Elle Griffin wishes to brainstorm the future together on her blog full of idealistic visions. Good plan, let's do that.

Imho, the bottom line problem standing in the way of a better future is the marriage between violent men and an accelerating knowledge explosion. As nuclear weapons so clearly illustrate, whatever one's hopes, dreams and plans for a better future might be, they can all be swept away in just minutes by that marriage.

There's an excellent new documentary series on Netflix called: Turning Point: The Bomb and the Cold War, which lays out the case is considerable detail. Here's a link to the trailer on YouTube.


Those allergic to doom and gloom information might look at this question from the happier side. If we can solve the problem of violent men by some method that would result in two very important positive outcomes.

1) A radical reduction in violence at every level of society all over the world.

2) Once society was liberated from the cost of responding to violent men, vast new resources would become available for life affirming projects like education and health care etc.

Imho, we're at a historic crossroads today and the future will go in one of two directions:

1) We'll solve the problem of violent men and the future will be dramatically better than today. Or...

2). We won't solve the problem of violent men and the future will be dramatically worse than today.

One of the key obstacles to a utopian future may be our assumption that the status quo is sustainable, that we can keep on going more or less as we always have.

I'm so sorry to report, that era ended at 8:15am on August 6, 1945 over Hiroshima Japan.

Violent men + Knowledge Explosion = No Future Worth Living In

Expand full comment

Do you have a proposal for how we would solve the problem of violence?

Expand full comment

Hi Elle,

I do. As a place to start, I would urge writers to write about their own solutions.

No, wait, let's back up. We aren't really ready for solutions yet. Before we ask the "how" questions, we should focus on the "why" question. Until we fully understand why we should address the issue of violent men, any proposed solution which involves some price tag will be dismissed, and we'll go running back to the comfortable assumption that the status quo is sustainable. And any solution big enough to solve the problem of violent men will come with unwelcome price tags.

If I were to knock on a reader's front door and offer to sell them a method of preventing their house from burning down, I'll get nowhere with my pitch unless the homeowner is persuaded that they have a problem which requires a solution.

Is the status quo sustainable? Is the status quo acceptable? Are we willing to pay some price to have a dramatically better future? Until we can answer these kinds of questions with some conviction, nobody's proposed solution will be welcomed.

Some people can approach this topic by examining the horrors violent men inflict upon the innocent. Others can approach the topic by focusing on what a world with radically less violence might look like. The first solution is simply to focus on this challenge in whatever manner we can.

Expand full comment

I feel like we are all very aware of the problem of violence though? We are confronted with it everyday. School shootings always top the news, so do wars and genocides. It's not that we aren't aware of the problem, it's that people don't know what solutions there could be!

Expand full comment

Good points Elle, thanks for engaging.

One issue seems to be that we're intellectually aware of the violence, but have become too skilled at protecting ourselves from it emotionally. So agree, we don't really need more information. We need to change our relationship with the information. And that is something which is, to some degree at least, within our control.

As to solutions: Most readers of this blog probably vote. But we never expect that it will be our vote which will make the decisive difference in the election. We show up at the polls, do our little part, and hope for the best. We show up, we don't say there is nothing we can do. Writers can show up on this topic.

There is a good news story to tell, imho. Few women are violent. Most men are peaceful. The overwhelming majority of the horror in the world arises from a small fraction of humanity, violent men. We don't need to transform the entire species, only our relationship with a small part of the species.

Another good news story is what the world would look like with radically less violence. What benefits would arise if we weren't so burdened with all the different ways we have to manage and respond to male violence? Jails, prisons, police, armies, reconstruction of entire nations etc. A HUGE expense! Writers can share visions of what such a world without that burden would look like.

Again, I don't think we're yet ready for the "how" question. We need more work on the "why" question first, imho.

In my experience, at the first moment anyone suggests any particular solution the conversation gets hijacked by enthusiasm for "here's why that won't work". And then everyone gets bored and wanders off.

I think that happens because we think that we have the option to continue as we always have in the past. We think the status quo is sustainable, so such questions can be ignored when they stop being entertaining. We haven't answered the "why" question yet.

What if Substack was the world's leading platform for discussion of world peace? Why not? We have the option to think bigger.

Thanks for the dialog!

Expand full comment

These are all great ideas! How are we gonna make them happen? If people are interested in a toy-DAO to exercise what it would be like to be a part of one, I could probably make a simple one with 100 votes per person to allocate as they wish. We can come up with fun things to vote on, and when your 100 votes are gone you are done. Something like that... What could we form a DAO around?

Expand full comment

These ideas are fine but first require public control of governance which means public control of the creation of money, money is the governing factor. The money system is the leverage point in our economic system. Now all money is issued as interest-bearing debt, a form of slavery, by the private commercial banks who control public policy. The legislation to do it has already been written and was introduced to Congress by Kucinich in 2011. Money is a matter of the law, which we should be able to change to create a system that funds public needs, not private profits.

