When was the last time you blazed a new trail—took the road less traveled?
I do a mix of road and exploration.
If I’m in a hurry – follow the road.
If I’m exploring – take those less traveled.
If I’m in ecologically sensitive country, I try and minimise even the effects of my footprints, choosing rock or hard ground over stepping on sensitive ground cover plants.
And there are many gradients between those.
In the political sense, I’m definitely in road less traveled territory, because I don’t want to go where current roads seem likely to lead us.
I can see the clear dangers in our continued reliance on two major sets of ideas – one being money and markets as measures of value, and two being rules and laws as being useful guides to action in all contexts.
It is now clear to me beyond any shadow of reasonable doubt that technology is taking us places where the things that worked in our past wont necessarily continue to work as reliably as they once did; and actually start to generate whole new domains of risk.
And we need that technology to counter risks that are already well defined and understood, so just saying don’t go down the technology path is not really a safe option either.
Complex systems don’t necessarily respond well to rules.
David Snowden’s Cynefin Framework for the management of complexity (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cynefin_framework) is about as good a simplification as exists of an infinitely complex domain.
So our reliance on money and markets to support individual security and freedom will not work in the future; and neither will a reliance upon the rule of law.
We are moving into profoundly complex territory where all individuals need to take as much responsibility as they can for both the social and ecological consequences of their actions, be as cooperative as they can, and be as respectful and accepting of diversity as they can.
In some senses, these messages are as old as recorded history, but in other senses, with Artificial Intelligence and automated systems we are moving into entirely novel territory; where all paths are, by definition, new. So in that sense, of being in novel and complex situations, we all have a responsibility to display as much independence and cooperation and responsibility and respect as we possibly can.