Stem-cell pioneer Robert Hariri is one of many investing in lengthening human life:
“Our goal is to help all of us live a longer and healthier life.”*
For me, the missing word from this sentence fulfilling, or maybe meaningful. Of course, this is the element that’s up to us.
Whatever the average length of a Human life in fifty years time, it’ll most likely be grown in the same way as our lives right now: slowly, over a long period of time. How attentive we are to growing our lives will effect how meaningful or fulfilling it is, and right now we have the possibility of living out what can be called the adjacent possible. Options.
Nassim Taleb suggests ‘optionality is a substitute for intelligence’- more comes to those who are open to the adjacent possible.**
“The beautiful truth about the adjacent possible is that its boundaries grow as you explore them. Each new combination opens up the possibility of new combinations.”^
Some just don’t get this. Novelist Italo Calvino expresses this when he has his character Marco Polo say to Kublai Khan,
“I speak and speak, but the listener retains only the words he is expecting. … It’s not the voice that commands the story: it’s the ear.”^^
My friend Charlotte has introduced the term mise-en-scène to me. In terms of film (and theatre) this is everything that fills a frame – lighting, costumes, colour, furniture, distance between viewer and viewed – and how these are organised.
Each of our lives has mise-en-scène – values, experiences, skills, resources, story. When we notice, the field deepens, the possibilities increase.
‘My sense of identity had shifted, and I was beginning to see myself as part of the unfolding generative order.’^*
(*Robert Hariri, quoted in Peter Diamandis and Steven Kotler’s Bold.)
(**From Nassim Taleb’s Antifragile.)
(^Stephen Johnson, quoted in Peter Diamandis and Steven Kotler’s Abundance.)
(^^From Italo Calvino’s Invisible Cities.)
(*^From Charlotte Bosseaux’s Dubbing, Film, and Performance.)
(^*From the close of Jospeh Jaworski’s Source.)