I have read your work with appreciation – and I believe I understand it, at least to a degree.
I am just finishing up commenting at considerable length within the last of your three basic documents. I will need to compose a prolog doc to cue what I am attempting in my comments. Briefly: I critique The Great Transition in terms of the context behind UPLIFT and Societal Metamorphosis. Also, in part contrasting from my nu perspective on human nature. This is not a criticism, but to simply put your proposals in an expanded context from which your proposals might be improved. Please be patient.
I think your great strength in the space of transformative change is your clear sense/vision that humanity as a species can become much more. Rudolph Steiner put forward such an idea in the 1920s. And Olaf Stapledon wrote Last and First Men, a “future history” of 18 successive species of humanity, in 1930. But such a prospective is rare – and important.
My approach is unique from all others; and this is not an attempt to gain notoriety. My immediate response to reading this email was a very useful insight – long in coming, you triggered it. In analogy to the distinction between Classical and Quantum Physics, the conceptual schemes in nuet are as quantum-like insights related to our “Classical” views of humans, human nature, human systems, human change, and humankind. This new meta insight, I hope, will help me share my “unique” and very useful (my assessment) ideas. I will now be working on developing them for presentation.
H.G. Wells, Stapleton, and Steiner all were future leap extrapolations, assembled from their current knowledge of the nature of humans. They imagined future systemic arrangement of humans with these characteristics – or an enhancement of contemporary competencies. I am proposing that we need to consider a human significantly different from the human of our contemporary myths.
In classifying me with others, you perform as almost everyone – a human propensity. This is Piagetian assimilation. Your warp (sub-consciously) what you interpreted from reading my attempt to represent Larry/nuet’s conceptual schemes so as to fit within your own system of conceptual schemes – your structure-of-knowledge. You didn’t consider my ideas as shared insights, triggering a Piagetian accommodation. The value of the ideas emergent in Larry/nuet will be appreciated only if they can be viewed as significantly new, to trigger cascades of insights. Again, Andrew, this is not directed at you. Although I had hoped that since you already had the insights that led you to appreciate the need for a Great Transition, you might have recognized there may be a scale of great transitions. I propose a practical (could be put into practice, eventually globally over a decade) sketch of a strategy/scenario that attempts to be comprehensive of all relevant factors (that I know of). One of my drivers for my revision of “human nature” has been my difficulty in sharing with others.
nuet’s wrld is highly generative. It could channel scenarios or narrative for any time or level – not forecasts, but speculative processes and changes in human systems. It is connected with the Here&Now (as interpreted within nuet) – forward – to many alternative futures.
Elsewhere, and needing rewriting, I contrast the SciTech for systems where humans are NOT components with the SciTech for systems where humans ARE the basic components. The former SciTech has advanced exponentially, and continues. The SciTech of the latter, in spite of its attempt to be like the former, and ride forward on their coat tails, has advanced very little in centuries. Actually, human systems remain in the domain of competing cultural myths. We do have many fragments of date/facts about human behavior, which will be very useful for us. Most of the human sciences are constructed stories or little theorettes (Freud, Jung, etc.). Correlations between brain and behavior, are – at this time – just that: correlations. In a sense, the power of new brain studies have sidetracked advances in the patterns of human-human interaction. We attempt to correlate brain processes with our fragmented and incomplete knowledge of human experiences and human behavior.
This is an overly brief statement of part of nuet’s conceptual scheme. Given the radical difference I don’t expect it to be convincing. Take it as a statement of an “alien” perspective on humankind’s current knowledge of itself. I can only hope to motivate you to be open to expand your contexts and engage in dialog with me. My goal has nothing to do with having others comprehend me. My goal, as is your goal, is to act with relevance to turn-the-tide on our human slide over the abyss – AND – to begin to really actualize our potentials and creatively emerge an exciting nu HUMANITY.
And you rightly see the need to build a connected network of people who have thought through what is involved in systemic change.
