NEAR TERM EXTINCTION – POSSIBLE WITH NON NEGLIGABLE PROBABILITY

Scientists with Arctic expertize forecast climate change so rapid as to lead to humankind extinction in a few decades, possibly even sooner. In scientific parlance, this outcome “has a finite/real probability” – a meaningful possibility. The probability, although not accurately quantifiable, is large enough to activate our highest survival alert system.  Such knowledge has led to suicide of environmental activists.  (urls below)

  •     The problem is that we can’t trust these probability and time estimates. All formal estimation procedures are theory dependent and there is no assurance that these theories apply to process of such great magnitude/scope/complexity. The psychology of deep denial and the conservative stance of scientific disciplines leads most experts to propose low probability for worse case scenarios.
  •     At what percent probability can we chose not to act?  What size chamber in a Russian Roulette gun would you pull the trigger, with your “reward” for not killing yourself being nothing other than letting our world continue the march towards collapse and possible extinction some decades to centuries later?
  •     The worst of the worse case scenarios is a rapid shift to a Venusian atmosphere with temperatures so high as to kill all but a few bacteria already acclimated to extreme heat. We can’t reject the need for immediate action just because this worst-of-the-worse scenario may be controversial. Least-worst-of-the-worse scenarios, a severe reduction of most multicelled organisms, is still too severe to not take quick and appropriate action. Even “better” scenarios, that may leave a few humans struggling to survive in an environment that will remain threatening for tens of thousands if not millions of years, are not worth the risk just to preserve a very sick societal system with scientifically high probability to collapse (independent of climate change).
  •     Without global heating our exploding consuming/destroying/wasting economy is well on its way raping its biospheric foundation. All the resources exploited for their economic gain are rapidly being depleted. Faith based rationalizations (whether the target of faith is God or The Market) has zero legitimacy in this debate about our future.  There is ample evidence to support the hypothesis that many of our societal leaders are intelligent and creative socio/psycho-paths, with brain dysfunction leading to no compassion or empathy.  Our mess cannot be blamed on any single cause, but the ascending of socio/psycho-paths up the pathways to power (our competitive systems filter them to the top) is a major factor in the intentional blocking of our crisis messages, even to the “well educated”.  See: Merchants of Doubt.
  •     Why do we risk extinction, not only of humankind but of most of the astonishing ecologies of wonderful animals, plants, and even the microbial world we are just now appreciating? Do we stand by and let the view of Earth from the moon change from the Blue-Green sphere we all wowed about to a bleak view like Mars or Venus?
  •     War with Reality.
  •     New methane craters in Siberia.
  •     More Methane
  •     Requiem for Mike Ruppert.

Anyone (leaders, average intelligent persons, and many activists) adequately cognizant of societal dysfunction and distorted reality perception knows that action to confront this emergency within the existing “system” is impossible (until it is too late – and even then unlikely). Most of us with competencies to comprehend our threats and the impossibility to reform for survival are unable to intuitively/emotionally accept this reality. In our deep denial we look to proposed action campaigns without following through by analyzing how such campaigns might succeed in the “real world”.

An “easy solution” – WHICH I DON’T SUPPORT – would entail the total, sudden collapse of all dominant societal systems and powers and a very significant reduction of the global human population. The sources driving climate change ceases to exist.

