The complaint fit the format, “people are dumb and don’t listen” — but when one approaches a “people problem” with numbers in the hundreds of million and with the heaviest percentage cash poor and illiterate, the wisdom of culture and evolution working together to contain the energies of that humanity comes to the fore.  The modern world must have long patience with the cultivation and transformation of lawless, feudal, and medieval space, which in fact may be the larger world.

The passage responds to a fellow and frustrated expatriate Pakistani moral entrepreneur.


1. Network algorithms favor more favored contacts, so our circles and readership may become smaller with the weight of interest given to select others — they 4,000 are not ignoring you but, more likely, missing you;

2. Time is the New Space. In addition to what the computers may be doing to add a layer of programming to defining or reducing our own social chaos (now we have too many friends! 🙂 ), we are all fully booked, or have that option, for computer-borne intellectual and social activity. The machinery runs 24/7/365, has no consciousness itself — or conscience — and is as large as the universe of data-containing disks that support it. We have just one mind each with limited memory and time.  No comparison.

3. The conflict I’ve noted in our world is greater than the “Islamic Small Wars”, with which all are too familiar by way of the news: instead, it is the world of the concentration of power in singular personalities — absolute, feudal, and medieval — vs the world of more broadly distributed power, which I call “modern”. That is what makes a team of Putin and Khamenei — different talks: same walk. The same has made billionaires of Khaled Mashaal and Ismail Haniyeh. The same represent the rule of the lawless vs the rule of the lawful.

4. Finally, cultures may be also our containers: what would we do with time if we were not individually integrated with them? I think the “modern” a big step up from the “medieval” (as discussed above), but individually and culture-wide, we work with conditions as given. Presented with dictators and associated barbaric and piratical forces, we defend our other interests and battle back as best we may. Some struggle involves military, police, and political initiative, but most of such a struggle involves mind — “intellectual battlespace”.

The Haggadah with which I grew up contains among other fine thoughts an interesting assertion: “With every generation a little more freedom is won”. That’s a good thing for a child’s ears. As adults: what more noble a cause?

Our religions — there are about 40 major of the class (and about 7,000 living languages worldwide, each seeing the world a little differently) — are part of our own containment and also multifaceted. It’s good to have them, and all that survive also evolve (or my people would still be trembling before smokey altars).

May the earth have long patience. 🙂

good thing for a child’s ears. As adults: what more noble a cause?

Our religions — there are about 40 major of the class (and about 7,000 living languages worldwide, each seeing the world a little differently) — are part of our own containment and also multifaceted. It’s good to have them, and all that survive also evolve (or my people would still be trembling before smokey altars).

May the earth have long patience. 🙂

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