REFUGES FROM CIVILIZATION

We will all be refuges from civilization, needing to migrate to a new humanity – the societal butterfly.  Those in refuge camps and those challenging poverty in the slum rings (favelas) surrounding many cities on Earth are populations ripe for uplift. Hear Stewart Brand on Squatter Cities. Where to place those flooded out by rising sea levels? Where to place the new population growth?

Many people would, if they could, migrate to another, safer, better place. Where to go? All good places are already occupied, and few places look that much better.  Iceland? New Zealand, Finland, Cuba?

I have a wild proposal for the physical aspects of humankind’s migration.

Populate the vast ocean’s surface
with high tech platforms for
humans to live and work.

These will be for habitat, food and energy production,. Permanent, self-sufficient “new land” for all aspects of human life. I once called them floating archipelagos. Linked platforms to survive severe storms. Use our trash for construction. Buildings would lower to below surface during storms. Platforms under & surrounding for sea life natural farming – artificial continental shelves. Wind, solar, wave motion, tide, and temp differential energy sources; fueling water desalination and all other power needs.  Other platforms for food production, for CO2 sequestration, factories, and for computer server farms. Design and implement a staged development – with well organized experimentation. Model as the Apollo Program with sub-projects and boundary management. Set up modular, semi-automated production facilities (factories) on coast lines. Design for optimum socialization. Integrate uplift education into the design/construction/establishing processes.

Design as if space colonies, for survival in worst case climate change scenarios. Strategically vacate land regions for recovery. Design construction from renewable energy sources and put no drain on current Earth energy sources. Non polluting. Contribute to ocean recovery and designed not to significantly harm oceans. Ocean de-acidification projects if possible. How might they effect weather patterns if they become extensive?

Existing human cultures and societies are not transported to all ocean platforms. Some are dedicated to the emergence of a nu humanity, with experimental societal systems.

The whole project should be NON PROFIT; where participants are ensured a good lifestyle. An alternative global economy. Start small with experimentation, but design for exponential growth soon after. In a way, aiming BIG may be the best way to succeed.

This can be done without support from the top elites; but it would require collective effort well beyond what we have yet witnessed. Strategies would be needed to keep the top elites from blocking this enterprise or co-opting it. Proving an outlet to reduce pressure on established systems and not threatening to confront them may be a negotiation strategy.

Relate this to my EXODUS model from 1998.

 

PLACES AND SPACES IN SEMFIELDS & CYBERSITES

Websites are like spaces, areas where we “walk” our attention, perceive and act (modify the semfield – the structure of individual sems and their varied relationships).  We need to develop an attitude towards some websites similar to what we give to “home” and “country”.  We value them and return to them and preserve-but-improve them. Structures transform and new forms emerge in these nu spaces; some patterns are conserved; there are bursts of creativity; there are occasional breakdowns and breakthroughs.  We need nu “maps” for navigation and nu “constitutions” as guides to behavior in these nu spaces.

Space vs Place.  The other day I was on a leisurely stroll through my nearby park, attending to both the small and the vistas, also taking photographs of textures.  I flashed on a possible distinction between space and place, as I soared being on Planet Earth within Gaia.  Place is where I stand, or a point of view. It may have coordinates related to other places. Space contains contiguous attentions abstracted from the linear sequence of experientials as I “scan” the space. Space is the territory-in-mind. Space can be described by narrative within space, or more abstract descriptions, memories, recordings (photos and videos), histories, maps, etc. A space contains many places.

The “space” in cyberspace, is not a space according to the above, but it contains many spaces (sites) as defined above, which we can call cybersites.  Unless we wish to use “CYBERSPACE” to label a holoarchy of nested holons (cyberspaces and cybersites).

The purpose of this sem is to propose we design and construct nu types of cybersites that have the characteristics of “home” and “country”.  Some structures in a cybersite are relatively permanent, valued, and “frequented”. We move our attention and we interact with the cybersite. We interact with other persons within the cybersite functioning as scaffolding. We seek security, resilience, sustainability, utility, and beauty for our cybersites.  Using an “s” instead of a “c” in sybersite, we refer to the cybersite plus those persons relating to it.

The practicality of nu cybersites is for OLLO, to ORGANIZE the sem production of persons which gives equal parity to Relevance and Recency. The traditional structure of websites are greatly un-reeee. Recent publications, posts, comments, and emails have priority in our contemporary world. {exceptions: “bibles and constitutions”} References, footnotes, end-notes, bibliographies, appendices, archives comprise a shaky and grossly inadequate foundation for the types of collaborative work needed today and tomorrow.

We need to create and inhabit in CYBERSPACE the equivalent of roads & streets, bridges, parks, buildings, farms, factories (sites for material making), hospitals, schools, etc. I am not necessarily calling for a virtual reality simulation. I am calling for an organized and vital  semfield to serve our “information” needs analogous to how our physical spaces serve our other needs.

