TWO FUTURE SCENARIOS – 2 quotes stimulate insight

Thanks to Helene, providing two stimulating quotes, nuet was stimulated to the following insights.

Leif Smith just shared a wonderful text that I think titally reflects the spirit of what we are doing here 🙂

“We stand together at the edge of something great. I call it the emergence of freeorder, the collaborative making of a world magnificently fit for explorers, and the development among ourselves of a people magnificently fit to live in such a world.

Such emergent collaboration depends on limits, differences, factions, lack of agreement, competition for resources of vision, mind, spirit, and matter.

This is a kind of collaboration beyond design, beyond possible agreement, founded on the deepest possible respect for the incomprehensible, inevitable, divergence of individual patterns of exploration.

There is a unity beyond all imaginable unities that only our respect for differences and limits can make possible.

Millions of individuals each differently probing the edge of chaos leave behind us a reef of unforeseen substance and beauty.

Our work will be preservation of the sea that makes such unplanned emergence possible.”

Edgar Morin

“On each continent and in each nation one can find creative bubbling, a multitude of political initiatives in the direction of economic, social, political, cognitive, educational, ethical or existential regeneration.

But everything that must be connected is yet dispersed, compartmented, separated. These initiatives are not aware of each other, no institution enumerates them, and no one is familiar with them. They are nonetheless the livestock for the future. It is now a matter of recognizing, aggregating, enlisting them in order to open up transformational paths.

These multiple paths, jointly developing, will intermesh to form a new Path which will decompose into the paths each of us will follow and which will guide us toward the still invisible and inconceivable metamorphosis.”

Larry replies

Leif Smith’s quote strongly resonated with a recent insight, but with my computers sick it has taken me a few days to respond. There are different “scales” to which Leif’s quote may apply. One is immense, the other – beyond immense.

The quote by Edgar Morin represents the “smaller” of the great emergence scenarios; where “a multitude of political initiatives”…”will intermesh to form a new Path”. The primary challenge for Morin is the “intermeshing” and decomposing into new individual paths. This doesn’t imply radical shifts in what each of the multitude of initiatives is doing – beyond adapting for intermeshing. This scenario is based on the assumption that our current scientific knowledge about human beings, human social systems and how they change is basically accurate and needs only fine tuning. We can model with a “typical” human, modified by variations and deviations from norms.

A “larger” scenario calls for a radical uplifting of competencies of those performing the initiatives (and others) resulting in a much more radical design of a nu emergent humanity. Participants in uplift challenge ALL fundamental assumptions and collectively arrive at a different set of initiatives. Primary challenges relate to the nature of humankind – some of the research already done. Here the metaphor is the embryonic emergence from conception to birth, the components emerging intermeshed – not requiring an intermeshing. [I speculate that “coalition” of groups is seldom successful.] This scenario will result in our conception of the nu reality, as compared to our contemporary 21st century reality – as for today compared to the reality of the ancient Greeks. Our identification with some ideas of Plato, etc. creates the illusion that our realities are similar. Our many technological advances in the physical realm masks the almost zero advancement in social/societal technology (where persons are the most significant component) over the millennia.

My insight (that resonates with Leif’s acknowledgement and acceptance of a “reality” with continuing differences of personal realities that must be accepted) was stated in a reply to a comment to my Spanda chapter .

We act as if there was a single meta-meta method/process that we are converging on that will lead us to mutual comprehension and acceptance. What if the reason David, Doug, Nirmalan, Linda, myself and many others seem never to converge on a “truth about wholes”, is that “what we seek” doesn’t “exist” (at least in the sense we seek it).

The “truth” of this conjecture gains force, for me, as I contemplate all the great minds I have tried to share my ideas with; and the many dialogs between other great minds I have observed in debate on controversial issues. For a PART, we can eventually converge on the closed nature of the PART, and if we don’t try too hard to link that part with other parts. Some while back I coined a cliché, which I can’t remember exactly. “Parts are defined as tiny wholes. True wholes involve infinite regress and can’t exist.” The arrogance of a TOE astounds me. I am not saying there is no pseudo-stability to reality. Nor, that we can’t converge on best action given the circumstances, but without claims to a universal, objective, truth. Indeed, if we abandon trying to convince others of our “truths”, we may be able to get together and plot/flow a viable strategy for survival/thrival.

We insist on using our Naive Reality (immediate S/R) as metaphor for larger human systems (beyond observation), where we believe in an inter-subjective (objective) reality, beyond our experiences. This failed gloriously for the very small, leading to quantum weirdness. Domains beyond direct personal experience (both the societal and the conceptual) may exhibit similar weirdness. Multi-probabilistic societal realities may better “explain” the contemporary “confusion of humankind” {Trump and Sanders both represent real Realities.}

I just saw two new books reviewed in Learning Change that are relevant to this issue:  one  two

Facing our Crisis-of-Crises, we must follow both paths. The uplift path initially requires very limited investment of time and energy and wouldn’t compete with the intermeshing path. The ultimate success of the intermeshing scenario may depend on an initial uplifting of the population so as to comprehend what is happening and their responsibilities. If the intermeshing strategy fails, the uplift strategy is backup.

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.