Systems, spark, sci-fi
Friday Flow #30
So I have been chosen to be a mentor for David Perell’s Write of Passage course, and I'm pretty pumped! I know it’s pretty expensive, but I was lucky to get in on it when it was way cheaper than it is now and I’m so glad I did. Being mentor means getting to connect with writers from all over the world, and to both share with and learn from them. I’ll share more about the experience as it develops.
In the meantime, let’s jump right in.
Systems and persons
I’ve been thinking about systems. Systems are wonderfully efficient—but they’re impersonal. And human beings need the personal touch. But personal also means relational, and relationships, by definition, are not efficient. Which creates conflict, a tradeoff.
But it’s not just that the personal threatens the efficient. It’s also that relationships introduce give and take, introduces expectations. With a system you can simply receive, but with a relationship, you also have to contribute. Which in turn raises the question of what it means if we help people in ways that don’t allow them to contribute: is it that they can’t or that we can’t see it for them?
I would argue that to expect nothing of another person is to dehumanise them.
Spark a move
My essay this week is about how movements begin:
A friend said recently that she couldn’t imagine herself putting her life on the line for Nigeria.
I mean, I get it.
And yet, it only takes a spark.
The people who have changed things in the past weren’t especially brave or rash. I mean, there were those who were, but not most. I think for most it’s that a moment happens when they get inspired to take action.
That moment is the spark.
Read the rest here…
The churn & the tribe
The thing about civilisation is, it keeps you civil. Get rid of one, you can’t count on the other… I grew up like this. Everyone else is just playing catch-up. People are tribal. The more settled things are, the bigger the tribes can be. The churn comes, and the tribes get small again. Right now, you and I are a tribe of two.
That’s from The Expanse, a sci-fi show out every Wednesday on Amazon Prime which means I get to talk about it with friends on one of my WhatsApp groups. It’s about the politics between Earth, Mars and the Belt (as in asteroids): humans have colonised all 3 areas and are now fighting for resources and power. But what begins as a detective tasked to find a missing girl becomes a ragtag band of people from all three groups just trying to stay alive.
You should check it out, it’s great.
Hope & reeds
We live by hope, but a reed never becomes an iroko tree by dreaming.
Don’t just dream. Once that spark ignites, fan it.
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