Day 133: Systems Within Systems

Before we get to today’s poem, please forgive me for a bit of a rant.

I had a conversation the other day with a very intelligent individual who firmly believes that we are about to destroy our planet and that the only solution is an immediate curb to our population growth. One child per household. Because that worked so well for China.

I do not disagree with him on the fact that our planet is on the verge of a massive system collapse. We have massive, and massively intricate, interlocking ecosystems that we have been steadily breaking down with delayed, exponentially increasing consequences. The planet is going to change soon. Dramatically. So will we.

His argument hinges upon the idea that our rate of consumption of resources and energy is fixed. That we will only have the means to correct that by not being so crowded for resources, especially when the crash happens.

My response is this: more people equals more solutions.

There’s a perceived flaw in this reasoning which is that we are waiting for geniuses to come along and solve our problems. Genius doesn’t work like that.

I stand by my argument. More people equals more solutions. The answer lies not in our ability to control our baser urges but in our ability to innovate.

NASA is currently experimenting with biomining in space–that is using bacteria to mine asteroids. The military has developed an artificial brain called SENTIENT capable of writing new software. 3D printing has reached the point where it can work with organic compounds and the techniques used are not nearly so wasteful as our typical methods of construction. Artificial Intelligences are being developed to act as expressions of ourselves. Children are growing up immersed in electronics. Forms of education we thought hyper-advanced 20-30 years ago are now common place.

As our population has exponentially grown over the last hundred off years, so has our technology. So has our ability to innovate. We are not increasing our population to wait for a handful of outliers. What we are doing is working to raise the overall standard.

Things are going to change. It’s inevitable. Some of it will probably be bad. Call me an optimist, but I think that more of it’s going to be good.

Systems Within Systems

Day 115 and Day 117; Brain (Not) Dead, Cannot Connect

Another double post today. Sunday I was too brain dead to do more than jot down my poem when I was struck by a sudden and quick burst of inspiration. Honestly I’ve no idea how I wrote it because I was such a gibberish mess by Sunday afternoon I could barely string a sentence together (just ask my bride). That condition is actually what inspired that day’s poem.

Brain (Not) Dead

And I completely dropped the ball yesterday. No poem. Travel, Fatigue, and general procrastination defeated me. BUT I have today’s poem right here. This one brought to you by a misbehaving internet connection.

Cannot Connect

Day 150: Disconnected

Having a weird thing happen where we’re losing phone service inside our home. Our WiFi connection still works with our phones but making it receiving texts or calls? The experience is producing some odd sensations, many frustrating, others not so much.

Disconnected

Day 90: The Rebel’s New Cause

I was talking to my bride this morning and she told me about how a nutritionist blogger’s post stirred up a powerful emotional reaction in people. One of the most common responses to her post, apparently, was some variation of “don’t tell us what to do.”

That’s the battle cry for every US citizen, isn’t it? We are a nation of rebels and independent spirits–this is the cornerstone of our cultural identity. It’s why the American Revolution is such an all encompassing focus in our history classrooms.

The newest generations born into this tradition have an absolutely wonderful problem: “What do we rebel against?”

For all of its many problems and our nostalgia, the world has never been a better place and it’s getting better. It’s not perfect, but it IS improving. American citizens born into this world have less to struggle against and with no clear opposition or enemy, many turn upon each other and the previous generations, with whom there is a growing technological and cultural gap.

It is not my intention to villainize the younger generations–far from it. I sympathize. Ours is a nation of rebels, we bring our children up to be rebels, and there’s no clear enemy to rebel against or cause to fight for. The quest now is finding our cause, and it’s not an easy one because finding a cause to truly believes means finding yourself.

The Rebel’s New Cause

Day 72: Emotion Engine

Sometimes we get down. Not in the fun way. Sometimes we start out strong, a few things don’t go our way, and we crash.

My bride reminded me of a secret I learned a little while ago–that smiling tricks the body, the voice, and the mind. By projecting happiness into the world, we take it back in. Our spirits are fascinating engines capable of producing our own fuel.

Emotion Engine

Day 33: Ritual

I am one of those people who does exceptionally well when I know what is going to happen. Routines, systems, habits–these things help to energize and propel me forward. I like structure and knowing the next piece I’ll need to build with. There’s a power to this that is sacred and it occurred to me that like so many of the tools we have available at our fingertips in such abundance, how we use this tool, or misuse it, can alter the course of our entire life.

Ritual

Day 22: Decentralized Tempest

Wow, we passed the three week mark and didn’t even notice. Someone somewhere once said it takes 21 days to make something a habit. Here’s to making poetry a regular part of everyday living.

On the subject of everyday living, this morning has found me contemplating geography, familial relationships, networking, and the relationship we as a people, arguably as a species, now share with technology. Information always at our fingertips. Platforms selling connections rather than services. Social networks. Businesses that span globes.

It’s all so amorphous isn’t it? No less powerful for it, simply different. Arguably more powerful for the sheer amount of connections and information we’ve enabled ourselves to have access to. How on earth could we explain this modern phenomenon to someone thirty, or even twenty, years ago? More relevant, less philosophical question: where are we going with it?

Decentralized Tempest