Wicked Minds on a New Platform





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Wicked Minds on a New Platform
By Socratus • Issue #1 • View online
This is the first issue of Wicked Minds on a new platform, which will make it easier for us to combine links to other people’s work with discussion of wicked problems and wicked minds as well as the tools for wisdom we are developing at Socratus. It also has a dedicated subdomain:
As always: share, share & share.

Links from the Web
This week’s links concentrate on happenings in the US for it was the first full week of the new Biden administration and wicked problems such as climate change are a big part of his ambitious agenda. But first a piece in honour of India’s Republic Day.
A much needed opinion piece about imagining a climate friendly future of India.
Shloka Nath, Aaran Patel write: The Constitution must guide us in crafting a distinctly Indian, climate-friendly development paradigm
Meanwhile, the bad news keeps getting worse
Earth is now losing 1.2 trillion tons of ice each year. And it’s going to get worse. - The Washington Post
It’s interesting to see how climate change is at the very top of Biden’s agenda - one of the first Executive orders in his administration.
President Biden to Sign Executive Order, Pausing Oil and Gas Leasing - The New York Times
This interview with Pete Buttigieg, also a presidential candidate and now transportation secretary - notice how he says Climate Change first in his list of priorities.
Buttigieg On Biden Administration's Priorities For Transportation Department : NPR
It’s interesting to see how the Green New Deal is making its way into official policy making without an explicit use of that phrase. The Overton Window has shifted decisively. The most dramatic example of that shifted window this week is the declaration by General Motors that it will shift to zero emissions vehicles by 2035 - quite an aggressive target.
G.M. Will Sell Only Zero-Emission Vehicles by 2035 - The New York Times
The Wicked Mind
At Socratus, we like to turn problems of the world into problems of the mind in the world. The second link above is written in the former style: that ice is melting at an increasing rate, which is both terrifying and written as if ‘stuff is happening out there.’
But ice could be melting on Mars at the same rate and not alarm us one bit. Melting ice worries us precisely because we are embedded in the consequences. Cognitive science is as important as climate science.
Human beings are good at responding appropriately to their environment. We walk around tables when we are going from one room to another, sit at the table when we’re called for dinner and dance on those tables when our favourite sports team wins an unexpected victory. Knowing is knowing what to do:
  • At the right time
  • In the right place
  • With the right crowd
Wicked Minds will bring this cognitive understanding to wicked problems - to imagine systems not as standalone pieces of the world but as extensions of our minds and our bodies, and that the cultivation of collective wisdom consists of designing mind extensions suited to the problem facing us.
The Green New Deal has received much coverage as a first world policy framework, but there’s increasing interest in GNDs from the Global South - clear relevance to India.
Public Problem Solving
The cultivation of cognitive habits and skills that are particularly important in complex systems. In many such situations, we suffer from a poverty of the imagination where we aren’t able to see futures that depart substantially from existing pathways. The capacity to ‘future’ - which was the topic of the Wicked India course that ended in December - should be widely distributed and even a brief exposure to that skill can us break free from business as usual. 
Once we have a sense of the future, we have to ask ourselves:
How do we get there?
Whether it’s a viral epidemic or climate change, the quality of our response to a societal crisis depends on the strength and depth of our communities: their capacity for compassion, for adaptive leadership and the resources they bring to the problem.
We need the stamina and the organization to stay the course. That’s where Public Problem Solving can help aggregate our talents and wisdom, where we define Public Problem Solving to be the self-organized, coordinated, open and democratic delivery of goods in the public interest.
Our next course will be on Public Problem Solving
We will be making an announcement about the course soon.
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