Opens with: It is one of life’s ironies that, if you want freedom, you have to impose limits.
Hardly an irony, just a little known fact of existence.
That it is little known is a sad indictment on our society.
All systems require boundaries to give them form.
Atoms are defined by various sets of field strengths changing with distance and time.
Cells have cell walls, that are very complex boundaries, that move in space and time, and are selectively permeable, letting some thing come and go with ease, while blocking others, and actively transporting other selected things.
As human beings we have many sets of necessary complex boundaries, our skins, our ethics, etc.
To be able to exist in reality, we must acknowledge the necessary boundaries to freedom that existence demands of us.
We must acknowledge that our existence in a complex cooperative society demands of us that we behave in ways that are socially and ecologically sustainable. Anything less than that is not freedom, it is a slow form of social suicide.
Existence itself imposes responsibilities.
If a modern understanding of evolution teaches us anything, it teaches us that.
Evolution in complex systems is much more about cooperation than it is about competition.
Every new level of complexity is predicated on new levels of cooperation, and maintaining that cooperation is fundamental for survival (long term).
One thing that few are yet aware of, is that rule based systems are not a stable solution to governance of compelx adaptive systems.
At our level, governance must be based on values, and those values must have individual life as #1 and individual liberty as #2.
So life demands of us responsibility.
It demands that we act in ways that preserve the life of others, and that demands that we act in ways that preserve the environment that sustains us all.
So no – no irony – just a great sadness that everyone doesn’t appreciate this reality by the end of their first year of education.