By James Wadman
A key aspect of American democracy is the dichotomy of civil unity and civilian individuality. From the perspective of a scientist, if you want to get things done, you must work with others seamlessly and efficiently. Such an example became evident to me when I was thinking about how powerful biological structures are due to the ability for millions of cells to mesh into the formation of one tissue, organ, or system. There are roughly 40 trillion cells in the human body, and every organ or organ system in the body consists of the cohesive effort of several billion cells. And yet humans have a hard time working in groups of three or four for high school projects. Well, in contrast to the cells in your body, no one really has the right to tell you what to do with your life. A cell is guided by transcriptional cues being with its first determinant cleavage from its toti/pluripotent stem cell state (this is a fancy way of saying, cells never have a choice what they become). That is some major level future dystopian caliber activity in the human body. Now with the appreciation for American democracy, my question is: how do we benefit from unity without jeopardizing our sacred individuality?
When we think of the coordinated efforts in society, we think of corporations, political units, civil organizations, and militaries. At the maximum extent, I can imagine any of these consisting of thousands of people working together for an individual goal. Large corporations might employ a maximum of a hundred thousand or so employees, but even then there is not one singular goal. The working world is shaped this way because society is vast and our needs and wants are virtually unlimited, but that is not to say that our efforts for a positive future should not be harmonious. There are certain feats of society, namely space travel, medical research, and computer technology that beg for this kind of focus, and the concerted efforts of the masses will expedite the growth of species. To answer my initial question, I think people need to be better prepared for lives of meaning through education and personal philosophy. People have a natural tendency to seek lives of meaning and happiness. If careers that cater toward valuable progressive industries in technology are made more readily available due to the fact that the projects are larger and more important in the public eye, more people will go through life fulfilled, and every person who participates’ footprint will be more important when they leave this earth.
It is, however, society’s common tendency to divide humanity through an intrinsic habit of violence and clashing cultural paradigms poses a direct threat to our future. If these barriers could be overcome in our society, I would predict that we could begin to work together on massive projects that will exponentially grow the sectors that have the most to promise. We can only hope for now that our words and ideas can encourage the spark that lights the flame.