Thanks. I have had a long conversation with a pen pal about intentionality in humans. From a cynical standpoint, “People do stuff. They have reasons for doing stuff: in that order.” However, the good and bad are all around us and humans have tried to solve our behavior issues since they first invented the tribe. The myth of individual agency doesn’t help. We are of an animal nature, but with a little bit of ability to model and predict our future, as well as create an artificial environment (civilization) where our behaviors are somewhat guided by the fences we build (laws, cultures, love) and the connections we cultivate. Blaming the individual for being left out of secret societies (i.e. poor vs. rich, ‘saved’ vs. atheist) is a poor substitute for reengineering a societal response-ability. Technology gives us new ways to connect, and new ways to disconnect. Knowledge gives us new ways to understand our animal nature and also ways to exploit it (marketing and terror use the same lizard brain triggers). Being and doing better things is (hopefully) how we end up with a net result that is progressing toward improving ourselves and our environments (natural and artificial), while not forgetting that it takes conscious purpose to keep it all maintained and include people. Any one person can do a little bit: any system can be improved a little more. The biggest problem is going backward by allowing our baser instincts to both control and be controlled without question. Evil is any action taken based on an unquestioned belief. Sometimes, it’s inaction based on the unquestioned belief that our “modern” ways are inherently “better” than hard labor or going outside and talking to our neighbors.

Reader. Fixer. Maker.

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