  •     I put the viable survival of humankind before the survival of any specific humans, human groups, or societal systems. What happens after the runaway heating is stopped? What “mop up” operations may be needed, to be performed by humans, to insure global heating doesn’t smolder (as embers) to resume in the future?  May “putting out the fire and dousing the embers” require coordinated action of human teams/orgs that must have been organized before the collapse and population reduction.
  •     The collapse alone would probably not be sufficient to stop global heating, as the actions of masses attempting to survive collapse may lead to continuing output of greenhouse gases. Only a severe reduction of population would insure stopping global heating (by human agency). Methane feed-forward and the ongoing destruction of carbon sinks may continue even with population reduction.
  •     I forecasted this as one of five alternative future scenarios many decades ago, which I called “The Operation”. However, it is highly unlikely that humankind, as currently constituted, could organize a selective extermination of a majority of the global population – even if necessary for species survival. However, this may be a considered strategy of the TOP ELITE.
  •     A debatable technological alternative would be to somehow induce a rapid cooling intervention. Significant blocking of solar input to Earth’s oceans and atmosphere is possibly beyond our collective technological expertize – yet we cannot claim that such a remedy is impossible. Given the seriousness of our crisis I support continued research on geo-engineering options; but these may have unexpected side effects as damaging as what they try to prevent.We cannot count on this.

The literal survival of the human species may depend on unprecedented actions by a small cadre of informed and dedicated persons, accepting the potential catastrophe and the impossibility of significant societal reform.

I prefer we not delve into these dark scenarios and instead devote our time and energy exploring viable alternatives. And such alternatives do exist. But for various reasons, these alternatives lie in blindspots of those most prepared for relevant action. A study of why humans (throughout history and most recently) have not successfully organized to collectively create a more viable and sustainable societal/cultural systems is needed.  The mess we are in is as much the result of this “lack of success” (I prefer this to “failure) to create alternatives as it is the result of the beliefs of and actions by those in power.

False myths about “who we humans are” are believed by everyone. I personally have to daily fight slipping back into such beliefs and I continue discovering new myths whose belief constrains me.  No individual person is to blame for the mess we are in.  The myth that we are “self-made persons” leads to the cult of individualism and exceptionalism.  Without here going into any detail, it can be strongly hypothesized that every person’s behavior is consistent with their inner constructed world (cWrld) that emerges in their mind/brain during life. Humans and humankind have agency, but it doesn’t lie with the constructed “self” living in its own cWrld. When we choose, our choice is highly determined by a multitude of factors. Moment to moment we humans are as S-R (Stimulus-Response) mechanisms. “Free Will” at this level is an illusion. Our real agency lies in our imaginative and creative competencies to propose/take actions-over-time (not in response to stimuli) which change ourselves so that the nature of our SR mechanism changes to enable our desired S-R behaviors to be our “programmed” behaviors. Such changes require collaborative effort in supportive social systems.

This doc attempts to communicate the NEED for nu ACTION; “nu” in the sense of preparing our future instead of “new” action to remediate the past.  Many other docs are in draft where I share my insights on this issue, from almost five decades of work. I am preparing a different platform and interactive presentation for this. I am personally struggling to accept the EMERGENCY MESSAGE above “in my heart”. I know no individual person can sustain this perspective alone. I hope that collectively we can transcend our intuitive/emotional denial of the critical nature of our situation.  YET, my deep soul yearns to engage the EMERGENCE of HUMANITY/GAIA that follows our biological survival. More than the possible extinction of humankind, I fear the loss of an emergent HUMANITY, a gift of Gaia to Cosmos.

I am not depressed, nor should you be, facing this awesome challenge. This new/nu awareness has catalyzed shifting in nuet and revisions of my models for Uplift and Societal Metamorphosis are in process. The possible success of these models become even more “practical”, by making the actions of the pioneers more immediate. The first draft of this post was much longer, where I attempted to outline a possible scenario. This needs more work. As I have repeatedly claimed: once one abandons all possibility of transforming societies, paths towards creative emergence and replacement open wide.

Need for UPLIFT – As applied O4L&L4O or OLLO

CLAIM: Collectively we currently lack the requisite competencies to learn/organize to meet our challenges. So long as we continue trying to act, assuming all we need to do IS DO, with no significant learning/organizing about organizing/learning, we are unlikely to succeed.

