San Francisco, January 2010. After years of social turmoil, political scandal, individual mistrust, the previous weeks have revealed a turn of history that, as of yet, have yet to be witnessed in the history of man. Peace, inspired by change. The newscasts have begun to call this ‘The Great Reconciliation’, the massive amputation of animosity between opposing parties in all areas of conflict in the world. Tibet and Taiwan have been left to live on their own accord. Native African tribes that have warred for centuries, the Hutu’s and Tutsi’s have taken to a communal, self-government over their, now, super-tribe. The religious zealots have left the undeclared to the tending of their own immortal soul. The world, all in all, has become a smoothly operating social machine, devoid of malfunction. Crime is down and mostly committed by the economically disadvantaged and behaviorally abnormal. Civic responsibility and duty fulfillment is up. While not ‘happy and shiny’ the population of the world seems to be, in a surreal and uncomfortable way, becoming content with their lives. If you followed widely distributed news channels, this is what you would learn. But not everything is as it seems. Political scandal, social ambivalence saliently marked by ideological warriors and global cultural decay of the variety that only occurs over the course of centuries still occur, they have only changed form and present themselves in a different manner. They have mutated. Technological advancement in developed nations has become something that overshadows every industry, leaving no small business untouched. Undeveloped nations have accepted the new mode of globalized industry and have begun abandoning their ages old tribal cultures in favor of pro-western business models. Meanwhile, retailers, having more vast distributive and manufacturing resources, are embracing RFID-style technology that ties individuals credit cards to an identification system that allows a person to simply grab a product and leave the store with while an airport at the exit automatically reads the cards magnetic strip and charges the person’s account as soon as they exit the building without waiting in a line. Such a development has been framed by the corporations, and accepted by the people, as a massive achievement in the ease of shopping. The ubiquitous development of a massive global network has left many people acting out more and more incredibly in their search of their very own 15 seconds of democratized video fame. The more outrageous the behavior the more viral the Internet video is and the more widely accepted the behavior is socially. The egalitarian nature of homemade videos have been embraced by the public at large as a stepping stone to career in the entertainment business. The stylus and touchpad has replaced the paper and pencil as the modus operandi of students at every level when grammar is taught as a traditional, if not outmoded, component of education. Many art programs have been eliminated globally from public education in favor of more ‘pragmatic’ programs such as “Synergistic Development” and “Appreciable Marketing: How to Make ‘Nothing’ Worth More Tomorrow”. Private schooling is available, and does include more holistic syllabus that covers the arts, but has become so inappropriately cost prohibitive that only Corporate Magnates and Political Leaders can afford to place their children there. Travel and commute has become every bit the eco-dream with most city-centers designed and redesigned for pedestrian access and significant population density, to avoid wide footprints in environmentally sensitive regions. Using the development of Portland, Oregon as model, much of the rest of the world has redeveloped their transit circulation to match what has been accomplished in Portland. The commutability of every city has increased manifold, as individual transportations is left outside the cities, in belts of parking storage, as commuter rails and municipal buses have regular and frequent routes through the city. The city center itself is a highly managed mix of residential and commercial locations, increasing the usage density of the land and reducing the sprawl onto nearby ag lands. The transports use for mass transit are also designed for carrying capacity, efficiency with comfort being a secondary concern if the budget has been used entirely. Those individual transports that are being sold are designed for carrying capacity as well and not image, functionality in a nicely paved world rather than form and beauty. Generally, commutes are quiet and orderly, and everyone respects one another’s right to a quiet introspective morning commute with a cup of coffee and the newspaper. Provided you are comfortable with proximity. In a word, the private world is ‘safe’. It is safe from controversy; ill will and conflict because everyone just wants to go to work, do a good job, come home and be entertained via mass communications. Television, Internet, video games, these are what families to do together, and they love it. There are no questions, there are no contradictions, if there is debate, and it is dropped as quickly as it starts because debate leads to frustration and hopelessness. As the group of you wake up on a day of no particular importance, January 20 2010, there is something very surreal about this day. You wake up, commence with your morning rituals, get dressed and head to work. Along the way, the grasses seem greener than you remember them, billboards and marketing more vibrant, the colors of the world around you have a life and an edge to them that you cannot remember having ever seen before. The shapes of the buildings and infrastructure around, manhole covers, windows, cable car cables and trashcans are shaped in manners that you know you should recognize but you do not. You only know what things are, but do not know why because they do not appear to you as you remember them and as you think they should be. You all then do what any sane, normal person would do, shake it off, write the experiences of to grogginess and purchase a $5 dollar cup of steeped roasted bean juice to go about your day.

And the world will never be the same again……

Transient Milieu