One of the things I have done over the last six months has involved identifying and observing hive mind constructs in the real world. This happened in the context of examining the publicly visible process of foreign policy making. I wrote thirty three posts that are at least tangentially related to this pursuit. Hive mind constructs will eventually win out over point source propaganda, but it won’t be pretty to watch.
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Links and short descriptions of various sequential endeavors and their findings
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Monolithic corporate forces heavily invested in the status quo are wrestling with networked humans and finding they face a sort of memetic Devil’s Snare. Their struggles may seem to be momentarily successful, but they are only educating their opponent as to their strengths and weaknesses.
The concept of the corporation didn’t really take off until the Catholic church relaxed usury laws three centuries ago. Compound interest depends on exponential growth and humans have pretty much hit the wall in terms of what our environment will support. Any one of climate change or peak oil could undo the perception that we are all consumers living in a conglomeration of free markets. Those two have arrived pretty much simultaneous with a financial sector meltdown and we are entering a period where our society will wind down to the Earth’s solar maximum. A value system based on exponential growth will not survive a disproof by counter example, and Mother Nature responds to neither paper injunctions nor heartfelt supplications.
Some of those networked humans are starting to realize that they need not tear down the corporatocracy by hand and they are already thinking about how and what to preserve. What role does a hive mind play in this? What role can it play when electrical power is intermittent and the supply chains needed for electronic devices are interrupted?
Social media and collaborative technologies–layered with smart systems combining geo-location data with human experience–will make cities the driving sustainability force in a dawning planetary era. Cities will anticipate new risks with rapid urban systems innovation based upon crowdsourcing, virtual and physical communities, and transparent markets sensitive to full carbon and resource costs. Creatively leveraging collective intelligence for clean energy, low carbon mobility and sustainable food and water, the new urban grid will enable high local quality of life, lifelong learning and vibrant green economies.
Collaboration, Peer production, Peer networks, Crowdsourcing….the more I read about these topics the more I understand the enormous opportunities for social development and governance that are already out there. But at the same time, there are some new challenges to address.
For every new concept introduced in Government 3.0 I have the same reaction. First, I am all confused about it. Second, I start to understand it, but at the same time it always looks kind of utopian or not really applicable in the government field. And finally, I find some practical examples and ideas that allow me to think that these concepts are in fact both interesting and feasible.
Suggestions for process-oriented titles of global issue reports
Given the increasingly disastrous “state of the world”, and that foreseen for the future, it is appropriate to ask whether another language might enable meaning to be carried otherwise — and potentially more imaginatively and fruitfully. There is clearly a fundamental problem with respect to the relationship between states of any kind — one which obscures consideration of the dynamics which may be vital to the essence of meaning. This is only too evident in the case of Israel-Palestine, India-Pakistan, North Korea-South Korea, and the like — as with the “two-state solutions” proposed in the first case.
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With respect to enhancing insight into the dynamic, a striking innovation in “turning statistics into knowledge” — with the slogan “unveiling the beauty of statistics for a fact based world” — has been offered by the Gapminder initiative, within the context of the OECD Global Project on Measuring the Progress of Societies. A provocatve case might however be made for re-imaging “statistics” — as exemplifying state language – with something akin to “dynastics”.
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It can be readily argued that this collection of “states” offers no indication of how they are interrelated systemically between the domains so thematically bounded. This systemic connectivity has been the primary preoccupation of the Encyclopedia of World Problems and Human Potential now accessible online.
Ariana Huffington: “the decision-makers are not acting in the best interests of the public”
Voice Over: “socio-economic evolution out of synch with natural evolution”
Joichi Ito: “frugal engineering happens in the absence of abundance”
Many good endeavors still working in silos. Sharing and cross fertilization not there yet.
Those who have been sideline by power now have ability to by-pass power and connect to all.
Published on Apr 10, 2013
What will the world look like in 50 years? The problems facing our world are so large that they demand disruptive thinking. We don’t have time to think in incremental terms. It’s time to challenge the status quo, and dare to imagine what we can do.
This is the 1st of a 3 part series by Silvia Garcia Alonso on P2P responses to the water and energy crisis. The text is also available in Spanish on her website.
Energy is the engine of our economy. An economy based on growth that permanently demands larger amounts of energy. During the 20th century, especially during the second half of it, economic growth has come hand in hand with the easy access to fossil fuel resources, something that at that time seemed to be virtually inexhaustible.
This is the 2nd of a 3 part series by Silvia Garcia Alonso on P2P responses to the water and energy crisis. Click here for Part 1.
We have already talked about the energy crisis and the need to achieve energy independence through self-generation and the birth of P2P energy networks. At that point we were always talking about communities or households, but the logic applies equally to the distribution and generation of energy in every single country.
SEED-Scale (Self-Evaluation for Effective Decision-making) is a methodology for community-organizing and resilience-building pioneered by the NGO Future Generations. SEED-Scale is a powerful and attractive alternative in an environment presently dominated by the over-professionalized and foundation-funded 501(c)3 Model. Unlike the 501(c)3, SEED-Scale approaches community-organizing from a much different perspective. In many ways it recaptures the spirit of grassroots movements such as AIM (American Indian Movement), and is in important respects similar to the Zapatistas democratic/egalitarian/bottom-up approach in Latin America:
SEED-SCALE offers a solution…It does this by focusing on the one resource available to us all: Human Energy. When human energy is viewed as the essential commodity that will improve lives, individuals are shown to already posses an infinite resource they can build on. Therefore, resourcefulness is the end result, rather than a compulsion for resource consumption. Working with resources already owned—and everyone who is alive owns the resource of their own energy—then technologies, social systems, information, financing will all follow. And if momentum builds around the application of human energy, it will shape to local ecology, economy, and values.
Couple Uses Massive Lottery Payout to Build Community Infrastructure
By John Robb
Here’s a great story.
Mark and Cindy Hill, from Dearborn, Missouri, recently won a quarter billion dollar lottery payout. What makes them different from the typically lottery winner is that it doesn’t look like they will spontaneously combust due to excessive consumption. Instead, from all accounts, they plan to continue to live modestly and will continue the small town routines that they currently enjoy. As smart as that is, what makes Mark and Cindy really different is that they plan to invest their money in community infrastructure. Here’s what they are putting their money into the following:
A new fire station with better highway access.
A ball field for local kids.
A sewer treatment plant.
I liked this story a lot. It got me thinking about what I would community improvements I’d invest in if I had a boatload of extra cash to do so. I’d do things a bit differently than Mark and Cindy. My investments would be in productive, 21st century infrastructure. The type of infrastructure a community needs to have in order to prosper in the future.
What would that include? Here’s some of suggestions I’ve covered recently:
I’ve got LOTs more. Lots of ways to enable people to do more locally while connecting to the world to find out how. Thing is, it doesn’t take winning the lottery to build this infrastructure. Almost everything I’ve listed is something that can be done relatively inexpensively as a bootstrap. What would be on your list?