Something more to think about


Our species is hopefully at a fork in the road, facing a choice between fighting among ourselves or working together. I know this sounds trite and doomed, but I propose the idea that working together is viable and needed.

I’m a nobody, sure, and I am far from perfect, but I have a strong and deep passion for creating a long and pleasant future for humans on this planet. Enough to push against the tide of doubt and resignation. Enough to promise to continually believe in our ability to rise above our seeming limits and teach ourselves to collaborate and nurture.

Our education has been poor at teaching us to think. Instead, we are taught to fill roles: clerks, doctors, lawyers. A few of us manage to think but if we had a lot more our problems would be much easier and more quickly solved. We need to teach ourselves to think. Not only that, we need to make learning it fun. Fun? Why? We are at our best when we are having fun. Fun is also contagious, which might just be the trick needed to get a lot of people to engage.

Another exceptionally helpful skill in life is identifying our needs of the moment. We all have needs and when they go unfilled, we have emotions and thoughts. Our brains are built for this, to signal that some action is needed. This signal does not identify the needs, which means we have to learn it. 

Until we do, we respond to our emotions and thoughts without meeting the underlying need. To me, this a strong explanation for why the world seems crazy. Learning to recognize our needs of the moment helps with your sanity. Getting good at guessing another person's needs is what I choose to call empathy and think is a big key for unlocking our collective will.

I think our super power as a species is collective intelligence. Huh? What's that? Well, it's just talking in a group. Maybe it starts out with no agenda. Once it finds a focus it holds onto it. Perhaps a challenge or question comes up that holds appeal. Many voices slowly and carefully pile up ideas, eventually enough for a satisfying solution. That’s collective intelligence. The trick for pulling this off is simple: allow for others to not know how to say what they are trying to say, try to mind read, listen for the signal in the noise. Speak only when it's missing and needed and remain silent regarding anything that might feed your ego.

All games begin by helping players become familiar with how this particular game works. I see this as an opportunity to offer training exercises designed to improve each player's skill at thinking, empathy and collective intelligence. These skills also happen to be good life skills. Win-win.

I have only a few ideas about how to do this. This contest is a way of inviting everyone to offer their ideas about how to learn these skills and have fun doing it. This contest also invites you to vote on the ideas they think are workable and attractive.

I'll start by submitting my few ideas (click here to see them), to give you a sense of what I am after.