The document you are reading was a joint effort by Dan and myself, and it is not a finished work. Our purpose is not to tell you what to do, but to suggest to you what may be possible. We are not interested in making demands, giving orders, or insisting that you do things our way. Rather, we are wanting you to set forth on your own, equipped with the information here, figure out where we went wrong, and, preferably, tell us what is missing, what works well, and what is really just terrible.
In his amazing 1848 speech “On Civil Disobedience,” Henry David Thoreau talked about people choosing to “fall off the vine” as ripe fruit, continuing to do all those things which a neighbour ought to do, but seeking neither to be governed by others, nor to impose their will upon others by force or fraud. We’re looking for other people who wish to live their own lives, do things their own way, and be a part of our journeys.
There is not one single right way, no one perfect path, that can be used by every single human being everywhere and at all times. There are, rather, principles and ideals that may be used as guidelines, and to evaluate behaviours, practices, and ideas.
When you consider our work, I would like you to think about whether the results, the outcomes, are good fruit or corrupt fruit. If it produces good fruit, it is a good tree. If it produces poisonous fruit, it is an evil tree. Where we find good trees, we want to encourage, nurture, fertilise, and propagate. Where we find evil, we want to eradicate by striking at the root rather than hacking at the branches.
The universe is amazing, and seems, judging by things I’ve experienced and read, to encompass many dimensions of time and space. There are, in our universe, typically either zero of something, or a huge number, probably infinite. That’s true, by observation, of atoms, cells, animals, plants, planets, stars, galaxies, and many other things, and it is seems likely to be true of dimensions of time and dimensions of space. Don’t be surprised if things are actually much stranger than you know.
I invite you to use these design patterns to build new places, new networks, and new things. I also invite you to critique and bring your experiences to these patterns, add new materials, elide mistaken ideas, and remove what won’t work. One of the most amazing beings in the universe is the human being, and you can be one of the most amazing humans.
“A man’s reach should exceed his grasp, or what’s a heaven for?”
~ Robert Browning