I intend to use this blog as a workshop for the development of certain ideas and projects bearing on public affairs, economics, social science, and technology, with a constant eye to their impact on world order.
My hope is that it will serve as convenient point of access for interlocutors current and future, and that the ideas will be developed and strengthened through corroboration and dissent.
I am motivated by the sense that senior decision makers in government and civil society are having serious difficulty grasping and successfully responding to the uncertainties and complexities of the transition through which we are going, into a new era whose characteristics are still not entirely clear but in which serious socio-political tension and discussions of great power war are increasingly routine.
Their failure is in part because their intellectual and professional backgrounds are often both unduly intellectually narrow and historically bounded, having been formed largely through easy acculturation in an era which we nevertheless left behind sometime in the last decade and half, cleaved off to history through keystone events including the emergence of social media, the resumption of great power conflict, quantitative easing and other exploratory monetary policy, the development of gene editing, the increasingly apparent impact of climate change, and the presidency of Donald Trump.
I feel that now, like in all eras of transition, we need to work significantly harder to achieve greater intellectual breadth, historical depth, and interdisciplinary sophistication; be more ready to reëxamine first principles and established narratives; and be bolder and more courageous at imagining possible futures, so we can engage in the persuasion and action required to fend off evident risks and capture opportunities.
The stakes are clearly very high, and the lack of full appreciation of these stakes and the attendant lack of urgency by leaders is unsettling.