Out And In

As we potentially stand at the dawn of a new era for the human race, let’s take stock via a time-honored tradition used to usher in the new year…

“Every new beginning comes from some other beginning’s end…”


It’s become customary in recent times to ring in each new year with “in and out” lists covering the inchoate jumble of human culture and foibles that is life as we know it.  Today, a growing number of us around the world believe we are an inflection point in human history, the closest we’ve ever come to the restaurant at the end of the universe, the end of an era, or an epoch, whichever is more ginormous.  It might be a precipice, or it might be a plain extending as far as the eye can see, if we can just scramble up a few more feet (and we won’t know what it contains, if anything, until we do).  But for worse or better, it feels existential.  So what better time to create the ultimate “in and out” list, at least until the next inflection (if we’re fortunate enough to get there), a list that covers the whole of human history and understanding to date? Together.

In and out lists are typically filled with snarky or cynical plus ca change entries, and for sure we could all use a laugh or two at ourselves as a species right about now. More rarely do they include more positive or inspirational reflections, and we’d like to change this, even if we have to go all the way to the cusp of the visible horizon to get our “in.”  Plus there are always supposed to be at least a few entries that are tough to figure out–that’s an ingredient these mocktails would be incomplete without–and we’ll give a free Creative Politics t-shirt to the first person (not related to us) who, in the comments section below, correctly susses the one about women and invertebrates that’s included in our jump-starter list.

To join us, you don’t have to start with the cavemen/cavepeople (out/in)–pick any point in history, even fairly recent (given the pace of change and Internet time), where something was different in an interesting way than it is today, or something that we think of as different was, when it’s really [insert cliche here].  As is typical of lists of this kind, not everything you come up with needs to be sapiens-shattering, though of course our history is rife with examples of things that seemed trivial, even laughable, that have since opened as chasmically as the Grand Canyon since the Flintstones first laid eyes on it.

All that said, we’re trying as much as possible to take the long view on our would-be enconium, in both directions, because those who see precipices rather than plains would say it’s our failure to do so that’s landed us where we are.  Take the first entry on the table, for example. We can imagine it’s going to regurgitate a lot of liberal whataboutism.  But if you look across all of human history, isn’t it really true, no matter how much backsliding it appears is happening today? Shoot, we wouldn’t be surprised if in some languages back in the day, the word for “foreigner” was a synonym for “kill.”

Disagree?  Good. That’s also supposed to happen with these lists, they’re supposed to be provocative, and we’re hoping this will be our most lively comments section ever. But for those of you who might be a bit more shy, you can also privately send us entries you think we should add, via this form, and if we do so, we’ll reach out to you to find out how, if at all, you want to be acknowledged for your creative wisdom.  Don’t worry if your in/out appears to be diametrically opposed to one we already have–as the great physicist Niels Bohr once said, “The opposite of any great truth is another great truth”–so the truer we are to truth, the more likely that is to happen.

And while you’re ponderin’ that, we have started the fire

Your turn–batter up!  (Baseball: just when you think it’s out, it gets pulled back in again…)

Your looks back...Your looks forward...


Part of our Talk, Talk, Talk series.

Creative Politics synthesizes the best of liberal and conservative ideals with technology and history to generate policies, strategies, applications, and actions for the post-modern era that are well outside the beltway, and well beyond just talk.  All Creative Politics blog posts are collaborative, living documents, the way Madison and Hamilton would create them if they were writing The Federalist today.  We welcome, nay urge, your feedback in the comment/discussion section below, and will be using it (with credit) to make what you just read more and more real–thanks much for your time and insights; they will go unpunished!

All the above said, this doesn’t seem like a bad precipice to be on. For more of the world’s best views, click on the image above…

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