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Polytopia
Connor Lowe (M, 34)
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Immortal since Sep 11, 2008
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    Polytopia
    The human species is rapidly and indisputably moving towards the technological singularity. The cadence of the flow of information and innovation in...
    Now playing SpaceCollective
    Where forward thinking terrestrials share ideas and information about the state of the species, their planet and the universe, living the lives of science fiction. Introduction
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    From connor's personal cargo

    [question] The Inevitable Resolution?
    **I apologize for the audio quality as I captured it with my cell phone in the interest of time. Info below.**

    I am sure that we can all agree, there are some really great thought processes happening within Space Collective. Great minds are working together, traveling down paths of knowledge as one entity, working out the details of thought through the linear progression of time.

    The most common subjects of thought, through my findings, have been technology, enhancement, and singularity. For any of these thoughts or ideas to come to fruition, emergence is a necessity.

    The future that Space Collective forecasts is reliant on emergence. It will not be a future that is willed to happen, or intelligently designed. Our collective behavior, working toward our collective vision of the future, is not creating our future, but rather identifying what is actually emerging. That said, individuals can act as catalysts. We are in control of our time, and the more time that we put into this process of clearly identifying what is emerging, the easier it will be for Space Collective to communicate. The easier it is for Space Collective to communicate, the easier it will be for other people and collective minds to envision a similar future.

    The most influential emergent system on earth is our current economic system. There are few things on earth that it hasn't shaped, redefined, or taken control of. The mix of a profit based system with disregard for natural capital has proven to be extremely detrimental the natural environment and innovation. Both of these things are needed in order for the Space Collective's futuristic vision to exist.

    Why is there so little SC thought about this complex problem? A lot of the conversation seems to be under the assumption that this time the economic system won't win. That the emergence of the SC's future vision will be so strong that it will overcome the stronghold that the current system has.

    So, my question is, is there a consensus within Space Collective that painting a clear picture of the future will be enough to overcome this system?


    More (if interested):

    Are there conversations happening that are talking about the state of the internet?

    The existence of Space Collective is reliant on a heavy infrastructure that is controlled by the current economic system. How we can transcend that relationship to allow the Space Collective to be more robust?

    Are there any billionaire philanthropists in the Space Collective? :]


    Also:

    The reason for the audio accompaniment is to try to make the conversation digestible in different media. Ex., If you don't have time to read because you have to look at (design, etc) other things, hopefully you can still take part in the conversation by listening to the post. I will use a better recording device for my next post.






    13 comments
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    Comments:


         Wed, Oct 22, 2008  Permanent link
    http://spacecollective.org/dmitridb/2531/A-core-tool-is-holding-back-everything
    connor     Wed, Oct 22, 2008  Permanent link
    thanks dmitridb.
    See my comment on your post.

    RE: this post
    While this is not the problem itself, the problem with this abstract system is that it is run by those with the knowledge and who also take action and therefore seize the power over the abstract system. The problem lies in our very human nature, and how certain humans have taken to the practice of manipulating systems for individual gain.
    -from http://spacecollective.org/dmitridb/2531/A-core-tool-is-holding-back-everything


    This is a big problem, and I think that these entities have no problems taking drastic measures to keep their position of control.

    Wildcat     Thu, Oct 23, 2008  Permanent link
    Thanks Connor, you put forward a very important question, namely:" is there a consensus within Space Collective that painting a clear picture of the future will be enough to overcome this system? "


    As I see it, the economics that are at present representing said system are an outdated (neolithic) manner of organizing and distributing resources based on an economy of lack. We can predict with a fair amount of certainty that our common era of lack will end once a nano/bio/tech implementation is in place (the tech singularity which is already in progress). Given that this is how the future will unfold, it can be surmised that the system of economics of lack will be overcome and replaced by an economy of abundance.
    If and when such an economy of abundance will come forth the main issue will be (and in fact to my eyes is already so) how to replace the outmoded thought patterns of the neolithic brain. for this to take hold yes we need a clear vision for/of the reality we wish to construct.

    Though it is true that a present 'someone' pays the bills for the tech infrastructure that allows such a beautiful project as SC and Polytopia to arise, it is also true that the direction we are implying here is so removed from the present economic system, in terms of philosophy at least, that I see no reason to discuss it (not to mention the fact that it is discussed ad nausea almost everywhere on the net)

    I am not certain that there is a consensus as to the idea that painting a clear picture overcomes the system, what I can state for certain is that history has proven time and again that there is no force in the collective called humanity that is stronger than "an idea whose time has arrived".

    The polytopia project as an example is both an emergence and a creation, it is simultaneously an identification of a reality already in the making and a making of a reality that has not yet progressed beyond its embryonic form.

    Wildcat     Thu, Oct 23, 2008  Permanent link
    "Whether humanity is to continue and prosper on spaceship Earth depends entirely on the integrity of the human individuals and not on the political and economic systems. The cosmic question has been asked, are humans a worthwhile invention?"
    - Buckminster Fuller



    meganmay     Thu, Oct 23, 2008  Permanent link
    Pardon my recycling, but I thought I'd respond by reproducing a little piece from a kind of a half post:

    It seems the thinking capacities of the human brain are finally tuning to comprehend the complex socio-economic networks we've built up just in time to consider re-arranging them.

