But while I will avoid dwelling too much on the what and when, I will unabashedly advocate for a particular answer to how. Thanks to virtuous cycles already gaining in power, I believe almost all effective responses to the problems and opportunities of the coming decades will emerge out of the hacker ethos, despite its apparent peripheral role today. The credentialist ethos of extensive planning and scripting towards deterministic futures will play a minor supporting role at best. Those who adopt a Promethean mindset and break smart will play an expanding role in shaping the future. Those who adopt a pastoral mindset and retreat towards tradition will play a diminishing role, in the shrinking number of economic sectors where credentialism is still the more appropriate model.
Single vision—the shrill and dogmatic insistence that real knowledge can only come through the material senses, and must never be understood as anything but the random acts of dead matter and mindless energy in a dead and mindless cosmos—pervades contemporary industrial civilization. It’s because we’re so used to thinking in these terms that we’ve gotten so good at manipulating matter and energy, but it’s also because we’re so used to thinking in these terms that we’ve done such a dismal job of maintaining the balance of the living planet on which our own lives depend. The old story of King Midas has an uncomfortable parallel here; just as Midas got the power to turn things to gold by touching them, only to discover that his food, his drink, and his daughter also got turned into lumps of yellow metal, we’ve gotten so good at manipulating dead things that we’re only just starting to notice that we’re turning everything around us into dead things, and may well end up turning into dead things in a hurry ourselves if we don’t get a clue or two.
With an understanding of wyrd comes a great responsibility. If we know that every action we take (or fail to take, for that matter) will have implications for our own future choices and for the future choices of others, we have an ethical obligation to think carefully about the possible consequences of everything we do. But even if we manage to make all the right choices, we are bound to find ourselves facing difficult circumstances or tough decisions at various times in our lives as a result of the past choices of those connected to us through the web. Since we can’t control everyone else’s actions, nor can we change the past, sometimes we just have to live with what’s been woven for us. In such a case we still have choices. We can ignore our problems in the hope that they will go away, we can burden other people with them, or we can boldly face up to them and do our best to overcome them.
via What is Wyrd?