The Public Verticle: How to Address the Next Great Depression

Nathan Cravens
3 min readOct 29, 2020


Although it might not seem that way, profound intersecting and compounding events are underway, showing promise toward greater personal freedom, granted that those few in public office that actually seek the good of people as a whole remain clear headed enough and determined enough to enact radical institutional change based on demands from below. Let’s examine some of the leverageable issues:

Lockdown has…

lead to major job losses.

decreased consumer spending.

increased consumer debt and nonpayment.

Neoliberal governments have been slow to enact adequate subsidies to individuals for continued consumer spending that keeps the market afloat. We are in the middle of a market downturn that will dwarf the Great Depression. Rapid measures must be put into place to prevent further starvation of families with children, which increased in the United States by 50% between 2018 and mid-2020, according to the Brookings Institute, accounting for over 30% of households — and these are pre-pandemic figures.[1]

Google is now on the chopping block. With public coffers looking dire after Trump’s lavish payout to the rich, but more importantly, to pursue the president’s desire to look less like a tyrant by comparison, the Justice system seems poised to collect — finally targeting Google for noncompetitive practices. In Google’s defense, they point to Amazon, which they say users can also make searches and buy products. Let us hope then — if we can imagine these entities as misbehaving children — both naughty boys, Google and Amazon, are taken to the principal’s office, for more than just a good lecture and a slap on the wrist, but to set a radically new precedent — and if our dear reader or listener can follow the metaphors — by sending them back to an entirely new structured class.

And while we have the two isolated, why not quarantine all the Tech Giants simultaneously? And why stop there when the largest companies are contributing to environmental destruction to the extent human survival is at fatal risk? That being outside judicial bounds would require a radical change in policy, remaining stubbornly neoliberal until further civil unrest and political pressure erupts from below — to reinvigorate the ancient political relics into seeming viability — by instituting more democratic measures. But let’s work now to anticipate the inevitable, so when the Doomsday Clock breaks another record, we can be prepared to turn it back, before it is too late:

  1. Smoke them out and round them up
  2. Tap the best minds in software and industrial ecological development
  3. Insist on radical institutional transparency
  4. Reassign ownership of user data back to the user. (The EU Commission is in process of drafting legislation in this direction by 2021.)
  5. Place the data into a secured common pool for public benefit, to embark on meaningful public projects, but also meeting more diligently, nuanced personal needs and desires
  6. Establish monopoly platforms as a public commons through a synthesis or partnership of state and cooperative organizations
  7. Pay software and other system developers and maintainers handsomely via state subsidies
  8. Vertically integrate[2][3] all organizational processes, beginning with the largest entities, as a common good, in a radically transparent manner, enabling technical practitioners to further address, integrate, and streamline productive and maintenance tasks
  9. Construct data visualizations easy for nonexperts to quickly comprehend in preparation for constructing a mirror world, that shows in near real time, active processes, while also enabling the public to meaningfully participate in decision making processes, for example by: delegating decision making processes to sentiment analysis bots that collate secured and anonymized data for adequate presentation to practitioners on which tasks are most important to modify or innovate to meet user demands
  10. Invest aggressively in artificial intelligence, robotics, and other automation research
  11. Environmental emergencies have been declared, but action so far insignificant, therefore: Defund the fossil fuel and military-industrial-complex, transfering resources instead to Army Corps of Engineers in collaboration with Corps of Engineers globally, in partnership with former corporate entities engaged in these areas, to build infrastructure for a Global Green New Deal.
  12. Reconfigure the entire financial system for a degrowth trajectory toward a post-scarcity or debt free and non-monetary system based on resource economics.

These rapid changes will not cause further antagonism given a substantial continuous public stimulus or universal basic income is established. Individual security provided for people decoupled from the chattel slavery of debt and labor income will ensure the reformation and novel creation of highly dynamic institutions that will bring forward the needed changes for a prosperous life for all species — plant and animal — within the biosphere.



Nathan Cravens

First comes the telepresence, then comes the telerobotics, then comes the autobotics, then you win.