In a sense, this is a tautology. But, in that most other activists behave as if the was in their blindspot, it must be made explicit. If better human performance is to emerge, it will emerge in connected networks of people who are sufficiently competent in doing the tasks needed doing and in an adequate context for viable (& sustainable) future emergence.
As I comment elsewhere, I strongly feel that a NETWORK is an insufficient app/forum/platform/structure. We also need SYSTEMS and strategies. We need to recognize that our current tools may be blocking needed ways of doing – partly by attracting us to diverting behavior (in social media). For example, I see no evidence that dialog and conversation necessarily lead to strategic action. And that is because they are viewed as a network phenomenon. The external effect of networks can never be more than the simple sum of the effect of each node. Networks have no external effect other than the summed effect of the nodes. Networking can enhance the competencies of the nodes and this increase the effect of the collection of nodes. Only systems can have external effects. Systems may be viewed as networks with constraints, resulting in coordinated action.
The SysNet we create for TGT or UPLIFT must meet basic requirements – which we have yet to explicate. Within the cornucopia of intelligent tool and techniques, there are large blank spots where there are no adequate technologies. This is typical for all tech development, not perceived by those embedded within the current milieu.
In summary, a connected network of people is necessary but not sufficient. The content exchanged and comprehended, and the patterns of exchange will determine the relevant of a network. FaceBook is a network that has both positive and negative features. A community of dedicated persons could use (inefficiently) any platform, reconfigured for its objectives. I use FB, because others I interact with use FB, but I don’t consider any group as a viable community active for the future.
I think this is important, for the reasons you mentioned. At the same time, I have set up Inspiring Transition – and the Communication Blitz – so that people can act independently with imperfect knowledge. That is, I want people to just get on with it, even if that means sending out just one email.
That this will work is a hypothesis, and OK to try. I recommend you include research assessment to guide revisions or alterations-in-process. My own assesement is that this will work for but a few, and soon plateau.
An essential feature of the uplifting process, in OLLO, I once labeled “scripting/performing”. We intentionally cycle between two modes of thinking/behaving: exploratory engineering to create scaffolding and seafed flowing-within-scaffolding.
What you propose here reminds me of my project in 1968: Minnesota Peace Cooperative. When I discovered by polls that 1/3 of Minnesotians favored unilateral withdrawal from Vietnam, I created an experimental project to coordinate Arm Chair Action. Details later in desired.
At the same time, it would be great if people formed support nodes, up skilled each other (including getting newcomers up to speed), and collaborated on communication projects.
This is unlikely to happen spontaneously, and the few that might emerge will need considerable help to continue and spread. These features will be explicit in UPLIFT, and as designed components of BUS. How to be eeree in doing this will involve Action/Research.
I suggest that in the future you consider not presenting yourself as deficient in sensory memory. Instead, you might simply present yourself as being committed to accelerating the Great Transition, and talk about improving cognitive and performance capabilities as an important aspect of that.
I appreciate your suggestion, and my openness to limitation may well turn off some persons. However, I strongly believe that one of many reasons good intentional activists fail to achieve their goals is that they ignore the great diversity of humans and treat others as the same in terms of learning and thinking.
The difficulty I have in sharing my insights is probably due to the mental imagery of others which block their access to the “abstract”. Acknowledging the many variations of mental style of persons is essential for us all to cooperate. I have found that using my lack of mental imagery very useful in assisting others to explore their own variations. Unfortunately, this technique only works with a group that has extended interaction.
I also consider that my savant nature is needed for others to not perceive me as competitive, or being superior. Larry/nuet IS CLAIMING that he does comprehend the world differently than most, and that his conceptual schemes may actually be critical to our survival/thrival. EFFORT will be needed to comprehend nuet. As I noted at the beginning, an analogy between the classical and quantum perspectives of material reality may be useful. The transition between classical and quantum physics involved 20-100 persons in close dialog for 25-30 years. The breakthrough finally came when they decided to totally abandon all analog with the Bohr Atom, the solar system model. Although the metaphor is still used today for lay persons, and even physicists who can function without full comprehension of their field, there is nothing in the Bohr Atom metaphors useful for Quantum processes, and in attempting to keep the analog they were blocked. Also, the metaphor of SPIN for the discrete values of another variable blocked work until the metaphor was consciously abandoned. The term “spin” is still used for that variable, but it has no similarity to mechanical spin other than the values come in + or – pairs.