Wikipedia is a primitive cybersite, but few would call it “home”. How much are the specific persons interacting with and modifying a cybersite the attractive aspect of the site? How much does the seafing scaffolding of a cybersite contribute to its attraction?

Cybersites must be more than a chronological layering of sems. Cybersites need teams to keep them clean and orderly, to moderate their use, and to improve their functionality. Cybersites should be more than a platform to post ideas and seek comments, and more than a space for conversation.  Some cybersites should be like an emerging village, others like an exploratory expedition, others like a long construction project, and others like idea farms. Cybersites should integrate both synchronous and asynchronous interactions (what I call RT/DT – RealTime/DelayedTime). Cybersites need a governance subsystem and an external relations subsystem (to structurally couple with other cybersites).

HUMAN COGNITIVE DIVERSITY – WEAK TO NO DARWINIAN SELECTION

Proposition <-LINK: With humankind, the domain of information is liberated from the domains of matter/energy, and conventional biology.

In context with this proposition I propose a corollary proposition: Human cognitive/conceptual/emotional diversity (individual differences in profiles of cognitive/conceptual/emotional competencies) is VAST.  It is also relatively independent of neo-Darwinian selection, and may be rapidly increasing. Humankind can no longer be described by the frame of norms and variations around norms. Rather, intricate weaving of trait distributions is a better scaffolding for comprehending humankind’s emergence to HUMANITY.

I doubt humankind has adequate evidence to know what human traits are no longer significantly selected by neoDarwinian processes. Human support systems enable many humans to reproduce even when they carry traits that lead to dysfunction in most environments. Eugenics still carries the brand-scar of racism, which has suppressed discourse on the future of the human gene pool. But, I want to attend to positive aspects of the liberation of human cognitive/conceptual/emotional competencies from natural selection.

By diversity and individual variation I am not referring to conventional variables: gender, age, hair and skin color, languages spoken, economic and educational levels, etc. I refer to deep and significant individual differences that are often masked by our common conditioned behaviors. I will later use differences in mental imagery as my exemplar. The different “intelligences” (beyond the IQ) are crude concepts that refer to a cluster of significant individual differences. At the extremes we have “savants”, with a mix of striking disabilities and abilities. [It would be useful start creating a list of instances of this diversity, of the variation in distinct cognitive/conceptual/emotional competencies. It would also be useful to do a planetary census of the global population to determine their profiles.]

SPECULATION: In terms of cognitive/conceptual/emotional competencies, humankind has already “speciated” – separated into a very wide diversity of variation. Individual differences in these competencies may be as wide of there are individual differences in how different mammals seek and process food.  In terms of our inner experiences, our “conscious minds”, we probably vary to such an extent that if there were real telepathy (experiencing exactly as others experience) we would often be terrified or otherwise overwhelmed. Psychedelic experiences show us the variation of experience that is potentially within each of us. Imagine that some others may regularly/normally experience as you experienced under LSD.

This massive increase of diversity for processing within the new information domain is probably a mix of both “nature and nurture”, and may even blur the distinction between the two.  Mutations may not be filtered out and DNA sequences duplicated, with variations. Epigenetic variation may morph, especially when influenced by the new information augmenting technologies. With our new knowledge of brain plasticity, children developing in new hi-tech milieus may develop new brain structures/processes.

Brains and biological neural networks may be viewed as a new “state of matter” (in analog to plasma as the fourth state of matter, after solid, liquid, and gas). Feedpast Bootstrapping,(if it exists) may be a stronger influence in bio-neural networks than in ordinary biological tissues. Planetary sysnets of cybercrews coupled by Artificial Intelligence (AI-1) becomes Augmented Intelligence (AI-2) as humankind morphs from mega-organism to mega-cyborg. Humankind is already a cyborg – our individual and group behavior already greatly augmented by intelligent technologies. In the more distant future the new augmented HUMANITY may seaf the development of Gaia to integrate the information domain.  Then, Gaia (with a new integrated humanity) would be prepared to structurally couple with other augmented biospheres on other planets. It may be arrogant for a species in one biosphere to claim privilege to colonize other biospheres on other planets.

Much of human behavior results from operant conditioning, even though psychological science as long ago abandoned its repression of imagery and inner thinking and ceased imposing the dogma of behaviorism.  Much behavior is not consciously chosen or controlled. We also have continually accumulating new evidence of how the SOCIAL influences both our behavior and experiences. However, the cult of individualism persists even though it has lost its scientific foundation.  This dominance of conditioned behavior has successfully masked the great variation of cognitive/conceptual/emotional competencies. Since our conscious inner experiences are private, we really don’t know the qualitative nature oft he experiences of others. We agree on the inter-subjective content of our experiences and assume that the “experiences themselves” are similar.

