This blog is long overdue, so there are many things to write about! I thought it would be fun to start with an examination of this blog’s name..
“The Hippie Futurist“
This is a manifestation of me searching for self-identity. As far as I know, there is no definitive meaning of a “hippie futurist.” By my own definition I find that it addresses several things nicely:
- It is thought-provoking
- It is unique
- It aptly describes my world outlook and current life path
Since leaving my last job as a software developer, I have struggled to find a good succinct explanation of what I “do”. For those of you who don’t know or if the explanation caused your eyes to glaze over like a freshly-baked jelly doughnut, I am on a team with a goal of creating a network of sustainable, access-based need-fulfillment communities. Yep, kind of a mouthful. The dilemma lies in that the project is multidisciplinary and includes many fields of study including (but not limited to) sustainable technology, robotics,
I’ve toyed with using terms like “urban planner,” “sustainable designer,” and “social entrepreneur.” None of these encompasses the full scope of the project, and none portrays the emotion and connectivity that I have to it. I am helping create a fun, healthy, peaceful, and environmentally regenerative alternative way-of-life. A traditional job title is way too restricting and cold. Enter: “hippie futurist.”
At first glance these two words may seem at odds. At their extreme we have a tree-hugger combined with a technophile. First off, I’ll admit that I have hugged a fare share of trees and am also very interested in technology trends. But these two words have much more depth and commonality.
The hippie culture encourages consciousness-expansion, critical thinking, and a greater appreciation for the surrounding world and its inhabitants. Futurology examines current world trends (in society, technology, and the natural environment) and proposes plans for the future in order to be best positioned for the outcomes. Combined, these two philosophies take what is real and most important in our current state and integrate into a proposal for an improved future. At the core that is what I wish to do, and the community network is a natural progression from that goal.
So what does a hippie futurist envision?
The common impression of futurology being all about gadgets and A.I. is not surprising considering the mainstream view of the future only in terms of new innovative technology. In most popular visions of the future, society itself is either stagnant or some devolution back into old-world despotism. It is never a step forward. Most visions of the future I am familiar with are increasingly sterile, isolated, and separated from nature.
We do not just happen to live on this planet. We evolved on this planet. We are this planet.
Cue the hippie. I am all for technology, and in fact support the automation of all of our work in order to liberate humanity from labor. But I recognize that technology is only a tool. Technology is a modern invention, and for millions of years we have utilized the pristine, natural environment to fulfill our basic needs. We have evolved within nature since life on Earth started over 3 billion years ago. The surrounding natural environment is as much a part of us as is our very own DNA and conscious thought. We do not just happen to live on this planet. We evolved on this planet. We are this planet. To stray further and further away from nature is akin to neglecting and letting the relationship with ones parents decay; it may be possible to survive for a while, but so much knowledge, wisdom, advice, compassion, balance, and spiritual connection is lost. One of the greatest dangers of living in this era of high technology is that we overlook the natural solutions and remedies that Earth provides us. Not just of food and medicinal sources, but of symbiosis, regenerative systems, and abundance.
“All scientific and technical equipment, to me, is so many millions of tons of junk, unless it enhances the lives of people.”
My ideal view of the future is one in which humanity reconnects with nature, our one globally shared home. We will consult the most efficient system ever known for its solutions and guiding wisdom. We will mimic natural systems as much as possible for instruction on sustenance, governance and abundance. Nature provides for all, and thus it can provide for all of the world’s people and creatures. We will take advantage of current trends in technology related to robotics, sustainable energy, and distributed additive manufacturing to free humans from labor and enable them to pursue their true interests. We will apply technology with a humanist approach, rather than a commercial one. Rather than driving people apart, technology will do the heavy lifting and allow humans to do what they do best: exist as social creatures.
And hey, why can’t robots join in on the fun, too?