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Every act of rebellion expresses a nostalgia for innocence and an appeal to the essence of being. (Albert Camus)
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    Uncontrolled hubris – Unrestrained future*
    Uncontrolled hubris – Unrestrained future*

    To the question 'what is the use of philosophy?' the answer must be: what other object would have an interest in holding forth the image of a free man, and in denouncing all of the forces which need myth and troubled spirit in order to establish their power?
    Gilles Deleuze
    The Logic of Sense (1969)

    I love Deleuze for many reasons, the most important of which is his realization, appreciation and promotion of the fact that a poet/writer/philosopher/artist main activity should be creation, conceptual creation that is.
    A futurist in this context can take after Deleuze and create/conceptualize a future that is not based on pre-existent realities but on desirable realities, this I strive to do.





    To say anything about the future, anything that is not a complete lunacy, at any rate, we need make assumptions. And assumptions, be they as strong founded as we can make them, remain at the end of the day, just that, assumptions. Having said that, assumptions are a necessary part of the game of predictions, or future presuppositions, and future presuppositions are of necessity an inherent part of the manner of action and thought we take and have presently.
    Thus it will be safe to propose that assumptions are a fundamental part of our belief system, from which stems, many (some say all) of our immediate actions and attitudes.
    So for this article I shall assume that we all make assumptions, specifically assumptions about the future, what it will be like, and more particularly still, what this future likeness is implying about our immediate life, our life now, the present about which we are consciously aware.

    Contrary to what many may believe the future is not set, neither is it happening by itself, it is neither a given nor a destiny, the future cannot be pushed and neither can it be coerced, the future does not just happen upon us, nor as some may desire, can it be brought to our own wishful dreams.

    The future in short is an emergent and open-ended occurrence and as such the future is inherently interactive, both with the past and the present; interactive and open ended is the future (so ought Yoda to say).

    There is therefore no need to worry; yet on the same token there is also no reason to rejoice, the future demands neither and responds to none. It does however stipulate a conscious aware state of critical observation, both of the past and the present. It demands a sophisticated mind, a mind rich in experience and understanding, a realistic visionary mind. It demands a mind that is both flexible enough to understand its own mistakes and correct them on the fly and yet simultaneously it implies a mind that does neither self-flagellates nor self-congratulates. In simple terms then, for a sane future, we need a sane mind, and we need it now!
    But what, in this context, is a sane mind?

    First and foremost a sane mind in our context is a mind that is knowledgeable, a mind that has accumulated enough info/data bytes to have a coherent picture of the Infoverse. A lucid representation of the Infoverse, a depiction that is both weaved and interconnected, unified and interrelated, and simultaneously contains a highly unique view of the state of affairs of the world, its aims, motivations and future potentialities, potentialities hidden in the ‘Now’ and ready to be unleashed in time, in space, in mind.

    Humanity has created the net, and the net, evolving day by day, allows an availability of information and data, the like of which the human race has never dreamed possible, an immense amount of information is at our fingertips, and yet most of us drown in this sea of facts, figures, records, news and opinions. Yes the promise of the semantic web is there, it is definitely coming, but it is not here, yet.
    Thus, for a sane mind to be able to create a sane vision for a sane future it needs a context that is flexible enough to accommodate the vast amount of data coming its way and concurrently a context that allows the unique perspective of the individual and the community to which he belongs to thrive and come forward, according to its guiding principles and evolutionary demands.



    So given that we need a sane mind and a sane mind demands a context and a context demands assumptions, we need define the assumptions.

    Assumptions then:

    I deliberately assume that the world, its civilization, humans included, will keep on existing and evolving into the future. Technically what this means is that I am NOT a dystopian, and suffice it to say that in this day and age NOT being a dystopian is to my eyes a grand attainment. And yet not being a dystopian, does not in any fashion implies that one needs become, or indeed is, a utopian or an unbridled optimist.
    It may seem strange that we need clarify for ourselves this apparently obvious reality, that we assume continuity of our present, into the future, however, to my eyes, any human desiring to understand her own paradigm (whether consciously created or not) need be clear regarding his starting point.

    My starting point then is continuity, continuity in time, and in space, in identity and conscious awareness and above all, continuity in the progress and evolution of intelligence, human intelligence on a global scale and human intelligence on the individual scale.

    It is my consciously aware conviction and understanding of the progress of intelligence that leads me to be enthusiastic about the future, a critical and thoughtful enthusiasm that is.

    Enthusiasm about the future, the very feelings that the future promises certain realities that are at present non-existent, is an actual state of mind, so I propose.

    I have no name for that state but a possible description: Enthusiasm about the future is a state of mind that is actually a amalgamation of knowledge of that which is (the current state of affairs of the world), a deep appreciation for that which we are as a species, predominantly our capacity for self-metamorphosing and an unquenchable thirst for life, for beauty, for freedom.

    Humans are a very special species; we are fundamentally engaged in and pre-occupied with our well being, especially with regard to our health and longevity, capabilities of being and doing, our innate ability to remember knowledge that is not immediately pertinent, and more; yet, more significant, is our (almost) incomprehensible ability to enjoy knowledge for the sake of itself, unrestrained knowledge.