UPLIFT is based on the premise that we can’t organize as we need to because we lack the requisite competencies for organizing as needed to meet the survival/thrival objectives of humankind facing our potentially catastrophic Crisis-of-Crises.  It is also based on the premise that persons can’t learn what they need to learn, to adequately participate in orgs to meet  those same objectives, without better ways of organizing-for-learning, the primary objective of “education” as a social process. For persons to gain those requisite competencies for more reesee organizing they need more reesee learning-for-organizing. Instead of being paralyzed as to what to do first, learning or organizing, we need to integrate both into a “spiral”:
Organizing-for-Learning=&=Learning-for-Organizing [OLLO].

  • In 1973 Donald N. Michael published: On Learning to Plan and Planning to Learn. This was a seminal book for me, being read just prior to my major insights on Societal Metamorphosis. His integration of learning and planning sparked exploration of mutually supportive processes. Michael could just as well used “organizing” instead of “planning”. The subtle difference between “organizing-to-learn” vs “organizing-for-learning” emphasizes the symmetry of the mutual processes.
  • There are many ways to attract persons to join a group that self-organizes with some objectives in mind. The org, the outcome of organization processes, can demonstrate vitality and grow, and even accomplish some of its objectives. The org may become a start-up corporation, activist initiative, creative cooperative, etc.  We do organize and learn; some do better than others. The best “rest on their laurels”, assuming themselves optimally competent and in need of only minor improvement. They don’t invest much time or energy into OLLO for themselves. This is “natural” for humans in contemporary social settings.
  • Both organizing and learning do occur today, both with some outstanding achievements. On the other hand, many orgs are destructive and many persons are not learning what they need to learn or accomplishing what they need to accomplish. Some orgs are too big to either succeed or fail. When our real potentials for learning are examined we can state with confidence that there are no really effective educational processes or institutions – to meed humankind’s needs. Educational processes and institutions are evaluated by comparison. If the best are grossly inadequate it is time to question how we organize-for-learning.  Many books and articles have been written strongly critical of both contemporary organizing and learning processes, of both orgs and schools. Although persons can learn much without formal instruction, we cannot depend on individual self learning to prepare humankind with the requisite competencies they need.

Intelligent tools & technology (computers, The Internet, communications) have greatly transformed both learning and organizing.

  • These transformations are far from over and we can’t forecast accurately their futures. At  the 1988 ENA [Electronic Networking Association] conference in Philadelphia {Theme: Beyond Electronic Mail} George Por and I presented on the potential for “virtual organizing and organizations”.  Although there are “virtual” aspects to most orgs today, there are very few orgs where the core activity is virtual. Wikipedia may be an exception.
      • Many persons and orgs stumble when they email or tweet, believing that others can’t see them, or that videos of speeches can’t  come back to haunt them. Computerized high finance made the collapse of 2008 possible, spreading across the globe. I read that China permits their online users to say almost anything, but they totally forbid organizing online. It has been two and a half decades since I and others proposed we develop processes for effective and efficient (reesee) organizing online. It exists, but far from what I envisioned or we need.
  • Persons do come together and interact online, short term projects have been organized online, collaboration can begin and develop online, and I expect that this paragraph may attract a great many examples where orgs organized online and continued with vitality.  What we haven’t witnessed is a alternative society emerge in cyberspace that has a meaningful effect on the lives of the participants and provides alternative lifestyles. Some elaborate gaming and simulation sites can claim experimentation with creating societal systems. New things are happening in online education, some quite interesting. It is too soon to say whether major shifts in curricula and learning-to-learn will emerge. From my perspective of Learners for Quality Education (LQE), the old structure of disciplines, classes, teachers, students, tests, and grades form a barrier.   Free-4-All learning is not the “education” we need, nor do we need more indoctrination.
  • Innovative app systems may be designed/constructed to “seaf the galdee” of a radically nu educational process for persons who join. It would have “organized structure” that leads to and maintains quality learning environments & processes. It would practice OLLO (Organizing-for-Learning=&=Learning-for-Organizing).  BUS (Bootstrap UPLIFT Scaffolding) proposed such an app system to seaf the emergence of an UPLIFT movement/org, whose long term objective is to uplift the distribution of conceptual/intuitive/performance competencies of the whole global human population – to a distribution level requisite for our survival/thrival.
  • Today we lack the requisite competencies to change as we need to change. Fortunately, by designing from newly discovered basics, we can uplift our competency distribution to levels adequate for our survival/thrival far into the future. But, if we continue to assume we already possess the requisite competencies, all our efforts – no matter how hard we try – will not succeed.

