We all see them in different ways. Natural system dependencies refer to relationships and interactions in ecosystems and the environment. They usually play a major role in circular systems, like soil health, the nutrient cycle, or the hydrologic cycle. Similar to nature, dependencies exist in software and technology too. They’re critical in development and operation, as they determine how different parts of the system interact and function together. Examples include libraries, frameworks, dev tools, APIs, and even the data itself.

In our day-to-day lives, various forms of dependency are everywhere. We might depend on our phone’s alarm clock to wake us up. Maybe we programmed the coffee maker the night before. The thermostat auto-adjusts to a more efficient temperature. After all, people won’t be in the house all day.

All of these activities require accounts for services and utilities. The ubiquity of our dependency on these services and utilities runs deep. Power, fuel, internet, water. Our dependencies have become elemental, even essential, to modern society. It makes us wonder what would happen if they just stopped.

Power: Manhattan blackout 2019.

Water: Jackson MS Current/Ongoing.

Internet: Fastly Cloud Crisis 2021.

Fuel: Colonial Pipeline 2021

Critical infrastructure has a dependency, too. Security. The vast network of systems that support the operations of these complex systems is only as good as their weakest link. It’s because of this complexity - and the dependencies that have been built into these systems - that we need better awareness of modern infrastructure from both an access and security standpoint.

What’s surprising is that Americans still associate ‘infrastructure’ with roads and bridges.

Because so many of the systems we use are invisible, they don’t get the attention they deserve until the system fails. Most of the time we don’t even monitor the system dependency, let alone maintain or optimize it.

Have we become dependent without realizing it?

According to Dr. Joe Dispenza, there are two states of living; Survival and Creation. As post-modernism gave way to post-industrialism the United States enjoyed a period of prosperity through creation. We built a ubiquitous infrastructure in the form of factories, power plants, railroads, The Interstate System, bridges, ports, and universities. The American people got to work supporting these vast systems.

The economic system that stemmed from this massive growth became dependent upon currency and exchange. These systemic relationships became very complex resulting in huge forces like inflation, interest rates, consumer confidence, and more. This was a new, modern economy with a massive infusion of technology.

Our shift from post-industrialism to globalism now depends on us shifting from Survival toward Creation.

Thankfully, carbon-based lifeforms (humans) have an imagination. That’s what truly makes us unique. Not only our ability to envision creative thoughts, but to then apply the modern tools we have to innovate into those visions. To me, the distinction between being creative and innovating is the ability to bring those thoughts to life.

What an amazing time to be alive.

There are four elemental phases in our biological cycle; birth, growth, death, and decay. This is our natural system of dependency in its simplest form.

Birth, Life, Death, & Decay
Birth, Life, Death, & Decay

As we step into Globalism we need to rethink our relationship with work. Not to be confused with doing nothing, quite the opposite. We need to focus on creation and innovation - finding the work that fuels us to want to do more. Moving away from the survival side of input/output and introducing the dependency of neurocognitive function back into the very technology we’ve built.

Machines are better at math, storing and recalling information, multitasking, and simulating. It’s up to us to put these machines to work for us, rather than creating steeper and steeper curves of dependency. Our relationship with work needs to move from a place to a process. Organizations that don’t see the value in bringing creation and innovation into their processes will slowly fade from birth and growth into death and decay. New, modern systems will quickly eclipse traditional systems architecture in the same silent, but prevalent way these very dependencies have crept into our modern lives.

The recipients of these modern systems are among us. The very youngest members of our global community are tech natives, AI natives, and are intricately woven into the fabric of advanced Globalism. Our human role, in part, is to sure up the dependencies, shed light the current status of our critical infrastructure, and encourage our fellow humans to create from their place of authenticity.

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