See Semi-Public — Medium

Not long ago I launched an idea called Triadic Philosophy. It is summarized in Triadic Philosophy 100 Aphorisms available at the Kindle Store.. It grew into several more books. “Cybercommunity — A Handbook” seeks to lay out a community concept based on the values of tolerance, helpfulness, democracy and non-idolatry, integral and car-free.

Privatization has become synonymous with a grasping, capitalistic relegation of public space to a trash bin best said to be sprawl culture — the legacy of the Koch Oil Economy. The sign and seal of this is the use of public treasures as dumping grounds for pollution Kochs and others have spewed. A river in Florida, the carbon-riven sky. Public has become an afterthought.

This is now but I believe the tide is turning and cybercommunities will be the ultimate restoration of public to its proper place in the order of things.

It is impossible to speak meaningfully of the ratio of private to public space. Much of the spacious public area left to us (in the US) by our predecessors has been ravaged by everything from hordes of slob-like campers to ravenous corporations going after trees and oil and fish and other natural resources.

Efforts to reclaim patches of public space have suffered the slings of carelessness and lassitude and outright disdain for the individual. In my own neighborhood, I have seen tables and chairs yanked from a public plaza. I have seen a nearby sitting area wreathed in crime-scene yellow tape because glass was falling from a newly-built high rise next to it.

Fortunately Mayor Bloomberg did a good thing. He created an area for sitting and existing along Broadway for several blocks, a furtive effort to say no to cars.

Suffice to say, I will define public as any place you can sit with a sense of well-being outside your home. And any place you can walk without suffering death at the hands of a hapless driver and his toy monster death machine. Or being accosted by a deranged rapist.

If I sound bitter I am merely reflecting what should be seething rage in the innards of those who know the ravages of car culture — from Johnny Carson losing a son to the typical victims of school bus accidents. Thousands of pedestrians around the world fall daily, unheralded. A relentless statistical wave proceeds unchecked as we speak.

We ceded public ways to private vehicles and lost a world.

Public space is clearly understood in cybercommunities to be everything that is not understood to be private.

Less than half of what is in a cybercommunity can be remotely seen as private.

You and I will have a room of our own. Maybe two rooms of our own. Soundproofed. Private.

Other spaces will have elements of the public. Others will be fully public. And the streets and ways will be public as public is meant to be. We’ll parade. We’ll have fun. We’ll be on display.

Go to anyplace that is an exception to the rule of desecration and neglect. Boston Common. Central Park. It requires only some consideration, some sense of truth and beauty, to begin to claim something of what public is meant to become.

The inversion of public and private is not just a pipe dream. We can no longer afford a world in which the dream of the individual is to be the lord of some personal, private manor with ten or more rooms. Better to be the Lord or Lady of a Community where thousands share a similar pride, a pride in a commonality that is created with the care we associate not with the 20th but with the 19th Century, when there was some attention paid to public crafting.

If we are mass producing, produce from the very best. You will find that the very best, as public amenity, fits all because it appeals to all. It signifies care, attention, respect. It exudes tolerance, democracy and helpfulness. It summons us to express and embody truth and beauty.

Public is why people crave cities and wish things were better than they are. By insisting on a rebalance of public and private, we unlock a future that will work.

This handbook is meant to accompany Planning and Designing a Good Future: What to Strive for and What to Avoid