Comment on Changing our minds

shandora Wed, Nov 25, 2009
In systems theory, It was postulated and mathematically proven that large complex systems may be expected to remain stable up to a certain critical level of connectance and then as this increases, to suddenly become unstable.
It is becoming clear that at this point in human history we are somewhere in the vicinity of this critical phase. We are serving as both the embodiment and product of this complex existence and our hard-wired fitness functions seem to be falling behind in supporting it. Not to mention any possible increase in complexity - which is clearly taking place. The question “What should we do about it?” becomes a question of our survival.

So what should we do about it?

Option: Inhibit/decrease the level of complexity we exist in – This can be achieved, for instance, by going back to pre-civilization modes of existence. This idea is not new and derivatives of it were actively pursued by different groups and individuals. Banning certain technological advancements is one of the more moderate forms of this view.
It reminds me of something I watched on TV lately. The final episode of the series “Battlestar Galactica” (beware, spoiler ahead): After years of adventures in space, constant fight for survival against the CYLONS (Cybernetic Life form Nodes, created by the humans and went rogue) and dreams of a new home for free humanity… the last group of survivors finally land on inhabitable planet. Considering the chain of events that brought them so far they decide to discard of their entire space technology and scatter themselves around the planet in small groups… and basically start from scratch. It is Syfy tv… but I found it quite staggering that eventually the best solution found to ensure the survival of our species was to go back to square one…. It makes everything looks quite futile, no? Interestingly, the last scene of the show was 158,000 years later… where it all started again: Humans creating technology that will raise on their makers etc.

Another Option: Give up democratic freedoms - Without going into the question of who exactly enjoys such freedoms in today’s world, it is clearly an ideal being held dearly by both us individuals and our politicians. Restricting access to information, monitoring personal activities, and maintaining biometric databases are some of the measures already taken today in different degrees to counteract the ill effects of our complex freedoms. This kind of solution is also inhibitory in nature and relatively a cheap one to implement - It does not require us of radical change. It does not require us “Changing our Minds” as SpaceWeaver so eloquently put it.

So if we are unwilling to go backward and clearly cannot stay where we are right now, the only option left for us is to find our way forward. Or as a quote I heard recently goes “If there is no way out – go further in”

Augmentation/Enhancement – This is clearly already taking place in small doses but promoting such an idea globally will entail a radical change in our most profound world views. The idea that human traits can be, and should be, manipulated biologically is challenging the deepest beliefs and understandings regarding what it means to be human. Maybe this by itself will push us, as a species, forward. To question what and who we are. To question that which is by normal standards unquestionable. And above all to shift our attention from what we are to what we can be...

... Some thoughts :-)