The Art of Protopia: Three Strategies Toward Progressive Evolution

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“Protopia is a state that is better today than yesterday, although it might be only a little better. Protopia is much harder to visualize. Because a protopia contains as many new problems as new benefits, this complex interaction of working and broken is very hard to predict.” ~ Kevin Kelly

A utopia is an ideal state of human governance, perfect and unrealistic. A dystopia is a non-ideal state of human governance, unhealthy and devolving. A protopia is a proactive bridge from our current state to an ever-healthier ever-progressive evolution, imperfect but improving.

Dystopias arise when we attempt to force perfect utopias into an imperfect state of human experience. And since the state of human experience will always be imperfect, we must adopt a strategy that is healthier and more reasonable than the blunt pigeonholing of utopia. Protopia, coined by Futurist Kevin Kelly, is that healthier strategy.

This doesn’t mean we should lose sight of utopia. It just means that we should place it in the same category as Perfection and Enlightenment. We’ll never be perfect. Just as we’ll never achieve enlightenment or utopia.

But we can become better (healthier) for the striving. We can become better at what we’re doing, whatever it is. We can become more enlightened than we were before. We can move closer to utopia than we were before. It’s about potential not perfection. It’s about progressive action not instant gratification. It’s about self-improvement not self-righteousness.

With that in consideration, here are three strategies of higher reasoning that will help to leverage a little protopia into our lives.

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Evolution by adriansalamandre