Justin Watkins visited our PA Drop-In this Monday, and before the hour was through I invited him to lead a Frameworks Session conversation January 31, 2023. He had me at, "it's the solution oriented response" when introducing The Consilience Project. He led into this with asking if any one had seen "The Social Dilemma". Here are a few notes Justin sent over ahead of the session:

The first concept is something called the metacrisis. Which is the idea that the growing number and severity of crises is primarily due to our eroded ability to reach consensus. Rebuilding that on an individual level is complicated but well understood. This provides a concrete starting point for restoring the capacity on a societal level.

The second is a related concept called the epistemic commons. It implies our ability to communicate and understand the world has undergone a tragedy of the commons. Social media, mainstream media, political campaigns and even many marketing teams are among the biggest offenders here.

Other highlights from these articles include:

-How deindustrialization has eroded our social fabric
-How the explosion of the internet broke the US government's ability to function as it had in the 20th century. We have not adapted and thus problems continue to accumulate.
-Historically societies trend towards oppressive authoritarianism or extreme chaos. A framework for a third alternative called emergent order is outlined.

The concrete next steps I mentioned would involve weekly meetings going deeper into these concepts. As well as more practical things which have more name recognition: meditation, boundaries, vulnerability, wellness wheels and more. As a package, these are effective in promoting an individual's ability to communicate and collaborate.

The entire process is by no means figured out yet; bringing about societal change is complex. However, there seems to be a fair amount of low hanging fruit that involves little risk and opportunity cost. This suggests to me the best move is just getting started. 

Christian Fyke


I spend my time building community and connecting people through hospitality.