    Being a proponant for the evolution of the human mind, I find it extremely interesting that we find ourselves in the midst of an environmental crisis that requires us to consider the abovementioned complex, non-linear networks and their larger scale impacts, particularly in light of how thoroughly entangled our lives are with petroleum. It seems to me that the human brain has only recently, in the last several decades, evolved to a point where it can retroactively comprehend the networks it has unwittingly manifested. We were always building a non-linearly networked world, our brains just didnt quite compute the sum of its interconnected parts.

    Also, in the spirit of emergence, another post that addresses this issue of more complex thinking is.

    re: the economy

    When the market collapses because, among other things, the monetary system itself becomes such a great (unregulated) source of wealth, it seems like a new philosophy of the economy may be in order. Perhaps this lucrative abstraction has lead us away from what should be a system of valuable exchanges, not merely empty exchanges of currency.

    Just some thoughts, I'm not an expert on the subject but will be glad to stretch my brain about it. Who are the best economic philosophers of our time?
    Wildcat     Sun, Oct 26, 2008  Permanent link
    History of economic thought
    connor     Tue, Oct 28, 2008  Permanent link
    Wildcat: Interesting that you mention this: "the main issue will be (and in fact to my eyes is already so) how to replace the outmoded thought patterns of the neolithic brain."

    This main issue, is really what prompted my question. A key problem with the issue is the varying levels of communication. I feel as though the current system continually creates environments in which people need to think less and less about the decisions they make. In essence, communicate a dead simple message to people, beat them over the head with it, and they will listen and act. Actually, it almost seems as though the goal of mass communication is to create binary decisions for individuals. Hmm. Interesting synapse for me with that thought.

    So, at this point, to me, SC seems to be an exclusive, intellectual forum for breeding and raising ideas until the threshold at which they move out into a world where they must compete with the neolithic brain. If so, the goal of Space Collective should be to get these ideas worked out, not only at the high level of thought, but in ways which everyone can clearly understand what we are trying to say.

    meganmay: It seems the thinking capacities of the human brain are finally tuning to comprehend the complex socio-economic networks we've built up just in time to consider re-arranging them.

    I really like this thought, and it is a very optimistic view on the state of the world. For some reason, I always seem to be back and forth with it. On one side, there is no question that network culture is gaining momentum and that people are becoming aware of interconnectedness of social, economic, and environmental systems.

    The other side is on the train of thought I mentioned earlier, that the goal of mass communication is reducing decision making to a binary choice. It is harder for me to comprehend the scale of this, as I am not as closely involved with people on this path. But, my observations still say that there are a large number of people that aren't thinking critically. I mean maybe that could be used to the benefit of an emerging idea... but I would prefer to see thinking on the rise...


    One of the scariest things to me is the extreme measures that those who control the system we live in will take to keep their position. The reason for making this post is that I see great potential in Space Collective. To bring change, or to allow the ideas within this system to emerge, I think that we have to be open about how that change will come about.

    Thus, the question.
    sjef     Wed, Oct 29, 2008  Permanent link
    "If so, the goal of Space Collective should be to get these ideas worked out, not only at the high level of thought, but in ways which everyone can clearly understand what we are trying to say."

    Agreed. While taking an economic system of abundance as a given is fine as a means of creating a foundation on which to build the vision of a polytopian future, the process of actually getting there should not be ignored. While I'm convinced that that situation can eventually be reached, it would be nice if the transition was relatively smooth, and didn't have to involve say, a complete global collapse resulting in a digital dark age from which a better society can be built.
    As long as all the ideas are locked up here in our circle of a few thousand minds and stored only on a box in the basement at mediatemple they are pretty much useless in that kind of scenario.

    Of course a hard singularity involving a forced enlightenment of the earths population would also neatly solve the problem, but I think a collapse before that would be more likely.

    Having a clear view of the future to be created is certainly necessary, but so is having a idea of how to get there in order to be able to push in that direction. Relying solely on emergence for this process is of course possible and fine to be optimistic about, but its kind of a seat-of-the-pants approach.

    The collapse of our current system is almost inevitable, what is crucial at that point is how the void that is left is filled. Those currently in power will want to maintain and expand that power, in which I see a very short road to a classical corporate police state dystopia. The scary thing there is that those people are also in the positions to have those plans pushed through, and already have them complete & ready for execution. (See the neoliberal solution to every economic collapse of the last 40 odd years, not to mention the clandestine creation of many of those collapses.)
    In order for any other plan to be able to compete, it must also be complete to the point that it is ready for implementation, and there needs to be someone in the position to present it through the right channels at the right time. This role could (should) of course be taken on by the people as a whole, but seeing as most of them really don't like to think that much anymore, that isn't very likely at this point, most would prefer to have a solution presented to them.
    connor     Thu, Oct 30, 2008  Permanent link
    I think we are on the same page here.

