No one has been able to demonstrate the exact position of the Earth, sun, and our own moon at a given point in the future. Figuring out estimates is dependent on simplifications.

Mapping the movement of one planet around one star is a solvable problem. It's easy to predict these two planets. There is a serious problem if a third body is added. The moon is part of a three-body problem because it has both the sun and the Earth acting upon it at the same time.

A circular logic is created when trying to solve for the movements of three large bodies. The initial positions of the bodies are not known over time because they always affect one another. Physicists have only been able to offer special case solutions for restricted versions of the problem since 300 years ago. All bets are off in a chaotic three-body problem.

The three-body problem is a metaphor for a social complexity caused by the interaction of three major centers of gravity. It feels like an increasingly chaotic world because of this dynamic. There is a three-city problem.

The Christian apologist Tertullian asked, "What has Athens to do with Jerusalem?" The reason of philosophers has to do with the faith of believers.

The reasoned arguments made famous by Plato, Aristotle, and their offspring were a danger to Christianity. The way that believers approached God would be corrupted if this force came into contact with religious belief. The world of reason and Jerusalem were not compatible.

Humans have wrestled with the question of whether Athens is compatible with Jerusalem for thousands of years. Pope John Paul II wrote that faith and reason are two wings on which the human soul rises to the contemplation of the truth.

Others are less sure. One of the fundamental tenets of Martin Luther was sola fides. The juxtaposition of religion and science points to a belief that there isn't much overlap between the two. The tension between Athens and Jerusalem can be understood. We can predict the shape and sound of the secular versus religious discussions.

There is a third city that affects the other two. Silicon Valley is not governed primarily by reason, but by the things of the soul, which is the mark of a great entrepreneur. The place is governed by value. Utility is a large part of value.

Some people in Silicon Valley think of themselves as rationalists. Maybe some of them are. The real test of an idea isn't whether it's true, but whether it's useful. Utility is more important than truth or reason in this case.

The world from 2000 to the present day is dominated by technology. The city has produced world-changing products and services that create and shape new desires. Tertullian could not have imagined that the new city would affect humanity so much.

The city is gaining in power. The questions of Athens and Jerusalem have never before been presented to us in such a way as to make us want to do something. Silicon Valley has changed the nature of the problem that Tertullian was trying to solve. The questions of what is true and what is good for the soul are now so tied up with technology that they are creating confusion.

It's difficult to escape the logic of Silicon Valley and we lie to ourselves when we rationalize our motives. White papers are the framing of every new product in purely rational terms or the need to present it as a product of Athens. There was a coin called Doge coin.

We are not living in a world of pure reason or religious enchantment.

Reason, religion, and the technology-driven quest to create value at any cost are interacting in ways we don't understand, but which have a huge impact on our lives. Our two-decades-long experiment with social media has shown that Athens is being flooded with so much content that many have referred to it as a post-truth environment. Jonathan Haidt believes it's making us crazy and undermines our democracy. At a fork in the road, humanity is at a crossroads. The tension of our pursuit shows up in the things we create. Because the three cities are interacting, we are now living with technology-mediated religion and technology-mediated reason.

I believe Tertullian would want to know what Athens has to do with Jerusalem and Silicon Valley. The domain of reason and religion relates to the domain of technological innovation and its financiers in Silicon Valley. If Steven Pinker, a resident of Athens, walked into a bar with a monk and Musk to solve a problem, would they ever be able to agree?

We are all rational, religious, and value seeking. The great philosophers of Athens said that we arerational animals. Even if people no longer participate in organized religion, they are still religious. Most humans have believed in the supernatural since the dawn of time. Today things are the same. Everyone creates and seeks things that they think are worth something. Most of the things you see in a city are the result of human value-creation. We don't have a good idea of how these three forces interact with humans.

Many people are isolated in one city or another because of our lack of understanding of the three-city problem. The case for communal religious life with boundaries separating it from the broader culture is being called for by some Christians. There isn't much cross- cultural literacy.

The mark of a child raised in a fanatical home without exposure to the outside world can be seen in many products built in the isolation of Silicon Valley. Facebook, now Meta, built products that created enormous economic value quickly, yet over a decade later, its own studies have shown detrimental effects on the mental health of teens who use itsInstagram app. Questions of mental health were not considered in the product's early days. Dopamine Labs is an LA based company that builds features into apps to make them more or less persuasive. What is rational and what is spiritual are not considered. In the early days of the Pandemic, most of us tried to stay in touch with our family and friends by using technology, but it wasn't enough. The companies that profit from these tools didn't think about how the technology would affect society at the level of our desires, our relationships, and our humanity. In response to specific problems, these technologies were developed within the walls of one city, and they lack the long-term vision of the three cities as a whole.

