How href=”” Could Change the World

Born in January of 1963, it was largely the U.S. counterculture from which I obtained my core ideologies. At the risk of writing “fluff” as author, speaker and my one-time partner in Crimes Against CSS Eric A. Meyer would say, I point to the astrological metaphor of the sign of Aquarius. Aquarian ideals are very specific:Humanitarian, science and technology, futurism and considered the sign of visionary genius.
I was born an Aquarius in what is referred to as the dawn of our age where humans and the technologies and systems we create intersect. It is in that intersection the opportunity to bring about the adaptations humanity requires to scale fairly across nearly 8 billion souls resides. It should not come as a surprise that my thinking and circle of friends is very wide and constantly challenged to be wider as well as deeper and more meaningful each day of life. After all, a futurist must preserve the present and the past and the lessons learned therein in order to bring forth human social evolution in an age of scientific awe with an unpleasant side of social disruption.
A more empirical example of this ideal was first shown to me at Los Alamos National Laboratories in Los Alamos, New Mexico, where I along with other early Web-related thinkers were being made welcome yearly as the U.S. Department of Energy came to Web and Accessibility Standards under the long leadership of other great mentors such as Stanford’s Linear Accelerator Center’s Computational Physicist Bebo White, one of the first humans to touch the Web at the very dawn of its unfolding life at CERN.
I believe it was a keynote to the internal talks and trainings we were undertaking and it was my first visit to Los Alamos, a breathtakingly beautiful place for all the sorrow it’s brought to the world (it’s where the atomic bomb was developed). Jeffrey Veen, well-known for multiple companies with strong roots in User Interface and Usability Engineering and Design spoke and dropped a profound bomb on ME. He demonstrated the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s website, which at the time had a page (table-based layouts!) that said “Have hay” on the left and “Need Hay” on the right. In that moment, an incredible mushroom cloud formed above my head and I have worked the concept over and over in theory and eventually, social practices involving concepts such as Radical Honesty, Transcendence of definitions of Race, Gender or Belief Systems and a social agreement that we work together to evolve and aid rather than devolve and destroy.
25 years into the Great Experiment of the Web’s life as well as my own I have seen this very simplistic have/need need/have of everything humanity desires within fair and reasonable limits: Clean food and water, shelter and environmental safety, productivity and service as ability permits. These basic needs are the first step in scaling human systems to an overpopulated, polluted, war-torn and greedy world of now into a progressively safer, stronger, wiser, calmer means of living our lives independently as well as together. People will say it can’t be done, but there’s living proof that it is done every single moment of the day somewhere. It comes in the simple gestures – leaving a good tip for a hard-working waiter or stopping to talk to an upset person and find ways to give aid without sacrificing personal or public safety. The model scales, mostly because it is simply the process of evening out resources for the sake of a greater goal for human potential. Our current models are failing to scale – miserably so – and it is my thought that the global rise of Nationalism beginning around 2016 – has much to do with people hanging on too tightly for fear of loss. What’s to lose, I have to ask? Job, life? We take care of the core needs of humanity: clean food, clean water, sturdy shelter and purposeful activity those problems go AWAY. Isn’t that the point?
What’s the problem then? I think it’s scalability and stuck-in-the-mud thinking born of unreasonable fears brought about by multiple factors including but not limited to: family of origin, nation of origin, race, religion, gender and gender identity, basically all the things that make us individual as well as part of a very real scientific whole.
We are all connected, we are star stuff after all. I consider my life blessed and very lucky despite that mushroom cloud that hovers over me, literal radioactive waste in my very marrow I know that we can do what we think we are incapable of doing, and that is find a way to live fairly and honestly in this world. I refer to that process as human interoperability in that we must interface with each other in the commons, in the workplace, in the home and in our own selves in order to nurture a future where life is valued rather than wasted, where resources are shared and distributed providing a sense of community and individual value without judgement – idealist you say? Absolutely, every day of my life, even the ones where I failed to die.

Author: Molly

See me after class.