Expand full comment

Many of these ideas have been implemented in other countries. They haven't always resulted in obvious improvement. It takes a whole population to change its attitudes over generations on multiple fronts to create holistic, positive change:

Idea 1: Australia has preferential voting. The country doesn't stand out for its progressive politics. They are still heavily partisan: https://www.electoral-reform.org.uk/what-does-preferential-voting-mean/

Idea 3: The UK has the largest secondary legislative body outside of China. But they want to *reduce* the number of such representatives because of numerous issues: https://www.electoral-reform.org.uk/campaigns/elected-house-of-lords/

Idea 6:

Landfill taxes are the most common economic instrument used across the EU to improve municipal waste management, with 22 Member States implementing these. https://www.eea.europa.eu/publications/economic-instruments-and-separate-collection

But note that these can also have detrimental effects if not coupled with an effective land planning system: For example, in the UK landfill tax has reduced the availability of brownfield sites for development and put pressure on green belt and environmentally sensitive areas for house building: https://www.gov.uk/government/calls-for-evidence/landfill-tax-grant-scheme-call-for-evidence

Expand full comment

These are very interesting models. Thanks for sharing!

Expand full comment

Thank you, Elle. I always feel I'm being all doom and gloom when either commenting on (free) or restacking (paid) your posts, but I'm generally aiming to bring real-world info or experience to the utopian party! I do enjoy reading your explorative 'what ifs' and you're a much needed bright ray of light to kindle optimism about our future.

Expand full comment

Oh I don’t feel that way at all! Your expertise often extends in places mine don’t, it really helps me further research these ideas! Though I do appreciate the kind words ☺️

Expand full comment

Ahhh I love these so much! It feels amazing to see is exercise our imagination like this. Gives me so much hope — and reconfirms what I've believed for a while now: we really do have everything we need, right here btwn our bodies and brains. We just need the time and space to figure things out.

Expand full comment
Mar 22·edited Mar 22

What a beautiful, internal garden, light-source and natural air-condition !! Created by AI or some mind that cooperates with Nature to make life more comfy and relaxing ?? !!! ...

Voting is useless and the worst deceptive manipulation in modern times.

Everybody is busy-body with his own daily affairs and very, very rarely has the necessary in-depth-knowledge of the issue at stake. Candidates on the ballot are mainly sociopathic narcissists who chose the political arena to make their personal wet-dreams come true on other people's shoulders. They ALL develop into puppets of the gang that knows human psychology best. Guess who ???🤔🤔🤔

Humanity survived and thrived for millennia in small, independent, decentralized, fully autonomous and self-responsible groups led by respectable elders (and sometimes youngsters) who have shown their personal integrity and courage to all members during their lifetime. From simple FACTS, not personal, individual preferences about any crucial matter for survival to the group, it was clear to everybody who had the capabilities to lead, no voting needed. This, unfortunately works in groups below the Dunbar's # only. Mass-societies have grown too complex to be understood and guided by humans full of biases and preys to heavy corruption. Entirely ignorant voter's personal preferences and choices for leaders are a complete failure for the future of the entire community. AGI will not solve the issue because even AGI will have been "educated" (and will most probably be owned") by those miserable creatures mentioned above.

Current government overreach as well as the emerging globalists corporations, IMF, UN or WHO, NATO, etc. with widely negative repercussions on a global scale for the general populace MUST be stopped ASAP.

All forms of government MUST be restricted to TWO specific areas only:

- Defense against foreign criminals by military and against domestic ones by a fair and capable Justice

System as well as

- Planning, execution and maintenance of a logistics-system (sea- airports, roads,

water/sewage/electricity-grid) on the area of sovereignty incl. feed-back to neighbors at common

crossing points. These are all enterprises that need high expertise, can therefore NOT be elected by

votes and need minimal staffing only.

Currency issues, education, health, economics, etc., etc. will all self-regulate and central government MUST be kept out.

Call it anarchy of the well educated.

Only time will show.

Expand full comment

Love that you included my digital holiday idea! For #2 Andrew Yang proposed something similar, said public deserved detailed power points and real data on presidential candidate plans.

And for #3, in addition to Congress, make the Supreme Court substantially larger so that we can get more done and have it be less politicized and each justice won’t have to work until they fall over dead.

Expand full comment

absolutely love your digital holiday idea! I'm hosting a tech sabbath next Friday sundown to Saturday sundown for my community

no tech (phones, laptops, watches). we'll memorize / print directions, wait at bus stops and stare up at the sky, get out into nature with no way to track our steps, and report back on how we felt for 24 hours :)

Expand full comment

Though I worry my idea is a “luxury belief.” But I want everyone to have the luxury.

Expand full comment

Nothing wrong with wanting a little luxury! I think if we keep our dreams small, well never see the changes we need.

Expand full comment

For the voter budget thing, I'd personally prefer quadratic voting because a highly ideological section of the population can pass fairly radical laws.

Expand full comment