The interplay among many interconnected and interdependent "small units" that operate in a transparent environment and on a leveled playing field, where none is allowed to dominate, is a fundamental requirement for pragmatism, prosperity and resilience in both economics and politics. This insight is ancient to Judaism and has been highlighted by modern thinkers such as Nasim Taleb in Antifragility.
For years I've had this dream: Sometimes I'm a bird, other times I'm fully human. Always it's a dive into the ocean. Bird, me as a child, as an adult -- no matter, in the dream, it's straight to the bottom I go. With bloody fingers, with a scratched beak, I try to excavate, to retrieve something hard to see.
I think of Ralph Waldo Emerson and Henry David Thoreau as America's founding SBNRs. But, while SBNRs have always been with us, their numbers exploded when the baby boomers came of age in a world of great diversity and easy access to new sources of information, especially the spiritual traditions of the East.