PARADOXES FOR UPLIFT – rough draft, a start


When the UPLIFT proposal calls for a rapid & significant uplift (in the distribution) of cognitive/emotional/performance competencies in the global human population in the period of a decade – it is usually automatically rejected as impossible. Human change takes a long time, often many generations – history informs us. Common sense tells us how difficult it is to get humans to change. Educational process takes years to develop competencies. Witness the increasing polarization and the performance of many persons “hearing” others only with strong bias. We are drifting more and more into silos. Even the “well educated” and “best adjusted” humans have difficulty relating on more than a few dimensions.

Also, how is this to be possible globally, with all the variations of languages, cultures, socioeconomic levels, ages, and different learning styles?

The resolution of this paradox involves (1) the exposure of many false myths about “learning and education”, (2) a synergistic application of much what has “recently” been learned about “learning and education” [e.g., see Learning Change ]   and (3) the application of a cyclical, experimental, collaborative process of learner & educator with use of our new Intelligent Technology.

Proposition: Human persons and human systems are both 1) very difficult (to impossible) to change; and 2) are quite changeable, quickly – depending on the many variables of the situation.

UPLIFT can be analogous to NASA’s learning expedition getting Man-to-Moon-and-back.  When The Apollo Program started, we couldn’t even get a satellite into orbit. The USSR beat us for this objective with Sputnik. We experimented and learned – and succeeded in less than a decade. True, UPLIFT is a much more ambitious project and we have much to learn; but our Sci/Tech has advanced greatly in the roughly half century since that ambitious project. The viability of UPLIFT cannot be evaluated without careful examination, with an open mind.

Those participating in UPLIFT will also be very highly motivated. UPLIFT may be THE human enterprise required to equip humankind with the competencies to survive both SocioEconomic Collapse and Catastrophic Climate Change.

That those persons not yet participating in UPLIFT don’t believe in its potential is not a argument against the viability of UPLIFT.  UPLIFT includes a PRSOS process to Promote, Recruit, Select, Orient, Support (SEAF) individual persons, one-by-one, with personal attention to their individual differences, persons from the general population into stages of engagement with the nu Humanity emergent within UPLIFT.

The UPLIFT process employs a CGRP (Chain-Growth-Recruitment-Process) that if properly applied guarantees rapid, exponential growth of the population engaging in UPLIFT.  Most of the global human population can become engaged in UPLIFT within a decade. Details on this later.




Human cognition has biological limits. For example, we can’t process information as fast as computers; but humans can perform creative syntheses that computers can’t (yet?) do. Many animals have perceptual and motor skills that exceed those of humans. One well known limitation of human cognition is that we can only attend to systems with a few independent variables at a time in our conscious working mind.

Historically, this is George Miller’s 7+/-2 rule, or 5-9 random numbers we can hold in memory. Actually, the number is closer to only 3.  Technologies can permit us to navigate over time working with systems with a few more independent variables.

The phrase, “we can only attend to systems”, erroneously implies that a “system out there” has so many independent variables. In reality, we humans have “models of systems” in our mind/brains which we apply, as tools, to the data we receive from our environment.

The “systems” first studied by humans and science were those best comprehended by using our tools: physical structure in 3D space that didn’t change or had regular cycles or simple change patterns.

Beyond the momentary experience of this limitation, it also results in our models or theories often being limited to a few basic assumptions. Different competing models or theories often focus on different basics. This is most evident in the social sciences, and very significant for our comprehension of “learning and education”.

Human cognition & behavior, and change involves many more dimensions (independent variables) than 3 or 5-9. It may range into the hundreds.

The human brain (and other mammalian brains) are the most complex systems in the known universe. The physics and cosmology of the universe from elementary particles to galactic clusters is many orders of magnitude less complex that the neural-molecular activity in a biological cells, let-alone billions of cells within a brain within a body within a family within a community within a society within humankind within Gaia on Earth. Add to this “mind” and “spirit”. To attempt to creatively change human persons within human families/communities/societies is cosmically monumental – to say the least. Indeed, it is credit to human ingenuity that we have done as well as we have, with these limitations.

Our new technologies now provide us with augmenting tools and techniques to work with greater complexity. But, we have yet to adequately accept our own limitations and NOT force our “understanding” of human nature and change be contained in overly simplified models.

This is specially evident in our diverse attempts at education. Each established educational practice is based on only a few variables of human nature. This is further handicapped by depending on human persons, as teachers, to attend to many learners. Even the very best (in comparison) of educational practices is grossly inadequate compared to the potentials for augmented human learning.

Proposition: Augmented (seafed) human learning can be rapid and very reeee (relevant, effective, efficient, enjoyable, elegant) when there is a quality match between the cognitive state/competencies of the learner and the specifics of their learning environment. The challenge is to create an educational system that continually matches the diversity of the learner population with learning experiences tuned to the uniqueness of each learner and their learning objectives. This can only be accomplished by learner/educators, over time, experimentally within an OLLO process: Organizing-for-Learning=&=Learning-for-Organizing. More on this later.

Can I demonstrate this today, no. But, we couldn’t demonstrate getting to our Moon before we launched The Apollo Program. There are many pieces of scientific evidence that support the possibility of UPLIFT. As we desperately need UPLIFT, we can be motivated to join this challenge.

Also, imagine – as the hundreds, thousand, million, billions of humans become participants in OLLO – how this organized, creative effort will be applied to this challenge. In analogy, imagine every student in every school learning to be an educator and applying that knowledge and skill to enhancing their own learning (in the future) and the learning of others.  I started thinking on these lines in 1978, which developed into a conceptual scheme I call LQE (Learners for Quality Education).

—- to be continued

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.