What I suggest is a conversation about transition.
I suggest that we use the basic framework suggested by David Snowden for dealing with novel complexity – we fund many small independent “safe to fail” experiments, and then we look at what worked, what didn’t and why.
And then we iterate – path without end.
It seems this framework can be applied at any level, and is scale independent in a very real sense.
Then we put all the options out there and let different communities adopt different approaches. The essence of security is diversity and redundancy at all levels (quite the opposite of the JIT mentality promoted by “market efficiency”).
I suggest that we use the best science we have to identify as many “safe” options as possible, and then let people (at every level of organisation and cooperation) choose which to use.
I also suggest that we develop frameworks in every community for people to experiment at whatever they want to experiment with. And some things will have risk profiles that demand extensive risk mitigation measures.
In this framework, there are only two essential rules, and they are rules stated in terms of values:
1. Value sapient life: meaning take all reasonable actions to ensure the life of all other sapient entities; which by implication requires taking all reasonable steps to care for the environment that supports us all.
2. Value liberty: meaning take all reasonable actions to mitigate any reasonably foreseeable significant adverse impacts of ones actions upon others.
And yes, those boundary conditions are quite necessarily soft and flexible boundaries, and will involve specific conversations with appropriate communities to give greater specificity.
Life then becomes about the sorts of communities one engages with, the sorts of discussions one chooses to have, and the sorts of boundaries conditions one is interested in exploring.
I suspect that most communities will adopt quite conservative approaches in some areas, and quite novel approaches in other areas.
Provided every community has the two rules above as prime components, safe travel is possible. And part of travel will be bringing yourself up to speed with locally agreed risk mitigation standards.
That seems to leave room for infinitely recursive scales and levels of organisation to emerge, and for the boundaries of freedom to be a constantly evolving set of conversations.
Nothing is banned, and all things have constraints. So it may not be allowed to do X here, but over there X is just fine.
Some Xs may contain so much risk that experiments must be done off planet.
Some may be so risky that they must be done outside the orbit of Pluto.
Those are merely some of the possible constraints in possible risk management profiles.
Anything is possible, and everything has boundaries (flexible boundaries).
[originally taken from a post – https://tedhowardnz.wordpress.com/2015/08/06/millenium-project-state-of-the-future/ ]