New Civilization Visions

Issue 1, 18 July 1995

I will collect visions of how we see life in a new civilization and distribute them here. The emphasis is on positive visions of what you would like to see in the future, not on arguments for or against any particular approach.

This is the first batch.

- Flemming

Flemming Funch <>, Los Angeles, California.

I envision a future where most relatively small communities are self-sufficient in terms of most ongoing needs.

A community of say 100 people would have its own solar power panels or wind generators, with the capacity to cover typical requirements of the community.

Hydroponic gardens would be able to supply food for the whole community for any length of time.

The community has its own water well. And it has a scheme for recycling water so that it can be used over and over again.

There would be no need for carrying away waste. Organic wastes will be used as fertilizer. Plastics and other materials would be reconstructed and re-used.

Mechanical devices would either be very modular so that they could be updated and maintained easily, or they could be deconstructed and turned into other devices. Possibly by computer-aided devices that would carve out mechanical parts from raw materials, based on stored blueprints.

There would be means for home-education. For example by a comprehensive local CD-ROM library.

There would be communication means that aren't vulnerable to local outages, such as for example wireless networking.

Each community would network widely with other communities and would also be tied into networks for sharing resources. I.e. there would be an electricity grid that each community could feed into when it has a surplus, or draw from if it has a shortage.

Society would be made of many cells that each can be self-sufficient when it needs to be, but which can draw advantages from being connected with other cells that emphasize different products.

Kim Baker <>, Cape Town, South Africa.

I see people living together in communities of their choice, following the ideals of their choice. Thus, in Africa, could be groups of people, each living in accordance with the various principles of African Traditional Religions, there could be groups of Christians, in other parts of the world, Muslims, Bahai's, Buddhists, Paganists, Eco- feminists, etc. Each community would therefore live according to a shared religion or philosophy as its basis. There would be no national boundaries, or nation states, but the communities would enjoy a sovereignty within the bounds of an agreed global civil ethic (including principles such as preservation of the planet, freedom of association, etc). People would be free to move from community to community to explore the various ways.

There would be a means, such as the Internet, for people to link up with others around the planet on specific issues - artists across the spectrum could link up, for instance. There would be festivals of celebration every now and then, hosted by the communities, which people can attend, by choice, to celebrate new discoveries in science, art, technology, with music and dancing.

Communities would care for all their members, and everyone would know everyone, and take responsiblity for the well-being and happiness of all members of the communities.

Bonnie Richardson <>, Huntsville, Alabama.

My ideal new civilization would be exactly as described in Thea Alexander's book titled "2150".

Nicholas Albery <>, London, England.

Vision of Life in AD 2044

In August 2009 an unidentified Islamic fundamentalist group failed in its attempt to blackmail the French government. On August 21st the group carried out its threat and exploded a number of nuclear devices smuggled into Paris, and destroyed most of the city. Similar blackmail was directed against other Western cities. The consequences were dramatic in the extreme. Many people tried to flee from Western cities - the rich tried to buy their way into 'safe' countries in the Southern hemisphere. Local areas vetted newcomers and strangers very carefully to ensure that they represented no security danger. Travel and immigration became very restricted.

As a result, the world in 2044 is now entirely fragmented politically, like a ship with watertight compartments. The old county of Perthshire is now itself The Free and Independent Republic of Perthia. It has its own (entirely electronic) currency, stamps, national theatre, prime minister, parliament, armed forces, etc. Villages and parishes within towns very much run their own affairs by referenda. The local policeman goes round each household once a fortnight to ask if residents have seen anything suspicious in their area. It is a complicated business for residents to settle in Perthia - their international identity smart card, the record of their entire lives, is carefully examined and references checked, and the would-be immigrant has to find a village or community within Perthia to vote to allow him or her residence.

Each village also imposes a labour tax on its residents - they must each work two hours a week for the neighbourhood on anything from street cleaning to care of the elderly, or, if unable to do so because of pressure of work elsewhere, they pay a labour tax so that the neighbourhood can employ someone else who is less busy.

Each neighbourhood has its own caretaker. The quality of life in each neighbourhood very much depends on the quality of its caretaker, as this person has many roles - from coordinating neighbourhood watch to work allocation.

Population figures continue to go down - the taxation system rewards those with fewest children. It is all part of a campaign to make Perthia as self-sufficient in food and manufactures as possible.

Despite the human tragedies that have afflicted the West in recent memory, people in Perthia are relatively happy nowadays. Whilst you can still get medicinal drugs on prescription from the doctor, consciousness-altering drugs are legally available through the priests of the various religions. Some priests form groups of compatible seekers, doctoring the communion 'wine' with the drug most suited to the needs of the participants. The churches and chapels have full congregations, mainly of teenagers. Perthia has a reputation among the ten thousand nations for the quality of its mystics.

Pete Berardo <>, Palo Alto, CA.

A high proportion of my time is spent (not invested) in dealing with various providers of commodities and services: utilitiy companies (gas, water, electric, trash, recycling); medical, dental, and vision health care; banks; credit providers; insurances (health, property, automobile, life); and other more personalized providers.

Computers have helped reduce errors but also isolated us from people, especially people who care to address issues, rather than conform to CRT templates. At my company, a great deal has been done to integrate various employee services. There are several ways I can electronically access and even change personal information or selections. Unfortunately, access to people for special cases has greatly diminished.

I believe that technology can be our means to improved quality of life -- for individuals and for Earth. Personally, I would be thrilled if all of the above **stuff** could be concentrated in one data base.

Freedom from niggardly time demands.

Independence to invest my time.

These are more important to me than privacy.

All these providers have essentially common information anyway, i.e., DOB, SSN, mother's maiden name, employment, spouse, address, telephone #, income, etc. So what? So I get a bit of junk mail and I have to cancel it. Maybe less privacy and more freedom would reverse some of our social ills. Certainly the privacy of criminals does not seem in best interests of the average person.

For the average person, "Integrated Providers Company", (PROVCO?) could sometimes help prevent unwise decisions, much like a pop-up window that says "Are you sure you want to do this?". Trust in other people would rise if they were a member of PROVCO.

Well, still a bit out of focus, but that's my vision -- more time each of us. I'm sure we'll put it to good use.

David Leland <>, Manitoba, Canada.

The New Civilization is a peaceable, cooperative commonwealth which harmonizes meeting human needs in the present with being stewards of the environment with a view to the future.

Bruce Hanna <>, Santa Barbara, California.

"Context - a Visualization"
July 6, 1995

Visualize life as a SEA .

Facts, techniques, methods, concepts and related technology comprise the HULL of a sailing vessel. They let us float, but do not lead anywhere, i.e. to fulfillment, success or meaning.

Specific life situations we experience provide WIND for our boat. Although wind changes in force and direction and is unpredictable, it is the source of energy for the value we may find in life. The wind provides opportunity and challenge.

SAILS harness the power of the wind. We must understand the context, and know how to apply our knowledge and skill to fill the SAILS.

The TILLER or WHEEL of the boat aims the boat in specific directions. Commitment and intention to achieve specific goals provide this.

The RUDDER, (which we can't see because it's under the boat), actually guides our direction. As sailors know, the rudder may not head the same way the tiller is pointed.

Relationships connect us to the RUDDER. Nearly all we do realizes its value in relationship - influencing others in work and in life. We need to stay in feedback with all our stakeholders to learn if the expected value is being felt.

All the above acts in concert. The parts of the SAILING system do nothing by themselves, they can only function together.

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