The framing of what we design is very important to how we go about it. We have not been framing these things as contexts. We’ve been framing them as products, services, and a whole other series of terms that are— Tools, for example. And these are things that are mostly transactional. They’re not things that are meant to be inhabited.
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Benevolence isn’t inefficient and I’m a big fan of benevolence. It’s just that it’s not enough. It’s okay for a group of twenty-five or fifty people where everyone knows everyone. But when you have 300 million in the US or 7 billion in the world, if we were self-sufficient and we had to produce everything for ourselves we’d all die, or 99% of us would die. So we have to cooperate with each other. But the only way to cooperate with each other in such large numbers is through markets.
Everybody thinks of bureaucrats as being kind of a neutral force. But I’m going to make the case that bureaucrats are in fact a very strongly negative force, and that automating the bureaucratic functions inside of our society is necessary for further human progress.
When you talk about learning and traditional educational styles, there’s this very common inclination to try and force information upon people rather than having them just kind of discover it of their own volition or discover it by accident.
I’m going talk to you guys about larp and. Larp and a whole lot of other things. Because I think the most interesting things about larp are maybe not actually larp itself, but when larp meets a whole bunch of the rest of the world.
Sometimes I think about these sorts of working graphics as a sort of mental scaffolding. In the act of rendering data, or drawing our thoughts, we assemble a construct to hang other concepts from. So it’s a construct that can be extended or modified or disassembled and turned into something new.
It’s like we’ve got all these proxy wars going, where people are fighting bitterly over these things. And if you could sort of go back to the original global conflict almost, of ideas, I think you’d get to some interesting arational assumptions. Some of which would be different. Some of which might be very similar. And then you’d wonder why the hell are these proxy wars going on?
Some of my artist friends think what I’m doing isn’t art, and I’ve given up on art. It’ll take care of itself. You know. I mean it’s always been there, it will always be there, and we always know that new art never looks like art at first, ever. So why should this be any different? We just have to trust the process. And I would say that must be true for every other discipline.
I see a set of constraints facing us in the future, and they’re all going to be very expensive. First is funding retirements for the Baby Boom generation. Second is continuing increases in the costs of healthcare. The third is replacing decaying infrastructure. The fourth is adapting to climate change and repairing environmental damage. The fifth is developing new sources of energy. The sixth is what I see as in all likelihood continuing high military costs. The seventh is the costs of innovation.
I like to think that we are an intelligent species. I mean, actually the people that often get this most quickly are the people who are poorest, because they know the system doesn’t work. But so many of our supposedly brightest people pick this up and don’t question it. And then we have the all the whole field of economics, which is an ideology built on assumptions that if you examine them are absurd. Because you know, economists simply look at the economy as a pricing system. They’re not system thinkers. Part of the cause our crisis is that we’re not educated to think in terms of systems.