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.

Author: nuet

01/24/1935. BS-physics RPI 1956; MS-physics UofChicago 1958; PhD-physics Yale 1965; PhD-Edu Psy Uof MInnesota 1970. Auroral Research Byrd Station, Antarctica 11/1960-02/1962. MINNEMAST curriculum dev 1964-68. Woodstock. faculty Pima Community College, Tucson 1974-1997. Transdisciplinary scientist, philosopher, educator, futurist, activist. PC user since 1982. "Wife". daughter, 2 grandsons. 5 dogs & 7 cats. Lacks mental imagery in all sensory domains.


Excellent observation, and heartfelt in my reading. I think I am old enough to appreciate your language, concepts and most importantly experience. I believe, however, that verbal models or their more ephemeral conceptual versions, are insufficient. Direct experience, and social learning. The tech can help, but as you point out, it has not helped enough over the last two decades. Our social togetherness remains as substantial as a serpinski's gasket.


@happyseaurchin David, I agree fully. The context of conceptual processes must be direct experience and social environments. I am well aware that I personally am weak in both areas, primarily due to my disabilities of having no mental imagery in any sensory modality and thus no experiential memory.

LEARNING from direct experience and from social interaction often needs scaffolding to be appropriate and relevant. Often persons don't learn from their experiences and social learning can be abused (sociopaths, for example). I find the book "Social"  by Lieberman very important.  It brought my attention back to the social and to the dangerous myths of individualism.  Immediately finding supportive and rewarding social networks is the primary sustaining motivation for persons joining BUS (Bootstrap UPLIFT Scaffolding).

I believe that most of our learning by observation and social learning are variations of basic mammalian learning, and contributes mostly to our intuitive/emotional minds; which can be destructive as also being essential context for conceptual/rational mentation. I have long been critical of the traps inherent in contemporary social media. See: Jabber,Jabber,Jabber - .

I've been calling for more direct experience in social groups both exploring and creating semiotic structures; in analogy to the study of architecture/functionality and designing/creating physical structures.  Maybe we need to be working within cyberteams to accomplish this.  I also feel we don't yet have the appropriate toolchest of apps, primarily because we haven't yet carefully outlined the objectives and functionality for the toolchest. OTOH, teams coding apps may be our best example of what I am calling for; viewing apps as scaffolding.

I am currently reading Pentland's "Social Physics". I find his research very promising, but more as tools than as foundations for a computational reality. His "tech" can be powerful for tuning social learning. The enzymatic acceleration of social change using SEAFnets also requires a toolchest of apps.