That humans need to cooperate is more than a moral issue, or a psychological attitude issue. And it is more than the fact that no single human has the time and energy to do everything. A division of labor is essential. What is more is that every human person has significant limitations – we are NOT DESIGNED TO BE AUTONOMOUS INDIVIDUALS. We must each fully acknowledge our intrinsic limitations (and learn about them). I envision (without visualizing) each person represented by curved wire sculptures in a phase space of all potential competencies (propensities) for humans. Teams, crews, communities, etc. are special superpositions of participant wire sculptures.
The false myth that human person chooses who they become, is one of the factors behind our current mess. We each are a continuous dance between Nature and Nurture, of which we have no direct conscious control either. Human creative agency is far more subtle. Recently, in reading The Path: What Chinese Philosophers Can Teach Us About the Good life by Michael Pouett and Christine Gross-Loh, I was gifted by an insight: Human persons don’t have an intrinsic self they must discover and nurture. I’ve never had this belief, but many do and it truly warps our conception of humankind. We must accept that today, the vast majority of humans belief about who they are is divorced from the best our science has to say – and I propose that the science of humankind is also greatly deficient.
By the by, improving cognitive and performance capabilities is dear to my heart. Much of my professional life has been as a Feldenkrais practitioner, creativity trainer, and psychotherapist. I sometimes say that ‘I help good brains work better.’
I noticed your interest and expertise in this domain. That each practice can have significant effects on a selected audience cannot be denied. The claims of each practice for universal applicability has never been tested. What a mix of practices, matched to the specific needs of an individual, would accomplish has yet to be determined. I anticipate vast improvement in both healing and enhancing.
Although each of your contributions in this domain of “personal help” are important, they are more a sample of tactics to be applied, in the context of the emergent strategy for The Great Transition. That “personal help” is essential must be stressed. In my view, until we have integrated our individual differences into helping others we may not witness the real contribution “mutual aide” can augment.
I have learned that many practices are dependent on their clients having controllable visual mental imagery. In a workshop with a very famous practitioner (I emotionally block her name – Jean Houston) where she was demanding not only visual imagery, but proprioceptive mental imagery (asking us to mentally move, but not really move). When I interrupted to inform her that some may not be able to do as she instructed, she accused me of being brain damaged. Which, in a way I am.
It continues to astound me how many persons with strong visual imagery are unable to accept that I, or others, may lack visual imagery. Even within scientific circles this phenomenon is avoided. In the early days when the study of mental imagery was emerging from the decades long oppression by strict behaviorism, when I attempted to present a paper on the lack of mental imagery to a conference on imagery I was virtually booed. Imagery research had been so suppressed that to claim there can be no imagery was not tolerated. For a decade after the resurgence of imagery studies, the Journal of Mental Imagery still reported most research asking subjects, “What they experienced?”, instead of “Describe your experience.” Description of inner experience remains virtually neglected, probably because the accuracy of reports can’t be confirmed. There are conceptions. Dialog about “consciousness” is analogous to early priesthood debates about dancing on the head of a pin.
As an aside, when behaviorism was knocked off its pedestal, the baby was thrown out with the bathwater. Humans remain highly conditioned beings, and conditioning should still be tools in our tool chest.
The history of medical and psychological treatments is filled with horror stories, some not so very long ago. For the global population the menagerie of treatments is downright scary. We are losing our rhinoceroses for the so-called medical power of its horns. Industrial Pharma is no better than the snake oil charlatans.
