A friend and I just had a wonderful 1:1 chat, and I wanted to share it here (with her permission). She asked me to remove her name because she thinks she was off her game – I think she’s crazy – but I will respect her request none-the-less.

Please excuse the raw nature – this is a straight copy+paste chat log from Adium.

Also, for clarity, my timeframe for this world peace is not days, weeks or even decades. There are also all sorts of things that can screw my assumptions up. But this is an interesting thought exercise none the less.

9:11 – My Friend:

Chris, about your idea that our connectedness will bring world peace… someday?

9:11 – Chris Saad:

yes – most people think i’m crazy
… i think it’s already happening

9:12 – My Friend:

Do you think that it’s making us more moral?

9:13 – Chris Saad

no… i think it’s broadening the set of people we apply our morality to

because we are coming to the obvious revelation that everyone is human, everyone has the same fundamental desires (safety, love, hope) and deserves a fundamental level of respect and dignity

9:14 – My Friend:

do you think it’s changing our ideas of what morality is?

9:14 – Chris Saad

… i think humans are always fundamentally selfish – but they prioritize themselves first, and people like them second

… all i’m saying is that people will increasingly realize that there are a lot more people like them than they originally thought – i.e. everyone

9:15 – My Friend:

I think yes we are redefining our standards of morality b/c of the connectedness

9:16 – Chris Saad

I think it looks like that at the surface
… but it’s only because we are applying our same morality in different ways

9:16 – My Friend:


9:16 – Chris Saad

which sort of creates a new morality or at least a different looking morality
… but its probably the same morality more broadly applied
… e.g. we’d never bomb a state of the US
… that’s morality
… so why would be bomb a state of the world
… that’s ‘otherness’ which is dissipating
… but its the same morality
… man i speak a lot of shit like i know what i’m talking about
… i should get a bullshit award
… i do believe it though

9:21 – My Friend:

maybe it was the wrong question.
do you think moral codes are changing
morals w/i established groups

9:22 – Chris Saad

can u give me an example of a moral code and how it might have changed?

9:23 – My Friend:

Churches granting priesthood to homosexuals, for example

9:24 – Chris Saad

see i still think that’s a broadening of application of an existing morality

… the original moral code was to grant priesthoods to those who worked for it and were pihas  (sp?)

9:24 – My Friend:

maybe it’s just a swinging back of the pendulum

9:24 – Chris Saad

… i could be wrong – this is just my opinion hah

9:29 – My Friend:

… but to everyone

you posit then that it’s a broadening of moral code – a shedding of the sense of “other” for a set of fundamentally understood values

9:29 – Chris Saad

a broadening of the application of moral codes
… but yes

… we’re not broadening the scope of the moral code, we’re broadening the group of people who fit inside the original scope.

All they are doing now is applying it to a broader set of people – people once considered ‘other’
… We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness.
… this is our fundamental morality
… its only just being applied more broadly
… to more people – not just americans, or males, or straights

9:30 – My Friend:

and this is one of the contributions to a more peaceful world?

9:30 – Chris Saad

its sort of like the big bang, planets and solar systems are not moving – the space itself is moving heh
… like dots on an inflating balloon
… the dots aren’t moving – the balloon is

9:31 – My Friend:

we’re on the whale. I just wanted to better understand your view.

9:32 – Chris Saad

presumably it does lead to more peaceful world yes – just like *most* people would not rape their daughter, they would also not rape their neighbor or their countrymen or a foreigner

… we would not embargo our family, or our neighbors or our states or our foreign neighbors – even the word foreign becomes obsolete

9:35 – My Friend:

what about the big brother aspect of all this connectedness?

9:35 – Chris Saad

I’m not sure it’s strictly related

… although if most things are public, then ‘big brother’ becomes more like ‘social consciousness’ – taboos break down and privacy based on fear (taboos like health conditions, weird sexual interests etc etc) begin to lose meaning

9:36 – My Friend:

Interesting.  Why not?

9:38 – Chris Saad

well privacy is still a right – social media is not about giving up privacy but it does somewhat diminish the need for and the value on privacy because as I said above taboos begin to evaporate

The Audacity of Hope

February 23, 2008

In the past few months I have been reminded by many that hoping for a thing does not make it true. Watching the US Presidential Election I have heard the same theme emerge as Hilliary Clinton attempts to question Barack Obama’s ability to convert lofty and eloquent speeches into real change. I even posted a Seesmic video about it recently.

The question I have, though, is if hope does not make something happen, then what does?

Doesn’t all action involve hope? Is not hope a key ingredient for change?

Before one can achieve a thing, they must first imagine it. Before they act on their imagining they must first dare to hope that they could actually have some impact on the outcome.

Even decisions made based on fear involve a hope to avoid that which we fear.

Hope is a powerful driving force. It enables us to act. Without hope, we are often paralyzed.

Most people I talk to who ‘wish’ they could do something better, or more ambitious, have a common refrain. They dare not hope that their more lofty goals are attainable. They therefore do not act.

Imagine if you could gather a large enough group of people to hope for the same outcome. If you had the right mix of participants and the right critical mass, is there anything that hope, followed by action, can not achieve?

Criticizing hope is actually a thinly veiled claim of naivety or unjustified idealism. If one’s hopes are too big, too ambitious or too lofty, then surely they must be too naive to understand the complexity of the issue and the magnitude of the challenge ahead.

Maybe that’s true. Maybe those who start with hope and push for change have not yet been sufficiently jaded by a broken system or violent resistance to their ideas.

Maybe, though, if those idealistic and naive people (if in fact they are those things) can somehow encourage others to hope, and then still others; maybe, just maybe, hope will turn into action, and action will turn into real change.

To paraphrase the West Wing… “Do you think a small group of dedicated people can change the world” “Of course, it’s the only thing that ever has”.

Hope is not empty. It can never be false. Hope, well expressed and shared, is the beginning of something new.

Dare to hope. Then act.