Questions from Dorthea

Dorthea Nie, our eyes and ears in the future, released another video this morning (or whatever that translates to in her experience): http://youtu.be/fAhhKqysNec

In it, she poses two big questions:

  1. What are we doing as a society that might create problems in 2036?
  2. What motivates you to become involved in shaping the future?

These are interesting things to think about, in any time period.

Some thoughts …

What we are doing that creates future problems

From my perspective, time seems to operate a bit like Leonard in Memento. What we remember about the past is decided by what we choose to record in the moment. I look at the recent misquoting of Mark Twain and Martin Luther King, Jr. as a recent, little example of how much our history is like a game of “telephone.” We trust what we see, pausing sometimes to critique our sources, and then pass along information with our own context and understanding. I've been re-reading Larry Gonik's great Cartoon History of the Universe series. On more than one occasion, what we know as history is merely the luck of the victor. Entire civilizations have been disappeared over time through omissions or destruction.

I wonder if part of our problems 25 years from now is going to be tied to both what we are discussing now and how we go about recording it. What does the world of 2036 think about things like President Obama's birth certificate and whether Osama bin Laden is indeed dead? Shouldn't our focus be on shared goals and how our daily living can support those goals?

What motivates involvement in shaping the future

Motivation comes from many different sources. Sometimes, it's financial (not in this case, believe me), but often the things we do are for love, connection, and self-fulfillment. I want to live in a community that is both an extension of me and a place that challenges me to think and re-think about our own actions. I want Bloomington to be intentional and distant in their reflection, but have the ability to connect that future destination back to how we live today.

If Taming the Butterfly, with Dorthea's help, gets us a little more connected, a little more reflective, then any time spent interacting with this gaming community is worth it.

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About Kevin Makice

Impoverished Ph.D. candidate at the Indiana University School of Informatics and Computing, and a research consultant with SociaLens. Also wrote a Twitter book.
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