The recent book, Mindwise: How We Understand What Others Think, Believe, Feel and Want by Nicholas Epley details how we use (and often mis-use) our “mind-reading” of others (living and non-living). Epley, typical to contemporary social and behavioral psychologists (usually employed by business and economic departments), continue to ignore the relevance of “inner experience”. Epley bundles all reports of inner experience as “introspection”, which “has been shown” to be utterly untrustworthy. It is true that our inner experiences are influenced by many factors and they should never be claimed as “scientific reports of the true nature of human mental processes” – which is what classical “introspection” attempted to claim. However, humans can be trained to be accurate reporters of their inner experiences – as accurate as a naturalist describing their perceptual experiences of nature.

Most research into personal experience ask “What did you experience?”, implying a request for content description. E.g, “I experienced a horse jumping over a fence” in response to reading the passage and being queried about their visual imagery. What is seldom asked, in studies of mental imagery, are questions about the quality of the experience.  E.g., “I experienced it as the horse”, or “I was the rider feeling the breeze in my face”.  Most of the research on reading continue within the behaviorist paradigm, asking “What did you read?”, instead of “What did you experience when reading?”  Most persons with strong visual imagery have considerable difficulty with their mental experiences when reading highly conceptual literature, but have greatly varied visual imagery when reading highly descriptive literature.  The common response to the query, “What did you experience?” was NOTHING. Persons with strong visual imagery and who enjoy reading highly conceptual literature all have discovered a way to keep the visual imagery from distracting their reading experience of conceptual literature.

Most psychological studies of humans are of responses to stimuli or to situations – something thought of by the researcher as external to the subject. The experimenter sees both object and subject.  There is another large field of behavior that is emitted by persons in response to their inner mental experiences THAT ARE INDEPENDENT OF THE IMMEDIATE SITUATION. I know of no studies of this behavior.  Artists creating art can be observed and the artist queried; few query artists about their experiences prior to setting down to create. The same applies to musical composers.

I lack mental imagery in all sensory modes, a very rare condition. I discovered my lack at age 22, and had been able to mask this disability from myself – even when working as a professional draftsman.  This occurred just as the study of imagery was escaping from the clutches of behaviorism.  My reports on lack of imagery was not received well by the imagery scientists. I was told many times “You can’t lack imagery.” An outmoded study showed 3% lack visual imagery and 7% lack auditory imagery. However, from my informal study of imagery (from the null perspective) I discovered a vast complexity and range of imagery ability (both of the variety of experiences and degrees of control).

IF we could really experience each other as they experience themselves, it would be like one of those science fiction bars with aliens of radically different sizes, shape, color, and behavior. Fortunately, as Vicki McCabe points out, much of human perception and behavior is subliminal – not dependent on the variety of inner experience.  Indeed, McCabe views our inner experiences as usually inaccurate simulations of our theories about what is happening, not a transformed projection of what was “really happening” and “stimulating our senses”.  However, I see a very positive aspect for our inner experiences, but I agree with McCabe that our failure to change course from our slide to oblivion is attributable to our faulty theories experienced as reality.

However, our diversity in cognitive/conceptual/emotional competencies goes far beyond our differences in the quality of our experientials and mental imagery. Diversity in mental imagery simply alerted me to a shift in paradigm about diversity. Humans vary greatly in speed and scope of thinking, in remembrances, in creativity, in social perception and control of behavior – to name only a few.

Human variability and diversity must be seen as one of our primary attributes.  The shape of variable distributions must be primary data and not reduced to means and standard deviations. We need to begin learning about our PROFILES of all relevant attributes/traits/competencies. This may call for new innovations in mathematics.

The construction of first level profiles must be an early task for a nu UPLIFT movement. We need this information to personalize learning and as a guide for the formation of cybercrews (the new unit for societal decision-making).

I imagine (without active visualization, but could expect visuals to be constructed for me to view) our human profiles as a wire sculpture in competency phase space.  We are as sculptures with filled and empty spaces (our competency profile). We can fit together if we are aware of this.  Not being “complete” as individual persons is not negative; our “holes” contribute to our “nature” and can inform us of human relationships to complement our “holes” with a “social wholeness”.

Until humankind acknowledges the uniqueness of its diversity it will not attempt to explore its full extent and potentials. How has this diversity increased over human history and is it changing now “as we speak”? Are there persons living today with competencies never existing centuries ago? Some fiction plays with the theme of new powers and new heroes. How might this diversity be represented in our genomes, in our DNA? Are they epigenetic? What diversity in child raising practices and education are needed? How do these new variable competencies mix from parents to offspring?

This diversity radically alters our thinking about the future of HUMANITY.  It should also impact on our strategies for survival/thrival. The competency resource pool for humankind is orders of magnitude greater than we anticipate.  Knowing a person’s potential competency profile they could be “educated” to societal functionality in a few years. Imagine a nu humankind of 10 billion uplifted persons-in-cybercrews optimally actualizing their diverse potentials to take on the challenges many today judge impossible. But, not as exploiters of Gaia/Earth, but as the evolutionary budding edge of a new HUMANITY/GAIA/EARTH.