---> Why inhabit; why now
Knock knock. Who's there? Gaia.
If not you, who? If not now, when?
Not you, Hero; talking to the taciturn cowgirl over your left shoulder there.
Wait, is this like, a mission? An assignment? HARD WORK? F-that!
Would-be Changemakers, you're in charge; more or less. Even if 'saving the planet' as such is going out of fashion, it'll be great exercise. More fun than hacking through the Matrix! Honest.
Calmly, at the threshold now, it's no big deal. Step into the unknowns, but don't let go. Time to head out beyond boundaries in an orderly fashion, building bridges instead of just cutting loose.
To the promised land!? Depends....
Pretty much everyone's looking for better quality of life, increased freedom and stimulus, a wealth of opportunity. Right now, sound science says we can't do that for any significant fraction of the current population without cooking the planet. We can and should expect miracles, but not that many at once. We've already crossed four of 9 planetary boundaries, according to Stockholm Resilience Center. Feet are in the fire here. Nobody to the rescue; save us.
So let's go, move out, come on in, there's room if you can handle the @tension.
The idiom of inhabit is shorthand for a swath of decentralized activity with an entirely unofficial stated purpose of wisely transitioning and stewarding this here earth at the onset of regenerative planetary culture in the face of escalating disruption and deep-seated need.
The word habit appears to stem from an ancient root meaning: "to hold" - which can either be in offering or taking.
These days we're not exactly holding it together. The world, that is. Tearing apart and burning up is maybe more like it. It only takes a few empowered scoundrels to imbalance an outdated unhealthy system and things break down. No One is going to disrupt the disruption. Keep hold of this word: together. It's another throughline of our journey; what it means to be connected, mutual, bound, determined.
So here WE come, not to protest or provoke but to provide - to present a fabulously rich fabric of alternative futures. Much the way Occupy came to signify a creative and chaotic form of action protest, however incoherent; striking a chord, realizing a need to be seen and heard, to call attention to destructive bias and collusion in the financial machinery and political economy. Inhabit is a similarly memetic keyword that can be adapted and attached to many niche efforts and ideas. It's the geodesic imprint that links a lot of disparate work, ideas, locales together as a loose network. It's a language, or at least a lingo, a vocabulary. You click/speak inhabit? Good. We hang together. We probably share some values, methods, and goals. Let's find out. It is not an exclusive domain. It's what you make of it, if inclined.
However, the groundwork is key, in more ways than one. The meme needs an infusion of story and purpose to get off, to mean something. A memetic code, if you will. This document attempts an initial survey of the terrain based on generalized synthesis of what's out there now and working, convincingly and replicably, boiling it down to a loose assembly of key components or patterns, and looking at how they work together, or could. The next section will go into detail on those emerging and interlaced trends.
First, a quick side-trip into speculative philosophy and sociology of world change, if we may.
Worldly power, and the imposition of involuntary order / rule which it implies, is inextricably linked with the control of scarce resources and technologies. It should be plentifully clear how to go about unseating and obsoleting that mechanism, should you be so inclined.
The ideal has been a scalable model of abundance within reasonable limits, respecting other human's desires and the sanctity of the surrounding natural / non-artificial / integral world. The design science of Permaculture lays out these three primary ethics succinctly. It's a compelling vision. Also one that has proven itself well removed (by choice) from the reality of industrial juggernaut globalization and many of the less appealing human desires and faults that drive it. Se la vie?
It's been 50 years since the landmark summer of love, and we are arguably sinking into a quagmire of petty individualism, listless indulgence, inept fantasy, and worse. What gives? What's been right all along in the counter-culture cognoscenti vision, and what was missing or not yet ready to fall into place? Is it really open to all comers, or just the heady, haptic few?
It's been like 50 thousand years since people started documenting and circulating ideas about leading a good life. Knowledge, and its curation as wisdom, are the original liberating resource in ready abundance. And yet today, perhaps too much of a good thing?
Whither community in the digital age, eh? Fragmentary transactions and everready distraction is like social kryptonite. So important to remember how to come together and have a good time, over and over and over. To recollect the collective.
Do we need a spiritual evolution, or a secular one? Would pop star endorsements help, or big brand alliances? Is consumerism the culprit? Is small reeeally beautiful?
Do we get to have fun AND get shift done? Can we tackle this through the art of undogmatic play-do? Darn tooting.
It's worth acknowledging many a faithful, far-sighted forbearer on this path, and gathering up some of their courage and good spirits for the way ahead. For decades, centuries, participants in a global movement for the development and spread of sustainable, intentional community living have reveled in the possibilities of a transcendent new age beyond enmity, poverty, and apathy. As a result of many bold experiments, offline and online knowledge repositories show a long list of remarkable achievements, experiences, innovation and adaptation, hard lessons, and fierce debates in the face of a resolutely exploitative, competitive, and commercial mainstream society. This movement has by necessity taken an attitude of detachment, buffering itself against that mainstream's undertow. It was by definition alternative, often radically so. While some noteworthy ideas germinated and spread widely, like natural food coops, community gardens, co-housing, alternative currencies, participatory governance, the overall impact thus far barely registers on the Richter scale of culture change.
Now there's another wave rising, most closely linked to the spread of realtime digital communication in a panoply of forms and feature sets through the WWW and portable gadgetry. Along side that, the growing recognition that radical change is absolutely called for, staring us tough-lovingly in the face. Lots of the ideas that have been kicking around in the alternative background are coming forward now to hybridize with a slew of new possibilities and promising innovations from the technological vanguard. What will be the result of all this: happy convergence, or crippling collision?
Is it possible we could craft the kind of rich, dynamic planetary culture that combines the best of sophisticated sci-fi with old school utopianism, in time to avert the crippling effects of climate change and geopolitical turmoil? Let's go out on a limb for now and say Yes. It really is an act of faith.
jump to >>> Evolition
Fraid we're not foreshadowing a big epiphany/reveal here by the end of this. There's a huge achievement gap to leap. Engaging art, fun, spirit, and story will help lots. Pressure is growing, we can tap that too. What else is there to do?
Let us go on. Not with defenses and isolation or escapism, not back to the land in romantic or ascetic fashion. But let's go, let's go, let's go; bridging back and forth to the future of harmonious and gratifying accord.
No pressure now. It's totally up to your own intrinsic motivations. Promise. Koolaid is straight ahead, if you're getting thirsty