the word "dominance" is deliberate: my group interaction model defines it as the total control of all resources by one group. Though I haven't as closely studied it, there appears to be a similar dynamic at work in much of the rest of the world. In previous years, this threat might have been dealt with by acquiring more resources and moving people away from each other in order to safely establish group identity ("isolation"); but the world is running out of basic resources, and we don't yet have the ability to settle other habitable worlds – if there are any. Competition will therefore be the driving activity of our future, and competition is the key to dominance.

I brought up the "ideal world" concept again because since the election I have come to a number of realizations, among them that the ideal world I envisioned is in fact what a healthy world would look like, as opposed to the dying world we live in now; and that even if we are beginning the collapse I've forecast and feared, the best we can do is to create pockets of healthy community and environments wherever we can. In future Idea Explorer posts I will dive into what systems engineers might call "derived requirements" for specific situations, and in my other writing (such as Twitter and the Land of Conscience blog) I will explore what implementation looks like.