The world burns in the fire of a Dark Age — a burning that’s increasingly more literal than metaphorical, burdened by wicked problems yearning to be solved. Yet, like the elemental fire itself, the dire status of our world can be harnessed for a greater good of renascent proportions.
Every Golden Age starts with the word, from the dawn of humankind to Aristotle’s Athens, to the Huan Dynasty, to the Renaissance, to the Enlightenment, to the Aztec and Incan Empires. Edicts and manifestos and declarations invoke a new existence into reality. Dark Ages become anew by writing collectively the golden possibilities of tomorrow.
Our world, in our age, stands as more complex than any of the aforementioned eras. We live in a reality that manifests at once as highly interconnected and as damningly fragmented. We live in a time in which minds can understand the intricacies and paradoxes of quantum mechanics but barely grasp the nuances of their own humanity, while others grasp and embrace the mysteries of the universe but reject the ground they stand on and willfully ignore the science of how their food cooks in a magic metal box or how metal beasts allow them to fly. We have become self-satisfied with belonging to (or worse, delude ourselves into mastering) only one realm of reality, believing that there can be only one way to personal, communal, and worldly salvation from the burning fire and the wicked problems. Yet, specialization of mind and the isolation of understanding from spirit both lead to disaster: we lose our stars, our guide in darkness, our brilliance in the thick of night. Nature, the Earthly, and the Divine never manifest single-mindedly — then why do we, modern and contemporary, insist to single-mindedly specialize ourselves out of the richness and complexity that reality gives us?
In writing these Industrioneer Papers, I aspire to emulate exemplars from the past who built new futures and battled dark times with the power of words — precisely what our current industries, economies, societies, cultures, and ecosystems desperately need to rid them of wicked problems and the barbarism of specialization. Ultimately, these papers aim to connect and ignite — to connect viewpoints and worldviews given by the intersections of disciplines, interests, and cultures which I have experienced and embody today, and to ignite a rethinking, a dialogue, and a reevaluation of how we understand the entangled relationships among our specializations, our industries, and the wickedness of our world.