(From “How the Mind Works,” Steven Pinker, 1997) For ninety nine percent of human existence, people have lived as foragers in small nomadic bands. Our brains are adapted to that long-vanished way of life not to the brand-new agricultural and industrial civilizations. (Selection/evolution operates over thousands of generations.) We are not wired to cope with many of aspects of our own society/civilization (anonymous crows, schooling, written language, government, police, courts, armies, high technology and other newcomers to human experience. The modern mind is adapted to deal with the stone age, not the computer age.
However, from the start, we were “group animals.” We’re gregarious. Living together has advatages. Secutiry from pretitors. Foraging efficiency — collecting more food together. Cooperative hunting large animals. Defending resources. Information could be shared and passed down. Group living could have set the stage for the evolution of human-like intelligence.
Of course, group living itself poses new cognitive challenges. Since there are also disadvantages to group living… neighbors compete over food, water, mates and nest sites. And there is risk of exploitation. Social animals risk theft, cannibalism, cuckoldry, infanticide, extortion and other treachery.
Every social creature is poised between milking the benefits and suffering the costs of group living…
We are social animals. One of the main reasons we “live together” is security. And according to Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs theory, security is the next set of needs that humans are concerned with after their physiological/biological needs are met. When physical needs relatively satisfied, the individual’s safety needs take over and dominate his behavior. These needs have to do with an individual’s yearning for a predictable, orderly world in which injustice and inconsistency are under control, the familiar is frequent, and the unfamiliar is rare. According to Maslow, safety and security needs include some of the following: personal security, financial security, health and well-being, and a safety net against accidents/illness and their adverse impacts.
We’ve organized the safety and security rights of the citizens of Gateway-TCR as follows:
- Safety and Security
- Law and Order
- Democracy Defense
- Fourth Estate
- Freedom from Fear
How do we train the focus of the lens of our cameras on the future? Obviously, budget will force us to show sparingly pieces of the visual future we imagine. Also, we believe our cameras we will be shooting mostly at human scale in anthropometric dimensions. Our characters will be mostly in walkable urban villages or neighborhoods. Our -50 | 0 | +50 careful futurism predicts that much will look the same in 2064 as it does in today. Just as much of St. Louis – at human scale – looks the same today as it did in 1964. That will leave a lot of city locations for us to use. This careful futurism strategy will keep our creative conceits in check and be an interesting challenge for producers, writers directors and actors.
Yes, we also have a social point of view. That is that systemic change in our economic and political systems are necessary if we are to survive the clear and present dangers of our times — global warming and biosphere destruction; the new gilded age, and the massive inequality of wealth and opportunity it imposes; corporate capitalism and the plutocracy it has created; and the destruction of our delicate representative democracy.
All the world’s a “sustainable” stage. In developing the series concept, we asked: What would it be like to live in a future more like Roddenberry’s Star Trek than Huxley’s Brave New World? What would life be like in a sustainable city? What would it be like to live in a place that practiced good old fashioned conservation of resources and at the same time developed advanced technology to do the same? A place that practiced “New World Business.”
Stories, film and television can help people bridge the gap between what is now and what is possible. Gateway: the City’s Reason envisions a future with mostly positive outcomes – where good old American optimism touches everyone. That’s the stage on which Gateway stories take place. And we think it’s a stage that citizens should see more of today.
A series Bible is a reference document used by writers, directors, producers and actors for information about characters, settings and other elements of the show. In many ways, we are only beginning our research into what a sustainable city will be like in 50 years. Even so, we’ve decided to publish portions of the Gateway-TCR bible in order to share the foundations of Gateway: the City’s Reason with you. We want to describe “the stage” upon which our stories will be told and we welcome your ideas.