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Questions from Dorthea
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11:29 am
May 6, 2011


Kevin Makice

Bloomington, Indiana

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Post edited 11:31 am – May 6, 2011 by Kevin Makice


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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1:35 pm
May 6, 2011


therunningyogi

Bloomington, IN

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Post edited 1:37 pm – May 6, 2011 by therunningyogi


To Dorthea Nie:

I care about your future because it's mine.

I have children and it's theirs.

I am human and it's ours.

As far as what we are doing as a society to cause problems in 2036- our complete reliance on fossil fuels including for our food production is insane!

But bigger than that… is our consumerism. In everything we do, nothing satiates us. We always want more.

This is seriously compounded by our individualistic society which splits the collective and binds community's hands.

The idea that we need more, no matter who it hurts or what the costs, is instilled within our psyches from a young age. It's how we saw/see our parents and loved ones live. It's what we see in the media. Eat or be eaten.

Clouded by cultural norms we are unable to see how our actions affect the whole.  How the whole is more important than the individiual. How we have a responsibility to the seventh generation. How what we do will effect you.

There are only a few who see the truth. This is why I play. This is why I fight.

"Hearts starve as well as bodies, give us Bread but give us Roses" ~James Oppenheim

4:13 pm
May 6, 2011


Inna

Bloomington, IN

Member

posts 6

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Great questions, but I'd like to complicate things a bit and add another question "How can we know that our actions will or will not create problems?" As the proverb goes, the road to hell is paved with good intentions. I agree with previous posts that lack of shared goals, consumerism, and so on may create problems. But I think we should always have a little bit of doubt in our own answers. Righteousness is a problem in itself.

To answer question #2 – I'd really like to live in a better present, but I think we can do this by putting things into perspective and thinking beyond here and now. Hence, this game and visionary exercises.

 

7:10 am
May 7, 2011


Craiginb

Bloomington

Member

posts 20

4
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You will always cause problems and provide solutions; since many people have different agenda you can be assured of this. 

 

9:46 pm
May 7, 2011


therunningyogi

Bloomington, IN

Member

posts 32

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Inna said:

Great questions, but I'd like to complicate things a bit and add another question "How can we know that our actions will or will not create problems?" As the proverb goes, the road to hell is paved with good intentions. I agree with previous posts that lack of shared goals, consumerism, and so on may create problems. But I think we should always have a little bit of doubt in our own answers. Righteousness is a problem in itself.

 

I so agree… what I mentioned are only a few things that "might create problems." I'm the last person that thinks I have all the answers or reasons for the problems of 2036. However I do believe that the issues I brought up compound the problem but it's much bigger, shoot… it's all incompassing. It touches everything. It could even be seen as a spiritual problem. The lack of respect for something "greater than ourselves"… that could be anything… such as our planet or even our community.

 

We don't know that our actions will create problems. No one ever does. *Usually* you can't see into the future, so you have to formulate hypothesis, test them and proceed… one at a time systematically trying to figure out what the next 'right' move is… Otherwise the sheer terror of flapping our wings the wrong way could get us run over like a deer caught in headlights.

"Hearts starve as well as bodies, give us Bread but give us Roses" ~James Oppenheim

10:24 pm
May 7, 2011


egerendas

Guest

6
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We can help create a more livable 2036 by making the time in our lives to think about our daily actions and how they might affect society in the future. This might mean simplifying our lives enough to be able to stop, think, and change the ways we behave, in our relationships with one another and with our environment.  

How we relate to those around us – loving instead of competing, for instance, can have a "butterfly effect" that reaches into the future.  Treating one individual differently might result in creating a changed workplace or school system or family, affecting the future in ways we may never know. 

I am interested in what public health will look like in the future.  In our efforts to provide food and medicine as the population rises/ages, will we succumb to methods that might be more harmful than good? Will we rely more and more on technology than touch, both of which are important, but are very different ways of healing?

Being involved in health care today my challenge is to help individuals and families have healthier bodies and relationships, which can have a "butterfly effect" in the family and society.  But I hadn't thought so far out into the future – these questions and this game are an opportunity for taking a longer-term view of this challenge.

12:25 am
May 8, 2011


kisbundas

Bloomington, IN

Member

posts 13

7
0
Dorthea, 
In response to your 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?

 

1. Our tendency, as individuals and occasionally as a society, to be a bit myopic are likely to create problems in the future…

 

2. The future is ripe with possibility and potential – that excites me and motivates me to become more involved in shaping the future.

 

-Jen (aka Kisbundas)

 

PS: Noticed on your Facebook profile you were a fan of Battlestar Gallactica. Super coolness :) In 2036 do folks watch the original Battlestar Gallactica series, the one from the 2000s, or something that came along later?

 

 

9:49 pm
May 8, 2011


AnnaAnastasia

Bloomington

Member

posts 21

8
0

What motivates you to become involved in shaping the future?

That's an interesting question.  As Kevin points out, there's no money involved in shaping the future via TTB.  And yet, watching Dorthea's videos, chills go up my spine.  I could say it's self- preservation, considering I'll probably live to see Dorthea's time.  But even if I knew for a fact that I would never experience it…it's just unthinkable to imagine a Bloomington that will deal with rolling power outages, huge lines to obtain basic health care, and a population so resource-poor that most can't even afford pets. And although worldwide quality-of-life issues are compelling (and many current issues are far more serious than what Dorthea is experiencing in the future), Dorthea's messages really bring home the importance of local issues. 

 

I come from a small town in Northern Indiana that's been dying for 50 years.  My parents also lived there but now live here.  My parents and I somehow started talking last weekend about what our town was like in the 1950s and 1960s, when they were in K-12 school.  At that time, the main streets were lined with local shops and restaurants, and people could afford to patronize them because there were jobs with living wages (even jobs for those without a college education, which describes most of the town).  There was an arts scene, a fully-stocked library, and lots of recreational opportunities.  The residents made an effort to maintain the history and culture that's unique to our town.  Although our town was a bit of a tourist destination at times, it was still small enough that the residents knew each other. There were definitely some problems within the community, but the community seemed to have the resources to deal with many of those problems.

 

Most of what my parents described was decimated by the time I graduated college 15 years ago.  By that time, if I had wanted to return to our town after college, I couldn't have managed it, because there would have been no way for my husband and I to find jobs.  Today, I visit infrequently – the decline of a community pushes people away, which sadly makes the community further decline.  But when I do, I see more abandoned buildings and fewer people.  Those who are left have less access to education, information, and basic services.

 

I have no idea what the root causes of the decline were, or why our small town suffered while others didn't suffer as much.  It's something I think about from time to time.  (People once blamed it on the town's refusal to welcome a Wal-Mart, but the surrounding towns are also suffering now in the recession, so maybe it was just a matter of time.)  But the thing is, after witnessing the decline of my hometown, and hearing about the life of my friends and family who are still there – I know that the things Dorthea worries about are real.  Maybe we don't have $13/gallon gas yet, but my hometown has a lack of health care and education.  Most people aren't homeless, but their living conditions aren't good.  The residents must concern themselves less and less with preserving the community, and more and more with survival.  I don't want that for Bloomington.  That's what motivates me.

5:58 am
May 9, 2011


Craiginb

Bloomington

Member

posts 20

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I agree that buying for the sake of buying is not a good thing but then again without consumerism the ability to use some of these social media would very probably be limited. 

That is to say, we have mobile apps because of consumerisum.  If there weren't such a large market for mobile apps then the use of these would be more costly.  At the same time the very things that improve mobility is making it more difficult for some to find work.



 

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