We’re social animals. Our species has found that the advantages of group living outweigh trying to go it alone. When the group gets its basic biological needs met safety needs take over and dominate our behavior. These needs have to do with our yearning for a predictable, orderly world in which injustice and inconsistency are under control, the familiar is frequent, and the unfamiliar is rare.
We all need to feel safe. Fear is our enemy. It can make us do stupid and evil things. If we’re not vigilant, it is used to manipulate us through advertising and marketing and propaganda. What if we feared only the things that we really need to fear AND we work on solutions to those things that we fear? Or at least prioritized our fear and our reaction to fear and out investments in remedies to our fear? What if we stopped fearing the wrong things?
- Of course, the prevalence of guns makes murder a legitimate concern, but suicide takes more than twice as many lives.
- Almost three times as many children drown in swimming pools than are abducted by strangers.
- There are four times as many identity thefts as burglaries.
- Even though the neo-cons love to stir up a frenzy about terrorism, more than 1,000 times more people die of the flu than of terrorist attacks.
- Of course breast cancer is a scary thing, but 10 times as many women die of cardiovascular disease.
- Automobile crashes kill 100 times more people than airline crashes, yet most of the media hype and fear surround airline tragedies.
What if we rethought our “safety fears?” What if we chose not to be so afraid? What if we were all taught to develop “self defensive thinking mechanisms” to deal with the fear mongering used in advertising, marketing and propaganda? What if we were all taught to have minds more open and more accepting of the unknown? What if we prioritized the allocation resources towards what we should really fear?
There’s not much we can do about black holes or super novas or antimatter annihilation, but we can spend some resources on asteroid/comet tracking and the technology to avoid impacts. We can’t stop hurricanes, storms, tornados, earthquakes, volcanoes, heat waves, floods and tsunamis, but we can prepared for them.
And we can stop the most 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?
How do we train the focus of the lens of our cameras on this kind of future? How would a less fearful society, and the necessary safety, security and education policies, have an impact on our characters and their motivations? 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.