    I agree, it is important to work out the details of the long term vision, and I see a lot of that happening. But as dmitridb puts it in his post, the people controlling this system are the ones who are able to take action. I think that there are numerous polytopian dreams that could be very detrimental to humanity if implemented in the wrong context.

    I have suggested in dimitridb's post that we start defining all of the problems / hurdles that we could come across on the path to the future that the Space Collective would like to see. As with any design problem, the first step to the solution is having a clear understanding of the problem that you wish to solve.

    I think that if we could get people within Space Collective to put their minds together to clearly define these problems, we could then order them into some sort of chronological manner (short term / long term / etc). Once we had that map laid out, we could then create scenario's and solutions to try to find the most practical path to our future.

    Oh, and regarding this:
    Relying solely on emergence for this process is of course possible and fine to be optimistic about, but its kind of a seat-of-the-pants approach.

    It won't be relying on emergence. Speaking of emergence isn't a fatalistic approach. By actively working towards a new system, we are not working against emergence, our interest in helping this idea is proving that this idea is emerging. The more people that will decide that they will help this idea, the more it is proving that this is an "idea whose time has arrived"
         Fri, Oct 31, 2008  Permanent link
    ...but seeing as most of them really don't like to think that much anymore, that isn't very likely at this point, most would prefer to have a solution presented to them.

    I think the solution they need is the realization that there needs to be the reversal of exactly the problem you're talking about.

    I think one of the largest problems here is the fact that the very educational facilities supposedly meant to foster thinking tend to deter the majority from learning and thinking critically by making the very idea of doing either seem dull and boring, just another exercise to do, just another enraging, non-engaging, repetitious requirement you have to go through to appease the higher authority. Anyone else agree with me that if a better system of getting people to know the world existed, then a lot of the problems that come from individuals just not getting the idea of getting ourselves together as a species would vanish? Of course, it all goes deeper than that, and I'm sure there's root causes to all these issues, but it's certainly a big issue.
    Spaceweaver     Sat, Nov 1, 2008  Permanent link
    sjef wrote:
    The collapse of our current system is almost inevitable, what is crucial at that point is how the void that is left is filled.


    It seems to me that most if not all of humanity's technological goals,the fulfillment of which is necessary to bringing about the Singularity, and our grand visions of the future demand a very large scale of collaboration and coordination between many organizations and humans. These are extremely complex goals, and I do not see them coming into fruition on the background of a collapsing civilization. This is why I would rather prefer a radical transformational process of our civilization instead of collapse. Such process must ensure that we are able to keep very high level of organization intact as a critical enabling factor for the Singularity. The future of human civilization is embedded in an ever increasing complexity. I do not believe that destruction and collapse are necessary conditions to a new emergence. Local collapses and chaotic events are of course inevitable, being the landmarks of any paradigm shift. Yet, beyond a certain threshold chaos will breed just more chaos and not a more interesting and complex order. I cannot see a massive technological progress taking place while major economical and organizational structures are collapsing.
    Spaceweaver     Sat, Nov 1, 2008  Permanent link
    Meganmay wrote:
    It seems the thinking capacities of the human brain are finally tuning to comprehend the complex socio-economic networks we've built up just in time to consider re-arranging them.


    It seems to me there is a deeper principle involved here: A necessary condition to the sustainable and growing civilization is that it is being able to compute and manage within a fair approximation its own complex pattern. Remarkably this may also apply to human individual identity, and I believe that on the individual level consciousness has a lot to do with this capacity. I am tempted to apply this to all scales of the human phenomenon, from the individual level to the civilization level. Perhaps our best bet if so is to figure how to bring about a collective consciousness that will become an open ended platform to growth and transformation.

    One thing is quite obvious and also scientifically validated regarding the economic mega systems of today: Much of the economical mechanisms operating today are far from being understood and involve aspects of human psychology and human behavior that belong mostly to human unconscious patterns and processes at all scales.

    Conor wrote:

    I have suggested in dimitridb's post that we start defining all of the problems / hurdles that we could come across on the path to the future that the Space Collective would like to see. As with any design problem, the first step to the solution is having a clear understanding of the problem that you wish to solve.


    Well, I am pretty sure that the core design problem has to do with redesigning our conceptual framework, (or our own minds if you wish). The deep issues of the future and our dealing with it here in SC is philosophical in nature it seems. The neolithic mind that wildcat mentions is deeply conditioned to respond and to do. For the neolithic mind reflection and thinking are recreational activities at best. We need to depart from this path and put much more emphasize on reflecting and thinking. This might bring us the increased collective consciousness which is necessary to the emergence of the next phase of a sapient civilization. Again, as I wrote elsewhere, I believe that transforming our economical system from the root amounts to not less than achieving an higher state of collective consciousness.
    Alan Smith     Mon, Nov 3, 2008  Permanent link
    I'll share my comments to this very interesting topic in project form:

    http://spacecollective.org/AlanSmith/4436/Commoncy-Ecommonies-The-Future-of-Money

     
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