My phrase for what I think you are talking about is ‘We must become the kind of people who can create and enjoy a life-sustaining society.’ Developing skills to sort out emotional distortions, and developing creativity and systems thinking are important. I have a vision of many of us becoming informal teachers doing this with people we know – a renaissance of grassroots learning! My book The Witness: The gateway to self-development shows a possibility. I have attached a draft copy.
Andrew, we agree on the path; but we differ on the extent of the path. In my interpretation of TGT, a first phase is created, initiated by the Blitz, and hopefully seafed thereafter. TGT leaves “what comes next” to that emergent group. I imagine the path having many phases, requiring ongoing strategizing. We must utilize bootstrapping. We must seed ahead (by creating now) what we will use in future phases.
I view the emergence of Humanity as a continuous becoming, not something we become. There will be a threshold state/configuration/distribution of human competencies networked that will initiate a turning period – but that “state” will be far from what we will need to attains sustainability and other features of a viable humankind. We have not yet fully acknowledged our unique potentials (gifts from Gaia). Elsewhere I write on how, with visual languages, humankind has liberated information from all prior embedment in matter/energy systems. Human minds interacting, mediated by emerging semfields (info archives), is still embryonic. Galileo and Darwin may have knocked humankind from its pedestal, but on close examination we are truly unique and potentially a cosmic force. Whether we manifest this potential or become extinct is our choice.
Humans, in our past, did strategize – but for lesser endeavors. Some businesses, and the military continue strategizing. Program Management Software seafs finite projects. The chaos of today makes many types of strategizing futile. Yet, a grand transition of humankind to humanity cannot simply emerge phase by phase without significant foresight and strategizing. And this includes whether the transition is by transformation or metamorphic emergence.
I have yet to explore your Witness/Critic ideas.
Going forward, I am curious to know what role you may choose to play in the Great Transition Communication Blitz? I’ve attached a short piece on possible roles, and I’m interested in your ideas.
My priority, with no insurance (at 81) of how much longer I will be functional, is to infuse my mission within a team. If your Blitz were a vehicle for this, I might well participate. But, this might be counter to your immediate objectives. We can discuss this as you comprehend better my mission.
I distinguish between at least three phases of action: pre-Blitz, Blitz, and post-Blitz. In many ways, the pre- and post- need be given the most attention. What actually happens during the month of the Blitz is very sensitive to the pre-Blitz project. Whether what happens after the Blitz will also be very sensitive to the actions prepared for in advance of the Blitz, to seaf the anticipated activity post-Blitz. Some activity prepping for post-Blitz can be designed as part of the Blitz. However, should the Blitz not go as planned – and it is likely not to, not necessarily a negative – many of the post-Blitz prepping may not occur and much of the energy and momentum generated during the Blitz may subside, not finding seafing channels. I have witnessed this to occur in a few gatherings with a strong post-gathering intent that never materialized.
Have you considered a sequence of Blitz events building on each other and gathering humanpower from each to fuel the next? This leads me to view the Blitz as an emergent EDUCATIONAL PROGRAM, which it is – but more. How activities will change over the month may be viewed as dividing the month into phases. Might a month long push be too much a drain on energy and space for commitment.
I forecast a very large amount of time and effort by many persons in the pre-Blitz phase. I don’t believe I can give good time for design and materials preparation, unless it is also relevent to UPLIFT. But I would be willing to read and comment on proposals and materials. I can imagine pre-Blitz and pre-UPLIFT-1.0 having many of the same features. In many senses, good educational practice can be applied to a variety of content. The Great Transition and UPLIFT are just topics – more: they are the equivalent of a whole graduate program – and more.
I just now thought that you might find a “partner” in TGT with The Millennium Project coordinated by Jerome C. Glenn. I’ve known Jerry since the late 1980s, but we are not in frequent contact.
I need to know more about specifics. It is very difficult for me to be part of a process and not critique the process and try to influence it towards larger contexts. I often don’t participate because I don’t want to disturb what the facilitators have planned. Many projects need to be performed, for the learning, as experiments – and the experimental process be tested without interference.