The world population recently reached 7 billion. What do you think this means in terms of the future of our planet?
In and of itself, the 7 Billion doesn’t mean much.
I agree with others that it is what we choose to do that defines us.
A couple of quotes:
From Hamlet (Act 2 scene 2) “Why, then, ’tis none to you; for there is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so”
And as is said in The Matrix:
Spoon boy: “Do not try and bend the spoon. That’s impossible. Instead… only try to realize the truth.”
Neo: “What truth?”
Spoon boy: “There is no spoon.”
Neo: “There is no spoon?”
Spoon boy: “Then you’ll see, that it is not the spoon that bends, it is only yourself.”
I love the Matrix, the way that it is metaphor upon metaphor upon metaphor.
That things like The Matrix exist gives me hope.
I keep wondering how long it is going to take people to wake up, or how many are even willing to.
We do not have an energy problem.
We have a set of problems with the economic system.
We have a system where the USA (and any number of other countries) goes to war for profit.
When it costs 30c per barrel to get oil out of the desert in Iraq, and it sells for $100 per barrel, that buys a lot of weapons (and death).
Afghanistan has only one thing of value on the international market – opium. Up until the Taliban started to shut down poppies and opium production, no one really cared, then suddenly there was war. [OK – yes there is a strategic rare earth mineral issue, and I doubt it was the trigger. Triggers tend to be more immediate.]
It is a very strange world we live in.
Some people are convinced that our consumption of oil is a threat to our survival, but in and of itself it isn’t.
The threat to our survival is the profit being made from the sale of oil.
That profit is being protected by a great deal of political, legal and military power.
So long as that profit remains, there will be no development of alternative technologies that empower individuals.
As a species, we are expanding in awareness and in knowledge, yet each of us as individuals is at some particular place on the various spectra of knowledge, understanding and wisdom with respect to any given idea.
Some people are way out toward the edge of understanding on some concepts, and well back towards the middle on others.
Then there is the whole notion of paradigms of understanding.
The spiral dynamics folks seem to have captured something of the nature of what is going on, and they have also missed a lot of it.
In respect of your direct question, I do not believe it is particularly instructive to look backwards for guidance. The answer is no, no community has yet overcome the issues of power and money and expansion, which says nothing at all about our ability to become the first.
My question to you is, why are you assuming that solving that problems has anything at all to do with reaching any sort of common understanding?
I assert that there never has been common understanding.
Diversity has always been the norm, and with the exponential expansion of both information, and modes and paradigms of interpretation of that information, diversity is only going to increase. That is a given. Accept it, and from that starting point, look for strategies that can work in diversity.
I keep coming back to the only class of solutions that I have encountered that offers the possibility of stability in diversity, which is that delivered by http://www.solnx.org
That system delivers to every individual the necessities of life, which necessities include access to education and communication.
In terms of stability, it is the communication part that is essential.
It is the networks which form which create stability, particularly the trust networks.
It is these networks that allow for diversity, and novelty, while also creating enough cohesion to bind the diverse parts onto a coherent whole.
Decentralisation is a key element.
Breaking central control is not going to be easy.
I see an opportunity coming, and it is going to be very tight.
The system has to come close enough to collapse, that everyone (no exceptions) can see the danger to themselves in the collapse.
Only in that moment will there be the opportunity to establish the decentralisation that can create stability in the long term.
The strategy is not without risk, and every other strategy I have looked at has the certainty of failure (in the long term).
The problem is that the near term threat has to be extremely high to get those at the margins to examine their assumptions of “business as usual” at some level.
No guarantees, and I am cautiously optimistic.
My biggest problem, is that I haven’t actually done all the long hand math. I have simply relied upon my highly intuitive brain to do it for me. If I had a “think tank” and good group of mathematicians and programmers, I am confident we could “crank out the numbers” and convince the “accountant types” – (accountants are very conservative, they are, by definition, primarily backward looking, always interpreting through the lens of past results – a very poor approach to real novelty).
Accountancy certainly has its place.
Fortunately for accountancy as an occupation, true novelty is very rare, and it does happen from time to time, and it is happening now.
In the situation of true novelty, accountancy fails as a predictor.
I have worked with auditing and accounting systems most of my life – which makes me very aware of both their strengths and their limitations.
Good accounting practice is essential for any business, and a certain amount of projection on past trends is most often the most accurate predictor of future performance, and not always.