The extent to which people cluster in one of the three cities is the extent to which our culture is damaged. Nobody can stay isolated in a single city for long. Self-styled rationalists hostile to religion close themselves off from millennia of embedded wisdom, or they simply invent their own form of cult or religion based on reason. Religion that doesn't respect reason is dangerous because it denies a fundamental part of our humanity and can lead to extreme practices in the name of God. Silicon Valley's excesses are characterized by a failure to recognize secular forms of religiosity that lead to those things.

Living in a single city for a long time causes a feeling of breakdown. I had to find a solution to the three city problem. After a brief career on Wall Street, I felt like I wasn't complete. I took a break to study. I was in the process of becoming a priest at the seminary in Rome.

I realized that I had spent a lot of time in each of the three cities and that they were missing out on a lot of interaction. I left the seminary when I realized that I didn't need to leave the business world. I thought I had to leave one city before moving to another because of the loneliness I felt there. The three cities have artificial walls that make us feel bad.

I decided to live at the intersection of Athens, Jerusalem, and Silicon Valley after leaving the seminary. A more integrated view of human nature is the solution to the problem.

We have avoided the question of human nature for a long time. We have stopped trying to come to an agreement about it.

In order to end the Thirty Years War in 1648), the treaty that helped to end it agreed to disagree about basic questions of human life, such as whether human freedom should be ordered towards anything in particular. Around this time the idea of eius religio was adopted. The right of a prince or ruler to enforce their religion on the population was referred to. If someone didn't want to comply, they could move to another area controlled by the same person. To avoid having to come to an agreement on those fundamental issues, this was a good way to go.

John Locke's philosophy influenced the American founding fathers more than any other. He declared the question of human nature to be an "unfatiguing idea" because he knew that disagreements over religion and reason were dangerous.

Locke's ideas influenced what would eventually become a commerce-driven society where questions about what it means to be human were not debated. Private desires can be sorted out in a free market. Nobody is allowed to ask what someone else wants. It could be offensive to do so. We have to live and let live if we want to understand nature.

The ancient questions are coming back because of technological change. We are being forced to confront these timeless questions by developments that cause conflict between the three cities, like the possibilities of artificial intelligence, or the moral questions raised bygenomics, or the tension between freedom and public safety brought into greater light by Covid-19.

People are starting to ask questions about what it means to be human and what technology is doing to them. Yuval Noah Harari suggests in his book that we upgrade ourselves into gods by using technology. There is a fusion of the three cities. The perennial religiosity of humanity is merging with the technological innovation driven by Silicon Valley and causing us to ask the quasi-rational question: "What do we want to want?"

The nature of desire is complex and highly social. We can't say what we want to want as isolated individuals or within the walls of any of the cities. Drawing on the wisdom ofAthens, Jerusalem, and Silicon Valley may be the only way to approach a solution.

We can hope that the inhabitants of Athens, Jerusalem, and Silicon Valley will work together towards a common good. We can't keep burying our heads in the sand.

To turn them away from rivalry and toward cooperation, we may start by acknowledging the existence of these three cities. Taking anthropology seriously again is one way to make progress. There is a question of foundations. Each city has a different idea of what it means to be a human. We can only make things that are better than our vision. The transhumanist movement doesn't want to do too much but it does want to do too little. Humans are often treated as upgradable computers that need some hardware and software adjustments to become less buggy than creatures made to worship.

Few people take the time to revisit fundamental anthropological questions and presuppositions, which is one of the problems with merely encouraging more "dialog" or ideological diversity. People gather to discuss the prevention of artificial intelligence bias, but fail to ask more fundamental questions, like what will happen to our humanity if our faces are stripped away, or what our lives will be like if we are reduced to a set of data points.

Knowing the initial position and speed of three physical bodies is the first step in the three-body problem. We don't know the starting position of the concerned parties, and we are all ignorant of each other's assumptions We are capable of dialogue that can keep us out of the dark. We might be able to stop talking past one another and start addressing the fundamental questions of humanity if we knew the starting positions of the people involved. What kind of city we want to live in will affect how we think about the benefits in the first place.

In the first chapter of his book, Lewis writes that the central meeting place of a person is the chest. The rise of Silicon Valley happened before he wrote. His haunting phrase describes the future that we are building, one without a middle section or a Chest, without an intersection or center. He writes that the future will be bad because we make men without chests. We are surprised to find traitors in our midst.

We will continue to build technology for an unknowable creature and be surprised when we find misery in our midst if we keep pretending that human nature is an x. We will build things like the $12 billion porn industry without asking the most basic questions about what that industry is doing to us.

The value of something in one city may not be the same in another. There is a place where the existence of one individual does not preclude the possibility of another and where the values of each city coexist with and benefit the others.

It is because we have sold ourselves short that we don't feel whole. There is a bigger vision of humanity that can be recovered.

The people who live in the three cities will create the most important innovations of the future.