What I feel missing is the vision of what is really both needed and possible. Technologists create, with the tools at hand, systems to serve the immediate, envisioned needs of a select population of potential users. As productive this technique has been, we must transcend. We must imagine MASSIVE actions commensurate with MAGNITUDE of our challenge; but the MASSIVE can only EMERGE.

DANGERS OF ECONO-CENTRISM

The primary danger of an econo-centric society is that it projects the actions of every entity (person to corporation) onto the flat plane of money & finance. All the wonderful complexity and beauty is wiped out, to enable efficiency for accountants. It also enables elites to control. Persons no longer think or act in terms of contributions to themselves, others, or to their social groups; they think and act only to increase their monetary value.

  •     Kenneth Arrow, in a unique 6-week seminar I attended at Stanford in 1967, pointed our that real value is not transitive. You may prefer A over B, and B over C, but not necessarily prefer A over C. Monetized value is transitive. This seriously warps the landscape of real value.
  •     Monetization of multidimensional entities, projected on a one dimensional scale, is frequently commented on as an “over simplification of economics”, as if it still had some utility (by applying theory to make it practical). Actually modern monetization is a deliberate distortion of the scientific reality of exchanges enabling an elite to rule of the masses. This is “utility”, for the elite.
  •     The financial sector of societies is an well organized, criminal enterprise. It even exploits business persons and many corporations. Since finance is an abstract, symbolic system, it doesn’t require much energy to replace it. However, as it has its roots everywhere, its service functions need to be replaced before it is shut down. The political power of finance makes its replacement complex, but not impossible. We must distinguish between the many persons whose lives are dependent on being “workers” in the finance sector (including many managers and some CEOs) and the societal system within which they are only components.

This makes  them  subject  to easy cons to spend their hard earned income on purchases designed to maximize the financial gain of others while filling their propagandized imaginary desires.  Today “investment” is simplistically locked into the financial world and few propose ventures that will increase real value. This is a criticism beyond Capitalism, but to all econo-centric models of society; socialism and communism as well as capitalism.

For decades I have attempted to challenge this critical and high level assumption almost all humans assume (including revolutionaries): that “economics in practice” is THE dominant societal subsystem, an OBJECTIVE FACT. Econo-centrism is the context supporting the market meme.

  •     I never comprehended how economics was considered a “science”; as “economics in practice” simply DEFINED its system-for-study as a system of exchanges artificially selected, intentionally excluding major components and subsystems. I called this a truncated natural system. For example, the labor of wives and mothers are excluded from the formal economy. This act immediately invalidates any authority of “economics in practice” as an “applied science”.  However, there is a “science of exchanges”; but I would be hard pressed to call it “economics”.
  •     To me, it is a feat of masking cognitive dissonance and reality denial for those “scientists of exchange phenomena” to tolerate being on the same planet as practitioners of real-world, so-called, “economics in practice” (actually a technology selectively picking from the “science of exchanges”).

A sustainable society needs a viable economic subsystem. However, it is not obvious that attempts to transform the economic systems in our contemporary societal dysfunction or to attempt to create a new society based on a new economic system are our only options. Yet, the ideology of econo-centrism demands it.

An alternative focus for change is OLLO (Organizing-for-Learning=&=Learning-for-Organizing) where we gain the requisite competencies to seaf needed change. The requisite economic system will follow. OLLO is necessary for a critical organized/learned population to reesee attend to the real magnitude/scope/complexity of our challenges.