Clear Paths

A clear path forward would be a good place to start. I wrote the following rough draft during two different writing sessions. It is in desperate need of some work. It might be a false start, but a few strong revisions might fix it.

We are all a part of history. A history that always marches forward. A history occurs without approval or consent. A few privileged individuals will write the next chapter. Most of us are just along for the ride. The ride itself may not define us. However, our history does change the way we look at the world. In this moment, I hope that this treatise changes that view of the world. Two questions immediately stand out, “How will this generation be remembered?” and “Are the things that we have chosen memorable?” Ultimately, those are the questions that this treatise will endeavor to answer.

Some chapters in the grand history of the world are basically forgettable. Only a few highlights truly stand out. Now is the time for our generation to choose our moment. We have the capacity for greatness. Fragmentation has stolen any hope of collective action. The public commons has become crowded. It has become almost impossible to navigate. Grand ideas were mapped into plans. Some of them were executed.  Almost all of them have been forgotten. The great champions have been defeated. The weight of our obligations has defeated us.

Together we can take the first step on a new path. Proposing a framework at this point might seem foolish. As technology begins to intersect with modernity, we face a true and defining set of choices. This chapter of history could be a touchstone that defines the future. We the people must be better together. We have to be better together than we are apart. The fragmentation has to end. We have to accept the great challenges of our day. The greatest problems of the day need to be formally recognized and ultimately brought to resolution.

At some point along the journey, we the people delegated the responsibility of collective action to bureaucrats and elected officials. From the start America was a grand idea. A host of problems had to be solved for the project to work. The people were better off together than apart. Together they were able to build the infrastructure of civilization.

Responding to challenges defines the capacity of a society by exposing very real limits. Enough people collectively working together can and have challenged the very limits that threaten civilization. Imagine the effects of a sustained drought in the State of California. As an example, the capacity to deal with water shortages would define the limits of society. Those limits are what this treatise will explore.

Perhaps at this point introducing a theoretical framework would be helpful. It works like this — we the people have a social contract that is bound by our collective will to work together and the push and pull of our individual needs. The following example will be both defined and informed by those narrow optics of triangulation. Naturally, the expansion of examples beyond triangulation is possible.

This treatise represents one volume of thought. A volume that ultimately will rest on a shelf at the academy. It will rest on a shelf surrounded by an every growing body of thought.

Collective action defined the formation of a nation. Grand projects that put a true dent in the universe are a rare thing. The call to action is real. Now is the time. The time has been defined by the scale of our collective need. A need to solve problems before their weight collapses the very foundations of society.

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