The close proximity gap

One of the unmentioned causes of division in much of our culture happens because of the shift in expectations and rules when we begin to live in close proximity to one another.

In a non-crowded setting, the default is independence. The expectation is that you can drive as fast as you like, do whatever you like with your land, say anything that’s on your mind.

In a city, proximity raises the stakes for how our behavior influences others. Interdependence becomes a benefit. So don’t tailgate, turn down the stereo in your apartment and realize that your words and behavior impact the folks around you.

Both are forms of freedom. The freedom to do what you want and the freedom to live in a connected culture.

When we move online, everything and everyone is just a click away. We’re constantly in close proximity to people of different ages, backgrounds and goals.

And when the world continues to get smaller and more entwined, close proximity dominates. Buying a dozen bottles of water at the market (even if they’re on sale) costs everyone else. Those bottles are going to go somewhere when you’re done with them, and the world is smaller than ever before.

It’s farmers and cowboys, extraction and regeneration.

The paradox of the early astronaut training programs was that they recruited hot shots who were used to living in their own lane, and then trained them to be experts at being in close quarters.

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