in Urban Politics

Political Tech

“Thinking does not solve problems it merely expresses the possibility. One thought expresses a vast human capacity. It brings to mind a contemporary criticism of the medical system that defines a healthy person as one who has not been fully worked up.  It tells us that cities are like that – never fully worked up, a possibility. Outside the realm of a single thought or one laugh there is the very hard work of finding and defining a real, live lie. The presumption of one is just the first step, but it will take complete faith in technolgy to go further.”

Rex L. Curry

In one sense, a lie and the truth are born of a union, but now they walk the earth telling stories of their exploits and how the world works as competitors. Truths and lies have equal value because they represent the supposed fairness of reason in various adjudication systems that ask jurists to choose between two, three, or a hundred versions of the truth or a lie. They differ as honest interpretations. The audience picks the one liked as a matter of categorical interest over factual accuracy. The result is a chaotic condion of inductive and deductive processes that go from the specific to the general, and from the general to the specified. You see it organised in three steps.

First, the legal concepts build up as cases are compared.

Second,  these cases wrestle for a while with the inherent ambiguity of language. The most dramatic arguments are about causation such as the cause of global warming. The facts are well known. The concept of a cause becomes exclusive, while the process of reasoning continues to place specific events inside and outside of the concept.

Third, a condition or stage emerges as reasoning through these examples moves ahead until matters of kind move into matters of a mathematical degree leading to the breakdown of the concept.  New discrete components form. 


Where there is little proof of preemption there is a lot of it about failure. Change occurs in a kind of 3D matrix that defines who, where, and when, leaving why and how ignite into use. When “how” comes in to use there is only one stop sign solution. Why?

The assignment of natural resource consumption rates to concrete named companies by material can become an aggregate. The “unsafe at any speed” narrative on consuption is symbolic of our 20th century. As rates begin to exceed the earth’s replacement capacity post 20XX, the examples of “kind” continue to have measurable quantities. Most of it is about making stuff directly attributable to the loss of life and its quality as predictable. Now, matters of kind become elements of degree. Here is an example.

Work the concept of climate change cases with laws against the presumption of entitled consumption. Take these steps to attach your personal and professional mind to this change.

  1. Step back, look at the roots of technology, and decide to become comfortable with getting to know the arc of this change.
    1. A summary is (here) from Kevin Kelly, it’s OK for the seed. There is better.
  2. Look at how the making of things expresses human genius. The idea that we have to make or acquire stuff to find “ultimate expression” misses the point. It is about the choice of stuff to make.
    1. A vague look at this responsibility (here) is troubling, accurate.
  3. Private Workshop Project. Transect the ground between any two things, perhaps a collection of bobble-head dolls and then a set of dishes at home. Realize measures for a cult of personalities and the acquisition of gigabytes about them both. Now do it this with thousands of “things” and make choices using tools such as:
    1. the Good Guide or Kando’s Real Message
  4. Accept the opportunity of the 1 thru 3 (above) processes and expect change, but do not expect to know what they will mean.
  5. Public Workshop Project. Imagine a world before language as a whisper of thought and a fragment of an individual’s movement and imagination.
    1. Write down what you really need and want to know with other people and then let it happen and if necessary make it happen.
  6. Now imagine knowing everything of your world within the system itself as if a tree had knowledge of all trees. Do you see less stuff and more life?
    1. If not go back to step one.
  7. Make your own step seven to acquire the knowledge implied and you will become comfortable with dense idea of activism and life.

Technium – not basic

All of the above is how I imagined Kevin Kelly or someone just as unreasonably optimistic might make an argument for a new kind of quality of life with added restraints but access to a machine with a perfect memory. His book What Technology Wants, defines the relevant technical and environmental conditions for enthusiastic investment at the dawn fo the 21st c. The tendency is to view these investments in a broad social mobility dimension such as thinking of your phone as a thing closer to God than a frog to which Kelly’s NY Times critic said he would believe when a phone reproduces itself on a diet of flies. Biology combined with technology misses the purpose of complexity to maintain awareness of simplicity.

Here is a practical example, the local education budget in NYC for may not capture its investment in supporting five amazing geniuses and a million other kids to discover their talents because manly of them might end up in Los Angeles. The technology available now suggests NYC investment in education can still benefit. The crisis of COVID-19 brought this to bear in a painful way as one or more of those bright young people may have been among the 300,000 children that did not have a computer or the raw broadband cash access to communicate with their peers or teachers via the Internet. The shutdown in North Korea on the other hand was traumatic, but not one beat was missed in the education of their children because of universal high-speed service providers.

The well-known midrange of capability as captured in Maslow’s hierarchy ignores two elements – interpersonal social integration and consonance. Regardless of the physical design, from cave to savanah, agora to market, high-rise classrooms or country-side campuses, the public responsibility to educate is to assure individuals the widest possible set of choices. (John Locke) Limits on choice produce a lack of balance in human capital investment policies. This is apparent by measuring the number of individuals able to choose among a variety of socioeconomic dimensions vs. the number who have a limited number and further parse that by country of origin, race, gender, and sexual orientation.

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