From "Connected (with Abe + Isaac) — Volume 12"

slowly, now one two three four five six seven eight nine ten with calm resolve one two three four five six seven eight nine ten breathe, repeat


You know how ideas are connected to memories?

My dad asked me about an important life decision a few years ago, with strong pros and cons for each of the two choices. My response: if you really feel that split about it, if you’re really feeling 50/50 on it, then flip a coin and move on. Honestly! If the options are that well-balanced, then this is not a thing to be spending time on. If you have all the information already, then further deliberation is probably not going to help. You are not effective here, in this space of tension; your opportunity to be effective is elsewhere.

As of this writing, the American election is hilarious. Georgia is 49.96/50 for Trump/Biden. Pennsylvania is 49.85/50. The country overall is 47.33/50, which is still strikingly even.

I’ve heard a significant number of voices saying “I didn’t realize I had so little in common with so many people”, and, “I honestly cannot be friends with anyone on the other side”, and, “I’m moving to Costa Rica”.

Taking into account all of the above, I have two strong feelings:

First: this nation’s 50/50 split in opinion feels structural. It feels evolved. It feels like something physical, like we’ve done enough repetitions of something that evolution has delivered a thing purpose-built for that movement, and it looks like this.

Second, and with a nod to my father: the tension between the two halves feels like a distraction. If we’re talking about the will of the people here, then we honestly might as well flip a coin. So much has been spoken and argued and believed. We are not effective here, in this space of tension; our opportunity to be effective is elsewhere.

In Volume 7 (under “That which you consider to be good”), I explored the idea that unresolvable disagreement is a suggestion for structure. I feel like that holds here. We’ve been shown something about our collective selves, and the mass response has been one of rejection – neither side can abide the other, and to allow the other side to coexist in equal power feels almost universally unacceptable.

I do not think that this is the way.

More pointedly, I think and feel that the way treats the 50/50 split as a feature of the system, as opposed to something dangerous, cancerous. The opportunity to be effective lies not in the tension, but in accepting this as a kind of autonomic balance, to be leveraged in the design process.

This is the direction I’m walking in. I don’t know what I’m going to find there yet. (Part of it, probably, is going to involve innovation for our voting systems; we keep talking about The Politics Industry and there are reasons for that.) No matter what, though, I’ve learned to trust my sense of direction, that sense that tells me which direction holds something hidden, something precious.

I wonder, what will I find?

Love, -Isaac

Good is coming. In so many, many, many ways, it has already arrived. Look for it. At all times, even when you don’t think you can find it, it is there. It is going to be okay. :)

Originally sent out via email

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