i feel like communities are a bit of a missing conversation

i recently watched an interesting talk between two physicists about the current languishing of the physics field, and while, i'm not very familiar with the participants and this isn't about that talk specifically, i found some of it's sentiments, like restriction from administration and regressive narratives making science a hostile environment, pretty intriguing.

i don't think that current social media trends making things feel a lot more hostile is a particularly unshared feeling, and one of the solutions discussed was to get more distance from more contentious people and each other, “going off planet” as it was put. however, i feel like this stems from the idea that what we're encountering is a new kind problem, maybe caused by social media democratizing everyone's social access or administration hijacked by new political movements, when i'd disagree.

i don't think this is a new problem at all. instead, i think we're hitting limits in the base infrastructure that help support cool communities and even entire fields (like physics) that give people the space to work, and limits on the types of spaces that our current communities can support. it's these communities that i want to talk about specifically, the ones that lie in-between political/economic systems/society and individual persons, which i think have been mostly accidental up to this point.

i feel like western society has this default view of “oh we have capitalism that works cuz we had food on shelves and soviets had breadlines under communism!” and like yeah, some of the bare minimum requirements of background political and economic systems is needing to provide raw materials and support in people's lives so they aren't destitute and free to self-actualize and whatnot, sure.

but for society to truly flourish, we need so much more on top of whatever basal political system exists, and that's where work needs to be done to actually foster the spaces we want to live and flourish in. “behind every great man, there's a great woman” is a similar sentiment but obviously a bit dated, and could be updated like “behind every person, there's a great community”.

i'm optimistic, i think that these spaces are actually largely independent from political systems that provide a foundation for societies as long as they provide at least some freedom. from the example above, in communist eastern germany before the iron curtain fell, there were interesting communities able to thrive. bickering about exactly what flavor of capitalism, communism, political movement or economic system i think completely misses the problem area of actually fostering and growing these communities, and just serves as an endless FUD and distraction from tackling this issue.

so i think maybe the original solution is kind of right, we do need to go “off planet”, to get more space where we can work independently and securely from every megacorp and global organization that meddles with policy, every corrupt politician and finance firm that manipulates the markets for their own gain, or every twitter rando that has a spicy or regressive opinion about your culture, your community, your work, or you, etc.

i think the solution isn't outward in the cosmos, but inside each of our own backyards, where we can focus on fostering healthy, structured and interoperable communities that can work together to help foster the cool things that we want to see more in life. and to me, that feels a bit more encouraging than having to go to mars 😄

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