    Knowledge, be it experiential, informative or data based, be it of sensorial origin, emotional origin, or intellectual origin, gives us pleasure, a pleasure unlike any other.
    But is the knowledge itself responsible for activating within our minds the higher pleasure centers? No, I do not think so.
    It is my view that knowledge gives us pleasure because of our capability to combine and recombine said knowledge into new forms, inexperienced ideas, new sensations, unsullied emotions, novel horizons, innovative narratives and most notably new fashions of understanding ourselves.

    These we crave: original manners to understand ourselves, progressive fashions to self-revealing and deeper modes of self-reflection, and these, I propose, are the hallmark of intelligence. For all these cravings, and cravings they are, point to the foundational aspect of intelligence, namely, curiosity about processes.
    Curiosity about processes relies on the fact that intelligence needs interest as a motivator to self-advance. And nothing interests us more than the outcome of our actions and attitudes in the future. Hence our innate preoccupation with time and its ‘denouement’.
    I say ‘denouement’ but I do not mean the end, I mean the manner in which processes unfold in time. Chiefly, I refer here, to the progression of our own minds, as well as, the evolution of our intelligence, the process of our emotional life, the development of our feelings, the growth of our ambitions, the improvement of our relations, the upgrading of our social structures, the advancement of our moral and ethical philosophy into maturity, and finally the processes of our world, the world of which we are consciously aware.

    Thus it is the case that Intelligence leads to interest, interest leads to curiosity and curiosity motivates processes. These processes involve the acquisition and processing of knowledge, with the goal of combining and recombining same knowledge into a new form, the form of a fresh perspective, a novel approach and a new insight, an insight into that which is and that which we are, culminating in the realization of that which we desire to become.

    And what is it that we desire to become?

    This question can be answered in many ways, and yet my basic premise here is that we wish to be better, we truly and genuinely, desire to become better. Better in any manner and aspect, better in any fashion and characteristic that we can conceive and/or imagine. We wish to be more intelligent, more capable, more healthy, more loving, more sociable, more knowledgeable, more strong, more feeling, more understanding, more profound, more wise; in short we wish to be better than what we are now. If that had not been the case, human civilization, as we know it, would not have come into existence.




    What is better?

    Better may be understood in many ways, my take on the term on this junction is that better, reflects fundamentally, a deep and unrestrained appreciation for that which is generally termed Life.
    Appreciating Life, does in no fashion imply, that Life ‘as it is now’ is the end of the story. ‘Au contraire’, appreciating Life implies primarily that Life proposes intelligence so as to be upgraded and improved upon. Is this an anthropomorphizing of the concept of Life? Of course it is. But that is exactly what Life allows the Mind to do, it ‘allows’ Mind to self-reflect, to self-realize and by that to self-metamorphose and improve upon itself.
    So the term better, in this context, I propose to define as the improvement of Life upon itself, via the agency of a conscious aware humanity.

    A conscious aware humanity, an emergent complex intelligence, a coherent and cohesive force of evolution, yes this is what better means.
    A humanity endowed with humanism, a humanity able and gifted, allowing the full and unbridled force of its very own creativity and self-tinkering capability to lead it to a higher node of freedom, beauty and infinite diversity.
    A humanity so endowed will truly be an attainment worthy of praise and pride.
    Such humanity, I proposition, as the triumphant goal to which we need put our minds and efforts, our deepest aspirations and highest ambitions.

    We have now for the first time the possibility to create ourselves anew. To eliminate all the so-called “natural” consequences of our origination as bodies and as minds. We can solve the world’s present and anticipated problems, by becoming aware, consciously aware, that we are all in this boat together, interconnected, interweaved, enmeshed in the same web of life.


    (probably part I of a multithreaded paper )

    a note: Uncontrolled hubris – Unrestrained future*

    Hubris is a word poorly understood nowadays, but in ancient Greece it generally meant any act challenging the gods, and what act challenges the gods more, than the desire of us, mere mortals (at present, soon to be challenged) to become gods as well? If that is the meaning of hubris, then by all means let us have an uncontrolled hubris. An uncontrolled hubris will bring an unrestrained future, a future of freedom and liberation, of beauty and consciousness, the like of which, the gods themselves, will be jealous of.



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    aeonbeat     Wed, Jul 23, 2008  Permanent link
    What is better?
    Better is a motion, best is static. Better is striving, best is either useless or beyond that comes after "is". You may say you're not an utopian, but you do sound like one in the end. And I like it, they say utopia is a dream, but there ain't no dream that ever hasn't come true.

    I enjoyed the feeling of that text.
    rene     Wed, Jul 23, 2008  Permanent link
    Well put, Gouranga. I was very much taken by this post from the moment Wildcat declares himself a futurist. It's remarkable how genuine the desires and aspirations he attributes to humanity and himself come across. I'll certainly return to this post from time to time and eventually respond to it more in depth. As far as I'm concerned this post effectively sets the tone for what SpaceCollective has aspired to from the beginning.
    Wildcat     Thu, Jul 24, 2008  Permanent link
    Gouranga: Thank you Gouranga, you have just given me the proverbial nudge to write my next article, in which I will explore Utopia vs. Dystopia.
    I don’t (or didn’t) know that I am a utopian, but then if we wish to equate, dreamer with utopian, then yes, I probably am.

    Rene: Thank you for the warm acknowledgement, I certainly self-describe as a futurist. In this respect, part of what spurred me to write this article is the positive force, towards a better future, I believe we here at SC are collectively representing.
    aeonbeat     Sun, Jul 27, 2008  Permanent link
    Great! Can't wait to read the next one! Enjoy!
     
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