Engineers, Congrats! You Have A Constitution!

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Nathan Cravens

May 20, 2021, 9:33:21 PM5/20/21
to Open Manufacturing, Hackerspaces General Discussion List
Dearest Esteemed Colleagues, ;)

Yay! Constitutional Screen Played Scenarios Incoming ;) Share the news with your boss. :p

Nerd Out, Dear Friends. Nerd Out! ;)

Your Super Duper Nerd In Residence,

Nathan W. Cravens | @nwcrav |


Eric Hunting

Jun 11, 2021, 12:36:46 PM6/11/21
to Open Manufacturing
It's always fun to speculate on possible futures. This constitution offers some glimpses of an interesting future that I think could be much more fleshed-out. I see some interesting hints of different kinds of societies functioning in varying degrees of independence or insulation. It's a bit sparse on a specific institutional architecture, but that may be intentional. The future may not need the complexity and rigidity of political structures as we crafted them in the old Industrial Age. Perhaps "Do what thou wilt" will be as much as we ever need, set in stone. 

I've been doing some worldbuilding myself in recent months, toying with a Solarpunk Visual Novel concept called Ghostwalker. It is set at the turn of the next century, as civilization emerges much-changed and on the cusp of post-scarcity from a somewhat turbulent era of Post-Industrial transition and climate change disruption. The premise is a kind of Gulliver's Travels journey around the world and among the different cultures of this future, revealing pieces of the century's history, as the player character seeks to solve the riddles behind a terrorist attack and find solutions to the dire situation it has left him personally with. The future history of this century is about a kind of race between the collapse of the Industrial Age culture and its institutions and infrastructures and the bootstrapping of a new one in the hopes of mitigating --through obsolescence of critical dependencies-- the hardship to society, this becoming critical in the wake of a Kessler Cascade event that destroys the orbital telecommunications infrastructure triggering global economic disruption. 

I've imagined a kind of Outquisition scenario where national infrastructures, stressed to their breaking points by accumulating climate change impacts and the incompetent management of an increasingly delusional and insular ruling class, begin to fail across the world, eroding national authority and compelling a community resilience movement as a matter of survival. This is greatly enabled by the emerging technologies of renewables, independent production, and cosmo-localization, but also greatly resisted by the compulsive, desperate, impulses of those vested in legacy power structures. Eventually the Westphalian states crumble and there is a brief return to self-sufficient city-states which, for the most-part, seek to establish new regional cooperatives relating to their cosmo-local information interdependence and need for mutual maintenance of transit infrastructures. (automated railways now the predominant means of global transit as an Earth Island transit loop now parallels the ice-free Arctic Circle) 

The end result is a largely stateless, borderless, moneyless, global network of physical, and virtual, communities using platform cooperative systems to mediate, and in some ways automate, their interactions. Intentional communities --some based on physical locations, some simply social and virtual based on special interest groups or related to former 'professional' communities) and the adhocracries they spawn are the primary forms of social organization. Production is now mostly automated, direct, non-speculative, done within a few kilometers of anyone's residence, and regarded as a municipal utility in most places. Only refined resources are shipped any great distance. An 'integral basic income' is established through a 'free-within-reason' policy to production supported on the automated regional resource networks. Land ownership is abolished, but residential space is freely available to all. A global 'rewilding' effort is underway as urban landscape superstructures replace older cities and towns to form a web-like network of linear cities built around select transit/infrastructure routes. 

But, of course, as the William Gibson quote goes, the future is here, but not evenly distributed. Parts of the globe remain largely uninhabitable and sparsely inhabited in the wake of environmental change. Others remain backward because of the influence of belligerent hermit/pirate city-states held under the sway of despots, demagogues, and oppressive religions. Some communities bear the cultural legacy of atrocities committed by the failing yet still powerful nations in desperate attempts to stem the rising tide of climate refugees. Some are deliberately isolationist out of neo-primitivist ideals or other ideological motives. Some seek isolation to conceal a use of very advanced, but dangerous, technologies more restricted elsewhere. Central and Eastern Asia is something of a 'wild west' after the region was ultimately compelled to absorb vast migrations out of the Global South and it remains littered with dangerous relics of the Cold War era. 
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