Ideas and Thoughts for Building a Better Future

Earth cities: the emergent future is here

Ideas & Thoughts
Throughout the nineteenth century, there was a tectonic shift taking place. Children, who used to work in the fields to help their parents – and were a large sector of the population – were taken out of the labor market to teach them something their parents did not know how to do: read and write.

Also, a stranger from outside the village would educate them, the teacher. This eccentric plan aimed to build schools and make attendance mandatory since growth in the industrialized world was happening in the city. In such a place, workers needed to understand signs, read warnings and instructions, among other new demands.

What we now call compulsory schooling was not always there

It was a possibility that arose in part due to a technology created by James Watt: his steam engine triggered the industrial revolution, and that change in productivity produced social transformations that were not predictable.
That seems to be the norm with emergent changes. Technologies give rise to new, completely different possibilities. The problem is our bad collective memory, particularly its failure to capture and remember that there was a moment where much of what today seems obvious simply did not exist.

A more recent example is social networks and their multiple effects on society, which are still hard to evaluate, thanks to the arrival of super-powerful mobile phones.

There are several futures that are emerging today, but can't be seen with the mental frameworks that we commonly use, aspiring to predict what is coming in order to avoid threats. The alternative is to open our minds and imagine emergent futures: we must set aside the pretense of certainty and assume uncertainty not as a problem, but as an inherent part of the world around us.
Earth cities point to an emergent future that can happen. There may be some uncertainties in its path, but they are pretty manageable compared to the certainties of our current path, which leads to a world with massive impacts due to climate change.
Yes, we will change the way cities are built, and that is a good thing. New jobs will appear, a different standard of living will replace the one we have today. Things will become strange to some and very clear to others on our way to a more sustainable world.
Let's do it.

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