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Conclusion of Occupy Vision


Fanfare which is at: http://www.zcomm.org/topics/fanfare-for-the-future 

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line-height:150%;font-family:"Verdana","sans-serif";mso-fareast-font-family:
"Times New Roman";mso-bidi-font-family:"Times New Roman"”>Conclusion

line-height:150%;font-family:"Verdana","sans-serif";mso-fareast-font-family:
"Times New Roman";mso-bidi-font-family:"Times New Roman"”>"What happens to a dream deferred
Does it dry up Like a raisin in the sun
Or fester like a sore—And then run
Does it stink like rotten meat
Or crust and sugar over— like a syrupy sweet
Maybe it just sags like a heavy load.
Or does it explode?"
- Langston Hughes
line-height:150%;font-family:"Verdana","sans-serif";mso-fareast-font-family:
"Times New Roman";mso-bidi-font-family:"Times New Roman"”>“Reason, or the ratio of all we have already known,
is not the same that it shall be when we know more.”
- William Blake

  • mso-fareast-font-family:"Times New Roman";mso-bidi-font-family:"Times New Roman"”>What will sex life look like?
  • mso-fareast-font-family:"Times New Roman";mso-bidi-font-family:"Times New Roman"”>What will people consume?
  • mso-fareast-font-family:"Times New Roman";mso-bidi-font-family:"Times New Roman"”>How long will the work day be?
  • mso-fareast-font-family:"Times New Roman";mso-bidi-font-family:"Times New Roman"”>How will Catholicism or Islam change?
  • mso-fareast-font-family:"Times New Roman";mso-bidi-font-family:"Times New Roman"”>What will happen to population sizes?
  • mso-fareast-font-family:"Times New Roman";mso-bidi-font-family:"Times New Roman"”>How long will the school day be?
  • mso-fareast-font-family:"Times New Roman";mso-bidi-font-family:"Times New Roman"”>How old will people be when they retire?
  • mso-fareast-font-family:"Times New Roman";mso-bidi-font-family:"Times New Roman"”>How big will workplaces be?
  • mso-fareast-font-family:"Times New Roman";mso-bidi-font-family:"Times New Roman"”>What job will I personally have?
  • mso-fareast-font-family:"Times New Roman";mso-bidi-font-family:"Times New Roman"”>Will everyone be vegetarian?
  • mso-fareast-font-family:"Times New Roman";mso-bidi-font-family:"Times New Roman"”>What legislation will pass?
  • Is our imagination lacking, or is there a positive reason we neglect such matters?

    There are actually four reasons why we restrain ourselves.

    First, to delve into visionary details is to risk the idiocy of arrogant excess. That is, we can’t, in fact, know visionary details. The future is not an open book but a complex product of choices and conditions no one can fully know in advance.

    Second, nor, for that matter, are there any singularly right details to know. A future society will opt for many different choices regarding its detailed features. Saying what those choices will be now, not only ignores that what they will be will depend on lessons learned in the future, but also ignores that in different places, and different communities, not only due to lessons we haven’t learned, but due to different tastes, there will be different choices. There aren’t singularly correct future choices.

    A third reason is we wish to avoid a slippery slope that leads beyond arrogant excess to stultifying rigidity. The more visionary details one offers, even if such details could be confidently known – which they can’t – and even if such details wouldn’t vary from place to place and time to time – which they would – the more one is likely to see vision as some fixed, finished, final and complete result and thus the less likely one is to be flexible about assessing, improving, adapting, and refining it. To get overly detailed is a fool’s errand not only because it will yield gross errors and not only because there are no universal details to foresee, but because it risks corrupting the whole process by rigidifying attitudes.

    Finally, there is a fourth fundamental reason. The details of vision are not our concern. The task we face is to provide future generations with a society whose institutions facilitate their making their own decisions. Our task is to provide institutions which do not dictate, bias, or even constrain outcomes away from human well being and development. Our task is to provide a societal setting consistent with human well being and development for all, but not specifying the shapes people opt for within that freedom. The actual choice of policies and details in future settings is, in other words, for future people to decide. For us to act like those choices are our province would violate self management (for them) and is a slippery slope toward us dictating for others how they will live.

    So we have been and we need to remain minimalist. Of course all sides of life interest us. Of course there are times when discussing in more detail some topic – maybe answering a question or developing an edifying example – can be useful for showing the general benefits and implications of our institutional commitments. But to actually think we can know, or that there is even something to know, or that it is our right to make such choices would violate the self managing, diverse, and flexible values and processes we favor.

    We Are Maximalist

    line-height:150%;font-family:"Verdana","sans-serif";mso-fareast-font-family:
    "Times New Roman";mso-bidi-font-family:"Times New Roman"”>“Listen, Revolution,
    We’re buddies,
    see Together,
    We can take everything.”
    - Langston Hughes line-height:150%;font-family:"Verdana","sans-serif";mso-fareast-font-family:
    "Times New Roman";mso-bidi-font-family:"Times New Roman"”>“Will the people in the cheap seats clap?
    And the rest of you, if you’ll just rattle your jewelry.”
    - John Lennon